Service fellow gains hands-on experiences to improve community, government

August 13, 2019

A male student with the mayor of Hamden looking and pointing at a map on a conference table.

Chidi Nwuneli ’20 had such an impactful experience working to better town services for the residents of Hamden last summer that he was awarded a second consecutive fellowship this summer to continue his momentum.

Working closely with Mayor Curt Leng, Nwuneli organized several high profile projects — including farmers markets and summer festivals — and assisted with public relations, the development of town policies and the review and implementation of grant proposals.

“My parents’ work for intergovernmental organizations piqued my interest in politics at a young age,” said Nwuneli. “Ever since then, I’ve been drawn to government work.”

He credits the hands-on learning within the College of Arts and Sciences — and particularly the political science department — with the numerous opportunities he’s enjoyed throughout local and state government.

“Quinnipiac has provided me dedicated professors who care about their students’ career development and push them to excel at the highest level,” said Nwuneli.
Scott McLean, director of the presidential public service fellowship program, said Nwuneli is the type of student that professors dream of having in their classroom.

“Chidi stands out among his peers because he is so inquisitive and so seriously committed to expanding the horizons of his knowledge,” said McLean, who is also professor and chair of political science. “One of his strengths as an emerging leader is that he is able to balance his extensive knowledge and experience with his dry wit. He does not take himself too seriously, and he generously listens to peers and mentors alike with equal respect.”

However, Nwuneli’s experiences extend far beyond the classroom. He has been a resident assistant and Student Government Association representative, helping improve the university experience for thousands of Quinnipiac students throughout his four years.

Nwuneli continues to reach for new heights as he plans to attend law school for a JD/LLM.

“I hope to work in the international law system in some capacity,” he said. “I know the various experiences and networks I have been able to build will allow me to succeed.”

College of Arts and Sciences

BA in Political Science

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