Voinovich Undergraduate Research Fellows Accepting Applications for 2021-2022


Students can now apply for the prestigious Voinovich Undergraduate Research Fellow positions for the 2021-22 academic year.

Voinovich Fellows gain valuable experience by working closely with professionals from the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University for 10 hours per week, 15 weeks per semester for two semesters. Students not only apply knowledge from their classes and other academic experiences to real issues, but are also paid $ 11 per hour to do so.

Highly motivated students from any school or department are eligible to become Voinovich Fellows. Students should have a strong academic record, with a preferred minimum of 3.5 GPA. Interested students should email a cover letter, curriculum vitae, recent DARS report, and short writing sample to Professor Anirudh Ruhil at [email protected] by March 15th.

Opportunities include innovative research and work related to:

  • Energy and environment
  • Durability
  • Watershed management
  • Ecology
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Field and laboratory research opportunities
  • Entrepreneurship and regional development
  • Small business planning
  • Economic development
  • Product design and marketing
  • Public policy and leadership
  • Community Health
  • Education
  • Public relations and communication
  • Program evaluation

Zanovia Criss, a junior journalism student, works for the Partnership for Children and Families and the Planning, Evaluation and Education research team under the direction of Research Associate Natalie Wilson and Chief main project manager Margaret Hutzel.

In her role, Criss writes evaluations for grant renewals, summarizes data projects, facilitates focus groups and attends program evaluation meetings. All of these skills can be transferred to journalism to help analyze data for data-driven stories and conduct interviews, she said.

“Working at the Voinovich School offers a great experience because, under the guidance of the professionals, I acquire new skills that I can take with me after graduation,” said Criss.

Through her work, Criss has also become more connected with the community and the Appalachian region. “As a journalist, it helps to know more about my community, so I know which issues are relevant and which stories need to be told. The work I do has a direct impact on the communities we serve.

Sam Smith, a senior geography student, also works with the Partnership for Children and Families under the guidance of Hutzel. Smith said the experience he gained in research and data analysis was particularly helpful as he had limited experience with them before he became an academic. Insight into the functioning and evaluation of public projects has helped him refine his interests and career goals.

“As far back as I can remember, I have aimed to become a civil servant, so working at the Voinovich School provided me with the crucial skills required for the professional future I wanted,” he said. “This development of skills and relationships will continue to pave the way for success as I turn to graduate school and, therefore, a rewarding career in the public sector.”

Sarah Stanzi, a graduate in environmental geography with a certificate in environmental studies and GIS, works in the energy and environment team under the supervision of Jen Bowman, director of environmental programs, professor and director of the environmental studies program Natalie Kruse and environmental specialist Nicole Kirchner.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to understand the role of environmental studies in a variety of real world applications,” Stanzi said. “I like being able to see the impact of my work in current projects and knowing that my work also contributes to long term projects.”

Eli Wanner, a history student, works under the direction of research associate Jessica Collura in the Programmatic Partnership for Community-Based Prevention (P4CBP), led by Professor Holly Raffle. Wanner said he enjoys working in an independent environment, where staff trust academics to carry out their assignments without being micromanaged.

“The professional staff are receptive and appreciate the ideas and skills that students like me bring to the table,” he said. “My experience at Voinovich School clarified what I’m looking for in a career and taught me how the world of public health works.

For more information, visit the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar program webpage.

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