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Graduates from the Barbara Lee Fellowship Program have gone on to do a wide variety of things. A few examples include:
Barbara Lee, an alumna of Simmons College, heads the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, whose mission is to move women into the political sphere. The Foundation has provided money to Simmons for increasing awareness of politics as a vocation for women. The internship program, developed in the spring semester 2004, was based on the interest of three groups: a political science department that wanted to increase the scope and success of its already-established internship program, a donor whose philanthropic foundation commits itself to putting more women in positions of political power, and state legislators who wanted to mentor young women in the political process. The result of this intersection of demands has been the Lee Family Foundation Intern Fellowship Program. For the past six years, over 80 young women have benefited from this mentor-based internship program. The program seeks to give young women exposure to and education in the nuts and bolts of Massachusetts political leadership through practical experience, thereby increasing the number of young women who enter the pipeline of political leadership. The grant makes possible a number of paid internships, open to students across the college, from all majors. Selected students, who register for an eight credit internship through the Department of Political Science and International Relations, receive a stipend and a placement with a female state legislator. Kristina Pechulis is the coordinator of the program.
Please note: Students who are participating in the Fellows program should take POLS 212: Politics Unplugged: How Things Work in Massachusetts, offered in the fall semester. The goal of the course is to prepare students for direct involvement in the political process, whether it be with legislators (state representatives, federal representatives, governor's office) or non-government organizations involved in policy formation (non-profits, interest groups, lobbying groups). The course gives an overview of the Massachusetts political system and organizes speakers and site visits throughout the semester. Students are required to give mock oral presentations to legislators and heads of NGOs and to use the internet as a research tool for tracking bills and laws. The class will focus on developing writing skills, including memo writing, public policy briefing papers, grant writing, and one major policy analysis or advocacy paper, depending on the type of internship in which the student wishes to participate.
The call for applications occurs in October and students are notified of their placements by the first week of December.