Quinnipiac presidential public service fellows learn how municipal government works

May 29, 2024

Quinnipiac Presidential Public Service Fellows dedicate their summer to studying municipal government

Eleven Quinnipiac students spend the summer examining how municipal government works while serving the community.

The students are part of Quinnipiac’s Presidential Public Service Fellowship Program, an initiative now in its twenty-first year of partnership with Hamden and North Haven. The fellowship places outstanding student leaders into municipal departments for paid full-time public service in the two towns.  Students in the fellowship leverage their know-how for advancing projects defined by the community, and which leave an enduring benefit to the towns.

The fellowship is a partnership with the office of Quinnipiac President Judy Olian and Quinnipiac’s host town governments. It is supported by a financial donor trust established by Hank Bartels and Nancy Bartels in 2003. Since the start of the program in 2003, over 140 students have served as public service fellows, which represents nearly 49,000 hours of service in the community.

The students who are a part of the Public Service Fellowship Program are:

  • August Bishop of Monroe, Connecticut (Hamden Youth Services)

  • Kyle Douglas of Wayland, Massachusetts (Hamden Town Clerk)

  • Nicholas Fizzano of Hopkinton, Rhode Island (Hamden Economic Development)

  • Ryan Hagerman of Novato, California (Hamden Mayor)

  • Jayden Hutchion of Freeport, New York (Hamden Economic Development)

  • Mariam Saad of Glastonbury, Connecticut (Hamden Mayor)

  • Michael Scott of Shoreham, New York (Hamden Planning and Zoning)

  • Audrey Sheehan of Cheshire, Connecticut (Hamden Police)

  • Aidan Truckenbrod of Edwardsville, Illinois (Hamden Senior Services)

  • Dylan Van Oss (North Haven Public Works) and Jessica Van Oss of North Haven, Connecticut (Hamden Community Services)

The fellowship program was launched in 2003 and is directed by Scott McLean, professor of political science.  What makes McLean most proud of the program is not only how it launched his students’ lifelong habits of civic engagement, but also how many have changed their initial career plans to become full-time leaders in local nonprofits, grassroots organizations, government and elected leadership.

“Our Public Service Fellows have gone on to become business leaders, attorneys, scientists, health professionals, elected officials and social justice advocates,” McLean said. “They have found ways to pursue the civic dimension of their professional lives. A core pillar of Quinnipiac’s mission is to ignite students’ ambition to be enlightened and engaged citizens. Working on important projects in Town Government has a powerful impact on their self-confidence as leaders, and a deeper appreciation of the need for good government at the local level.”

McLean describes himself as an “idealist with experience” when describing his optimism about the current generation of college students. He finds that young people in college today have more hope that government can solve our most pressing problems, if the community is also involved.

“Make no mistake: This generation is as savvy and confident in their ability to change things, and they are hungry for a chance take action,” he added.

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