Student fellow gains unique perspective of how local government works

June 28, 2021

Madison Stout sits at her desk in the Hamden Mayor's Office

Madison Stout ’22 is helping to highlight the best of Hamden — in a unique position at the perch of town government.

Stout, who is serving as a public service fellow, is spending the summer working in the mayor’s office in the town of Hamden, Connecticut.

As part of her role, she is doing everything from booking vendors and entertainment for town events and updating the town website to writing proclamations and crafting marketing plans.

“I didn’t realize how intertwined all parts of the municipality are,” she said in a recent interview at Hamden Government Center. “What you think is probably the jurisdiction of one department requires the clearance and team-work of at least two to three others.”

Although she was familiar with how important local government was before starting her fellowship, she said she has learned quickly how extensively it impacts people’s day-to-day lives.

Working within the public service department has grown Stout’s respect for the people who work in these fields.

“The amount of work and pressure they have everyday is incredible, and watching them navigate it and continuously adapt to it everyday has been inspiring,” she said.

Stout’s time at Quinnipiac so far has allowed her to grow and become more comfortable and confident in her own abilities, she said.

“Not only has it made me a stronger team member and leader, but also as an individual,” she said.

“It is everyone’s duty to clear their path ahead a little more for those behind them, as those in front of us have done,” Stout said. She believes that public service work is the bottomline to creating a better world.

Her goals for after graduation this May involve going and doing something where she can make the greatest impact for a better world.

“Right now, I’m debating between law school or going straight into the workforce. At the end of the day, I want to work in the government or nonprofit sector,” she said.

She urges everyone to make sure they vote in their local elections because those elections will “impact your life every single day.”

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