The National Civic League awarded the Pforzheimer-National Civic League Fellowships to graduate students pursuing research at Harvard University, University of Colorado - Denver, and Colorado State University - Fort Collins.
The fellowship program seeks to further student knowledge of and interest in community engagement, community planning, community development, local government administration, and civic affairs. Please join us in wishing congratulations to the 2019 Pforzheimer-NCL Fellowship Awardees!
They are in alphabetical order:
Stephanie Bultema is a third-year Public Affairs PhD student at the University of Colorado - Denver. Her research focuses on better understanding collaboration in Accountable Communities for Health (ACHs), which are community-based partnerships that bring together cross-sector organizations and community members to transform health systems at the local level. This stipend will go toward the cost of travelling to communities in Washington and California to interview and observe leaders, partners, and community members involved in the implementation of ACHs; which will ultimately help tell a more robust story about each ACH. She states this sort of in-person engagement is a vital part of understanding how citizens are being engaged in the process and the extent to which inclusive local practices are being employed in health system transformation efforts.
Jerren Chang is a Master in Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and seeks to develop a theory of change for reigniting civic engagement in the United States. Their research works to develop and test a new civic leadership program that provides meaningful pathways to systemic impact for currently disengaged young adults. Drawing on best practices from high school action civics curricula and leadership development programs, Chang hopes to develop issue-centered, part-time, service-based civic leadership pathways that empower young adults with the knowledge, empathy, and influence to drive real systemic change. The Fellowship stipend will support pathway development activities, such as, user testing and young adult focus groups.
Paulani Cortez-Villas is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Originally from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, Paulani’s primary policy interests include increasing civic engagement, building political power in underserved communities, and addressing inequity and underinvestment along the southern border. A mayor in southern Texas is currently under investigation for knowingly instructing individuals from outside city limits to falsify their voter registration information in order to vote for him. She plans to use this event as a case study and would use the research stipend for travel to and from Texas. Her research will examine whether voter ID laws can prevent this kind of fraud from occurring again or if there are alternative solutions that can better protect election integrity while also ensuring that voting rights are protected.
Michael Parker is a graduate student in the Center for New Directions Political Science Master’s Program at the University of Colorado - Denver. His Master's Thesis Project will be to research the lived experiences of individuals who are currently dealing with displacement in the Denver Metro area and develop a narrative around this issue. The Fellowship stipend will support interviews with individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness in Denver about the underlying issues that have contributed to their situation. As part of this, he intends to identify a comfortable and safe space in which to build relational trust over a meal; funds will go toward these meals and individuals’ transportation costs. His hope is that this study will lead to a deeper understanding of the issue of homelessness and inspire policies to address it.
Katie Patterson is a second-year Master student at Colorado State University - Fort Collins and is working with CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation (CPD). This stipend would support an applied research project to train teachers on tools for using deliberative methods in the K-12 classroom. By training teachers in deliberative practices, students will learn to be more efficacious citizens in their communities and develop civic skills as they proceed into adulthood. The primary objective of our training workshop will be for teachers to better understand the ways deliberation can be beneficial in facilitating student learning and civic development. The long-term outcomes for this process involve increased capacity for students and teachers to impact their communities. The stipend would provide support for participant attendance (e.g., recruitment, refreshments), process materials, and/or analysis of participant feedback.
Stephanie Puello is a second-year PhD student at the University of Colorado - Denver’s School of Public Affairs and her research interests include civic engagement and participation, racial and social policy and equity, and election administration. She is conducting research on Florida’s Amendment 4, which passed in the state’s 2018 midterm election to effectively re-enfranchise citizens with felony convictions. She seeks to expand this research and conduct a policy feedback analysis that investigates how and if the new policy has an effect on voter turnout, increased civic and community engagement, shifts in views of the government and society, and willingness to co-produce the development and delivery of public policy. The Fellowship stipend would support travel to Florida to conduct in-person interviews with a sample of citizens on how and if Amendment 4 has changed their views on voting, society, and community or civic engagement.