Ash Center Funds Student Experiential Learning Summer Projects

Cambridge, Mass., – May 10, 2012 – Today the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University announced it will fund 23 students through experiential learning projects this summer. Students were selected as Summer Fellows in Innovation, HKS Indonesia Student Research Grantees, and Vietnam Program Interns and will collectively receive $106 thousand in support to defray research, travel, living costs.

“The Ash Center is committed to supporting students throughout their time at HKS and best equipping them with the tools to succeed in the world of practice upon graduation,” said Tony Saich, director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. “These summer immersive experiences are an important component of the HKS curriculum, and allow students to actively apply the theory, ideas, and scholarship they have learned in the classroom while gaining real world career experience.”

Summer Fellows in Innovation
Now in its fourth year, the Summer Fellowship in Innovation prepares HKS students for public sector careers by giving them the opportunity to apply classroom lessons to real world policy challenges faced by U.S. public sector agencies. This year, two students will work with a past winner and finalist of the Innovations in American Government Awards, three students will work with federal agencies, and three students will support initiatives in cities represented in the Urban Policy Advisory Group, made up of the chief advisors to mayors of the 35 largest U.S. cities. The following eight students were selected as 2012 Summer Fellows in Innovation:

  • Victor Cedeño, MPP 2013: Cedeño will research policy and leadership strategies to help spur business ownership and employment among immigrant communities for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.
  • Will Cook, MPA 2013: Cook will help the Department of Labor expand its Open Government Agenda and assist in the modernization of its customer service operations.
  • Roniesha Copeland, MBA/MPP 2014: Copeland will develop strategies for advancing educational reform and innovation for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
  • Nikhil Gahlawat, MPP 2013: Gahlawat will work with New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity, the 2011 Innovations in American Government Award winner, to develop multimedia platforms to effectively communicate the program’s policy goals and models and enhance stakeholders’ understanding.
  • Tyler Jaeckel, MPP/JD 2013: Jaeckel will cultivate high-impact ideas that simplify federal processes to benefit state and local governments for the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
  • Kristina Redgrave, MPP 2013: Redgrave will write technology policy legislation around open data and collaborative consumption and will construct new initiatives that integrate technology into governance for San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee.
  • Iain Watt, MPP 2013: Watt will analyze the local commercial waste regulatory environment and explore possible internal operational improvements for the New York City Business Integrity Commission.
  • Benjamin Weinryb Grohsgal, MUP/MMP 2014: Weinryb Grohsgal will identify and evaluate the best information technologies and other tools available for listening to customer chatter, competitor intelligence, and industry trends for Littleton, Colorado. This city’s Economic Gardening program was an Innovations in American Government Award finalist.

HKS Indonesia Student Research Grantees
The Ash Center’s HKS Indonesia Program encourages students with an interest in Indonesia from HKS and across Harvard University by supporting their research internships, independent research, and other forms of study conducted in Indonesia. Past grant recipients have explored a range of issues of importance in Indonesia, including social programs, religious movements, microfinance, and urban planning. The following 10 students were selected as HKS Indonesia Student Research Grantees this summer:

  • Paula Escobar, HKS MPA/ID 2013 - Escobar will intern at Indonesia’s Vice Presidential Office on the National Team for Accelerating Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Philips Loh, HSPH MS 2013 – With the local Indonesian Ministry of Health and Summit Institute of Development (SID) in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, Loh will work on his independent research project titled “Governance Structures and Policies and the Implementation, Management, and Quality of Tuberculosis Services in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) Province, Indonesia.”
  • Odette Maciel, HKS MPA/ID 2013 – Maciel will intern at Indonesia’s Vice Presidential Office on the National Team for Accelerating Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Izhari Mawardi, HKS MPP 2013 – Mawardi will spend his summer performing independent research titled “The Separation of Power and Political Strategy for the BPK-RI Post Constitutional Amendment.”
  • Paloma Merodio, HKS MPA/ID 2013 – Merodio will work as an intern at the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank Office in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • Alykhan Mohamed, GSD MUP 2013 – With Solo Kota Kita, Mohamed will perform independent research titled, “Identity vs. Development: Case Studies of Waterfront Communities in Banjarmasin and Solo, Indonesia” in Solo and Banjarmasin, Indonesia.
  • Fuadi Pitsuwan, HKS MPP 2013 – While in Jakarta, Indonesia, Pitsuwan will perform the independent research project titled, “Why Indonesia is Punching Below its Weight in the International Politics of the Islamic World.”
  • Imran Sarwar, HKS MPP 2013 – With the International Labour Organization Office in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sarwar will work on his independent research project titled, “Better Work Indonesia: Private Sector Compliance with Mandatory Health Care in Indonesia: A Case-Study of the Apparel Industry.”
  • Diego Solares, HKS MPP 2013 – Solares will intern for the Southeast Asian Minister of Education Organization Regional Center for Food and Nutrition (SEAMEO RECFON) office in Jakarta, Indonesia over the summer. He will perform independent research titled, “Determining Health Outcomes in Indonesia Using Indicators of Local Governance.”
  • Paola Vargas, HKS MPA/ID 2013 – Vargas will intern at Indonesia’s Vice Presidential Office on the National Team for Accelerating Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Vietnam Program Internships
Through its summer internship program, the Ash Center’s Vietnam Program supports students both at Harvard and throughout the country to participate in intensive faculty-directed research at the Fulbright School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. These eight-week internships allow students to explore a wide range of pertinent policy issues affecting Vietnam including land policy, rural poverty, environmental issues, industrial policy, infrastructure, urbanization, and macroeconomics/trade issues. Five students were selected as 2012 Vietnam Program Interns this summer:

  • Gavin Feng, HKS MPA 2013: Feng will research the macroeconomic challenges confronting Vietnam, with a particular focus on monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Dominik Peschel, HKS MPA 2013: Peschel will research banking sector reform and monetary policy for a broader study on the macroeconomic challenges confronting Vietnam.
  • Rafael Puyana, HKS MPAID 2013: Puyana has been selected to participate in team research on the macroeconomic challenges confronting Vietnam, with a particular focus on Vietnam’s evolving growth strategy.
  • Nga Than, Agnes Scott College 2013: Than will participate in team research on the policy challenges associated with Vietnam’s development.
  • Minh H. Vo, Swarthmore College 2014: Vo will explore policy challenges associated with Vietnam’s development as part of a team of researchers.

For more information, contact:
Kate Hoagland
Ash Center
617-495-4347
kate_hoagland@harvard.edu

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance; the Innovations in Government Program; and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit www.ash.harvard.edu.

"My summer fellowship in Indonesia felt like four years of college condensed into one summer," said Jessie Cronan, HKS MPP '11. The Ash Center supports students throughout Harvard University through research grants in Indonesia and around the world.