Public Service Fellows
Our vision for the Public Service Fellow (PSF) group is to create a student community that fully uses University resources to be active and effective citizens. We hope to harness these resources in order to catalyze the social impact of students' research, activism, professional development, and volunteerism not only in our local community but across the state, nation, and world.
Our Programs and Goals
To achieve these ambitious goals, each September the Public Service Fellows gather at an annual retreat to plan for the upcoming academic year. Our events in the past have included a Film Series, a Dinner Series, the Diversity Watch campaign, and a Debate Series. The Film Series screens American and foreign films selected by University professors who lead a guided discussion of the political content of the movie. Past films include:
- Cold Mountain with Professor Gary Gallagher, March 2007
- Sicko with Philosophy Professor John Arras, November 2007
- The War Room with Politics Professor Paul Freedman, February 2008
- Election 2000 with History Professor Michael Holt, March 2008
- Bulworth with Miller Center Forum Director George Gilliam, March 2008
- Breach with History Professor Fred Hitz, April 2008
The Dinner Series brings together 20 students with a distinguished public servant to talk over a catered dinner. Previous Dinner Series guests include:
- Gene Fife, Interim Director of the Miller Center, and former Chairman of Goldman Sachs International
- Gareth Davies, Historian from Oxford University.
- Al Weed, Candidate for the 2004 Congressional Elections
- Gerald L. Baliles, Director of the Miller Center and former Governor of Virginia
The Diversity Watch program was born out of a desire among PSFs to tackle issues of diversity prevalent at the University. While there are a plethora of student organizations dedicated to celebrating world cultures, there was a consensus amongst the Fellows that there was no organization dedicated to analyzing the institution's approach to diversity issues. Following a series of well publicized racial incidents in 2002–2004, the PSFs were spurred into action. The Fellows examined the President's Commission on Diversity and Equity (CODE), and more specifically the CODE Report, to examine how the University had attempted to mitigate the problems and latent tensions surrounding both these incidents and the broader systematic issues of which these incidents were symptomatic.
Finally, our proposed Faculty Debate Series (FDS) would hold debates between faculty members on timely public policy issues and would be open to any member of the University community. The FDS offers students the opportunity to watch high quality debate on public policy and current affairs and the opportunity to hear more about their professors' opinions, research, and intellectual pursuits outside of the classroom. While speaker series are common at the University, there are very few current venues for academic debate on Grounds by faculty. This program allows PSFs the opportunity to start a new, dynamic program that could be sustained over the next few years.
Who We Are
This is a student-run organization, funded by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and overseen by the Miller Center of Public Affairs. Fellows share a passion for politics, American democracy, international relations, public policy, and the historical understanding of these processes. The Miller Center serves as their gateway to the broader world of public service. Public Service Fellows are directed towards internships at the Miller Center and elsewhere to pursue independent research, community service, and political advocacy.
Professor Brian Balogh, Chair of the Miller Center's Governing America in a Global Era (GAGE) program and Associate Professor of History in the Corcoran Department of History, helped create the Public Service Fellows organization. Today, he continues to advise the Fellows in public service and professional development and work with the Public Service Advisory Board to coordinate efforts.
For more information about the Public Service Fellows or the GAGE program at the Miller Center, please e-mail or call (434) 924-4694.Sign up for e-mail alerts.