Ohio Public Leaders Fellowship Program: Video Transcript

Phil Russo, PhD [Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs]: The Ohio Public Leaders Program really is the product of about two years' worth of thinking, getting input from alumni who are out in the field. We had an opportunity with the new Winter Term, so-called 'J-Term', to create a very special immersion experience for some of our best students who are interested in public affairs.

Ally Kohler [Urban & Regional Planning and Public Administration majors, Class of 2014; Mentor: Rick Platt, President and CEO, Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority]: What appealed to me about the OPL program was just the real-life experience. Something I just couldn't get in the classroom and was just hands on, applying all the methods and all the research that I've learned in the classroom to real life.

Tim Mangold [Public Administration major, Class of 2014; Mentor: Cheryl Subler, Policy Director, Policy County Commissioners Association of Ohio]: It focused on local government, dealing with county commissioners, and focusing on local government issues.

Blake Woodward [Political Science and Anthropology majors, Class of 2015; Mentor: Nick A. Selvaggio, Judge, Champaign County Common Pleas Court]: I was looking for not only a fellowship in just being able to shadow someone but also the hands-on experiential learning that I got.

Alyssa Deis [Public Administration major, Class of 2014; Mentor: Kim Cutlip, Executive Director, Scioto Foundation]: I learned a lot about public policy and analysis, and I looked at human resources and personnel problems as well.

Aubrey Hale [Public Administration major, Class of 2015; Mentor: Patrick Titterington, Director of Public Service and Safety, City of Troy]: My favorite part of the Ohio Public Leaders fellowship was the shadowing aspect. You don't find many experiences like that where you cannot only apply the concepts but expand on them as well.

Professor Phil Russo: We have a great network out there, and a network of public leaders who were more than willing.

Mark Morris, PhD [Clinical Faculty, Department of Political Science and Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs]: We were really able to match the mentor and student with their interest, which ideally is what you want to do with some of these, because these are things that they potentially want to do for a career.

Justin Waugh [Public Administration major, Class of 2014; Mentor: Dana McDaniel, Deputy City Manager/Director of Economic Development, City of Dublin]: I am very interested in both obviously government but also the startup sort of emerging technology incubators and things like that. I worked with Dana McDaniel out of the City of Dublin. He is the Deputy City Manager there.

Alexandra Tirrell [Political Science and Journalism majors, Class of 2014; Mentor: Karen A. Ryan, Director of Government Relations, Convergys Corporation]: My mentor for the OPL program was Karen Ryan, who was the Director of Government Relations at Convergys Corporation, so she allowed me to get the behind-the-scenes experience on the whole art of lobbying and legislation influencing.

Ally Kohler: I actually had a Miami luncheon. My mentor, Rick Platt, put it together, and it was 12 or 13 Miami alums from around the area. I actually presented my findings to the city council and the mayor of Newark—the downtown analysis of housing conditions, property conditions, and vacancies.

Tim Mangold: I interned with the County Commissioners Association, and I was partnered with Cheryl Subler. She is the policy director for the County Commissioners, and she really brought me in under her wing.

Blake Woodward: Judge Selvaggio orchestrated a complete day for me at the Ohio Supreme Court. So I was able to sit in on oral arguments, take a tour of the building, including the law libraries that are on the upper floors.

Alyssa Deis: Working with Kim Cutlip, who is the executive director of the Scioto Foundation, was a fantastic experience. I was doing a miniature audit through their policies and procedures so that they could receive accreditation from a national foundation.

Aubrey Hale: My aspirations are to become a city manager, and so I was with the director of public service and safety of the city of Troy, Patrick Titterington.

Dr. Mark Morris: Really, the credit goes to the mentors. We can't say enough about them; they stepped up.

Professor Phil Russo: They realize the benefits and the opportunities they received as students in the program and graduates of the program or friends of the program, and they desperately wanted to participate in continuing the tradition and enhancing the opportunities for Miami students.

Blake Woodward: It kind of gave me an overall perspective of the entire process and the goals of the judicial process.

Alexandra Tirrell: It was really interesting, especially from a reporter's point of view, to see, oh, there's a completely different side of the legislation-making process.

Ally Kohler: I definitely know I want to get into the public service after this fellowship program.

Justin Waugh: I'll be able to use the networking opportunities that the OPL fellowship provided for me to sort of launch a career into any city government or state government or anything like that before heading to grad school.

[February 2014]