University expanding effort to put students in federal jobs

Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative supported by Robertson Foundation

   Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is expanding the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative, a selective scholarship program designed to encourage more of the nation’s top students to pursue careers in the federal government, especially in the field of international relations, according to a university news release.
   In the fall, the board of trustees of the Robertson Foundation, which provides funding for the program, voted unanimously to expand the existing program by an additional five, four-year scholarships for U.S. citizens who apply for enrollment in the school’s two-year master in public affairs graduate degree program.
   Princeton launched the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative in February, 2006. At that time the Robertson Foundation authorized the Woodrow Wilson School’s dean, Anne-Marie Slaughter, to select the program’s first five scholars from among Princeton juniors.
   The program will become operational in the spring, when the first group of scholars drawn from Princeton juniors will be selected.
   The students will spend their final three semesters completing their majors, taking selected courses in public policy and learning about career opportunities in the federal government. During the summer after their junior year, they will complete a federal government internship.
   After graduation, recipients will be known as Charles and Marie Robertson Government Service Scholars and will serve for two years in the federal government, with their salaries funded by the Robertson Foundation and paid through Princeton University. The scholars will then return to Princeton to enroll in the Woodrow Wilson School’s masters in public affairs graduate degree program.
   In the spring of 2008 the Woodrow Wilson School will select the first group of graduate scholars from U.S. citizens who have already completed their undergraduate work at Princeton or other institutions of higher education. These students will serve for two years in the federal government, also as Charles and Marie Robertson Government Service Scholars, and then enter the Woodrow Wilson School.
   The purposes of the scholarship program, modeled after the Rhodes and Marshall scholars, are twofold, according to the university.
   The first is to raise the prestige of government service among an entire generation of college students and to encourage these students to enter government service. The second is to provide exceptional students with opportunities to experience government service firsthand and to gain the skills and contacts they will need to succeed in government service.
   The students will be selected for the program based on their superior academic performance, a proven track record of accomplishment and a demonstrated commitment to government service. The program is particularly interested in students who combine knowledge of public policy with high achievement in natural science or engineering, or students with substantial knowledge of "difficult" languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Swahili and Urdu, university officials said.
   The Woodrow Wilson School and the Partnership for Public Service, a Washington-based, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to public service, will work with the selected scholars to match their skills with substantive work in the federal government.
   In particular, in keeping with the mission of the Robertson Foundation, scholars will be encouraged to pursue careers in those areas of the federal government that are concerned with international relations and affairs.
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