Based on availability, the Fellows will probably be housed in the Shire
When he was just a baby GUSA President, Pat Dowd (SFS `09) told Georgetown that with the help of the funding boards’ giant surplus, he was going to set up a summer housing program for students with unpaid internships in the District or surrounding area. He called it GUSA Summer Fellows. At the Voice, we collectively tittered at the program’s name (think Lord of the Rings jokes) and absolutely lambasted Dowd’s ambitious plan:
Dowd and Kelly have approached the idea with a startling naiveté of the complexities involved in enacting such a bold proposal. Putting their energy towards an unreachable goal of trying to institute it this summer diminishes GUSA’s credibility and detracts from the program’s chances for next year.
Trying anyway is a waste of GUSA’s time because some aspects of the program, like applications, will not carry over to an attempt next summer. … Dowd thinks he can set up a pilot program this year for five to ten students, but given his scant experience with Georgetown administration and the little time remaining in the semester, this goal is wildly unrealistic.
Boy, did we eat them words. Dowd and Kelly quickly got their act together, got $10,500 from the surplus (only a quarter of what they asked for, however), and ended up providing free summer housing for a handful of students in Village B. Even though they only housed five students, we later admitted that that’s no small feat for the typically ineffective GUSA exec branch.
This summer, GUSA Summer Fellows can accommodate ten students instead of five. That’s thanks exclusively to $26,000 in donations from one alumn and a member of Georgetown’s Board of Directors, according to Walid Khalifeh (SFS `09), who was Dowd’s Chief of Staff until October when he created and headed the GUSA Summer Fellows Steering Committee with Dowd’s VP, James Kelly (COL`09). The future of the Fellowship of Pat Dowd looks secure, too:
“We’re working on an endowment that would fund the program through perpetuity for future generations,” Khalifeh said.
The idea, he explained, was to be able to house around ten students each summer. Newly elected GUSA President Calen Angert (MSB `11) said that that’s right in line with his priorities.
“We’re actively soliciting funds for the program, but we are not expanding the student base until we have enough critical mass to ensure that the program will last sometime after our administration,” Angert wrote in an email.
As for all the bells and whistles Dowd wanted to give the program, like “internship training,” Khalifeh said GUSA is working with the MSB to provide workshops to the Fellows modeled after Georgetown’s Executive MBA program, as well as exploring options through the Gervase programs. Workshops and follow-up workshops should be in place in time for this year’s Fellows to use.
Where the ten students will live this year will depend on housing availability, Khalifeh explained. The application for this summer’s Fellowship is about the same as it was last year. Students must be eligible for need-based financial aid (but don’t need to receive it), have an unpaid, 36 hour-per-week minimum internship (or combination of internships) in the D.C. metro area, and have permanent residence outside the D.C. metro area. Applications are due April 17th.
Photo taken from Flickr user Blake Lawrence using a Creative Commons license.