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Biden Institute Summer Internship Program: 21 in ‘21

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Biden Institute Summer Internship Program student Meilyn Farnell poses in front of the Biden Institute during Summer 2020.

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The Biden Institute’s Summer Internship Program is back for its second year in ‘21 to give 21 University of Delaware students hands-on opportunities in public policy, communications, public service, and advocacy. The Biden Institute selects host organizations and places exemplary UD students as interns, in order to ensure that students can gain access to substantive career-building opportunities.

“With all of the challenges that students are facing right now, the Summer Internship Program will help ensure that students can still participate in meaningful work experiences that will complement their academic coursework, build their resumes, and develop their skills,” said Catherine McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Biden Institute.

Recognizing the need for equitable access to professional career paths through internships, which are often unpaid, each intern will receive a stipend, thanks in part to a generous donation from Marna ‘68 and Tom ‘69 Whittington, longtime supporters of the University of Delaware and the Biden Institute. This will allow students, who otherwise may not have been able to participate in a public sector internship program due to financial reasons, to make a difference in an area they are passionate about, and benefit from the experience and networks that these kinds of professional opportunities provide. Due to the complications presented by COVID-19, the students will work virtually to support their host organizations for 8-10 weeks this summer.

As an expansion to the program this year, the Biden Institute collaborated with the University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center and the YMCA of San Francisco to form a new cohort called the Equity Scholars to help reduce the achievement gap and prevent COVID-19 learning loss in under-resourced communities. This cohort will serve as trailblazers who will work virtually with youth in San Francisco, inspiring them to become life-long academic achievers.

Summer Placements

Esha Shah ‘23 Public Policy and Communications, Delaware Department of Justice: responsible for combating crime, safeguarding families, fighting fraud, and protecting consumers across the state, the Department of Justice is led by Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings.

Caroline Klinger ‘22 Sociology, Active Minds: with nearly 600,000 students across 800 campuses nationwide, Active Minds is the premier organization focused on the mental health of college students. The organization’s mission is to erase the stigma around mental health, educate young people to better nurture and treat it, and help students get the resources they need.

Fiona Eramo ‘23 Public Policy and Women and Gender Studies, Human Rights Campaign (HRC): the nation’s largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights organization, HRC works to secure a world where LGBTQ people are ensured of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the community.

Emily Morgan ‘21 International Relations and Criminal Justice, Rise Justice Labs: a first-of-its-kind social movement accelerator, Rise turned the work of its parent movement, the successful effort to pass a Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights at the national level, and the ongoing campaign to replicate that success in statehouses and around the world into a model for other issue movements to draft bills, navigate the legislative system, and gain passage for laws that advance civil rights and justice.

Carly Bennett ‘22 Political Science and Women's Studies, Delaware Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy: responsible for the implementation of current women’s rights legislation, building support for new legislation, and advising the Governor’s office, State Legislature, and Secretary of the Department of Human Resources, this office is a key institution in overseeing and furthering the rights of women in Delaware.

Maddison Alt ‘22 Psychology & Media Communications, Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence: a new organization created to address sexual violence across the state, the Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence is centered on the formation of an inclusive community to support survivors through advocacy, intervention, and awareness.

Isabel Yu ‘23 Energy and Environmental Policy and Valerie Gould ‘21 Energy and Environmental Policy, Alaska Wilderness League: an organization created to galvanize support to secure vital policies that protect and defend the Indigenous peoples, public lands, waters, and wildlife of Alaska.

Faith Goetzke ‘23 Spanish, Political Science, and Psychology, Research Assistant for Aneesh Raman: Former Obama speechwriter and CNN war correspondent Aneesh Raman, who currently works on Economic Impact at LinkedIn, is working on a project related to the coming shift to a majority minority nation and what that will mean for the expansion of economic opportunity for all Americans.

Kasiyah Tatem ‘22 Political Science, Office of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester: representing the at-large Congressional seat for the State of Delaware, this office supports the legislative agenda of the Congresswoman.

Shahroze Ali ‘23 Geological Sciences TechNet: the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy through federal advocacy, communications, and digital marketing strategies.

Sabrina Shultz ‘22 Energy and Environmental Policy, Team Rubicon: a disaster response organization that leverages the unique skill sets of veterans and first responders to help disaster victims, while using service and camaraderie to help veterans gain community, a sense of purpose, and identity to promote transition to civilian life.

Alexis Wrease ‘22 Public Policy and Communications and Tyler Harman ‘23 Political Science and Communications, United States Conference of Mayors: the non-partisan organization representing cities with populations of 30,000 or more; serves as the leading advocacy group for cities.

Sofia Alvarez ‘24 International Relations, Selma Cemerlic ‘22 Public Policy, Sofia Chilimidos ‘22 International Relations, Jorge Hernandez-Limon ‘22 Public Policy, Caila Jefferson ‘23 Psychology, Julia LiPuma ‘21 Human Services, Nicholas Stanek ‘22 Communications and Political Science, Equity Scholars: a pilot program designed to bring together public service minded college students to help reduce the achievement gap and prevent COVID-19 learning loss in under-resourced communities.

About the Biden Institute

Established at the University of Delaware's Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, the Biden Institute works to educate and empower the next generation of leaders by convening students, scholars, activists, policymakers, government officials, and business and nonprofit leaders from a diverse range of disciplines, political ideologies, and backgrounds to advance public policy conversations on issues of critical importance facing our nation.

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