Maile Symonds ’17 earns public policy fellowship

by Erin Dahl ,

This summer, Maile Symonds ’17 will participate in the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program (PPIA) at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Through the seven-week program, college students receive intensive, graduate-level training in statistics, microeconomics, writing and policy development to prepare for graduate programs in public policy and international affairs.

“I can’t wait to be a part of the PPIA community this summer,” Symonds says. “I’m looking forward to challenging myself with Carnegie’s rigorous policy analysis.”

Symonds, a politics major, aspires to work in U.S. public education reform. After graduating from Willamette, she intends to participate in AmeriCorps’ Teach for America program, attend graduate school and hold elected or appointed office.

She also aspires to empower underrepresented and minority populations — potentially through after-school offerings for disadvantaged youths or higher education access programs.

Symonds works as an ambassador with Willamette’s Office of Admissions and a community mentor for the Office of Housing & Community Life. She volunteers at Willamette Academy, participated in a Take a Break (TaB) community service trip to learn about education equity and completed two internships at the Oregon State Capitol. She plans to study abroad in Sweden next fall.

For more information on PPIA and other fellowships, see the Office of Student Academic Grants and Awards.