The Mayor's Fellows program provides both undergraduate and masters-level students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government office operates. This program caters to students satisfying class credit, fulfilling internship requirements, or those simply wishing to gain experience working in public service, the community, and the governmental arena.
Activities include assisting policy staff with research in various fields that may affect departments/agencies within the City of Columbia, helping with special research projects, researching current City of Columbia policy, and assisting with research in specially designated areas. Fellows work alongside staff and identify best practices.
City of Columbia’s office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Selected students will be asked to dedicate ten to twenty hours per week to the fellowship program. If you are interested in this program please apply immediately.
Professional attire is required for all Mayor's Fellows.
The attached application, along with a resume and references, should be completed and mailed or emailed to:
*In an effort to conserve paper, if you are able, please email the completed application.
Applications for the fall term are due Monday, August 14.
The Fellowship for the fall term will begin Monday, August 21 and end Friday, December 8.
Should you have any questions regarding the internship program or application, please contact Lauren Harper at 803-545-4189.
Mayor Benjamin welcomes new class of Mayor’s Fellows for summer session
COLUMBIA, S.C. (June 13, 2017) – Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin welcomes 14 students for the spring semester of the Mayor’s Fellows program. The program provides both undergraduate and graduate-level students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of how a high-energy local government operates. The fellowship caters to students seeking course credit or to those simply wishing to gain public service experience.
The Mayor’s Fellows will assist with research in various areas and provide aid to the Mayor’s staff. To date, the Mayor’s Fellows program has had more than 150 students participate.
This summer’s fellows are:
Eric Baxley (Sandy Run, South Carolina) is a junior at the University of South Carolina Honors College majoring in economics and minoring in statistics. Baxley is the vice president of International Justice Mission at USC, and he volunteers playing music for Trinity Baptist Church in Cayce. After graduation, he aims to attend law school and then work in sustainable community development in developing countries. He enjoys making music, reading and bonding with his friends.
Josh Cady (Aiken, South Carolina) is a senior at Lees-McRae College where he is majoring in criminal justice with a minor in cycling studies. Upon graduating next May, he plans to go to law school. His career goals are to practice law, become a lobbyist and become involved in city management or in an elected position. Through this program, he hopes to learn more about the day-to-day work of city government and how it pertains to criminal justice. Cady loves to ride his bike, ski and pet soft cats.
Madeline Compton (Westminster, South Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina. She is a public relations major and is also pursuing a cognate in anthropology and sociology. During the fall and spring semesters, Madeline works as a copy editor for the student newspaper, The Daily Gamecock. When football season rolls around, she can be spotted on the field at Williams-Brice during pregame and half-time performing as a member of the Carolina Colorguard with the Mighty Sound of the Southeast. Compton hopes to spend her time as a Fellow sharpening her professional skills and getting to know the amazing community here in the City of Columbia.
Nathan Conner (Mills River, North Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in political science and economics. After graduating in May, he plans to attend law school and possibly pursue a career in public service later in life. Through the Mayor’s Fellows program, he hopes to build connections and learn about the relationship between local government and the citizens it represents. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, scuba diving and interacting with new people and places.
Virginia Eith (Alpharetta, Georgia) is a junior at the University of South Carolina Honors College majoring in criminal justice and sociology. After graduating from USC, she plans to attend law school. Virginia is involved in Greek life and enjoys hanging out with her friends. As a Fellow, she hopes to serve the City of Columbia well and learn about the different aspects of local government.
Joseph Fleming (Lake City, South Carolina) is a student of the Masters of Public Administration program at Savannah State University. His passions are civic engagement and community service. Fleming is focused on leading a life of service and being a positive citizen within the community.
Hayley Flower (Chapin, South Carolina) is a sophomore at Clemson University majoring in political science. She has a passion for politics and what is going on in the world. Through the fellowship, Flower hopes to learn more about the workings of government as well as how to elicit change at the local level. Her long-term career goal is to one day run campaigns for politicians for whom she is passionate.
Ariyana Gore (North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in public relations and minoring in social work and political science. After graduation, Gore aspires to work in the public relations field on behalf of a state agency and continue on to attend law school. Her passion for people, justice and politics are what lead her to the career path she has chosen to follow. Gore hopes to one day evoke a positive change in the world and believes that her time as a Mayor’s Fellow will provide her with the skills, experience and connections necessary to do so.
Amber Jackson (Spartanburg, South Carolina) is a junior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a broadcast journalism degree. Her career goal is to be communications director or marketing director for a government, corporate or health-related agency. She currently serves as the Secretary of Multicultural Affairs in the president’s executive cabinet at USC, a university resident mentor, and a Pillars for Carolina extended mentor. As a Mayor’s Fellow, she hopes to gain insight on how the government runs from the city level. She aspires to also work for a non-profit that aids the youth. She is passionate about mentoring young women, and her ultimate goal is to start programs for young women in inner-cities.
Doria Kim (Columbia, South Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina pursuing a double major in political science and economics. Through the Mayor’s Fellows program, she hopes to gain practical insight into the operations of local government and of being a public servant for the community. She pursued this opportunity as it provides the perfect platform to understanding local policy implementation and assists research with knowledgeable staff pertaining to the City of Columbia. She has previously worked for the State Department and the Center for Strategic and International Studies as an intern. After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school and later join the U.S. Foreign Service.
Henry Ludwig (Lexington, South Carolina) is a sophomore at the University of Michigan pursuing a degree in political science. He hopes to attend law school after graduation. While working in the Mayor’s office, Ludwig hopes to see firsthand the ways in which the community interacts with local government as well as learn what being a public servant entails. He aspires to someday run for public office and enter life as a public servant.
Meg McFarland (Camden, South Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in public relations. As a Mayor’s Fellow, McFarland sees the program as an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience as well as develop her business and communications skills. She is interested in learning how the local government works and how to enact changes in the community in order to make the City of Columbia a better place. She is involved in Greek life and enjoys playing tennis, traveling, hanging out with friends and spoiling her dog. After graduation in May, she plans to pursue a career in the field of communications or work for a public relations agency.
Bradley Quarles (Columbia, South Carolina) is a senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in nursing. After graduating in May, he will work as a registered nurse at Palmetto Health Richland. He plans on pursuing anesthesia school to become a certified nurse anesthetist after gaining experience in an intensive care unit. He’s currently the president of Men in Nursing at the University of South Carolina. During his time at USC, he has done work to include the Suicide Prevention lifeline number on the back of all student and faculty member’s Carolina Cards. Through the Mayor’s Fellows program, he hopes to gain more knowledge about to how make a difference in local communities through health policy.
Elizabeth Rhodes (Columbia, South Carolina) is a senior in the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University majoring in political science and minoring in legal studies and business administration. While at Clemson, she has done extensive political science research and held a number of leadership positions in the Honors College and her sorority. She studied abroad in Paris, France for six months and loves traveling. After graduating from Clemson, Rhodes plans to attend law school. As a Mayor’s Fellow, Rhodes hopes to learn more about the operations that help make Columbia a wonderful city.
John Selesky IV (New Brunswick, New Jersey) is a senior at the University of South Carolina studying mechanical engineering. Selesky is passionate about the political process and would like to get involved in campaign strategy after college. Next year, he plans to attend law school. At USC, Selesky is heavily involved in Student Government and is the director of the organization’s State House lobbying group. As a Mayor’s Fellow, he looks forward to gaining insight on how government works at the local level and assisting the Mayor in implementing his vision for Columbia.