In Ike’s footsteps: Student-fellows tackle public policy issues

Twelve students make up this year's group of undergraduate fellows at the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. As fellows, the students develop leadership skills and grow their knowledge and understanding of public policy. Each fellow selects an individual public policy issue to focus on during the year. They also serve on the Eisenhower Institute's College Advisory Council and participate in events in Gettysburg and Washington, D.C. Some of the students reside in the home where Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower lived in 1918, which also houses the EI's Gettysburg offices.

Dr. Eileen Stillwaggon, professor of economics and director of the international affairs program at Gettysburg College, serves as the EI's Harold G. Evans Professor. Stillwaggon works closely with the fellows on their projects, which range from researching disease, poverty, and healthcare in Africa to organizing conferences, panel discussions, and lecturers on economic and diversity policies in the United States.

"The undergraduate fellows represent the best of Gettysburg College," EI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Blavatt said. "Their service to the Eisenhower Institute is concurrent with our mission to ‘prepare successor generations' who will be the leaders of tomorrow. They are an integral part of the work of this Institute."

Here's a closer look at this year's fellows:

Hadiatou Barry '10 is majoring in economics and globalization studies with a focus on economic development and governance in Africa. Born in Guinea, West Africa, she split her youth between Guinea and the United States, and is interested in the relationship between the two. She interned at the Corporate Council on Africa in Washington, D.C., which allowed her to learn about economic and political issues between the U.S., Africa, and private sectors. She is involved in Youth Action for Rural Africa, International Club, and Black Student Union.

Lawrese Brown '10 is from East Orange, N.J. She is double majoring in individualized studies and Africana studies. Her individual major, Writing for Public Policy, centers on using the shared goals of public relations and public policy ¬to act as mediator between policy and people. This past summer, she interned with the Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) Network, and she currently works in the Office of Communications and Public Relations at Gettysburg College. Lawrese also participates in the EI's "Inside Politics" program, is a member of the senior class gift committee, and volunteers with the Center for Public Service.

Robyn Byrne '10 is pursuing a double major in economics and international affairs. She is from Mendham, N.J. Robyn serves as the secretary for the Class of 2010 and works at the Center for Career Development. She studied abroad last spring in Muscat, Oman and would like to return to the Middle East to live and work. She hopes to pursue a J.D. program in international law in the future.

Munyaradzi Choga '12 is a native Zimbabwean who is majoring in economics and computer science. He enjoys researching trends of global stock markets and African economic development, participating in online share market and investment simulations, learning to build professional websites, and reading.

Jen Davis '10 is majoring in health sciences with a minor in Spanish and is from Fairfax, Va. She studied abroad in Peru last spring, learning about the indigenous culture and improving her Spanish. She has worked for three years with the Center for Public Service as a program coordinator for El Centro, an after school program for Hispanic youth in Gettysburg. Jen plans to continue her education to become a pediatric physical therapist in the field of early intervention. As an EI fellow, she will be studying the unmet needs of long term therapy in the U.S. and in southern Africa.

Sebastian DiNatale ‘10 is majoring in political science with a double minor in Italian and film studies. He is from Voorhees, N.J. His passion for news media led him to start an on-campus television station, Gburg TV, and serve as news director for the college's radio station WZBT and editor-in-chief of The Forum, an online student news source. Other campus activities include serving as president of Il Circolo Italiano, vice-president of the student improv group, Shots in the Dark, and participating in EI's "Inside Politics" program. Sebastian interned as a production assistant for MTV News in New York and as an all-platform journalist for CNN News in Los Angeles.

Calynn Dowler ‘10 is majoring in political science and German. She is from Latrobe, Pa. She has received a presidential scholarship from Admissions, a 2008 Mellon grant for research, a 2008-09 DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship, and a DAAD Alumni Association Award of Academic Excellence. Calynn also received the Eisenhower Institute's 2008 Hilton Award for Study Abroad and spent the past academic year studying at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. She has worked as a community volunteer, German Peer Teaching Assistant, research assistant, and collaborative literary translator. She also participates in EI's "Inside Politics" program.

Sandra Gillot ‘10 is a Haitian American student, who has born in Brooklyn, N.Y., but lives in Philadelphia. A political science major, Sandra hopes to pursue a career as a corporate lawyer and specialize in immigration law. She plans to contribute and give back to areas that aid students in becoming bound for higher education.

Patrick Hughes '10 is double majoring in economics and political science. He is from Lagos State in Nigeria. Patrick lived in Italy for three years prior to coming to Gettysburg. He has volunteered as an assistant program co-coordinator at the Coalition for Community Care, a non-profit organization that helps students improve their grades in school. Patrick is also president of the college's International Affairs Association.

Lucy Marinova '10 is majoring in economics with a minor in Chinese. A native Bulgarian, Lucy is involved in the college's experiential education program, GRAB, and is a member of the International Club.

Atlang Mompe '10 is majoring in political science with a minor in French. She received a 2007 Mellon Grant to research the role in high HIV prevalence in Botswana and implications for the effectiveness of first line anti-retroviral therapy. Last summer, she took part in a public policy and international affairs program at Princeton University. This fall, she attended the AIDSImpact Conference in Botswana and presented a poster on the Implications of Endemic Cofactors and HIV/AIDS. After Gettysburg, she plans to return to her native Botswana to work on the problem of HIV/AIDS.

Svetoslav Semov '11 is majoring in economics with a minor in math. A native Bulgarian, he has participated in more than 120 mathematical competitions. He is also very interested in the social sciences, serving as a Peer Learning Associate in the economics department and as a tutor in Calc Aid.

The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College is a non-partisan, non-profit, presidential legacy organization that develops and sponsors civic discourse on significant issues of domestic and international public policy. In 1918, Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower came to Gettysburg, where he commanded America's first tank training camp. The Eisenhowers bought a farm near the battlefield, which he used as a retreat during his presidency and where he recovered from a heart attack. He became a trustee of Gettysburg College and wrote his memoirs in what is now the college's admissions office, known as the Eisenhower House.


Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Thu, 5 Nov 2009

Next on your reading list

Cultivating a first-class faculty: Prof. Allen Guelzo receives prestigious award

Celebration 2018: A forum for intellectual thought and curiosity

President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77 announces plan to retire following 2018-19 academic year

Share this story: