Meet Our Students

Kim Tunnicliff Endowment

Kim TunnicliffKim Tunnicliff started his career at Albion College in 1984 when he became a faculty member in the Political Science Department. As director of the then-named Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service from 1985 to 1999, he placed a special emphasis on developing experiential and international educational experiences for college students. He was highly regarded by his academic colleagues both at Albion and beyond.

Kim's passionate belief in public service brought the level of opportunities for Ford students to new heights that have carried them forward to leadership positions all over the globe. This endowment was established by his family, former students, colleagues, and friends to celebrate his life and the widespread and enduring impact of his legacy at Albion College.

2014 Recipient

Utrata2smallDavid Utrata, ’15

David Utrata is a member of the Ford Institute and the Center for Sustainability and the Environment. As Albion College's first-ever Kim Tunnicliff Fellow, David Utrata spent a semester in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The CIEE Stellenbosch Sustainability and Community study abroad program engages students in a variety of sustainability-related issues that impact present-day South Africa. David will deliver a public presentation on campus summarizing his research in Spring 2015.

Hilary Hernandez Anthony

Hilary Hernandez Anthony, coordinator, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and ServiceCoordinator, Gerald R. Ford Institute
for Leadership in Public Policy and Service

B.A., 2002, Western Michigan University

Office: 201 Robinson Hall
Phone: 517/629-0368

Hilary has been dedicated to nurturing growth through theatre and arts education, and holds a B.A. in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University. Since 2004, Hilary has worked with Education for the Arts at Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA) as a teaching artist, program coordinator, and professional development facilitator. Guided by the Aesthetic Education model established at The Lincoln Center in New York, her work has centered on creating experiential learning environments focused on inquiry and reflection. Hilary is delighted that her passions for education and excellence have led her to Albion College, and she looks forward to working alongside the talented students of the Ford Institute.

Andrew Kercher


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.

Dwayne Kratt, '89

Dwayne Kratt, '89Senior Director of Government Relations,

Kyle Henry

Kyle Henry, '12

Hometown/High School: Almont, MI; Almont High School

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.

Elizabeth Frankowski

Liz Frankowski, Albion College and Ford Institute Class of 2013Hometown: 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.

Advisory Committees

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, Professor, Department of Political Science
B.A., 1981, & J.D., 1987, University of Toledo; Ph.D., 1999, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Gregory Saltzman, Professor, Department of 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, Adjunct 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

Craig Kirby, ’85, Managing Director, Savannah LLC

Kurt Medland, '98

Kurt MedlandRegional Affairs Officer, US State Department

Gerald Ford and Albion College

Gerald Ford

Gerald FordGerald 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

Chelsea Denault

Chelsea Denault, '12

Hometown/High School: Clinton Township, MI; Chippewa Valley High School

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

Michael Albani

Michael Albani, Albion College and Ford Institute Class of 2013Hometown: 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.

Bill Sweeney, '98

Bill SweeneyChief of Staff, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow

Patrick A. McLean

patrick-mclean-100Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute
for Leadership in Public Policy and Service

B.A., 1985, University of Dayton
M.A., 1987, Miami University (Ohio)
M.A., 2015, Freie Universität Berlin
Office: 201B Robinson Hall

Phone: 517/629-0359

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)

Bob Bruner, '99

Bob Bruner, '99Chief Executive Officer,
Michigan Municipal Services Authority

Institute Staff

Patrick McLean, Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and ServicePatrick A. McLean, Director
B.A., 1985, University of Dayton
M.A., 1987, Miami University (Ohio)

Office: 201B Robinson Hall
Phone: 517/629-0359

Eddie Visco, Associate Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and ServiceEddie Visco, Associate Director
B.A., 2004, Albion College;
M.Ed., 2006, Chestnut Hill College

Office: 201A Robinson Hall
Phone: 517/629-0328

Hilary Hernandez Anthony, CoordinatorHilary Hernandez Anthony, Coordinator
B.A., 2002, Western Michigan University

Office: 201 Robinson Hall
Phone: 517/629-0368

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Tonya Zimmerman, '01

Tonya Zimmerman, '01Senior Policy Analyst,
Maryland Department of Legislative Services

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.

