Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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COSSPP Students Chosen for Mayoral Fellowships

January 10, 2018

After an unprecedented high number of applications from Florida A&M University and Florida State University, the Office of the Mayor of the City of Tallahassee has made its final selection of Mayoral Fellows for 2018.

Among the outstanding students chosen for this honor are four from the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, all of them pursuing their master’s degrees:
Wisnerson Benoit – Urban and Regional Planning
Kirsten D’Souza – Applied American Politics and Policy
Daphne Green – Urban and Regional Planning
Terrie Hookfin – Applied American Politics and Policy

The Tallahassee Mayoral Fellowship Program offers a yearlong opportunity (January through December) for exceptionally high-performing graduate students to meaningfully engage with key areas of city government and serve in invaluable front-line positions alongside top leaders of City Hall.

Participants in the program are given critical responsibilities calibrated and applied to their interests and skillsets and are empowered to design, develop and execute an original policy or program proposal while serving.

The Fellows program offers students worthwhile experiences, connections and opportunities to build and refine their skills as public servants. Once a Fellow receives an assignment within the city, they are asked to work for 20 hours per week during each of the fall and spring semesters, and 40 hours per week during the summer.

Fellows also have the opportunity to receive a graduate tuition waiver through their academic department for the spring and fall semester of their participation in the program.

The program additionally offers meaningful leadership development opportunities through the city’s New Public Servant Initiative (NPSI), a nine-month program that galvanizes the talents and insights of emerging professionals by providing:
– professional improvement through a variety of courses and department tours,
– a forum that addresses subject matters in public service and leadership, and
– civic engagement events that add value to the community.

Beginning in 2014 with a cohort of three students, the program continues to expand student opportunities in such diverse areas as the Tallahassee International Airport; Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs; and the Department of Community Engagement.

“The growth and development of the Fellowship program represents a very real and engaging partnership between the City and our higher education institutions – the importance of which cannot be understated,: noted Dustin Daniels, chief of staff to Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum. “We commend these students for taking on such an intense extracurricular experience, and we appreciated the opportunity to partner with such a great program.”