Athens, Ga. – Shayna Pollock from Sandy Springs is one of four University of Georgia undergraduate students who began work with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government in January as interns in the Vinson Institute Fellows Program. During the spring semester, Pollock and her colleagues will assist faculty-mentors with the hands-on study, research and outreach of the institute.
Pollock will work in the institute’s environmental policy program with its director Rob McDowell. She will graduate in 2010 with two degrees: one in environmental economics and management and another in political science.
The Vinson Institute works with state and local government officials throughout the state to provide training, research and assistance. It developed the fellows program in order to involve high-achieving undergraduate students in its work. The program offers the students perspective on careers in public service. Students also gain valuable, real world experience working with and studying local and state governments.
For the selection of this semester’s class of interns, the fellows program, in cooperation with the university’s Honors Program, developed a partnership with the UGA chapter of the Roosevelt Institution, a nationwide network of student think tanks. The fellows program reserved a few of its positions for top-performing students from the fall Roosevelt Scholars course. Pollock was chosen in this way, due to her outstanding participation and enthusiasm in the public policy course.
“Engaging UGA’s undergraduate students through the Vinson Institute Fellows Program has been a mutually beneficial experience,” said Steve Wrigley, institute director. “We hope that the program is an educational introduction to the inner workings of state and local government for the students and that they contemplate future careers in this area. We at the Institute have gained a great deal from the new and interesting perspectives that the students bring to the table.”
The current class of Vinson Fellows is the second group to go through the program.
For more information about the Vinson Institute Fellows Program, see http://www.cviog.uga.edu/fellowships; more information about Roosevelt at UGA is available at http://www.ugaroosevelt.com/; for more information on the inaugural class-First Vinson Fellows go to work, see http://www.cviog.uga.edu/spotlight/302_First-Vinson-Fellows-Go-to-Work.