Tracks are one way Ford students can grow within a specific interest area. No additional for-credit course work is required.
Ford staff members consult students within each track and jointly decide on speakers, short courses, field trips, panel presentations and other means of expanding students’ skills in the chosen track. Through affiliations with outside businesses, organizations and institutions, students are placed in internships and volunteerships that provide hands-on knowledge.
Current tracks available to Ford students:
- Campaigns and Elections
- Foreign Policy and Human Rights
- Non-Profits and Foundations
- Science and Health Care
- State and Local Government
- Urban Revitalization
Do you have an idea for a track? Please let us know!
Hometown/High School: Port Huron, MI; Port Huron Northern High School
Majors/Minors/Institutes: History and Philosophy Majors; Ford Institute
Campus Organizations: Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, Nwagni Project
Why I Chose Ford: Ford allowed me to stay involved with my love for politics without having to devote so much time and classes to being a fully fledged Poli Sci major. It allowed me to be involved in the community and provided many opportunities and connections I would never otherwise had.
Internship: Historic Interpreter, Mackinac State Historic Parks
Post Grad Plans: I plan on going to grad school for museum studies, and I ultimately wish to stay employed in the museum field.
Caitlyn Allen, '15
Majors: Environmental Studies, Anthropology and Sociology
Dwayne Kratt, '89
Senior Director of Government Relations,
Gerald Ford and Albion College
Gerald Ford grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a star athlete. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan, followed by a law degree from Yale in 1941. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1946, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander, afterward continuing law practice until the start of his political career in 1948 – the same year that he married Elizabeth “Betty” Bloomer. Ford was an Albion College trustee from 1963 to 1968 while he was serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was chosen as House Minority Leader in 1965. He dedicated the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service* in 1977, soon after serving as the thirty-eighth president of the United States following the resignation of Richard Nixon.
Ford believed in ethical leadership and cooperation among those with differing political ideologies, in order to promote healthy and positive progress for our nation. In creating the Ford Institute at Albion, he entrusted to us the responsibility of fostering growth in our future leaders.
For more biographical information about Gerald Ford, visit the following websites:
Ford Institute Director Patrick McLean: “Forty years later, appreciating President Ford’s leadership”
*Since its dedication, the name has changed to the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Hometown/High School: Almont, MI; Almont High School
Majors/Minor/Institutes: Secondary Education English Major with Creative Writing, Political Science Minor; Ford Institute
Campus Organizations: Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity
Why I chose Ford: I chose to join the Ford Institute because it presented me with a wide variety of career plans, even if I wasn't interested in pursuing public policy in the long run. Since I'm going into education, internships and volunteer service have opened my eyes to the importance of public service and how I can make a difference in certain areas. There's no way I would have obtained the same opportunities if I hadn't joined the Ford Institute.
Internship: Chosen as the first Joe Stroud Intern in Journalism and Policy. Worked at the Detroit Free Press, even writing editorial pieces for the paper.
Post Grad Plans: Ideally, I would move to Chicago and teach Secondary English in the downtown school districts. At the same time I would work towards a graduate degree and eventually teach collegiate level creative writing. My ultimate goal is to write for a living; short stories, freelance writing, and eventually novels.
Hometown: Washington, MI
Major/Minor/Institutes: Psychology/Political Science/Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Campus Organizations: Student Senate, Albion Admissions Tour Guide and Management Team, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Student Alumni Association, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Pan-Hellenic Counsel, Mentoring Program with Harrington Elementary, International Honors Society in Psychology Psi Chi
Why I chose Ford: I joined the Ford Institute because I wanted to explore policy issues that are going on in today's society, learn how to analyze these topics, and build leadership experience that would benefit me for my future career as a politician.
Internship plans: I interned for the City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado in Miami Florida and for Miami-Dade School Board Member Raquel Regalado.
Post-graduation plans: Dual Program: Law School and Masters in Public Health
Favorite movie about my future career: To Kill a Mockingbird
Current issue/topic that is important to me: The current issue I am most passionate about is the health care reform policy. There are millions of Americans that need health care, but also there are many that take the system for granted. I believe there needs to be some sort of reform, but not to the extent of what is currently in place. Also, there are million of baby boomers that are going to be in need of care in the near future, but will have limited choices of who and when they can see a physician and what kind of treatment they can receive. This policy not only limits the choice of the baby boomer generation, but society as a whole. I believe it should be the patients' choice of what health care provider they should see.
