Heldman and Anderson Named Regional Finalists for Fellowship
Assistant politics professor Caroline Heldman and Justin Anderson ‘00 are two of 97 regional finalists for the White House Fellows Program – the nation’s most prestigious program for leadership and public service.
After undergoing a demanding round of interviews this spring in Washington, D.C., the list of candidates will shrink to 30 national finalists. Another set of interviews with the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships will decide who will be recommended to the President for one-year appointments as White House Fellows. Fellows serve as special assistants to the executive branch of the federal government.
“It is an honor to be grouped with such accomplished people. In the next round I look forward to highlighting my community outreach work, my research and my rewarding experiences at Occidental," says Heldman, an Occidental faculty member since 2006. She specializes in the presidency, media, gender, and race in the American context. Heldman is also deeply interested in consumer activism as a form of political expression. Tackling a very topical subject, Heldman co-edited the recent book Rethinking Madam President: Are We Ready for a Woman in the White House? She was moved to make a difference in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and each year has taken a group of students to help rebuild. She continues to dedicate time to grassroots organizations she helped found there – Common Ground and Critical Response – and she serves as the director of the New Orleans Women’s Shelter. Heldman is often called on by major media outlets for her political expertise and is a recent contributor to the Congressional Quarterly Researcher and Ms. Magazine.
Justin Anderson credits his Occidental experience and mentors with helping him excel in his career. “Oxy is small but that intimacy allows professors and staff to guide students through the sometimes daunting scholarship process,” he says. “A lot of people don’t get that kind of support and I feel lucky to have it.” A Diplomacy and World Affairs major, he continued to pursue his interest in weapons, war and foreign policy as he furthered his education at King's College London's Department of War Studies and worked as a policy analyst. The recipient of a Carnegie Fellowship and a Marshall Scholarship, Anderson is currently completing his doctoral thesis, titled From Faith to Foreign Policy – an investigation of the interpretation and application of faith principles to foreign policy by American religious interest groups. While at Occidental Anderson spent one year at the Occidental-at-the United Nations program and he also founded a local student chapter of Amnesty International while at King’s College London.
Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of remarkable professional achievement early in one's career, evidence of leadership potential, a proven commitment to public service, and the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute successfully at the highest levels of the Federal government. Throughout its history, the program has fostered leaders in many fields including Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, United Nations Foundation President and former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, U.S. Senator Samuel Brownback, and Marshall Carter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
Additional information about the Program is located at www.whitehouse.gov/fellows.