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Seated from left to right
are Robert De Forest,
Sarah White and Jessica Nierenberg, who won
a Fulbright scholarship in April to examine a
public-works project in Italy later this year.
Senior fellow Steve Soboroff sits on the right.
Senior fellows counsel up to three students each during an academic
year, offering insights into policy issues as well as the concrete
benefit of their professional experience. Since its inception in
1997, 329 students and 106 fellows have participated in the program.
Many students have benefited greatly: One gained a White House internship;
another interned with the Financial Services Committee of the U.S.
House of Representatives; a policy student spent time at the offices
of The Economist magazine in London; two others attended
a monthlong course on human-rights justice systems in Strasbourg,
France. Past fellows have included former California Congressman
Anthony Beilenson; Theodore Barreaux, director of oversight and
evaluation at the HUD Office of Multi-Family Housing and Restructuring;
Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad; John W.
Mack, president of the Los Angeles Urban League; Andrea Rich '65,
M.A. '66, Ph.D. '68, president of the Los Angeles County Museum
of Art; and Joseph Haggerty, president of United Way of Greater
"The Senior Fellows Program is a key part of the clinical
education of our students," says Barbara Nelson, dean of the
School of Public Policy and Social Research, noting that the mentorship
aspect of the program — which recently received a $30,000
gift from the Harman Family Foundation — grew out of a desire
by fellows themselves to have more contact with students. "By
accompanying the fellows for such things as nonprofit board meetings,
editorial sessions, negotiations or just sharing coffee, our students
see how successful leaders work, how they think and how they interact."
Adds VC Powe '75, M.B.A. '77, the school's executive director
of external programs: "The program's aim is to show students
how things work in the real world. Fellows give their time, which
is something many people would pay to get."