Seniors Win Public Service Awards
Rosenberg and Smith are the first recipients of the newly-endowed Elliot and Anne Richardson Fellowships in Public Service—which is now one of the country’s largest public service grants.
“It’s a great chance to do something that has great meaning for you and will benefit the community,” said Paul A. Bohlmann, director of fellowships for the Office of Career Services.
The grant will cover the recipients’ living expenses and help fund the public service program they propose to work on.
Rosenberg and Smith were selected out of a pool of 24 seniors. “It was very competitive and I was extremely surprised when I heard that I had won,” Rosenberg said. “I definitely did not expect to win.”
Rosenberg, who is an economics concentrator, will travel to Ecuador next year to study the political and economic impact displaced Colombians have had on small business owners and farmers there.
“The US plays a critical role in the region and with my experiences next year, I will better understand and hopefully be able to contribute to policy in the region,” Rosenberg said.
He said he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in economics and to continue research in Latin America with the goal of one day making foreign policy decisions.
Smith plans to pursue a series of internships in the United States and Africa next year. Throughout the year, Smith will research how student-service programs run, work for an AIDS education campaign in Botswana and then develop and implement a model youth leadership program in Boston.
During his time at Harvard, Smith, a sociology concentrator, amassed an extensive resume of involvement in social service groups, many of which he founded.
Smith founded Boston Area Student Volunteers in the Community (BASIC) and the Har’d CORPS program, which brings students from Ivy League schools together for community service.
He is also a member of the Progressive Student Labor Movement and participated in last spring’s occupation of Mass. Hall.
According to Bohlmann, this year’s two recipients fit what the faculty committee that awarded the grant—professors from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Kennedy School of Government—was looking for.
“They were the best two students. They are incredibly and well-accomplished people in very different ways,” Bohlmann said.
On May 28, Rosenberg and Smith traveled to Washington, D.C. to be recognized at the Council for Excellence in Government’s inaugural presentation of the Richardson Prize for Distinguished Public Service—a different award that honors people for a life-long commitment to public service.
“While the Richardson award is for undergraduates starting their career in public service, the students were being congratulated at an award ceremony for those at the end of their public service careers,” said Bohlmann.
Rosenberg and Smith were also given the opportunity to visit the White House and meet President George W. Bush.
—Staff writer Anat Maytal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.