Newsletters, Spring 2014|

By: Krista Ryu, ’14

Due to the success of the SIG Stipends pilot program, SIG expanded it last year by awarding 14 SIG stipends to students to pursue their passions in public policy and to serve in internship programs around the world. The program continues to address the growing need for funding for undergraduate public policy and government internships at Stanford. The Stipends program was originally created to help students who could not afford unpaid internships to pursue such opportunities.

Last year, the number of different majors represented by the recipients increased to 10, including management science and engineering and computer science. Half of those who received a stipend had declared majors in STEM fields and a quarter of stipend recipients were freshman. Internships included governmental and non-governmental institutions such as the U.S. Department of State and the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C., the United States Agency for International Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the Transparent Fish Fund in Gansu, China.

The Stipends Program provides students with valuable experiences and a clearer vision for future goals and career paths. The third cohort of stipend recipients will be selected this quarter.


Profiles of Two 2013 Stipends Recipients

Name: Jono Bentley, ’15

Major: Management Science and Engineering, with a concentration in Policy and Strategy

Internship Location: Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State

What were some of your internship duties and experiences?

I authored draft briefs and conducted technical research on arms control policy issues for the senior office staff while also compiling historical videos on presidential arms control policy for showing at the State Department security conference.

How did the SIG stipend contribute to your learning?

The SIG stipend allowed me to live in Washington, D.C. and maintain an unpaid position at the main State building in an absolutely fascinating, high energy environment. I felt like I was really “in” the goings-on of Washington, especially when I personally worked on issues directly related to classes I took last year – for example, “Arms Control and International Security.”


Name: Akshai Baskaran, ’15

Major: Chemical Engineering

Internship Location: The Washington, D.C. Office of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

What were some of your internship duties and experiences?

I worked with legislative aides on two vital pieces of legislation surrounding energy issues, including drafting a version of the Open Fuel Standards Act to incentivize the development of alternative fuel vehicles. Not only did I develop a model to predict the yearly impact of the bill on GHG emissions and petroleum consumption, but I was also tasked with investigating potential incentive measures that could help propel the program.

What was the most exciting part of your internship? 

One of the most memorable moments was working in the Senate offices right across the street from the Supreme Court in the middle of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case. Not only was I a front-row witness to the momentous decision to overturn DOMA, but I was working in the Senate when immigration reform passed! I got to experience the history of the Capitol and so much more, thanks to the help of the SIG stipend.

Comments are closed.

Close Search Window