Miller Center

Public Service Fellows

Our Mission

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.

Meet The Current Public Service Fellows

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 GAGE@virginia.edu or call (434) 924-4694.

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Current Public Service Fellows

The Public Service Fellows are a group of U.Va. undergraduates dedicated to developing volunteerism, good citizenship, and professional opportunities to serve the community. This is a student-run group, co-sponsored by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation and the Miller Center.

Lily Bowles
Lily Bowles

Lily Bowles
Class: 2012
Major: Political and Social Thought

While public service comes in many forms, I especially enjoy engaging with diverse groups of people in discussions on current events and age-old questions related to the "common good". Also, I am very intrigued by social entrepreneurship's potential to improve the universal standard of living and am eager to learn how the public, private, and civic sectors can collaborate more closely to solve social problems more systematically and holistically.

 
John Burns
John Burns

John Burns
Class: 2015
Major: Biostatistics

I am primarily interested in public service as it relates to health issues, both domestic and global. Within that sphere, I have an interest on the logistics behind connecting existing associations to work together towards a common goal. My vision is that if similar philanthropies are more strongly connected, there is a greater potential for success in raising funds, awareness, etc. Outside of health-related fields, I am also interested in providing more opportunities for diverse, liberal education to students that may not often have chances in the classroom to access it (engineering students, mathematics or chemistry majors, etc.) through weekly seminars, organizations, etc.

 
Kirsti Campbell
Kirsti Campbell

Kirsti Campbell
Class: 2012
Major:  Biology

My main areas of interest pertinent to the Public Service Fellows program fall at the intersection of the medical sciences and public policy.  I am very interested in the current progress of health care reform in the United States, and I enjoy looking for ways to promote basic scientific literacy (primarily in biology) in those inclined to go into public policy in the future.  There are several serious medical ethics questions that already face policy makers today, and true understanding of the real issues often requires a fluency in the language of genetics, genomics, and cell biology.

 
Caroline Casavant
Caroline Casavant

Caroline Casavant
Class: 2014
Major: Undecided

My academic interest lies primarily in the field of public health. I look forward to expanding my interests as I learn from other Public Service Fellows.

 
Emma DiNapoli
Emma DiNapoli

Emma DiNapoli
Class: 2014
Major: Undecided

I am passionate about the political and policy development process, particularly issue advocacy and the media’s role in politics today. In terms of particular issues, I am most interested in solving the looming energy crisis and women’s rights in developing countries. Both within the University of Virginia community and beyond, I think openly talking about issues and concerns is the key to creating a friendlier political and social climate.

 
Carl David Goette-Luciak
Carl David
Goette-Luciak

Carl David Goette-Luciak
Class:  2014
Major:  Undecided

My academic interests span the humanities but I am most interested in issues of social justice, international relations and trade, the university community and public service.  I am dedicated to expanding and creating forums for discussion on these and other issues with our student, faculty and Charlottesville community.  This year I am writing an independent study in racial equity at our university and will be traveling to Peru to research and write on the Office Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and it's protection of U.S. hegemony in that nation during World War II.  Public policy, education, development and diplomacy are all fields I would be interested in working in after graduation.

 
Laura Hansen
Laura Hansen

Laura Hansen
Class: 2012 (graduating a year early in May 2011 and beginning graduate studies)
Major: Nursing (BSN)

I am interested in a career that may include health care provider, educator, health care administrator or public health policy analyst. Health care reform is a commitment of mine; as a student nurse, I already have the responsibility to serve as an advocate as I witness my patients’ struggles to secure affordable medical care. I also study public health and enjoy learning how health care, policy, and commerce intersect.

 
Eda Herzog-Vitto
Eda Herzog-Vitto

Eda Herzog-Vitto
Class: 2015
Major: Engineering

I am particularly interested in the ethics of global citizenship and in math and science education policy in the United States. My interest in global citizenship has developed out of an interest in language; I find that language plays a fascinating role in problems of cultural imperialism and raises a number of questions about the obligations associated with global citizenship. I first started thinking about math and science education policy when I tutored students in physics in high school. I would like to look into questions such as why we learn certain subjects when we learn them and what leads to effective learning.

