The Maguire Ethics Center is proud to announce its 2023 cohort of Public Service Fellows– nine SMU undergraduate and graduate students who will dedicate their summer to public service and ethics research.
The Maguire Center, with financial assistance from the Irby Family Foundation, awards summer fellowships to SMU students who wish to devote time to public service or ethics research. Over the past 20 years, we have awarded summer fellowship stipends totaling over $400,000 to more than 200 SMU students for public service and research in ethics. We have supported volunteers in more than 150 agencies across 18 states, 25 countries, and 5 continents.
Maguire Public Service Fellows have volunteered in a vast number of diverse internship placements. Through such opportunities, students gain concrete information about others’ needs, as well as differing perspectives on how to resolve them. Drawing on their university education and personal talent, Fellows hone their skills and gain both humility and self-confidence to become bold, curious and creative leaders. The goal of the Fellowship is to enable students to engage in public service where financial circumstances might not otherwise allow.
Lilly will be researching the impact of county policies on paying indigent defense attorneys and the distances such attorneys travel to attend court in those counties with the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center. Her research will answer the questions: Do attorneys drive further when hourly rates of pay in courts, district or county, are higher? Are there characteristics of a county that lead to higher fee schedules?
Katie will be using her archeology, archival research, and GIS mapping skills to support If Tenth Street Could Talk, a Remembering Black Dallas, Inc. project in collaboration with Kinkofa and the Tenth Street Residential Association. The project documents the history of the Tenth Street Freedman’s Town, located in East Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas through genealogy, archival research, oral history, GIS mapping, and digital storytelling. As part of the project’s field school, she will also assist in teaching 12 local high school students how they can use these tools to document the history of Tenth Street and other historic locations.
Siji, in collaboration with Hearts of Compassion, Inc., will transcribe oral histories of African matriarchs to be used as an educational, historical, fundraising, and cultural resource across the African diaspora. She aims to dismantle racist and sexist systems of injustice that dictate which voices histories remembers by recording the histories of African women.
Princess will be conducting qualitative and quantitative research to document how refugees were affected by visa application backlogs caused by the pandemic. She will gather oral histories from immigrants and their families to answer questions such as, what can we do to help lessen the backlog in the immigration system on a state level? What resources could help those transitioning to American life? How can the law help immigrants applying for visas on a case-by-case basis.
Jason will be collaborating with the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education to develop and implement an engineering ethics module to the organization’s summer camp curriculum. He will mentor campers and teach them why it is important to always consider the human impacts of engineering designs. Additionally, Jason will also document the experiences of its summer camp students through photographic and audio-visual methods.
Ruth is serving as a waiting room volunteer for the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. As a volunteer, she will provide a warm, safe, and welcoming environment for children who are victims of sexual abuse. In addition to this work, she will also support the agency’s Summer Safety Drive Through and Backpack Drive that provides at-risk children the supplies they need for school.
JT will be working with Royal Lane Baptist Church to develop and sustain new and existing partnerships with affiliate partners. His service will highlight the role of churches within communities and showcase Royal Lane Baptist Church’s past and present-day involvement in social and racial justice issues.
Carolyn will be working with For Oak Cliff and Nostalgia: Black to promote food justice in south Dallas. With Nostalgia: Black, Carolyn will conduct research and draft presentations on Black foodways in Dallas to support both public-facing writings by the company and support its “Soul of DFW” Black food tours. She will also serve with For Oak Cliff by volunteering at its monthly farmer’s market that focuses on providing fresh foods for the “superblock.”
Gopika will be working with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law in Rome, Italy. As part of her project, she will be researching innovative legal strategies to diversify risk away from low-to-medium income households in the event of bank insolvency. Her project not only aims to protect vulnerable communities, but also emphasize the importance of responsible business practices that prioritize ethical behavior to minimize the risk of banking failures.