A Message from the Center for Public Service

Dear Public Service Colleagues:

I’m writing to remind everyone about the importance of letting us know by April 30 whether you might be interested in participating as a potential Sponsor for two programs here at PSU’s Center for Public Service: the long-running Oregon Fellows program, and our just-launched Mark O. Hatfield Resident Fellows program, in honor of the late Senator’s remarkable public service legacy that spanned a half-century of Oregon’s life.

Do you have an important planning or analysis-based project that just never seems to get done? A time-sensitive project in danger of falling behind? A sudden talent or resource “gap” brought on by a staff retirement, personnel shift, or a recent budget cut? A potential grant opportunity that requires strong research and writing skills? Over the last decade, more than 300 CPS Fellows have done these kinds of projects — and a lot more — for more than 80 Sponsor organizations, while at the same time furthering their own education.

The central goal of both these Fellows programs is to attract the most talented men and women in the United States to contribute their talents and energy to serve public and non-profit organizations here in Oregon/SW Washington. We’ve already recruited our cohorts of Fellows. Now we are working to match them with a “Sponsor Agency” as these remarkable students — some mid-way through their master degree programs (Oregon Fellows), and others who have completed their programs (Hatfield Fellows) — begin to explore how best to launch their public service careers.

Through a highly competitive application process, the Center has selected a cohort of Fellows from applicants from Portland State University and dozens of other outstanding graduate programs across the U.S., including the University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon, USC, the University of Washington, Willamette University, and the University of Maryland. These Fellows are either currently enrolled in — or have graduated from — graduate degree programs in such fields as public and non-profit administration; law; community health; natural resources and environmental studies; urban planning; public policy; applied economics; and business administration.

Beginning in mid-May, 2012, our Oregon Fellows will be available for placement with Sponsor Organizations for 10 weeks, 5 days during most weeks. Since 2002, more than 300 Oregon Fellows have spent their summers here in the Oregon, working on important projects and tasks for local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as non-profit organizations. One participant summed up the impact of their Oregon Fellows this way: “We weren’t explicitly looking for exceptional people who could accomplish 2-3 times as much as typical students — but that’s exactly what we’ve gotten, over and over.”

The cost of an Oregon Fellow to a Sponsor Organization is $9,000. There is no obligation to participate, until a Sponsor is “matched” with a Fellow whom they believe will be a good fit for their organization. Approximately 20 Oregon Fellows are now available for placement, and we expect all of them to be matched within the next few weeks.

Beginning in July, 2012, approximately 10 Mark O. Hatfield Resident Fellows will be available for placement with Sponsor Organizations for 32 weeks (almost 8 months), at 32 hours per week. As exceptional graduates of these same, demanding academic programs, Hatfield Fellows are also expected to contribute at high levels of support and expertise, assisting their Sponsors in such arenas as management and financial analysis; budget preparation; research and data gathering; community outreach; and inter-agency and inter-governmental relations.

The full cost to a Sponsor Agency to participate in the Hatfield Resident Fellows program is $35,000 — with PSU and Fellows assuming all costs of recruitment, training, employment, taxes, applicable benefits, course-related activities, and living and transportation expenses.

During each of these Fellowships, participants will meet regularly in their cohorts, to share their experiences among themselves and with participating Sponsor representatives. At the conclusion of their program, we hope that most (if not all) of these Oregon and Hatfield Fellows will decide to formally start their public service careers right here in Oregon — just as Senator Hatfield himself did, after graduating from Stanford University’s Political Science Master’s program more than six decades ago.

More information about both the Oregon Fellows and the Hatfield Fellows programs can be found at http://pdx.edu/cps/next-generation-initiative.

As you consider participating in either of these programs, please recognize that time is of the essence. Just this week, we started the process of pairing potential Oregon and Hatfield Fellows with prospective Sponsors. The number of Oregon and Hatfield Fellows is limited, and  we expect to have everyone placed within the next few weeks.

If you’d like to be part of this program, please let George Beard (our program manager) know as soon as possible, at gbeard@pdx.eduor by phone at 503-421-9876. Based on your potential needs, he’ll select several candidates who are available who best fit your profile. You can then decide whether and how to interview them directly for a possible match.

Meanwhile, please also feel free to contact myself or Amanda Phillips (our Fellows’ coordinator) if you have any further questions.   Amanda can be reached at aphil2@pdx.edu or 503-725-8261.

Thank you.