When Carly Mihovich ’21 applied for the Truman scholarship this fall, she did not expect the process to lead to receiving a different scholarship. But that is exactly what happened for the international studies major and social work minor from Greenville, South Carolina. Mihovich recently learned that she has received admittance to the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute (JSI) Fellowship Program and will be spending her summer in Minnesota.
The PPIA JSI Fellowship Program is a seven-week rigorous summer academic graduate level preparation program for undergraduate juniors committed to public service careers. The program’s mission is to “promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout our civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs.”
“I was attracted to apply to the PPIA Junior Summer Institute after learning about it through the process of applying for the Truman Scholarship,” Mihovich says. “The PPIA program encourages students to get a better grasp of the things they may potentially be interested in and seems to really invest in the students it accepts. I also appreciated that the PPIA program recognizes the need for greater interest in public policy and the importance of diversity in the policy-making process.”
PPIA fellows receive full summer tuition at one of five participating universities, a $1,500 stipend, university housing and meal plan, books and course materials, and a minimum $5,000 scholarship at a PPIA Graduate School Consortium institution if admitted for a master’s degree. Mihovich will spend her summer studying at The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Mihovich was 1 of 22 students selected to study at the University of Minnesota JSI this summer. “Being named a recipient of the PPIA Fellowship has opened up doors that I never thought would be opened for me. As a first-generation college student, successfully attending college as an undergraduate is a great accomplishment in and of itself. With the help of the PPIA Fellowship, the idea of realistically being able to continue my education at graduate school is mind-blowing. The fact that someone somewhere is willing to invest in me and my ideas is such an honor,” she says.
A Capstone Scholar, Mihovich says she was drawn to her career path because she wanted to learn more about the world. “I believe it's easy as Americans to be willfully ignorant of other countries and their people and I hope to actively avoid falling into that trap. The UofSC department of international studies has allowed me to explore so many niche interests and better understand the U.S.'s role in global affairs, whether that role has been for better or worse,” she says. “I hope by participating in the PPIA program this summer at the University of Minnesota, I'll learn valuable skills through policy analysis and economics courses, as well as get better insight into my potential career options once I've graduated.”
While at UofSC, Mihovich has taken advantage of living in the capital of South Carolina. She acts as Communications and Social Media Coordinator for the South Carolina House Democratic Caucus as well as the Communications Director for the College Democrats of South Carolina.
Mihovich was assisted in her application process by National Fellowships & Scholar Programs (NFSP). The NFSP office provides advice for any UofSC student interested in applying for national fellowships. Located on the third floor of DeSaussure College on the historic Horseshoe, advisors are available for a wide range of national fellowship competitions. To find out more about specific national fellowships, including PPIA, visit the searchable INFO database of national fellowships on their website at www.sc.edu/nfsp, and contact National Fellowships and Scholar Programs at 777-0958.