Skip to Page Level NavigationSkip to Page ContentSkip to Page Contact Information
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Print this Page

Ohio Public Leaders Fellowship Program gives Miami students hands-on experiences in public administration

Written by Jason Barone, CAS director of communications

Four-week fellowships are providing future benefits for Ohio agencies through a new program in Miami University's department of political science.

A group of seven students majoring in public administration or political science spent the month of January learning first-hand the inner workings of state and local government institutions and nonprofit agencies all throughout Ohio. As the inaugural class of the new Ohio Public Leaders fellowship program, these students represent a new, emerging generation of leaders in public service.

“The OPL program highlights careers within Ohio for our best and brightest students,” said Phil Russo, professor of political science at Miami and director of its Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs. “Among Ohio’s top government officials, there’s significant concern about the potential ‘brain drain’ of our top talent as we educate and prepare future public leaders. We need them to stay in Ohio and provide leadership in our communities, and the OPL program gives them an excellent foothold to accomplish that.”

Russo says that students selected for the program receive a paid fellowship and are exposed to four key facets:
1. Direct mentorship by public leaders
2. Research opportunities
3. Shadowing privileges
4. Experiential learning

Student fellows Alyssa Deis, Aubrey Hale, Ally Kohler, Tim Mangold, Alexandra Tirrell, Justin Waugh and Blake Woodward were matched with professional mentors (many of whom are Miami alumni) with high-ranking and influential positions in public management throughout the state.

“As we looked to match our students with the right experiences, the mentors stepped up and said ‘I’ll take one,’” said Mark Morris, clinical faculty in political science. “For example, Kim Cutlip, executive director of the Scioto Foundation, was matched with Alyssa Deis, who is interested in the nonprofit sector. Cheryl Subler (Miami ‘91), who is the public policy director for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, was paired with Tim Mangold, who wanted to focus on public budgeting and personnel management. We’ve been really successful with these matches, and the credit really goes to all our fantastic mentors.”

Likewise, there was copious praise for the OPL program and student fellows from the mentors themselves.

“It shows Miami has its finger on the pulse of the needs in Ohio local government,” said Rick Platt (Miami ‘89), president and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority. “Our student fellow, Ally Kohler, came prepared from day one to tackle a tough project and in fact helped us complete it in easily a third of the time I would have expected.”

“Our student, Blake Woodward, provided me with research data that helped highlight our inefficient use of county resources. As a result, I was able to push for necessary changes in countywide office administrative policies and procedures, resulting in an increase in operational productivity across county agencies,” said Judge Nick Selvaggio (Miami ‘88) from the Champaign County Common Pleas Court.

“Alexandra Tirrell quickly become an integral part of our team at Convergys,” said Karen Ryan (Miami ‘95), director of government relations. “Her writing and analytical skills were put to good use in examining legislation and drafting position statements, and I look forward to hosting future Ohio leaders.”

Patrick Titterington (Miami ‘87), director of public service and safety for the city of Troy, echoed these statements. “We worked with Aubrey Hale, who was instrumental in putting together a cost/benefit analysis of our municipal golf course,” he said. “In fact, her impact was so positive that I offered her a summer internship, which she has accepted.”

“OPL is a model program for others to emulate,” added Dana McDaniel (Miami ‘87), the director of development for the city of Dublin, Ohio. “Justin Waugh, our student fellow, provided me with great input while working together on an economic development deal as we analyzed the pros and cons for the community.”

Selvaggio remarked that the OPL program is not only broadening the students’ networking opportunities and career development but also re-engaging Miami’s alumni. “We get the thrill of ‘paying it forward’ to our alma mater,” he said.

“Our office is already cultivating a list of future high-profile projects for our next OPL fellow,” Titterington said. “One can only guess what new challenges, issues and opportunities might develop into something truly groundbreaking.”

Although the OPL fellowships were designed to take advantage of Miami’s newly initiated four-week winter term, there’s more in the works. “We’re already planning to expand these fellowships to the summer as well,” Russo said.

University Communications and Marketing

University News and Communications
17 MacMillan Hall
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056
513-529-7592
513-529-3257 (fax)
Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency