Baker Scholars Become Part of the Solution
The Baker Scholar program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs gives students the opportunity to be a part of the solution. The program offers a unique and meaningful opportunity for engagement in the field of public policy.
Students conduct a project that involves either research on a specific policy issue or implementation of a creative initiative that contributes toward understanding of public policy issues, governance, civic engagement, or public service. It is intended to enrich the participants’ college experience by engaging them in exploring public policy, governance, or public service over the final 3-4 semesters of their undergraduate career.
Gavin Buehring, a senior majoring in Political Science, is conducting research on how someone’s personal experiences and proximity to traumatic events shape their policy perspectives. “This program is giving me the opportunity to piece together a large amount of skills I have learned in my classes in a way that I did not originally expect,” said Buehring. “Being able to see all of the pieces come together and being able to develop something that I am very proud of has been awesome.”
Baker Scholars work with faculty, professionals in the community, and the Baker School staff to help them structure their experience. Buehring is paired with Dr. Kirsten Widner, an assistant professor of political science. Dr Widner has mentored and advised him as he developed his research question and created a survey, which he plans to put in the field this fall.
The program is open to juniors with any major who are interested in public policy or an issue of current relevance. Students who complete the program, which requires two one-credit Baker Scholar Seminars, regular faculty mentor meetings, check-ins with the director of Undergraduate Studies, written thesis, and participation in a research showcase, will receive a scholar’s designation on their official University transcript.
Go to the Baker Scholar website to learn more about the program and apply.