Read about Teeter recipient Alena Farooq, ’18, and her research of Albion’s city parks

Libby Crabb, '04

Libby CrabbDevelopment Director, Literacy Center of West Michigan

Eddie Visco

Eddie Visco, associate director, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and ServiceAssociate Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute
for Leadership in Public Policy and Service

B.A., 2004, Albion College
M.Ed., 2006, Chestnut Hill College
Appointed Associate Director of the Ford Institute in 2011.

Office: 201A Robinson Hall
Phone: 517/629-0328

Ford Institute courses taught:

  • Introduction to Public Policy (PBSV 101)
  • Senior Colloquium (PBSV 397)

Eddie Visco, '04, graduated from Albion College majoring in political science and speech/communication. He also graduated with a concentration in the Ford Institute. Upon graduation, Eddie joined Teach for America and taught seventh-grade English and American history in Philadelphia. During this time he earned his Masters of Education from Chestnut Hill College. After his commitment ended he returned to Michigan and worked on the campaign of Mark Schauer for Congress, serving as his traveling assistant. Following the election victory, Eddie worked in Congressman Schauer's district office in Jackson as his Constituent Services Representative.

Ford Institute

Where citizens of the world become global leaders.

You're smart, curious, and determined to make a difference. And this is where your life of public service begins.

The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, created by President Ford at Albion College in 1977, empowers you to make a big impact. Our internships place you in all levels of government, nonprofit organizations, the media, and the legal system—where your network will grow, along with your understanding of global society.

The Ford Institute has more than 140 students from a broad range of majors and minors. Whichever career path you pursue, policy decisions will impact you personally or professionally. Participation in the Institute will prepare you to analyze and interpret the issues more critically so you can take action. When you graduate from Albion and the Ford Institute, you'll be in a unique position to advocate for the greater good.

Watch our introductory video to learn more, and please contact us with any questions you may have.

Apply to Albion College

Patrick Schefsky, '06

Patrick Schefsky, '06Attorney,
Poznak Dyer Kanar Garchow PLC

Sleight Leadership Fellows Program

“Emerging Leadership in Detroit’s Economic Recovery”

The Sleight Leadership Fellows Program provides an intense leadership skills enhancement experience for Albion College sophomores. The program consists of a five-day, in-residence program that immerses students in cutting-edge leadership models and experiences through classwork, hands-on learning, and small work-group projects. The Sleight Fellowship provides a curricular component to leadership training at Albion College with the specific intent of developing personal skills. The benefits, however, reach beyond the participants of the program as the Fellows share their skills with their peers, in and out of the classroom.

In January of each year, up to twenty students, led by two faculty, take residence in the historic Ft. Shelby Hotel in downtown Detroit. The days are long – starting early and going to 10:00 pm. Students examine Detroit's history, its current status, and the emerging leadership that is guiding the city's recovery. Students work in small groups on research/presentation projects of their own design that directly impact Detroit's economic viability.

Outcome assessments of previous years' projects demonstrated an extremely high level of satisfaction with the class and a strong dedication to being part of Detroit's recovery.

Lizzy (Thornton) King, '09

Lizzy (Thornton) King, '09Assistant Director of Student Affairs,
Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University

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

Al Pheley, Director, Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
B.A., 1982, Indiana University; M.S., 1984, North Dakota State University; 1990, University of Minnesota

William Rose, Chair and Associate 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

Programs, Endowments, and Scholarships

Christin Spoolstra, '11, worked as an intern in Washington for U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.
Christin Spoolstra, '11, worked as an intern in Washington for U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.

Through the generosity of Albion College alumni and other sponsors, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service is able to offer several programs to our students. These endowments support co-curricular efforts, participation in internships, and many other forms of experiential learning. Please follow the links below to learn more about these efforts and how you can help the Ford Institute provide more opportunities to our students.


Annie Gawkowski, '10

ANNIE G Final-65Director of Political Affairs,
Mortgage Bankers Association

Andrew Kercher, '11

Andrew Kercher, '11Senior Historical Interpreter,
Mackinac State Historic Parks

Spoolstra, '11, Makes Sacrifice to Serve in the Peace Corps

Christin Spoolstra, '11, majored in English and political science, completed a concentration in the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service and played goalkeeper for the women's lacrosse team.

Christin Spoolstra, a member of the Ford Institute from the class of 2011, is currently in her first year of service in the Svay Rieng province in Cambodia. The area in which she is stationed, near the Vietnamese border, is one of the poorest provinces in the country. It is there that Spoolstra teaches high school-level classes to local students for 17 hours a week and also tutors some of the Cambodian teachers in conversational English three days per week.

To read more about Christin's commitment, click here.

Jacob Lyday, '17

Jacob Lyday, '17Major: Political Science, Religious Studies

Christin Spoolstra, '11

Christin Spoolstra, '11Deputy Country Director,
Caring for Cambodia

Dr. Kim Tunnicliff Memorial Fund Is Established

Alumni and staff of the Ford Institute were stunned this past June by the untimely passing of former director Kim Tunnicliff. Tunnicliff died in an automobile accident while traveling from Chicago back to his home in Wooster, Ohio, where he was the director of off-campus studies at the College of Wooster. Tunnicliff's legacy at Albion will continue for future generations, as the Tunnicliff family and the Ford Institute recently announced the creation of the Dr. Kim Tunnicliff Memorial Fund at Albion College.

The Tunnicliff Memorial Fund will encourage Albion College students to explore their world through travel, experiential learning, and reflection, principles espoused by Tunnicliff throughout his life.

The fund will be announced to a broader audience during a Celebration of Life gathering commemorating Tunnicliff on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10 a.m. to noon in Upper Baldwin Hall. The event is open to all who wish to attend and share their experiences--of Tunnicliff as the director of the Ford Institute, as an active member of the Albion community where he lived with his family for 15 years, or just as a friend in any other capacity.

Originally appointed at Albion in 1984 as a faculty member in political science, Tunnicliff led the Ford Institute from 1985 to 1999. He also directed Albion College's Great Lakes Jerusalem Program in 1988, spending a semester in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine with students.

Dedicated to the vibrancy of the local political process, Tunnicliff served on Albion's City Council in the 1990s, including one term as mayor. He involved a number of "Fordies" as his campaign staff during a run for the U.S. Congress, narrowly losing to an incumbent candidate. Tunnicliff left Albion to become vice president of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. He later served as director of international programs and associate professor of political science at Augustana College from 2007 to 2010 and then joined the College of Wooster in 2010.

Memorial services for Tunnicliff were held in Davenport, Iowa (his home state) and Oak Park, Ill., and a Celebration of Life service was offered at the College of Wooster. Tunnicliff is survived by his wife, Ginny, and three children.

For information on contributing to the Dr. Kim Tunnicliff Memorial Fund, please contact Mark Neisler, '94, director of development in the Office of Institutional Advancement, at 517/629-0237 or . Gifts can be made online, or checks may be made payable to Albion College and mailed to Institutional Advancement, Albion College, 611 E. Porter St., Albion, MI 49224.

Dr. Kim Tunnicliff

Paige Narins, '13

Paige Narins, '13Member Services Coordinator,
Detroit Economic Club

Social Media, Professionalism and YOU!

What you put on Facebook can have an effect on your future!  Letitia Fowler

Sydney Roeder, '17

Sydney Roeder, '17Majors: Anthropology, International Studies

Alena Farooq, '18

Alena FarooqMajor: Social Entrepreneurship & Business

2010 Trip to Lansing

3/24/2010 - As part of the Ford Institute's efforts to build networks between our students and members of the Albion College family, 11 members of the Ford Institute spent the entire day in Michigan's capitol, meeting with lawmakers, congressional staffers, lobbyists and more. The students also had a private session with Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly in the Hall of Justice. Shortly after our meeting with Chief Justice Kelly, the students sat down with Janet Welch '71, who currently serves as the Executive Director of the State Bar association of Michigan. She and some of her staff spoke with students interested in law school and offered up strategies to law school entrance and passing the bar. She and her staff also offered valuable advice to the Ford students about what to expect in a career in law, and how to maneuver obstacles many young law students face entering into the field. SealofMichigan
Lansing2010II StateBar


The Sharon 'Zo' Gates Rees, '53 Fellowship for Women in Public Office

(Image courtesy Architect of the U.S. Capitol)

Through the generous support of Sharon Rees, a 1953 alumna of Albion College, we are proud to announce the annual Sharon "Zo" Gates Rees, '53 Fellowship for Women in Public Office. This program promotes the interest of women seeking elected office and makes available to them the knowledge of how to achieve their goals. To this end, the fellowship will support internships in the U.S. House or Senate that provide women students the experience to better understand the processes of becoming elected to and holding public office.

Applications are encouraged from Albion students who plan to intern in Washington, D.C., during the summer. One award in the amount of $1,000 is given annually following a competitive review of all proposals received. The Fellowship may be used to offset housing or other expenses associated with living in Washington, D.C., during the internship period.

Early in the spring semester of each year, an application will be available online to download. Applications may also be picked up at the Ford Institute office, located at 201 Robinson Hall.

Beau Brockett, Jr., '19

Beau Brockett, Jr., '19Major: English (Creative Writing/Poetry)

Class of 1960 Albion Community Intern Endowment

Members of the Class of 1960
Homecoming 2010: The Class of 1960 announces its endowment creating the Albion Community Internship.

Albion is America!

The links between Albion College, the City of Albion and the surrounding community provide incredible opportunities for students to learn at the same time they are giving back to the community. Albion has become a laboratory for small town revitalization. There is no place in America better suited to provide hands- on learning about issues that matter to every small town in our country!

It is a tribute to the scholarship that has continued here at Albion College for 180 years that a group of alumni who graduated more than a half century ago still care so much about those who have come after them. The Class of 1960 continues to demonstrate the value of our Albion network to our current students. This endowment will ensure that students interested in working in Albion will have that opportunity for years to come.

2016 ACIE Awardee

Alena Farooq, '18Alena Farooq, ’18

Albion Food Hub

As an intern for the Albion Economic Development Corporation, Alena works for the newly created Food Hub and its director, former ACIE recipient Patrick Lopez, '15. Her main duties focus on the operation and marketing of the Farmers' Market that takes place twice every week. She also helps manage the community gardens in Albion that received grant funds as part of a SNAP-Ed program.

This is Alena's second summer in Albion. Last summer she was sponsored by the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA) to research the city's 2010 Recreation Department plan. She spent the summer exploring all 17 parks in Albion and surveying over 100 residents. Her work continued into the school year as she joined the Citizens Advisory Committee that updated the 2010 recreation plan.

Alena encourages all students to get involved with the city of Albion. "Right now, Albion is full of opportunities. All sorts of exciting things are happening across the city and students get to be a part of it by working and volunteering downtown. That's an opportunity you can't get just anywhere!"

2015 ACIE Awardees

Matt Kribs, ’18

Bohm Theatre

Matt Kribs, '18 at the Bohm Theatre.
Matt Kribs, '18, is also a member of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program and plans to major in music (violin) performance.

Working for the Bohm Theatre in the summer of 2015, Matt developed a marketing strategy to help attract customers to the theatre. This included updating social media and drafting press releases. Matt also assisted with the day-to-day operations to ensure that customers received the best experience possible. Additionally, Matt was able to observe what was needed to operate a nonprofit focused on the arts. He plans on applying this knowledge to a possible career with community symphonies.

"I had an incredible experience working for the Bohm Theatre this summer," Matt said. "I learned about marketing tactics, film arts and the essentials about running a nonprofit organization. This internship opened new doors for a potential career in arts marketing, and I am currently working for the Bohm as their first social media coordinator. I am thankful for all of the support the Class of 1960 Albion Community Intern Endowment gave me this summer."

Matt returned to the Bohm Theatre in the summer of 2016, writing grants for numerous film opportunites and resuming his marketing duties. According to Nancy Doyle, the theatre's Executive Director, Matt "has set the bar really high for the Bohm Theatre internship."

Danielle Nelson, ’17

City of Albion

Albion City Manager Sheryl Mitchell, left, with intern Danielle Nelson, '17.
Albion City Manager Sheryl Mitchell, left, with intern Danielle Nelson, '17.

"I came to Albion College not only because of what the college has to offer but because of the opportunities that I saw in the City of Albion as well. I wanted to play an instrumental part in the revitalization efforts and learn something along the way. In the spring of 2015 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to intern for the new city manager of Albion, Dr. Sheryl Mitchell. It was not only a wonderful hands-on educational experience but it was also a great way for me to voice my ideas and bring about change in the community."

