CHICAGO – The University of Chicago Institute of Politics today announced the Sargent Shriver Program for Leadership in Public Service, a new initiative to engage a select group of third-year UChicago undergraduates in a yearlong program of practical training in public service leadership. The program, made possible by the generous support of the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute (SSPI), will launch this fall, bringing to life the legacy and methods of Sargent Shriver, who under President John F. Kennedy led the creation of the Peace Corps and, at the request of President Lyndon B. Johnson, served as Director of the War on Poverty.
“Through his example and his leadership, Sargent Shriver personified the spirit of public service the Institute of Politics was founded to promote,” said IOP Director David Axelrod. “It’s only fitting that we, at the IOP, would team with the Shriver Foundation as we pursue our mission of encouraging young people to consider lives in the public arena.”
The Shriver Program will consist of three consecutive components starting this fall and continuing through the summer of 2015. During the fall quarter, students can attend four workshops exploring innovative approaches to decision making. These workshops will use a case study methodology to understand how to build lasting collaboration and surmount seemingly intractable obstacles when building programs or addressing complex societal challenges. During the winter and spring quarters, selected Shriver Program students will be given an urban challenge and be led through weekly workshops to develop a new city-wide program to address the challenge. Students who participate in the 2014-2015 academic year components of the Shriver Program will have access to summer 2015 internships where they can engage hands-on in problem solving and program-building across disciplines.
“We are very pleased to be launching the Shriver Program in partnership with the IOP and the College this fall,” said Jamie Price, the executive director of the SSPI. “It will provide a wonderful opportunity for UChicago students to wrestle personally with the model of public service leadership Sarge exemplified, and to gain hands-on experience in the problem-solving methods he employed. We look forward to getting started next month.”
Price, who holds a Ph.D. from the Divinity School at UChicago, will serve as the inaugural Shriver Fellow at the IOP, helping to implement and execute the program in collaboration with the College and the IOP. He will officially begin this fellowship in October 2014, to coincide with the launch of the Shriver Program on campus.
Since its launch in January 2013 the IOP has presented over 400 guest speakers, hosted 34 Fellows and over 200 Fellows seminars, and placed over 500 students in internships around the world.
The Institute of Politics is a nonpartisan extracurricular program designed to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics and public service. Three programs form the core of the initiative: a visiting fellows program where political officials, policymakers, journalists and others involved in politics and policy share their experiences with students and others over an academic quarter; an expanded set of policy and public interest internships and civic engagement projects; and a continuous series of public speakers discussing current events and political life.