 
Hillary Hurd
Hillary Hurd

Hillary Hurd
Major: Russian Studies and Foreign Affairs

My principle interest lies in understanding the role of the citizen and what role he/she ought to play not only at a university, but in the local community and beyond. In pursuant to that interest, I love exploring how best to connect different groups of people for intellectual discussion and dialogue. Through my involvement with Public Service Fellows, I am hoping to establish a weekly Breakfast Literary Club at the art museum. By bringing together professors, students, and TAs through the study of literature, I'm hoping to not only familiaize myself with more authors, but broaden the lens through which I perecive the world.

 

 

Katy Hutto
Katy Hutto

Katy Hutto
Class: 2015
Major: English

I am very interested in child welfare, social entrepreneurship, education/literacy, and social justice. My academic interests are hard to narrow down, so I love when different subjects relate in unexpected ways. If I had to name a career path right now, it would be college education. As someone who really just loves knowledge for its own sake, I find PSF to be extremely rewarding through its ability to make lasting and deeply impacting connections between people, thoughts, challenges, and possibilities alike.

 

 

 

Adam Joseph
Adam Joseph

Adam Joseph
Class: 2013
Major: Undecided

I'm interested in a variety of topics, ranging from global development to education to health care.  I particularly enjoy learning about and discussing America's political, economic, and cultural roles in a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected and 'globalized.' 

 

 

 

Alex Lichtenstein
Alex Lichtenstein

Alex Lichtenstein
Class: 2015
Major: Undecided

I am interested in exploring the many facets of American government and politics, including policy issues and, more broadly, the system itself. Currently, I am drawn to the idea of fractionalization and increasing partisan divide in our political system and how that impacts our policy outputs. I am also interested in the intersection of religion and politics and its role in our governmental system. Outside of politics, I'm interested in encouraging middle and high school students to engage in leadership and public service.

 

 

 

Stephen Nash
Stephen Nash

Stephen Nash
Class: 2013
Major: Government & Religious Studies

I have been interested and passionate about politics nearly all of my life. In college, I find myself most interested by the relationship, both intentional and inadvertent, between the church and state. Also, within the field of politics, I am hoping to focus on American politics. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy serving as a Counsel for the Honor System and Vice President of my fraternity.

 

 

Weston Reynolds
Weston Reynolds

Weston Reynolds
Class: 2013
Majors: Politics & Economics

I am particularly interested in social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, microfinance and microconsignment, welfare reform, organ transplantation and sales policy, and environmental policy pertaining to public access.  I hope to one day work for a business incubation operation, helping social entrepreneurs develop and grow their business. In my free time I love to fly fish, cook ethnic food.  I also have an unexplained affinity for bowties and an embarrassing interest in hip hop music.

 
Annie Ungrady
Annie Ungrady

Annie Ungrady
Class: 2014
Major: Human Biology and French

I am hugely interested in the health aspect of public service. Ideally, I would love to become the next Paul Farmer; I would not only be directly helping patients with specific health issues, but I would also be attacking some of the globe's most important epidemiological problems. I would particularly like to focus on nutrition, specifically educating adults and children on how to treat their bodies properly with healthy dietary habits. My long term goals involve going to graduate school for Public Health and then eventually becoming an MD. Until then, I will be searching for a wide variety of volunteering/job opportunities, including volunteering at local hospitals, working with children in underdeveloped countries, and working with health policy. 

 
Audrey Waldrop
Audrey Waldrop

Audrey Waldrop
Class: 2014

I am interested in the history and politics of the Middle East, particularly how these two subjects have shaped interstate and intrastate relationships in the region today. My primary focus is on U.S. and Western intervention as well as the prospect of peacebuilding on a cultural, governmental and non-governmental level. One of the main questions I have in my course of study is to what extent and how does the U.S. strive to balance a sometimes incompatible set of American values and interests when working abroad.