Some of the projects that Danielle worked on included organizing community forums, gathering census data for the master planning process, researching grants, and coordinating volunteers. Danielle was also part of several economic development projects in the region, including an effort by the city to become a "redevelopment ready community" and a project that will utilize bicycling and cycling trails to attract people from around the state. Danielle spearheaded on behalf of the city a Michigan Week celebration in May. This project, done in conjunction with the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce, showcased some of Albion's local producers, restaurants, natural amenities, and artists.

"The Albion Community Intern Endowment through the generosity of the Class of 1960 has had a profound impact on my time here in Albion. I am grateful that we have alumni who have such faith in my generation."

Danielle, a public policy major, carries a perfect 4.0 GPA and is widely engaged in activities across the campus and the city. She feels her work exposed more residents and students to the rich history and culture in the Albion community while improving the local economy.

2014 ACIE Awardees

Patrick Lopez, '15Patrick Lopez, ’15

Albion Economic Development Corporation

"As a student who lives off campus, it was great to have a little extra income to coincide with my internship. I was able to be exposed to the dedicated community leaders in Albion. ACIE saved me from having to get a second job, which would have impacted the time I spent working on the internship and my ability to commit to my studies."

Andrea Walles, '15Andrea Walles, ’15

Friends of the Bohm Theater

"The scholarship from the Class of 1960 allowed me to be successful during my internship. I had an incredible time working with the community and have learned more than I ever imagined which will help with my future career."

Previous ACIE Awardees:

  • 2013 - Mallory Ayotte, '16 - Downtown Development Authority of Albion
  • 2012 - Jessica Forzano, '13 - Albion Public Schools District

Institute to Celebrate Life of Former Director Tunnicliff

Former Ford institute director Kim Tunnicliff, 1995Alumni and staff of the Ford Institute were stunned this past June by the untimely passing of former director Kim Tunnicliff. Tunnicliff's legacy at Albion will continue for future generations, as the Tunnicliff family and the Ford Institute recently announced the creation of the Dr. Kim Tunnicliff Memorial Fund at Albion College.

The fund will be announced to a broader audience during a Celebration of Life gathering commemorating Tunnicliff on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10 a.m. to noon in Upper Baldwin Hall. The event is open to all. Read more

Ford Institute Newsletter

Click below to check out our recent Ford Newsletter!

pdf 2010-11 Newsletter   Volume III, No. 1

Heather Holderness, '11, Helps Provide Access to Health Care

Heather_Holderness_PicThrough her Ford Institute internship, Heather Holderness, '11, was able to combine her interests in health and public policy, and also utilize her fluency in Spanish.  She worked with Community HealthCare Connections (CHC), an organization that connects uninsured and underinsured individuals to a wide variety of health care services.  These include basic health and medical care, as well as referral and advocacy.  CHC provides these services in conjunction with the Nursing Clinic of Battle Creek and the Calhoun Health Plan.

Heather worked with CHC's Hispanic Outreach Program doing research, being involved in outreach, explaining opportunities to potential clients, and occasionally providing translation.  She also assisted with their new mobile clinic, a bus that takes medical services directly into the community.  This type of work was well suited for her as she has a variety of academic and professional interests.  She graduated from Albion this spring with a dual major in Latin American Studies and Spanish, a minor in Biology, and concentrations in the Ford Institute and the Institute for Premedical Professions and Health Sciences.

"One of the best parts of this  internship has been interacting directly with the clients," said Heather.  "There was one client who was renewing services with a CHC program, but could not read or write in English.  I was able to translate into Spanish for him and help him fill out the paperwork."

A native of Hartland, MI, she was very active with the Organization Latino/a Awareness at Albion College, serving as the group's president.  She was also a mentor at Harrington Elementary School, Vice President for Management of Alpha Chi Omega, and a member of the Order of Omega.

After graduation, Heather accepted a position as a Research Assistant to Debbie Ossip at the University of Rochester.  She hopes ultimately to go into advocacy work for underrepresented groups needing access to health care.  Heather is grateful to have been a part of the Ford Institute and feels it is her responsibility to give back.  "Being around people who are passionate about public service is one of the best parts of the program," she stated.  "I learned so much from the different opinions and perspectives of the other students.  Being in Ford broadened my own understanding of the world."