Internal Advisory Committee Members and Affiliated Faculty
Jon Hooks, Chair and Professor, Department of Economics and Management
B.S., 1984, Cameron University; M.A., 1985, University of Texas, Dallas; PhD, 1989, Michigan State University
Bindu Madhok, Chair and John W. Porter Endowed Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy
B.A., 1983, University of Calcutta; Ph.D., 1990, Brown University
William Rose, Chair and Professor, Department of Political Science
B.A., 1981, & J.D., 1987, University of Toledo; Ph.D., 1999, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Gregory Saltzman, Professor, Economics and Management
S.B., S.M., 1976, MIT; Ph.D., 1982, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Kyle Shanton, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Education
B.A., 1985 University of Iowa; M.A., 1990; Ph.D., 1998, University of Arizona
Douglas White, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
B.S., 1976, Pennsylvania State University; M.S., 1978, University of Tennessee; Ph.D., 1989, Rutgers University
External Advisory Committee Members
Joseph Calvaruso, ’78, Executive Director, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
Raymond Davis, ’84, Attorney, Thrun Law Firm, P.C.
Herold “Mac” Deason, ’64, Attorney, Bodman PLC, Detroit
Brett Decker, ’93, Consulting Director, White House Writers Group
Leslee Fritz, ’94, Director of Public Affairs & Administrative Services, Michigan Department of Civil Rights
George Heartwell, ’71, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan
David Hogg, ’69, Retired District Court Judge, 84th District, Michigan
Paul Huth, ’77, Attorney, Paul H Huth PC
James Kingsley, ’63, Chief Judge, 37th Circuit Court, Calhoun County
Craig Kirby, ’85, Managing Director, Savannah LLC
Madeline Drury, '15
Kurt Medland, '98
Regional Affairs Officer, US State Department
Coordinator, Gerald R. Ford Institute
B.A., 2008, Albion College
for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Office: 201 Robinson Hall
Amy Everhart, ’08, graduated from Albion College with a major in English Secondary Education, minor in Political Science Secondary Education, and a concentration in Public Policy and Service through the Ford Institute. A student of the Honors Institute, she conducted research, wrote, and presented a thesis entitled “Educators’ Roles in Child Abuse Intervention.” Upon graduating in December of 2008 after the completion of student teaching, she joined AmeriCorps*VISTA. At the Boys &Girls Club of Corvallis (Corvallis, OR) for 1.5 years – the first year as a full-time VISTA volunteer and the remainder as a staff member – she contributed to marketing, public relations, and resource development efforts. She has since worked at Linn-Benton Community College (Albany, OR) and most recently as Licensure and Placement Specialist for the Oregon State University College of Education.
Hometown/High School: Clinton Township, MI; Chippewa Valley High School
Majors/Minors/Institutes: History Major, Spanish and Journalism Minor; Ford Institute and Honors Program
Campus Organizations: Kappa Kappa Psi Band fraternity, Delta Gamma Sorority, British Eighth Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Student Senate, and Model United Nations
Why I Chose Ford: I've always been very interested in politics and the effect that political events have had on American history. The Ford Institute offered a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in the politics and get first-hand experience in its process. I've also been very devoted to service, mostly in my own community, and Ford allowed me to become involved with service at a state and even a national level. The biggest selling point for me was the required internship that all Fordies must complete- it's a great opportunity that I wouldn't have been able to have if I had gone to a big state school.
Internship Plans: I hope to intern at the Library of Congress or at the Senate Historian's Office because it would allow me to work with both historical archives and congressional research teams. I would get the experience I need in history and politics at the same time.
Post Grad Plans: I would really like to go to graduate school for history and perhaps get a job writing for a newspaper on the side. Afterwards, I will hopefully have a job either teaching at a college and writing books or working at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, or the Senate Historian's Office.
