Allegheny College senior Andrew Nunn has been awarded a Pennsylvania House Fellowship, which will take him to the state Capitol, allowing him to gain insight into the people, issues and politics of the legislative process.
Created in 1982 by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Bipartisan Management Committee, the program gives college students a close-up look at the daily workings of government in Harrisburg. Legislative fellows get to attend hearings, committee meetings and the legislative session, as well as conduct research and draft bill analyses.
As a final project, each fellow will research and then draft a piece of legislation to present to the House. Each fellow is placed either in a leadership office or in the office of a committee chairman. Nunn will likely be placed on either the Education or Urban Affairs Committee, based on his interests and experience.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Allegheny students have been selected for the fellowship. “It provides an unparalleled up-close experience with state-level politics,” said Patrick Jackson, director of Fellowship Advising at Allegheny. Jackson has helped students through the application process for the House Fellowship, as well as other competitive awards and fellowships.
Nunn, who is from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, will begin the fellowship in January 2018. He is a psychology major and education studies minor, and is a Bonner Scholar and Alden Scholar on campus. Nunn has classroom teaching experience through a fellowship with Breakthrough San Francisco, a national program working to increase academic opportunity for highly motivated but underserved students, and was an AmeriCorps volunteer in 2015–16 in Washington, D.C.
“My experiences of the inequities of our educational system have pushed me toward education,” said Nunn, “which resulted in me taking a break from Allegheny to teach fifth-grade math and English language arts in Washington, D.C., as well as becoming a teaching fellow with Breakthrough San Francisco. It is this passion for education that has brought me to pursuing a Pennsylvania House Fellowship not by chance, but by an understanding that this is a necessary path for my journey if I want to have a major influence on the many educational disparities of public education — a path that will be full of challenges, learning and new experiences all directed toward action.”
After college, Nunn plans to seek a teaching residency and eventually become an educator in the public school system. He is pursuing several residency programs and has applied for an English Teaching Assistant Fulbright Scholarship to teach in South Korea in 2018–19.
“Andy is going to use the Pennsylvania House Fellowship to gain some experience thinking about education policy,” Jackson said. “He already has quite an impressive teaching record, but he’s interested in serious reform, which can only happen by pulling the levers of government. Given what he’s already accomplished, I’d say Andy is on his way to being a leader in some school system somewhere. Any district in America would be lucky to employ him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wound up in a position of real influence in the coming decades.”
Said Nunn: “Essentially, I’m pursuing this fellowship because of what I hope to gain. In general, this fellowship is going to be an experience unlike anything I’ve ever done. So with that comes an abundance of knowledge I am able to gain. More specifically, if I want to have a major influence on the many educational disparities — funding, retention and teacher education to name a few — I must know the legislative process. The Pennsylvania House Fellowship will provide me with an avenue to directly understand this process, and begin my work toward changing the structure of our educational system.”
If you are interested in applying for the Pennsylvania House Fellowship for the upcoming year, contact Patrick Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.pahousefellowship.us/ for more information about the fellowship.