The Eben Tisdale Fellowship brings eligible students to Washington, D.C. for internships that explore current public policy issues of critical importance to the high-technology sector of the economy. The Fellowship has several main components:
One principal feature is an eight-week summer internship through the TFAS D.C. Summer Program in the government relations office of a leading high technology company or association. Fellows will be notified in mid to late April of their placement. The sponsors make contributions to the Tisdale Fellowship in return for the opportunity to host a summer intern. Intern sponsors provide mentoring, hands-on experience and valuable high-tech public policy training. Fellows have an opportunity to observe the development and advocacy of significant policy issues in Congress, the Administration and industry associations. They also have the opportunity to participate in projects of their own, focusing on current critical issues facing the tech sector.
|Past internships include:|
While sponsoring companies will vary from year to year, the Fellowship makes every effort to retain high quality internship opportunities. Fellows have an opportunity to observe firsthand the development and advocacy of public policy issues in Congress, the Administration and industry associations and to participate in projects of their own, focusing on current critical issues.
“The Tisdale Fellowship provides a unique integrated perspective that incorporates aspects of the private sector, special interest coalitions, and the federal government, a perspective that is difficult to find in other internships. Through this internship I have been able to see how tech companies interact with each other one on one, in organized coalitions and with the government. My schedule was full of opportunities to meet representatives of industry leaders, members of various federal agencies, Representatives and Senators.”
Joshua Cregger (Tisdale 07)
University of Michigan
Monster Worldwide Intern
COURSES FOR CREDIT
As students in the Business + Government Relations program, Tisdale Fellows will be enrolled in two courses worth six academic credits from George Mason University.
The comprehensive nature of the Business + Government Relations program gives students the academic background necessary to develop into a future policymaker or business leader of tomorrow. The program’s academic goal is to educate students about the dynamic business/government relationship and the importance of businesses representing their interests before Congress.
All students will be enrolled in one required economics course. Tisdale Fellows may then choose one of five elective courses for a total of six credits.
Economics of Regulation
ECON 470 level (3 credits)
This course examines the history and philosophy of government regulation and focuses on the changes that have occurred in lobbying and the public policy process during the past quarter century. Incorporating lectures, readings and case studies, this course outlines the growth of political activism in corporate America and the development of a Washington, DC business-government affairs community. Please click here for last summer’s syllabus.
Ethics and Leadership – NCLC 375 (3 credits)
Meets 2 times a week for 2 hours; includes a two day leadership workshop
Identified by some alumni as “the best college course they ever took,” this course is team-taught by professionals who specialize in the relationship between business and personal ethics. The course involves a hands-on learning process, including group activities, to demonstrate how power is defined in the professional world and how individual beliefs apply. Students work on creative team projects to analyze their moral beliefs and how they apply in the workplace. The course includes a two-day workshop designed to help students make the coursework personally meaningful and discover sources of their own empowerment through games and power exercises.
American Foreign Policy – GOVT 344 (3 credits)
Meets 2 times a week for 2.5 hours
This course is a must for any student wanting to closely examine U.S. foreign policy in the very city where it originates. The discussion-based class provides historical and present-day perspectives on American foreign policy. It will examine how these views will influence the future of American diplomacy and global perception of the Unites States. During the course, students will be engaged in a series of “great episodes” in American foreign policy, aiming at relating them to current problems. The course will also examine national security policy since 9/11. The class will conclude with a “think-tank” exercise where students will consider major schools of thought about American “grand strategy” and relate them to a major policy problem which any new American administration is likely to face. This course is open to all students with an interest in foreign policy or international affairs.
American Political Thought – GOVT 420 (3 credits)
Meets 2 times a week for 2.5 hours
This course is the perfect complement to any internship in the nation’s capital – where politics and the federal government are front page news every day. This interactive course will explore the development of the American political tradition from the New England Puritan settlement to the Founding Era and the conclusion of the Civil War. The class will also examine how the role of government has changed, how people’s relationship to the government has evolved, and what this means for the future. Students will discuss the many ways in which Enlightenment liberalism developed alongside alternatives such as classical republicanism and Christianity. Students will explore these contradictory impulses in American political culture and discuss ways that they can be reconciled.
Internship Seminar – Public Policy & International Affairs ECON 496 (3 credits)
Meets 1 time a week for 2 hours; includes internship hours
Students will meet once a week for an interactive seminar that will examine the practical side of the workplace. Led by a former Congressional Chief of Staff and senior advisor at the Department of Labor, this course will explore current policy issues affecting professionals working in your field. High level guest speakers will cover pressing issues such as national security, Supreme Court cases and pending federal legislation. Students have priority access to professional development trainings that are designed to give you the tools to succeed in today’s workplace. Students also participate in one service project that addresses a pressing issue in order to see firsthand the needs of an urban community and to discuss the policy implications and possible solutions. The seminar is a graded course that incorporates required readings, written assignments, tests/quizzes, and group projects. All students are eligible to enroll in this optional course; enrollment is not required to participate in the Institute or an internship.
Internship Seminar – Politics and the Press ECON 496 (3 credits)
Meets 1 time a week for 2 hours; includes internship hours. Students will meet once a week for an interactive seminar that will examine the media’s relationship to politics in the nation’s capital. Led by the founding White House correspondent for USA Today, this course will analyze current legal and ethical issues facing journalists and the people they report on. Students will discuss coverage of election campaigns and government institutions, primarily the presidency and Congress. Students have priority access to professional development trainings that are designed to give you the tools to succeed in today’s workplace. Students also participate in one service project that addresses a pressing issue in order to see firsthand the needs of an urban community and to discuss the policy implications. The seminar is a graded course that incorporates required readings, written assignments, tests/quizzes, and group projects. All students are eligible to enroll in this optional course; enrollment is not required to participate in the Institute or an internship.
Another main element of the fellowship is a weekly issues seminar organized with the assistance of the sponsoring companies, firms and associations. Expert speakers lead discussions of current public policy issues in Washington and the methods the high technology industry uses for effective advocacy.
Past topics include:
- Global electronic commerce
- Protection of privacy
- Digital intellectual property protection
- Biotechnology issues
- Educational technology policy
- Health Information Technology
- Dell Thurmond Woodard lecture on diversity and ethics
The seminars give Fellows an opportunity to reflect on the appropriate role industry advocacy can have on public policy making at the Federal level. Conducted over lunch, the seminars also provide a weekly venue for fellows to meet and compare notes on their experiences. Fellows also are encouraged, through a variety of events and discussions, to reflect on how growing high technology affects society, culture and the global economy. The goal of the Fellowship is to create a supportive and collegial environment in which a new class of public policy professionals will be mentored to help ensure that the high-tech industry continues to have highly capable and well-trained individuals in both policy advocacy and senior management positions.
“The Tisdale lunches helped me dive deeper into issues I’ve only read about and exposure to former alumni and my mentor help to see even more areas and careers in tech policy. I more comprehensively understand the climate of Washington because of this fellowship.”
Elaine Sedenberg (Tisdale 10)
University of Texas at Austin
Technology CEO Council Intern
The Mentor Program is an optional part of the Fellowship designed to give Tisdale Fellows a personal contact before and throughout the summer. Mentors are prepared to offer general information on what it’s like to live and work in the nation’s capital, particularly in the areas of tech and policy. Mentors are often alumni of the Tisdale Fellowship who live and work in the D.C. area.