As a land-grant university, UC Davis has both an opportunity and a responsibility to influence state and national policy makers with our expertise and scientific knowledge in ways that make California and the nation a better place to live and work. Faculty and staff already do that on a variety of issues and disciplines. Now, thanks to an exciting new program begun under the leadership of Amandeep Kaur, the Chancellor’s Science Fellow in my office, we will make some of our top graduate and professional students available through paid policy internships.
We actually began the Emerging Leaders in Policy and Public Service or ELIPPS program 18 months ago when we reached out to federal and state legislators and agency officials, as well as representatives from non-governmental agencies, think tanks and lobbying firms to come speak at a series of UC Davis workshops with graduate and professional students. Now, this month, we are launching the ELIPPS California Fellows program, the first cohort of paid policy internships for six graduate and professional students. I am excited about the program’s prospects, not just for the agencies we will be engaged with, but also for our students and the experience they’ll gain in the process. If this initial group of internships works as well as we expect, we intend to double the size of the program next year and also launch a Washington version. In addition, we plan to place future ELIPPS fellows with the UC Davis World Food Center and the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence that was created by state Proposition 63 funds for mental health programs.
Our graduate and professional students have a lot to offer. 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 ELIPPS program is designed to help produce future leaders who can take their rightful place in government and non-governmental agencies that deal with policy affecting the lives of millions of people in California, America and around the world.
In addition to Amandeep, I want to thank others who have stepped in to get this new program off the ground, including the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; the College of Engineering; The UC Davis School of Law; the School of Veterinary Medicine; the UC Davis Internship and Career Center; the UC Center Sacramento; and the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy and the Office of Government and Community Relations. Thank you also to the state agencies our interns will be working in this summer.
Now let me briefly introduce our first group of 2015 ELIPPS CA Fellows:
Melissa Rothstein is a student in the School of Veterinary Medicine who will be working as an ELIPPS fellow at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. With her background in public policy and animal sciences, she hopes to explore the intersection between animal agriculture, wildlife, and water conservation. Her work will include policy research and analysis, and she looks forward to building strong and lasting relationships between the field of veterinary medicine and California government to encourage future collaborations.
Roxanne Strohmeier is a student in the UC Davis School of Law. She has been placed at the California Department of Health Care Services, (DHCS) where she will work as a clerk on the Administrative Litigation Team in the Office of Legal Services. She will conduct legal research related to the administration, oversight, and enforcement of California’s Medi-Cal Program, and will assist DHCS attorneys in drafting legal documents, reviewing evidence, and developing strategies and tactics for pending litigation related to the enforcement of Medi-Cal policies, statutes, and regulations.
From L-R: Melissa Rothstein, Roxanne Strohmeier, Olivia Filbrandt, Amandeep Kaur, ELIPPS Director, Matthew Palm, Elizabeth Anthony, and Kelly Gravuer.
Olivia Filbrandt is also a UC Davis law student and she has been placed at the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). During her ELIPPS internship she will work as a legal intern. Her projects will include reviewing and developing administrative regulations regarding implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act. Her work this summer will focus on sustainable transportation and reviewing the comprehensive update of California General Plan Guidelines, which advise local governments in drafting and adopting their general plans.
Matthew Palm is a PhD Candidate in Geography. He has been placed at the California Housing Finance Agency to work on lending programs that finance affordable housing construction. His focus will be on California’s housing policy following passage and implementation of SB 375, The Sustainable Communities Solutions Act.
Elizabeth Anthony is a PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering who has been placed at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. She will be working on the California 2030 Low Carbon Grid Study, which addresses the ability of California’s electric grid to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. She will be analyzing technical data from computer modeling and report findings to stakeholders and policymakers.
Kelly Gravuer is a PhD Candidate in Ecology. She has been placed at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, where she will work on projects including the department’s Healthy Soils initiative that reward and enhance the contributions of California’s farms to improving environmental quality.
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