One of the institute’s recently added components is The Fellows Program, which will bring prominent North Carolina politicians Deborah Ross and Thomas Stith to campus for eight weeks this fall. Ross, Democratic nominee for the 2016 NC Senate Election, and Stith, former chief of staff for Gov. Pat McCrory, will hold weekly office hours in addition to hosting not-for-credit seminars on relevant political issues. The seminars begin in mid-September and will be open to the UNC community.
For Stith, serving as a fellow seemed to be a natural and welcome continuation of his career in public service.
“Looking at the goals of the Institute of Politics at UNC-Chapel Hill, they are focused on that next generation of leaders and public servants,” Stith said. “[That] definitely aligns with what I’ve been passionate about throughout my professional career.”
For Ross, an alum of the UNC School of Law, participating in the program presents an opportunity to learn as well as to teach.
“I get a lot of energy and a lot of hope from working with the next generation,” Ross said. “I try to keep an open mind and do as much listening as I do talking.”
Stith agrees that discussion with undergraduates will provide a mutual learning opportunity.
“I learn as well,” Stith said. “It provides me an opportunity to have a different perspective and to learn and to really benefit from the strength and insight of the students as well.”
Glenn is looking forward to working with the two fellows.
"I think why we're so excited to have both Deborah and Thomas on campus this fall is because they were very excited about our mission, which is to get young people from across the political spectrum, to get them excited about politics," Glenn said.
Glenn is looking forward to the growth of the fellows program, as well as the institute itself, as it continues to provide a platform for engaged political discussion and problem solving.
“We’re really excited, we have a lot of students involved," Glenn said. "We’re hoping this will be something very exciting for everyone at Carolina."