Dear SIG Friends,
It is an honor to write to you as chair of Stanford in Government (SIG). Following the 50th anniversary celebration gala in Washington, D.C. last June, the SIG student board, alumni advisors and university supporters began discussing a series of questions: Which Stanford students can be better served by SIG’s programs? Where should SIG expand its programming and fellowships? Finally, how can SIG continue to maintain a standard of excellence while also growing its network of engaged undergraduates and alumni?
As a result, SIG began to expand in three key areas: programming, education and summer opportunities (fellowships and stipends). We reorganized the Public Policy Forum (PPF) into two separate committees: PPF and Special Events. Special Events will bring major speakers to campus. For years we have heard our peers express a desire for an informal, respectful space for interested students to discuss policy and politics. PPF aims to provide this.
Last year, the Campus and Community Partnerships (CCP) committee expanded its civic education program to four local middle schools, developed new curricula and built a partnership with the organization Citizen Schools. Students have volunteered weekly this year as educators with Citizen Schools, with some students focusing on the intersection of technology and policy.
Finally, we have continued to expand the summer opportunities that SIG provides to undergraduates. The fellowships program, long the centerpiece of SIG’s work, was supplemented with the SIG Stipends Program, which provided 11 and 14 students funding for self-secured summer internships in the past two years, respectively. This year, we’ve continued to expand our existing fellowships program by adding placements with the Office of Congressman Xavier Becerra,’80, and with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, among others. We hope to grant SIG stipends to 17-20 undergraduates focused in the sciences and humanities who would otherwise not be able to pursue a policy internship because of financial need. We are also focused on investing in the formative early undergraduate years, and our goal is to award 10 of these stipends to freshmen.
On behalf of SIG, thank you for your commitment to our work. Growth and change are possible because of the dedication of alumni, faculty, staff, parents and friends. As we look towards the next 50 years, we are profoundly grateful for your support.
Meredith L. Wheeler, ´14
SIG Chair Meredith Wheeler, ’14