|2:55 p.m., Jan. 27, 2003--Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the Legislative Fellows Program in the University of Delawares College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy offers students an exciting opportunity to be part of the action in state government.
The Delaware General Assembly receives assistance in researching and crafting bills, as well as other areas, and the fellows get hands-on experience in the inner workings of government, according to Lisa Moreland and Bernard Dworsky, program co-coordinators for the 2003 Legislative Fellows Program.
Established in 1982 by Jerome R. Lewis, director of the colleges Institute for Public Administration, the fellows program is cosponsored by the Delaware General Assembly and the University and has expanded over the years. Originally, there were two fellows each year. This year, there are 10 fellows serving the majority and minority caucuses in both the house and senate.
The program offers an opportunity for the students to observe and contribute to the political decision-making process, Moreland said, and it provides nonpartisan and in-depth research assistance to the legislators on a number of complex public policy issues.
The selection of the fellows is competitive, according to Dworsky, and those chosen must participate in a three-day orientation program.
[The fellowship] ends up being an excellent experience to have on a resume, he said. It gives participants an opportunity to develop their skills and abilities in a direct work experience.
Fellows serve during the entire legislative session in Dover, which extends from January through June. Fellows assist legislators in dealing with critical issues facing the state. In recent years, fellows have worked on areas as diverse as land use planning, education reform and juvenile justice.
Past fellows include Lt. Gov. John Carney; Devona Goeins Williams of Goeins-Williams Associates, a consulting and public relations firm; and Mark Manno, extension agent IV in the Cooperative Extension Service.
The 2003 fellows are:
William Fasano of Newark
A UD graduate with a bachelors degree in international relations, Fasano is a master of public administration student specializing in state and local management. He has interned as the assistant to the town manager in Bethany Beach and is the executive assistant of the Delaware League of Local Governments. He is assigned to the house majority caucus, where he will assist with legislature dealing with natural resources, environmental protection and government accountability. I am looking forward to working more intimately with my state senators and getting to know them, he said.
Sarah Hench of Newark
Working toward a bachelors degree in political science and economics at UD, Hench is currently a delegate of the Edgar Maya Model Organization of American States and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She was a 2002 Legislative Fellow and has returned this year to assist in the house majority caucus to further her interest in law and legal issues. We get assignments that relate to our interests and do research on issues that will either contribute to the creation of a bill or that are in response to a constituent concern, she said.
Frank Mieczkowski of Wilmington
After graduating from UD with a bachelors degree in history, he is a master of public administration student specializing in state and local management. He was a 2002 Legislative Fellow and previously interned in the Historical Society of Delaware. He is assigned to the senate majority caucus.
John Trochimowicz of Newark
A graduate of UD with a bachelors degree in biology, he is a master of business administration student with a concentration in management and international business and a consultant to UDs MBA department. He is assigned to the house majority caucus to further his interest in finance and economics. We get a firsthand look at policy based on a local level and see what its like to interact in a political arena, he said.
Aryah Fradkin of Baltimore
Majoring in political science at UD, Fradkin is a mediator of consumer complaints for the Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney Generals Office, as well a member of the UD Marching Band. He is assigned to the house majority caucus.
Janna Craig of Freehold, N.J.
Working toward receiving a bachelors degree in American history, Craig is a merit scholar and previously interned at the Division of Parks and Recreation in the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. She is assigned to the House Minority Caucus and is interested in studying education policies and the environment. There are so many topics to get involved in, she said. It is a very different way to spend my last semester on campus.
Melanie Ross of Eatontown, N.J.
Working toward a bachelors degree in political science and womens studies, Ross previously interned at the National Organization for Women in the District of Columbia and the UD Office of Womens Affairs. Currently, she is the undergraduate chair of the Commission on the Status of Women Student Caucus at UD. She is assigned to the senate minority caucus. I hope to get a good overall understanding of Delaware government in Dover, she said.
Stacy Savickas of Freehold, N.J.
After graduating from UD with a bachelor of science degree in leadership and consumer economics, she is currently a master of public administration student specializing in financial/state and local management. She is the treasurer of the Urban Affairs Student Association and was a 2002 Legislative fellow. She is assigned to the house majority caucus.
William Clark of Hershey, Pa.
With a bachelors degree in political science from UD, Clark is working toward a masters degree in public administration, specializing in state and local management. He previously interned at the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center in Pennsylvania and was a 2002 Legislative fellow. He is assigned to the house majority caucus.
Amy Lazor of Drexel Hill, Pa.
A UD graduate with a bachelors degree in psychology, Lazor is a master of public administration student specializing in state and local management and a member of Phi Sigma Pi national honors fraternity. She is assigned to the senate minority caucus and is interested in education and health and human services such as drug policies. It should be really interesting working with the legislatures, she said. We get a lot of interaction with both senators and representatives.
For more information about the Legislative Fellows Program, contact Moreland at 831-4955 or Dworsky at 831-4928.
Article by Melissa Berman, AS 2004