Learn about opportunities for those who have completed the Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program.
Senior Stennis Fellows, who number over 190 since the inaugral class in the 103rd Congress, have completed the Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program. While some have moved to careers in the private sector or other government arenas, all remain committed to the institution of Congress where they have spent a significant portion of their careers and have made valuable contributions.
In concert with the overall goals of the Stennis Center, the Senior Stennis Fellows Program seeks to promote congressional staff leadership and strengthen the ability of staff members to better serve the Congress and its Members. The Senior Fellows also want to expand public understanding of the role of Congress in our government and to continue to examine ways to improve the effectiveness of Congress as an institution of American democracy.
In particular, the Senior Fellows are working to:
Senior Fellows also provide leadership for the Emerging Congressional Staff Leadership Program. In addition, Senior Fellows play a key role in recommending congressional staff for both the Stennis Congressional Staff Fellows Program and the Emerging Leaders Program and serve as selection committee members for both programs.
Senior Stennis Fellows are currently considering two types of new projects: (1) to assist in the professional development of congressional staff; and (2) to improve efforts to educate the public on the role of the national legislature. A Senior Fellows Reunion and Celebration event - the first major gathering of Stennis Fellows across the classes - was held on Monday, April 29, 2002.
Senior Fellows Potential Projects
Projects to assist in the development of congressional staff
The project would also explore the development of a web site that could provide links to other resource pages. The Handbook on writing and research might also be available through the web site. The Handbook and the web site would be tied to a training program that would introduce new staff to available resources.
Proposed next steps for the project are to (1) inventory what organizations are proposing to do or are currently doing in this arena; (2) to begin to assemble the resources currently available; and (3) to explore the web site possibility.
Projects that help educate about Congress
Outreach to Adult Citizens: Most adults' knowledge of how the Congress operates is derived from school civics texts and classes. Congress often operates quite differently from the classic textbook model. Senior Fellows can develop a syllabus or a series of interactive seminar programs for adults to offer knowledge and insights into how the Congress really works, and why it generally succeeds (despite some sentiment to the contrary). This could give citizens a better appreciation for the way our democracy actually operates and a better understanding of how more effectively to convey their views to the process. The seminars could be offered to association groups and others. The syllabus/presentation might be test-marketed initially with a national group such as the League of Women Voters before attempting to expand its reach to a broader set of organizations/groups. It also might be possible to partner with such groups and thereby share the administrative and financial burdens of this activity.
Outreach to Media and Other Organizations: Media and other organizations often have need of insights, comments, or formal talks on Congressional operations and actions. A speakers bureau - Stennis Fellows willing to be contacted by media and other organizations for comments on specific subjects or to give a presentation to a group - and/or a resource handbook prepared by Senior Fellows could provide a reference tool for individuals and organizations who seek a knowledgeable speaker or commentator on Congressional topics. The aim of this activity is to help ensure that accurate and helpful information is available to interested organizations.