The Archer Center Spotlight: October 2016
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The Archer Center Spotlight: October 2016

Archer Fellows are "Falling" Into Amazing Opportunities

The Fall 2016 Archer Fellows have engaged in many interesting events outside their classes and internships. Cultural events this month included the popular H Street Festival, the Turkish Festival, the National Book Festival, the reopening of the National Gallery of Art East Building, and the opening of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
As is customary, Archer Center professor Dr. Joel Swerdlow conducted outdoor classes at a number of memorials. At the Lincoln Memorial, students sat at the feet of Abraham Lincoln’s statue and discussed the question of whether Americans invent a version of Lincoln that is specific to their generation. The Archer Fellows experienced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech by reciting his words while standing in the spot where he delivered this powerful speech fifty-three years ago. Upcoming classes include seeing a play at Ford’s Theatre and visits to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Holocaust Museum and the Newseum.  As a side note: The Archer Center has purchased a portable microphone system to aid the Fellows in hearing Dr. Swerdlow or their classmates during outdoor classes at busy locations!
Regularly featured in Dr. Michelle Chin’s policymaking class are guest speakers who volunteer their time with students during the first hour of class. This month, the Archer Fellows met a campaign consultant, a member of Congress, two judges and a journalist.  Rob Jesmer, a partner with FP 1 Strategies and former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), visited the class to discuss campaigns and elections. U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady invited the class to meet in his committee room, where he shared insights gained from his many years in public service. “Don’t wait to raise your hand,” said Brady, as he encouraged the Archer Fellows to participate in finding solutions to problems.


Chairman Kevin Brady answers questions in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Room.

Clarine Nardi Riddle, counsel at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman and former chief of staff to U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, spoke about her work as the first female Attorney General for the state of Connecticut and her work as a Judge of the Connecticut Superior Court. Senior Judge Royce Lamberth, a member of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law, shared insights about the legal system and judicial decision making. Finally, Josh Rushing, co-host of Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines news program and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, made his third visit to the Archer Center. He shared his story of a life of public service as a journalist for Al Jazeera news network for the last 12 years following a career as a U.S. Marine.


Josh Rushing discusses the role of journalists in helping public officials to be accountable to their constituents.

15th Anniversary Celebration Continues with the Chancellor

This month, the Archer Center continued our 15th Anniversary Celebration with a dinner and tour of Bauer House hosted by UT System Chancellor and Mrs. William H. McRaven. Upcoming opportunities for Archer Center supporters and alumni to celebrate this milestone in 2016 include a tour of the Texas State Cemetery with Archer Center Advisory Board Vice Chairman Jim Bayless and a tour of the Newseum led by Archer Center Advisory Board member Paul Begala. Please contact Archer Center director Katie Romano for details on upcoming events or to support this campaign to educate the next 15 years of Archer Fellows.

Chancellor Bill McRaven leads a tour of Bauer House for supporters and alumni of the Archer Center.
Archer Fellow alumni William Cowan (Fall 2015), Ryan Pakebusch (Fall 2015) and Arturo Barrio (Fall 2001) visit about their experiences in Washington, D.C.

Archer Center Staff Recruit Across Texas

The Archer Center’s recruitment and admissions coordinator, Christine Anderson, and senior program manager for the Graduate Program in Public Policy, Steve Alvarez, are traveling across the state of Texas this month to meet with prospective applicants to the undergraduate Archer Fellowship Program and Graduate Program in Public Policy.  During campus visits, our staff discuss the broad impact of the Archer Center’s programs with campus administrators and faculty and meet with prospective applicants to gain a better understanding of their interests and professional goals.
Do you know a student enrolled at a UT System academic or health institution who would make a great candidate for the Archer Fellowship Program or the Graduate Program in Public Policy? Please encourage them to apply! Prospective Fellows can visit our website for more information. Applications for the Summer 2017 Graduate Program in Public Policy are due November 1, 2016. The deadline to apply for the fall 2017 or spring 2018 undergraduate Archer Fellowship Program is February 15, 2017.


Archer Fellow alumni and incoming Archer Fellows in the Rio Grande Valley gather with Archer Center staff. 

Fall 2016 Archer Fellow Spotlight: Kristian Villegas

What University of Texas System campus do you attend and what are you studying?
“I attend The University of Texas at El Paso. I am a junior majoring in political science with a concentration on public administration and service."
Where are you interning?
“The U.S. Department of Education in the Office of the Secretary.”
Where are you from and what are your interests?
“Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, I have tried to live my life with passion and dedication to the things I love. As a child, I dreamed of becoming an inventor and have always been impressed with the problem-solving process. Along the way, I became interested in writing stories, which led to my love of reading, especially crime stories and biographies. Through my readings, I became interested in the subject of law and order, which has led to my desire to become an attorney or a law enforcement officer.”
How did you become an Archer Fellow?
“It wasn’t until I became a representative for my high school student council that I discovered a passion for public service. Entering UT El Paso, I immediately involved myself with the student government, climbing to the ranks of traffic court justice along the way. It was through student government that I learned about the Archer Fellowship Program... Now, I am living my dream in Washington, D.C., and I could not ask for a better opportunity.”
So far, what do you like most about being an Archer Fellow?
“The opportunity to meet so many extraordinary people in Washington, D.C.  Some of the people I have met are congressional staffers and U.S. Senator John Cornyn. The senator [is] a kind individual, even though he brought up the one football game UT El Paso lost this year.”
What do you want to do after your Archer Fellowship?
“After the semester concludes, I will return to UT El Paso to finish my undergraduate degree and then return to D.C. for law school.”

Announcements from the Archer Center 

Watch and Share: “Be Part of the Legacy”
The Archer Center is excited to unveil our new promotional and recruitment video for the Archer Fellowship Program! This three-minute video highlights Congressman Archer’s vision in creating the program, the first-hand experiences of Archer Fellows while in Washington, D.C., and the lasting contributions they are making today. Archer Fellow alumni are impacting the world, and we want to hear your story. Share your experiences on social media using the hashtag #IAmAnArcherFellow or email them to Archer Center special projects coordinator Andrew Hughes.

Office Hours with Congressman Archer
Congressman Archer now has regular office hours at the Archer Center for Archer Fellows to discuss a variety of topics, learn about their work and life experiences, and share his insights. Current Archer Fellows have priority in scheduling these meetings, but alumni are also welcome to request time with him. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Archer Center program coordinator Cassie Saenz.
September Birthday Celebration


The Archer Center celebrates the September birthdays of Fall 2016 Archer Fellows Brenna Larkin, Jeremy Cana, Rohan Ramchand, and Melissa Flores.

Special Alumni Scholarship Opportunity
Are you an Archer Center alumnus or alumna pursuing an advanced degree, public service fellowship, or study abroad experience?  The 2016 Friends of The Archer Center Trust has chosen (once again) to award five scholarships of $1,000 each to alumni to pursue their dreams. The Center has also allocated proceeds from the 15th Anniversary Celebration campaign to fund an additional three scholarships for our alumni.
The scholarship application is available online. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday, October 23, 2016.  Many thanks to our Trustees and other donors for their generous support of this initiative!

The Archer Center is a self-supporting center that enables students from across the state of Texas to take advantage of academic and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C. Giving to the Archer Center helps students from all UT System campuses pursue their academic, personal, and professional goals.
Donate to The Archer Center
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