Selected from more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students across the Commonwealth, three William & Mary students were named as 2013 Governor’s Fellows.
The program gives the fellows experience in public service at the highest levels. Sixteen students were selected from across the Commonwealth for this summer’s program, based in the Governor’s Offices in Richmond, Va.
The three fellows from William & Mary - Chandler Crenshaw, Kathleen “Khaki” LaRiviere and Stacey LaRiviere – all members of the Class of 2014, worked directly for the Secretary of the Commonwealth, the Department of Planning and Budget and the Secretary of Public Safety, respectively.
“The historic Governor’s Fellows program offers the best and the brightest students across Virginia the opportunity to grow their leadership skills while working to help real Virginians,” said Logan A. Pugh, Assistant Secretary of Administration for Governor Bob McDonnell. “It is clear that the College of William & Mary is preparing our future public servants so they may work to better the Commonwealth immediately upon graduation.”
Governor’s Fellows are assigned to individual Cabinet secretariats to design policy proposals and help guide their implementation.
Kathleen LaRiviere, a public policy major and economics minor, was assigned to the Secretary of Finance and the Department of Planning and Budget. She conducted agency regulatory compliance evaluations, and helped implement the new budgeting process for state-funded entities.
"The 2013 Governor's Fellowship was where my interest in policy and love of public service came together,” she said. “Experiencing, first-hand, the impact that policy and budgeting have on the lives of the people of Virginia was truly rewarding."
Stacey LaRiviere, a government major and history minor, was assigned to the Secretary of Public Safety. Her duties included research of law enforcement hiring trends and analysis of drug reports across Virginia’s four Department of Forensic Science labs. She also drafted the 2012 public safety annual program compliance and achievement report and wrote public access articles, including a feature regarding the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s 40th anniversary.
“It was gratifying to receive support from William & Mary, who provides a grant to any William & Mary student selected as a Governor's Fellow. That support allowed me to refine my legislative, analytical, and presentational skills, which I will apply to my academic work as well as to organizations that I serve on our campus. Whether in Phi Alpha Delta, our pre-law society, or in L.E.A.D. Collegiate, a new program to benefit both collegians and Williamsburg-James City County high schoolers, I have additional skills with which to serve W&M and the broader community," said Stacey LaRiviere.
Crenshaw, also a government major, worked on policy revisions to the restoration of rights initiative, which went into effect July 15.
“My experiences in the governor's office combined with my studies as a government major give me a comprehensive understanding of how government works,” said Crenshaw. “Governor McDonnell's revisions to the restoration of civil rights policy this summer presented me an opportunity to see how an administration shapes and effectively implements a policy idea. I fully encourage anyone who is interested in having a career in public service to hold an internship in a government office sometime while in school."
While serving in secretariats, the fellows led the Office of the Governor in the Governor’s Bowl Food and Fund Drive, a public-private partnership to raise more than $2,000 in donations to Virginia’s food banks during the summer months.
“From intra-office fundraising efforts to four hours of peeling hundreds of boiled eggs at the Central Virginia Food Bank in Richmond, all of the fellows gained a new understanding of the scope of domestic hunger issues within the Commonwealth,” said Khaki LaRiviere.
The William & Mary fellows also collaborated with their colleagues to complete two term-length concrete policy proposals to present to McDonnell’s senior staff. One project seeks to incentivize general primary care physicians to practice in rural areas by funding a restructuring Virginia Loan Repayment Program. The second promotes economic development through the expansion of agricultural diversity and decreased regulation on Virginia’s small businesses. Their recommendations are being considered for adoption by the administration.
All three William & Mary fellows praised the opportunities presented by their summer fellowship with the program.
“Because of the fellowship, I understand what it means to be a public servant,” said Stacey LaRiviere.