2017 Heinz Fellowship Committee Report

2017 Heinz Fellowship Committee Report
March 31, 2017

There were seven committee members plus Peter Wells, Secretary of the Class of ’60, who went to lunch with last year’s awardees and then interviewed the current applicants. The committee members included: Jon Baker, Susie Berenson and Jay Coleman of ’86, and Al Durfee, Rob Hanke, Peter Knudsen, and Tom Yamin.  All five of last year’s awardees attended the lunch at the Graduate Club and reviewed their summer experiences.  The level of commitment to public service that was displayed by the awardees was really impressive.  Last year’s awardees described their summer experiences especially in regards to their future career possibilities as follows:

Madeline Bauer interned at the U.S. Department of State’s East Asian Bureau.  Madeline is a dual major in History and East Asian Studies and would like to pursue a career in government with a focus on China.  She plans to study in Beijing this summer.

Liam Arnade-Colwill is a resident of Hawai’i and worked in the home office of Senator Brian Schatz.  Liam is particularly interested in improving educational opportunities and addressing the poverty of the people of Hawai’i.  Liam plans to work this summer for the New Haven Department of Parks and Recreation.

Brendan Hellweg interned at the HUD Office of Recapitalization to assist on policies to reduce the current $26 billion backlog to repair public housing.  Brendan’s career goal is to work in a governmental housing department.

Cara Meyer’s Fellowship was in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Nashville, TN working in the office that provides counsel regarding last minute stays of execution.  Cara’s career goal is to work in criminal law.

Andi Peng interned at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland to work on software engineering and the development of the Hyperloop, the high speed propulsion technology proposed by Elon Musk.  Subsequently, the Heinz Committee funded Andi’s costs associated with making a presentation about her summer’s work in Dallas to a large scientific industry group.

After lunch and just before meeting this year’s applicants, the committee discussed how we would parcel out the $24,000 available.  The awards are merit not needs focused.  Therefore we offered to fully fund five of the seven applicants that we interviewed.  One of the five accepted funding from another source.  So we were able to return $5,000 to the fund to be available for next year.  The four awardees are:

Pranav Bhandarkar was awarded $3,000 for an internship at the Office of Economic Policy or the U.S. Treasury Department.

Ethan Gacek will receive $4,970 to intern at the Office of Security and Human Rights of the U.S. State Department.

Elizabeth Karron was awarded $4,996 for a fellowship at the State of Rhode Island’s Governor’s Office to work health policy.

Julia Hammer-Light was granted $5,150 to work for the Section 8 Administrator of the New York City Housing Authority to study the factors that impact the success of formerly homeless individuals and families.

Once again the Committee was impressed with the quality of the applicants.  It should be noted that in my seven years as Chairman of the Heinz Fellowship Committee, every committee member has attended every one of our lunches and interviewing sessions, which is a testament to the important and rewarding day that we spend each year interviewing some of Yale’s best students.  Consistent with the objectives of the Fellowship, we have found that the applicants have a sincere interest in careers in government service.

Peter Knudsen, Chairman
Class of 1960