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Four Maxwell Students Will Participate in Highly Competitive Public Affairs Experiences This Summer

April 27, 2023

SU News

Four Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs | College of Arts and Sciences juniors have been selected to participate in highly competitive and prestigious public affairs experiences this summer.

Maxwell Students Public Affairs Summer Experience

Isabella Brown and Madelin DeJesus Martinez, both policy studies majors, will attend the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) junior summer institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Alexandria Johnson, an international relations major with the topic concentration in security and diplomacy and a regional concentration in Africa, will participate in the summer enrichment program through the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program.

Erykah Pasha, a political science and sociology major, will participate in the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) at the University of Michigan.

PPIA fellows are rising seniors interested in pursuing a master’s degree in public policy or international affairs and a professional career in public service. The program hosts summer training institutes focused on public policy and international affairs at universities across the country. It promotes the inclusion of underrepresented groups in public service and supports students who demonstrate involvement in working to improve historically underserved or underrepresented communities. The program provides full tuition at a Junior Summer Institute (JSI), GRE preparation, a $5,000 scholarship at a PPIA graduate school (PPIA fellows often receive scholarships beyond this amount) and application fee waivers to graduate programs in the PPIA consortium.

The PPIA applicants received support on their applications from Michelle Walker, director of community programs for the policy studies program in the Maxwell School; Melissa Welshans, assistant director of the Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA); and Jolynn Parker, director of CFSA.

The Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program is a six-week summer program at Howard University designed to provide undergraduate students with a deeper appreciation of current issues and trends in international affairs, a greater understanding of career opportunities in international affairs, and the enhanced knowledge and skills to pursue such careers. Students attend classes and participate in a variety of programs with foreign affairs professionals at Howard University and at diverse locations around Washington, D.C. The program covers the costs for tuition, travel, housing and meals, and provides a stipend of $3,300.

SROP at the University of Michigan (U-M) strives to support diverse students in their preparation for graduate studies. Through intensive mentorship, active learning and enrichment activities, SROP fosters a community of scholars who increase social and cultural capital and networking while mastering research skills.

Isabella Brown

Brown, from Scranton, Pennsylvania, is a Coronat Scholar and a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program. She will pursue the data analytics track during the PPIA experience. “I am hoping to learn how I can effectively use technology to advance the public interest and bolster socioeconomic opportunity in smaller cities and rural areas,” she says.

In the future, Brown plans to work to promote strong, interdependent communities through grassroots organizing and participatory local government. “As an incoming PPIA fellow, I intend to develop my skills as a data analyst and put those skills into action,” she says.

Madelin De Jesus Martinez

Martinez, of Washington Heights, New York City, is a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program.

She plans to take advantage of PPIA’s GRE preparatory course, networking events and alumni network, and hopes to achieve a deeper understanding of the intersection of public policy and data analytics. I want to build a career where I use data science to analyze and suggest policies that ensure equal access amongst different communities in the U.S. public service system, from healthcare to policing,” Martinez says. “PPIA will immerse me in an environment with students who are eager to gain necessary skills to tackle complex societal problems and give me the opportunity to further develop and apply my quantitative, analytical, policy analysis and leadership skills.”

 Alexandria Johnson

Alexandria Johnson, from Cleveland, Ohio, is a McNair Scholar and is minoring in French and Francophone studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

During her Rangel Scholar experience, she hopes to engage in meaningful conversations with inspirational people in the U.S. foreign affairs community. “I hope to gain a deeper understanding of myself as I prepare to make the transition from an academic career to a professional one. I am also incredibly excited to travel to D.C. and become a representative for others in my immediate community! I am eager to meet other like-minded scholars to encourage conversations about bringing more diversity to the field.”

Johnson is considering a career in international politics focusing on defense policy and diplomacy. “I think dialogue is increasingly important among nations as concepts of defense are changing,” she says. “The Rangel summer enrichment program will help me in my future career goals by giving me a unique support system that will provide insights into the people, institutions and processes crucial to international affairs.”

Erykah Pasha

Pasha is from Syracuse, New York, and is a McNair Scholar. During her summer experience, she will assist Lydia Kelow-Bennett, assistant professor of Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, on a book proposal on Black women in popular culture. “I hope to use this work, as well as the resources provided through the SROP, to broaden my research knowledge and skills,” Pasha says.

Pasha aims to become a professor in the future. “I hope this experience at the University of Michigan will assist me in narrowing down my own research interests and give me a better idea of what I want in a Ph.D. program,” she says.

By Kelly Homan Rodoski

Communications and Media Relations Office
500 Maxwell Hall