Ford Director Pheley Moderates President Bush Book Tour Event

12/2/2010  Ford Director Al Pheley (right) talks with former President George W. Bush.Students in Albion College's Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service heard firsthand from former President George W. Bush about key moments of his presidency during an invitation-only event at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. The event, scheduled as part of Bush's current book tour, included an hour-long question-and-answer session moderated by Ford Institute Director Al Pheley.

Read more on the Albion College News site

Summer Internship Takes Andrew Kercher, '12, Back in Time

kercherandrew2Few internship experiences allow students to fire musket rifles and cannons on a daily basis.  However, last summer Fordie Andrew Kercher, '12, suited up in a redcoat and served in the King's Eighth Regiment of Foot as part of a reenactment at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City.  He served as a historic interpreter at the fort, which was established in 1715 and is now part of the Mackinac State Historic Parks, welcoming tourists from around the world.

Andrew, who has a dual major in History and Philosophy, said the experience working at the fort confirmed his desire to pursue a career in interpretive history.  He ultimately wants to work at a living museum as a lead interpreter and curator.  He likes the concept of a living museum because the exhibits "connect with people and they truly experience it."  At Fort Michilimackinac, he showed tourists what it was like to live in an 18th century fort along the Straits of Mackinac.  Not only did Andrew serve as a soldier in the King's army, but he also played other roles such as a French civilian fur trader and a blacksmith.  He even performed weddings as Father Pierre Gibault, the fort's visiting Catholic priest.

Back on campus, he is very active in the community, serving as a member of the British Eighth Marching Band, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and treasurer of the Nwagni Project- a student run organization that has raised over $25,000 to support schools and families in the village of Batchingou, Cameroon.

Originally from Port Huron, MI, Andrew believes he has truly benefited from an Albion College education.  "Albion allowed me to do things that I really wanted to do, but it also afforded me opportunities to try something totally different as well!"

Sleight Leadership Fellows Program in Detroit


1/11 - 1/15/2011
  The Sleight Leadership Fellows Program headed east this year for "Leadership and the Re-emergence of Detroit."  This program provides an intense leadership skills enhancement experience for Albion College sophomores.  It consists of a five-day, in-residence program that immerses students in cutting edge leadership models and experiences through classwork, hands-on learning, and small work-group projects.  The Sleight Program provides a curricular component to leadership training at Albion College with specific intent of enhancing personal skills.  The benefit, however, reaches beyond the participants as Sleight Fellows share their skills with peers, both in and out of the classroom.  The theme of the Sleight Leadership Fellows Program reflects a different topic each year. 

Kyle Henry, '12, First Joe Stroud Intern

kylehenry270The Ford Institute is proud to have Kyle Henry, '12, as its first Joe Stroud Intern in Journalism and Policy.  A Secondary Education English major and Public Policy minor, Kyle did his internship with the Detroit Free Press' editorial division during the summer of 2010.  He worked directly with Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page editor, and wrote six articles on issues like politics, the Detroit Public Schools, poverty, and other topics related to the Detroit Metro area.

One of the highlights of Kyle's internship experience was being present during the editorial board interviews with candidates running for governor during the 2010 election.  He then edited hours of footage to create a web video, and also wrote an editorial encouraging young people to become more active in the electoral process.

This unique internship opportunity was developed in memory of Joe Stroud, former Detroit Free Press editor and Ford Institute director.  Following his death, his family created the Joe Stroud Memorial Fund at Albion College, through which the internship provides first-hand experience in combining policy with journalistic leadership.

Kyle exemplifies the qualities required for this internship, not only with his academic and career interests, but through his leadership and involvement at Albion as well.  He served as a writer and editor for the Albion Pleiad, a mentor at Albion Public Schools, and was selected to be a Sleight Leadership Fellow for 2011.  Moreover, he is a member of Sigma Tau Delta honorary English fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and vice president of the Order of Omega.

