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Our 14 Legislative Fellows, Falah Al-Falahi, Abdulrasheed Dawodu, Justin Dougherty, Fiona Eramo, Khazra Fatima, Rachel Gaebel, Margaret Karpinski, Shubreet Kaur, Sana Nangia, Abbey Negin, Nicole Neri, Wyatt Patterson, Browyn Sherman, and Elijah Simmons posing with (from left to right) Dean Amy Schwartz, Dr. Jerome Lewis, and Lisa Moreland Allred.
When the first leg of the 152nd Delaware General Assembly began on Tuesday, January 11, 2023, the Legislative Fellows Program proudly launched its 42nd class of Legislative Fellows. During their six-month placement with the state legislature, 14 newly selected Fellows will have a front-row seat to observe the political decision-making process and contribute their research and writing skills to assist legislators in addressing critical public policy issues facing the state.
All 14 students selected as 2023 Legislative Fellows are representing the University of Delaware, and 7 are pursuing coursework in the Biden School. As indicated below, the fellows serve with caucuses in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as in the Division of Research:
Senate Majority Caucus
Senate Minority Caucus
House Majority Caucus
House Minority Caucus
Division of Research
“Year after year, the Legislative Fellows Program brings bright and enthusiastic students to Legislative Hall. Their contributions are pivotal for managing committees, developing policy, and ultimately supporting the passage of legislation that directly impacts the lives of Delawareans" said Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola. “It is inspiring to work alongside the fellows and the Senate is grateful for their dedication to public service and the legislative process."
Speaker of the House Peter C. Schwartzkopf said the program is a “win-win" for everyone. “The Fellows are Delaware's best and brightest, and they are an invaluable asset to have on board," he said. “At the same time, we are able to help the Fellows by involving them in the inner workings of our government and by opening doors for their future."
“In Dover, Legislative Fellows act as encyclopedias for lawmakers and our staffs. They have the answers before we even ask the questions. The research, data and policy points they bring to the table are invaluable as we craft bills and meet with the public," said House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf. “It's so encouraging to see such bright talent get involved with the political process at an early age. I always look forward to meeting the new Fellows each year and hearing about their aspirations to make an impact on our great state."
Jerome Lewis, director of the Institute for Public Administration and founder of the program, said the experience is beneficial to both the Legislative Fellows and the Delaware General Assembly. “It's a transformative experience for the students. They are exposed to things they haven't seen before—in politics and in life," he said. “The program provides the legislature with fresh talent every year, ideas and research capabilities that otherwise might not be so readily available."
Program Manager Lisa Moreland Allred, a former Fellow herself, believes the program provides unequaled exposure to very real challenges facing Delaware. “Our students get to observe how the law-making process works. It's not something you can learn from a textbook," she said. “There are so many people who play vital roles, and you have to immerse yourself in the day-to-day of Legislative Hall to see how it really works."
About the Legislative Fellow s Program
Begun as a partnership between the University of Delaware and the Delaware General Assembly in 1982, the Legislative Fellows Program is now sponsored in cooperation with Delaware State University. The program began with placements in the House of Representatives, expanded in 1988 to include the Senate, and expanded again in 2014 to include the Division of Research. The Institute for Public Administration's Lisa Moreland Allred (MPA '98) manages the program.
According to Allred, “During their tenure, the Fellows will be assisting legislators to respond to constituent concerns, conducting nonpartisan research on cutting-edge public policy issues, and staffing committees. Staffing committees is a task that, in larger states, is conducted by full-time employees. Our Legislative Fellows count themselves lucky to be given such a prestigious and challenging responsibility."
Profiles of the selected students can be found on the 2023 Legislative Fellows page. Students interested in applying to become 2024 Legislative Fellows should contact Program Manager Lisa Moreland Allred.
About the Institute for Public Administration
The University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration (IPA) addresses the policy, planning and management needs of its partners through the integration of applied research, professional development and the education of tomorrow's leaders. As a research and public service center in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, IPA collaborates with state agencies, municipal governments, nonprofits, communities and businesses to examine complex policy issues and improve quality of life in Delaware and beyond. Dr. Jerome Lewis is the director of IPA.
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