As summer interns in policy and public service, six UC Davis students are tackling such heady subjects as Medi-Cal and housing policy, the 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study and the Healthy Soils Initiative.
The students are affiliated with Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service, or ELIPPS, a 1½-year-old campus program for graduate and professional students.
This summer’s interns are the first participants in the ELIPPS CA Fellows program. They come from the fields of veterinary medicine, law, geography, chemical engineering and ecology, and they are working with a variety of state and regional government agencies, and a nonprofit public-benefit organization, all in Sacramento.
“At UC Davis, we recognize the need to have this connection with policymakers, state agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the state capital, and for our students to engage and become a part of the policymaking process,” Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said.
As a land-grant institution, Katehi said, UC Davis has a responsibility to the country and to society to prepare students to be future leaders.
“Our graduate and professional students have a lot to offer,” she said. “They are researchers, problem solvers and critical thinkers, They also instill in us a sense of hope and optimism for a bright and a prosperous future. We want these bright students to lend their perspectives to state and federal policy makers, who have the difficult challenge of trying to enact and carry out policy on many complex issues.”
The chancellor commended Amandeep Kaur for founding ELIPPS and now adding the fellows component. ELIPPS began as a workshop series in 2013; Kaur was a Ph.D. student at the time, and ELIPPS was her Professors for the Future project. She also served as graduate student assistant to the chancellor.
Today, she has her Ph.D. (physics, 2014) and serves as the Chancellor’s Science Fellow. She’s the director of Empowering Women in STEM as well as ELIPPS.
Kaur said ELIPPS CA interns bring their knowledge and scientific expertise to the table as they assist legislators, state agencies and nongovernment organizations in the crafting of intelligent policies that will shape the future of this country and the world.
The interns are being paid with funds provided by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Law and School of Veterinary Medicine. The internships run through mid-September.
Kaur said the law school, veterinary school and UC Center Sacramento played key roles in arranging this summer’s internships. She also cited three other campus units for their help in setting up the ELIPPS CA Fellows program: Internship and Career Center; Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy; and Office of Government and Community Relations.
This summer’s ELIPPS CA Fellows program is a pilot project, but Katehi is already looking to expand it in Sacramento and to add a Washington version.
Skills boot camps
ELIPPS is geared toward helping graduate and professional students sharpen their leadership and other skills needed for careers in public science policy and public service.
Since its founding, ELIPPS has presented workshops with legislators and other federal and state government officials, and with representatives of nongovernmental organizations, think tanks and lobbying firms.
ELIPPS also has put on skills boot camps “to arm our students with the writing, diplomacy, communication and negotiation skills needed to excel in policy and public service careers,” Kaur said.
For more information, contact Kaur by phone, (530) 304-8665, or email.