The UT Institute for Public Service is the recipient of a $100,000 endowment from the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund and the Tennessee County Services Loan Program. The endowment is earmarked for the internship programs at the Municipal Technical Advisory Service and the County Technical Assistance Service.
“We are so appreciative of this gift from both organizations,” said IPS Vice President Mary Jinks. “They clearly see the importance of developing public servants for the future.”
The public service internship was created in 2011 for the purpose of giving students interested in a career in public service the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Internships are arranged for the fall, spring, or summer. Since it was established, students from ten different universities have served as interns with city and county governments across the state in a variety of departments. Several have gone on to full-time employment with the city or county in which they worked as interns.
“I have been in local government for fifty-two years and I have supported and worked with MTAS the entire time, and I have worked with CTAS since 1990,” said Charles “Bones” Seivers, president and CEO of the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund. “When I was city manager in Clinton, I worked with MTAS to develop a comprehensive management review plan to improve government services. So, I know first-hand how the cities and counties across this state benefit from the services both MTAS and CTAS provide to local governments. I have wanted to do something for MTAS and CTAS for some time. This endowment will make it possible for both organizations to continue and possibly grow their internship programs.”
John David Clark is in the accelerated program at UT working on his bachelor’s degree in political science and his master’s degree in policy and public administration. He is serving an internship with David Folz, a professor in the political science department. His project is updating a fire mortality study conducted in 2011 by Folz, a graduate student, MTAS, CTAS, the state fire marshal’s office, and area fire departments. Clark is working with Folz and CTAS consultant Mike Meyers to update the data gathered in the initial study.
“This requires me to use several different computer programs, including Excel, Access, and ArcGIS,” Clark said. “I was given data on each incident and each death, and had to attach these to census tracts which are the level of analysis for the study. Each incident and death had an address where it occurred. Using this information I was able to input the values into ArcGIS and it geocoded each point. During my internship I’ve learned a lot about the computer programs and statistical analysis that this study is using.”
Clark is slated to receive his bachelor’s degree in August and complete his master’s program in summer 2015.
Susan Robertson (865-974-8518, firstname.lastname@example.org)