Honors College Student Finds Missing College Experience at Columbus Study Away Program

Honors College Student Finds Missing College Experience

In Fall 2015, Ellen Turk, a Kent State public health student participated in the Columbus Program in State Issues. During her time there, Turk was able to gain priceless experience through networking, watching legislation pass, and shadowing several professionals working in environments she took a personal interest in.

Ellen Turk, originally a nursing student at Kent State University, never saw herself studying political science in a study away program, but after switching her major to public health with a concentration in healthcare administration, she began to think differently.

A Kent State Honors College e-newsletter sparked an interest in the program and an eventual relocation to Columbus, OH for the semester.

“I decided that the benefits and networking opportunities of doing a program like this would be great enough to commit to the program,” is how Turk expressed her reasoning at the time.

Through the Kent State University Columbus Program in State Issues, Turk experienced healthcare in politics far more in depth than the typical undergraduate student. For example, while Turk was in Columbus, she was able to meet several elected officials and policy makers such as Susan Ackerman, head of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, and the Senate President, Keith Faber.

During her time in Columbus, Turk and other students were required to complete volunteer hours before Election Day. Turk spent her volunteer hours working precincts to promote the passage of Issue 1 that planned to redraw district lines in Ohio to make the process more equitable for all parties.

“This was ultimately a lot of fun,” Turk states.  

The Columbus Program in State Issues is designed to help tomorrow’s leaders understand public policy development at the state level. The program is sponsored by the Department of Political Science at Kent State University.

For more information on the Columbus Program in State Issues, visit http://www.kent.edu/cpsi.

POSTED: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 10:01am
UPDATED: Monday, April 18, 2016 - 10:35am
Sarah DiGirolamo