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Harris Fellows

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Meet the 2021 Harris Fellows

About Harris Fellows

Harris Fellows offers UH undergraduate students the opportunity to work as full-time interns in Harris County government offices during summer 2021.

Harris Fellows will allow Cougars to serve the residents of the nation’s third largest county, whose diverse population of 4.8 million is larger than that of 26 states. Students will apply skills learned in the classroom as well as develop skills that can only be taught in a real world setting. As a major employer, Harris County has 30,504 employees that make an average of $58,186 per year according to OpenPayrolls. Hobby School internship programs have a proven record of leading to gainful employment.

Students will work full-time in Harris County government offices. Although assignments will vary from office to office, students will assist their host office in their general duties. This will most commonly include constituent services, research, policy analysis, and special projects as assigned.

The opportunity will provide students with outside of the classroom experience in the real-world day to day operations within the nation’s third largest county. Although students will complete a term paper relevant to their internships for academic credit, the overall focus of the program is to immerse them in the workings of county government so they can develop professional skills, gain applied research expertise, polish interpersonal abilities, and build a professional network.

Harris Fellows earn 3-12 upper level hours in political science (dependent on the student's degree plan) for participation in the program by combining supervised academic study and research with practical training. Hobby School of Public Affairs senior director Renee Cross is the instructor of record.

Thanks to the generous support of the Cougar Initiative To Engage, five students selected for the program will receive a $5,000 stipend to participate in the program from the week of June 7 through the week of August 9.  Students must complete the program requirements in their entirety to receive the full amount; if they are unable to do so, appropriate action will be taken to recoup funds.

Eligibility requirements

Must be a junior or senior at the University of Houston during the semester of application.  Students of any major are welcome to apply.  Students graduating spring 2021 are welcome to apply, but required to re-enroll as a post-baccalaureate. Must be in good academic standing with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Ideal candidates possess

  • Outstanding academic achievement
  • Strong writing ability
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated dedication to public service through volunteerism in school and/or community activities
  • Government internship or campaign experience

Personal interviews, academic achievement, writing ability, community and school activities, previous internship and/or professional experience, and financial hardship are factors in the selection process.

Program requirements

  • Harris Fellows work a minimum of 40 hours per week and are required to work more if needed from their host office.
  • Harris Fellows complete various academic assignments, which make them eligible for 3-12 academic credit hours.  It is best to consult with an academic advisor to determine the appropriate number of hours for each student.
  • Harris Fellows are not allowed to be enrolled in any other courses, whether in-person or online.
  • Harris Fellows must be enrolled for the appropriate hours/classes at UH before the initial stipend is issued. Proof of enrollment is required.

Questions? Contact Isaiah Warner at inwarner@central.uh.edu or at 713 743 3970.

Application

The deadline for summer 2021 was April 30.

 

“I've had the privilege to work in the Voter Registration and Community Services Departments of Harris County. While county offices are typically seen as administrative bureaucratic entities, working within these organizations allows for a richer understanding of needed policy changes and the implications of policy on the constituents that each department serves. Additionally, working in county offices provides an opportunity to work on technical skills in a real-world setting. I have refined my data management, geographic information systems, and research abilities because of my work in the county. These skills can easily transfer to work in other areas of the public sector as well as the private sector. Students who seek to intern in any of the county departments would gain invaluable experience and insight into a level of government that is often ignored or downplayed despite its massive influence on our daily lives.”

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 Jon Garcia (Civic Houston Internship Program 2015, Leland Fellows 2016, Hobby Fellows 2017, Master of Public Policy Candidate)