Earlier this month Ashbrook was pleased to welcome back three of our Spring 2015 Ashbrook Scholar graduates, Kate Brickner, September Long, and Brent Rossman. These Ashbrook alumni gave a presentation to current Ashbrook Scholars about the Legislative Services Council Fellowship Program in which all three currently participate.
The Fellowship Program, a full-time, paid, professional, 13-month experience for recent college graduates, now in its 50th year with over 900 alumni, places participants in key positions in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. The Ohio General Assembly, through the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC), sponsors the program.
Brickner shared, “From a practical standpoint, you have orientation, but most of the job is learned on the fly. There is a lot of access to the legislative aides who are friendly and willing to help. Additionally, many legislative aides and senior legislators started out as fellow, including [Ohio Governor] John Kasich.”
Ashbrooks are well-suited for the Fellowship Program because of the extensive classical education they receive through the Ashbrook Scholar Program. Rossman explained, “At Ashbrook you get a principled view of politics and through this Fellowship, you experience it a practical level. All of my classroom work as a Scholar, including reading and interpreting complex texts, prepared me for analyzing and interpreting bills.”
The LSC Fellowship Program provides participants with an introduction to state government and promotes careers in public service. Out of a pool of approximately 240 applicants, 24 fellowships are awarded. Legislators have shared that their positive experience with our students has prompted the Ohio Legislative Service Commission to develop an affinity for Ashbrook graduates.
Long shared how beneficial her Ashbrook education has been to this job: “The background I received through my exposure to the speakers and experiences with Ashbrook provided me with the ability to communicate my thoughts and questions in a clear, profession manner. That has made my transition from school into this fellowship much easier.”
The Fellowship allows participants to work with all aspects of government and the public sector from hospitals to executive agencies like the Ohio Department of Agriculture. In addition, participants are able to see firsthand the true size and scope of state government, and how they can be involved. The direct involvement with the Governor’s Office, executive agencies, lobbyists, and the legislative process give participants a true and well-rounded picture of how government functions in Ohio.
Brickner concluded by saying, “Learning through the Ashbrook Scholar Program allowed me to have a greater sense of purpose in my work. It enhanced my understanding of the bigger picture. I can retrace many of the skills required for my job back to my education at Ashbrook.”