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As a legislative fellow, Juliann Emory was assigned to work with the House Majority Caucus (Democrats) within Legislative Hall. Following her tenure as a fellow, she secured a job as a legislative assistant for the Delaware House of Representatives.
By Chris Kelley
Two former fellows of the Institute for Public Administration's (IPA) prestigious Legislative and Judicial Fellows Programs have made the transition from students to full-time employees working in the same offices.
Juliann Emory, a 2018 legislative fellow, and Alexander Burns, a 2017 judicial fellow, count themselves lucky. Not only were they able to work alongside legislators and court administrators as IPA fellows, but their roles as student fellows have translated to full-time post-graduate positions at Legislative Hall and the Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts.
If it wasn't for Legislative Fellows, I would not be where I am right now, said Emory, MPA 18, who served as a legislative assistant to the Delaware House Democratic Caucus during her time as a student.
Through her role in the Legislative Fellows Program, she was responsible for staffing the Health and Human Development Committee as well as the Manufactured Housing Committee. Submitting meeting agendas, preparing meeting notices and documents, and updating committee bill reports were all a part of her day-to-day duties.
Now, as a legislative assistant for the Delaware House of Representatives, she is responsible for constituent concerns. Through my role, I collaborate with the representatives I support and other key people in my districts to solve issues within the community, said Emory. While my duties are a bit different, it has been nice to transfer into this role after being a legislative fellow. It makes the adjustment into this new environment easier and I feel supported to grow during this next step in my life.
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Founding Judicial Fellows Josh Berkowitz (left) and Alexander Burns (right) meet with Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.
Alex Burns, MPA 18, served as both a graduate research assistant and judicial fellow at the Institute for Public Administration during his time as a student. Like Emory, he credits his role as a fellow for opening doors upon graduation.
Discovering and taking part in the Judicial Fellows Program was truly a serendipitous occurrence, said Burns, who now serves as a special projects analyst within the Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
In the fall of 2016, I was halfway through the Legislative Fellows Program application when I got an email from its manager, Lisa Moreland, about a brand new fellows program. Given my interest in criminal justice and concern for social inequities, I jumped right into the Judicial Fellows Program.
For Burns, no step in the process was without its challenges. Being part of the inaugural cohort of the Judicial Fellows Program was a challenging but also extremely rewarding adventure, said Burns of his experience as a fellow. Working with the Delaware AOC, Burns assisted staff with research on projects related to improving the court's ADA accommodation procedure and seeking out ways to reduce recidivism.
Fast forward to now, and I directly credit the Judicial Fellows Program with helping me find my career path, said Burns. Now as a special projects analyst for the courts, Burns is tasked with managing and applying for judicial grants, planning court projects, participating in court research projects and coordinating the Delaware Access to Justice Commission. I hope to spend my career improving access to justice in Delaware.
Both Emory and Burns cited their time at IPA and the School of Public Policy and Administrations MPA program as a driving force in their careers.
The MPA program helped in my understanding and navigation of the public sector and continues to contribute to my success as a young professional working in the legislature, said Emory. In addition to my education, working at IPA allowed me to have my hand in a variety of different projects and in turn helped expand my worldview.
The graduates turned full-time professionals encourage current students to get involved in programs like the Legislative and Judicial Fellows Programs while in college.
Gaining professional experience while in school is important, said Burns. Being able to lean on experiences from the Judicial Fellows Program truly enriched my classroom experience and made me a better, more competent student and now professional.
The Institute for Public Administration is very pleased by the success of our graduates as they launch and continue their careers in public service, said Lisa Moreland, program manager of the Legislative Fellows Program and program co-manager of the Judicial Fellows Program. Not only does this speak to the importance of the work that our fellows do, but it also highlights the strong relationships both our Legislative and Judicial Fellows Programs continue to foster with Delawares legislative and judicial branches.
Since 1982, the Legislative Fellows Program has given students the opportunity to assist state legislators in addressing issues critical to Delawareans. Today, the program links the research capacity of UD, Delaware State University, and Wesley College with the research needs of the Delaware General Assembly.
Students selected for the competitive program gain valuable skills and insight into the law-making process through assignments that require a high level of responsibility, such as staffing committees, conducting nonpartisan research, and responding to constituent concerns.
Alumni of the Legislative Fellows Program have gone on to highly successful careers in both the public and private sectors and include Delaware Gov. John Carney.
The 2018 Legislative Fellows:
With 2018 marking its second year, the Judicial Fellows Program provides graduate students with the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience working closely with the Delaware Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Modeled after the Legislative Fellows Program, students selected for the Judicial Fellows Program observe the court management process, perform court-related research, offer technical support to judicial committees and subcommittees, and contribute to written reports and data analysis for the judicial branchs strategic planning efforts.
The 2018 Judicial Fellows:
The Legislative Fellows Program and the Judicial Fellows Program are managed by UDs Institute for Public Administration in the School of Public Policy and Administration.
To learn more about the Legislative Fellows Program, visit the program website or contact program manager Lisa Moreland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Judicial Fellows Program, visit the program website or contact program managers Julia O'Hanlon at email@example.com or Lisa Moreland at firstname.lastname@example.org.