August 29, 2011

Institute creates graduate research fellowship

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has created a new opportunity for graduate students interested in the study of public policy: The Paul Simon Graduate Research Fellowship. The fellowship, which will go to one doctoral-level student in the social sciences or a related field, allows the student to work half-time at the Institute and half-time on his or her doctoral dissertation. The Simon Fellowship is paid for out of non-state funds through the Institute’s endowment.

The inaugural Simon Graduate Research Fellow is Emily Carroll, a doctoral student in political science from Sandusky, Ohio. Carroll has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a master’s degree in political science from the University of Akron. Her graduate assistantship last year was with Special Collections at SIUC’s Morris Library, working on the Paul Simon Papers project.

She will work on the Institute’s fall statewide Simon Poll; on the Southern Illinois Poll, conducted in the spring; on research on ethics in Illinois government; applied research for the University Communications office; and will help with special events throughout the academic year.

Director David Yepsen said the Simon Graduate Research Fellowship is a logical extension of the Simon Institute’s efforts to integrate SIUC students into its activities. “From hiring student workers to help run the Institute, to the informal ‘Pizza and Politics’ seminars we host, to the paid internships we administer in the Vince DeMuzio Internship Program, to the inclusion of graduate students’ research questions into our annual polls, hosting and supporting a doctoral research fellow at the Institute is a logical extension,” Yepsen said.

“We think Emily is a great fit for us, because she is interested in policy research at the practical, on-the-ground-citizen level, and that’s where Paul Simon wanted his Institute to focus,” Yepsen said. “It’s also a happy coincidence that she has worked on the Paul Simon Papers project, so she is familiar with the writings and correspondence of Paul Simon as a person, not just as a public figure.”

“I am excited for this opportunity to further my education,” Carroll said.  “Paul Simon was inspirational in his devotion to ethics in government, fairness in politics, and his desire to better the lives of people through practical public policy.  I hope that through my work I am able to honor his life of public service.”

The Paul Simon Graduate Research Fellowship will go to a student who has finished his or her coursework and is working on the doctoral dissertation. It is renewable annually for as long as the student is enrolled in the Graduate School at SIUC. 

Students interested in applying for the fellowship in future years should contact Simon Institute Visiting Professor Charles Leonard at 618/453-4009 or