Read more about Chelsea with the Sleight Leadership Fellows program!
Denault Reflects on Revitalizing the Motor City
Hometown: Roseville, MI
Major/Minor/Institutes: English with Creative Writing Emphasis, History (double major)/ Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Campus Organizations: Student Senate, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Alpha Delta, Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Lambda Delta, WLBN Radio, British Eighth Marching Band
Why I chose Ford: The Ford Institute offered me a unique experience I could not find at any other college. As someone not going into political science, it allowed me the chance to still explore my passions for public policy and service and the opportunity to both network with and debate individuals with a wide range of political ideologies.
Internship plans: During the summer I interned in the District Office of Congressman Sander Levin from Michigan's 12th District.
Post-graduation plans: I plan to attend law school.
Favorite movie about my future profession: My Cousin Vinny
Current issue/topic that is important to me: The issue I'm most passionate about is mountaintop removal mining. Coming from a lineage of coal miners myself, I have to say that I am disgusted by the effects that mountaintop removal has had not only on the environments but also on Appalachian communities much like the one my mother grew up in. I believe that coal should not have the near-monopoly it currently has on American electricity production. I believe we need to invest more in alternative forms of energy.
Patrick Lopez, '15
Major: Political Science
Bill Sweeney, '98
Chief of Staff, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow
Patrick A. McLean
Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute
for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
B.A., 1985, University of Dayton
M.A., 1987, Miami University (Ohio) Office: 201B Robinson Hall
Appointed Director of the Ford Institute in 2013.
Q&A with Patrick McLean
Patrick on Ford’s Legacy
"If there’s one word that is used to describe President Ford, it’s integrity. He believed that in order to get things done for the American people, leaders had to be willing to roll up their sleeves and work with people of all political stripes to get the job done, and that’s what he did."
The Ford Institute is unique because...
"We’re open to all majors and we seek to provide our students with an understanding of public policies and processes, and how those policies affect their field of interest. The Ford Institute is designed to help give students the various skills they need to be able to cross interdisciplinary boundaries."
On what type of student should consider the Ford Institute
"The Ford Institute is great for anyone with a passion for community service, or a desire to understand how policies get made at any level of government."
When not in his office, you might find Patrick...
"Studying German with Dr. Perry Myers, as I’m a strong believer in lifelong learning. You might also find me down watching a soccer game, or even playing!"
Patrick's personal journey
"I spent about 25 years doing public policy and also worked as an adjunct professor. I’ve seen the public policy arena from a lot of different vantage points, which gives me an opportunity to bring the world of a practitioner into the classroom for my students."
Why Patrick came from Ohio to Albion
"When I was graduating high school, I was stuck choosing between the University of Dayton and Albion College. I went to Dayton (it was closer to home) and for the last 30 years I’ve wondered what would have happened had I come to Albion. When this job opened up, I knew within 60 seconds of reading the job description that I would really enjoy doing this. It was like a second bite at the apple."
At the end of the day, Patrick will have done his job if...
"I can convey to students the range of their possibilities. I hope to make them realize that the decisions they make today have the power to influence them and the world in a very positive way if they’re thoughtful about what they do. It might not necessarily be easy, so it’s about providing them with the right mix of support and challenges."
Patrick's Best Advice
"Work hard, get back on the horse when you fall off, and show up."
A Look Back on Gerald Ford's Legacy, 40 Years Later (Michigan Radio)
Forty Years Later, Appreciating President Ford's Leadership (Bridge Magazine)
Take Our Alumni Survey
Candace Myers, '15
Majors: Political Science, Religious Studies
Bob Bruner, '99
Chief Executive Officer,
Michigan Municipal Services Authority
Robert M. Teeter Research Fellowship Endowment
The endowment supports a summer research project for a Robert M. Teeter Fellow. The research project is coordinated through the Ford Institute and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA).
The selection of the Fellow is made by the director of FURSCA in consultation with the director of the Ford Institute or other faculty members as deemed appropriate by the director.
This endowment is a fitting tribute to Robert M. Teeter (1939-2004), one of America's most respected public opinion researchers and a 1961 graduate of Albion College. Read about Teeter's career on The Washington Post's website.