IOP Selects Spring Semester Fellows
A former governor, former U.S. representatives, and a journalist will be among the fellows at the Institute of Politics this spring.
The IOP will host seven resident fellows for the semester, it announced Thursday. The fellows will each lead a weekly study group for undergraduates and community members as well as participate in other IOP events.
Former U.S. Representatives Artur G. Davis ’90, George R. Nethercutt Jr., and Ted Strickland will share insights they gained in Congress in their study groups.
Other fellows with experience in the political fray are Steven P. Schrage, the former chief of staff for Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, and Kathryn L. Taylor, who served as mayor of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Two fellows have been involved in politics without running for office or working for politicians. Margaret A. McKenna, the president of the Walmart Foundation, and Farai Chideya ’90, a journalist who covers culture and politics, will add their perspectives to the mix of fellows.
“This semester, we had one of the best applicant pools in history,” IOP Director Trey Grayson said. “It was a tough decision, but basically the staff chose with student input.”
Students interviewed candidates to help choose the seven applicants who received semester-long fellowships.
As a journalist who has covered five presidential elections and has worked for print, television, and web outlets, Chideya will focus on the intersection of social media and politics in her seminar. Participants will study traditional and new methods that candidates and political institutions use to reach their audiences.
Strickland, who served as governor of Ohio in addition to his time in Congress, will lead a study group on "class warfare” which will explore topics such as childhood poverty, educational inequity, and income disparity in America.
Other fellows will lead discussions on topics ranging from American education policy to the 2012 presidential race.
Besides study groups, IOP fellows interact with students each semester by hosting office hours and attending events at Harvard.
“Fellows love being here on campus and participating in activities,” Grayson said. “I’m sure this semester they’ll go to basketball games, attend a cappella concerts, audit classes—we want them to immerse themselves on campus as best as they can.”
While they enjoy college life, the fellows also advise undergraduates. “There is a career counseling aspect to it,” Grayson said. “The mission [of the fellowship] is to bridge the political and academic world, letting students know the war story, or behind-the-scene story, of how politics works. We hope that all of them can inspire students to pursue careers in politics, government, and public policy.”
—Staff writer David Song can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.