This quarter, the Institute of Politics (IOP) has once again welcomed several fellows to campus, where they will lead seminars throughout the quarter.
The spring quarter fellows are political journalist Jeff Greenfield, Republican media consultant Mike Murphy, Italian television show host and writer Maria Latella, former St. Louis chief of police Daniel Isom, urban revitalization expert Lavea Brachman, retired Iowa senator Tom Harkin, former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, and Israeli investigative journalist Ilana Dayan.
The IOP’s Director of Fellowships, Kate Grossman, organizes the events and works with a Fellows Committee to select seminar leaders. According to Grossman, potential fellows either apply online or are recruited by the Fellowships Committee. Each candidate must be approved by the Student Advisory Board to ensure that the most knowledgeable and engaging fellows are chosen.
“We mainly look for professionals who can use their political knowledge to engage students in their work and to inspire them as well, all in eight weeks.… We really aim to bring the real world to campus,” Grossman said.
Third-year Bess Goodfellow, the Student Advisory Board Fellows Chair, hopes that the IOP fellows can help her and other University students prepare for the real world.
“Personally, I hope to learn about how politics works in the real world. For example, how do campaigns actually run, or what's really important with policing? It's especially great to hear about these issues from people who have often helped shape them… [And] two things that students might gain from coming to a Fellows event are knowledge of a relevant political topic or issue area and advice on how to get into politics as a career,” Goodfellow said.
Additionally, the IOP announced its Spring Speaker Series last week, in which politicians, government workers, and journalists speak at IOP events once or twice a week. This quarter’s IOP speakers include Arianna Huffington (April 28), Oliver Stone (May 5), Jon Stewart (May 9), Edward Snowden via teleconference (May 12), and Eric Holder (May 23). Students will have the opportunity to register for each event three weeks before it takes place.
The Fellowship and Speaker Series were first introduced to University students by IOP founder and director David Axelrod in January 2013. Grossman said that although she has only worked with the IOP for six months, she can already see the popularity of both events among students.
“I haven’t been here long, but I’ve seen that a lot of students regularly show up to these events, and that’s always great to see,” she said.