Reflecting on his time at Albion College, Kyle noted that Albion "allows you to be somebody and explore what you want to do in life."  Through the Fritz Shurmur Center for Teacher Development, he experienced public education both internationally and locally.  He was part of a recent trip to France for a comparative study of the French and American educational systems.  He also brought his enthusiasm to the Albion Public School's sixth grade class at Harrington Elementary.  There he created a project focusing on the town of Albion that engaged students through writing journals and making posters.  As Harrington student Olivia Garrett Anes stated, "Mr. Henry is nice, funny, smart like a teacher, and not at all cranky."  Kyle earned high marks from the teachers as well.

"Albion College is truly a community of learners with great support and mentoring from faculty members and staff," Kyle commented.  "Students are offered exceptional opportunities that you might not get somewhere else."

Ford Institute Newsletter


Ford Career Night: Serving the People

3/16/2011  Representatives from law schools, health professional schools, seminaries and non-profits were on hand for the My Future Career Night program at Albion College.  They met with students in Upper Baldwin to talk about career and education opportunities in these fields.  Students could also learn about preparing for the Kaplan test while they networked with those in the areas of their interest.  This event was sponsored by the Ford Institute and Career and Internship Center.

Social Media, Professionalism and YOU!

11/16/2010  What you put on Facebook can have an effect on your future!  Letitia Fowler, a doctoral student and former senior director of admissions for Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, was on campus to talk to students about their use of social media and its impact on how they are perceived as candidates for professional school and employment.  She reviewed common mistakes that students make and offered tips for improving their social media image.  This event was sponsored by the Institute for Premedical Professions and Health Sciences and all Ford students were encourage to attend.

2010 Senior Trip to Washington D.C.



3/17/2010 - 3/20/2010 - The Ford Institute's Class of 2010 in conjunction with their PBSV 397 Senior Colloquium course embarked for the nation's capitol to meet with members of congress, staff in the executive branch, and alums in the D.C. area. Highlighting the trip was a meeting with the Commissioner of the FCC Robert McDowell, he discussed issues of internet regulation and net neutrality, and the recently adopted Broadband Deployment Plan. The students also met with Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, with additional stops at U.S. Representatives Dave Camp and Mark Schauer's offices. The students and Director Pheley also attended a dinner with alumni in the area at Buca di Beppo on Dupont Circle.



The State Department Comes to Campus

TimSearsTalk3/15/2010 - Each year Tim Sears of the U.S. Department of State visits campus and speaks with Ford students. This year the students came to the Ford Office and had a casual conversation over pizza about his career and about opportunities for policy students at the Department of State. Tim currently serves as the Deputy Director, of the Office of International Security Operations, in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. Tim is a City of Albion native, and is visiting as part of the State Department's Hometown Diplomats program.

Popcorn, Pajamas, and Propoganda Movie Night

2/18/2010 - As part of the Ford Lecture Series, the institute hosted a documentary movie night for all for Ford students. The evening's screening was Food Inc. by Magnolia Pictures. A large screen was set up in Upper Baldwin Hall and students laid on big pillows and sleeping bags. Popcorn, drinks, and snacks were provided to all in attendance. The movie was followed by a brief discussion.




How Do I Apply to Operation Bentley?

Operation Bentley recruits top students from high schools across Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula, to participate in the program. Participants represent rural, urban, and small city areas with differing views on effective forms of government, personal and political beliefs, and prior experiences. Please note that you must commit to being in the program the entire time to attend Operation Bentley.

Entrance is highly selective and some capable students may be turned away. Admission criteria include high school grades, type of courses taken, extra-curricular activities, recommendation, an essay, and significant personal experiences that may add to the diversity of the group.

Students who are selected to participate receive full scholarships to Operation Bentley, generously funded by the Bentley Foundation of Owosso, Michigan. The only cost to the student is a $50 acceptance fee* and the cost of travel from your home to Albion College.

* We will not turn any qualified candidate away from this program based on inability to pay the acceptance fee.  Anyone qualifying for reduced or free lunch in school is eligible for a scholarship for the acceptance fee.


 The Application

Applying to Operation Bentley on-line is easy. Once you have created an account, you will be able to complete the application process as your time allows. Read through these instructions and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

STEP 1 To apply online to Operation Bentley, create an account. Information provided through this account is securely stored for Operation Bentley on the Albion College server.


STEP 2 Once you have registered, you may begin the application.You will provide basic information and an essay. You can save and return to the application as many times a needed. Once you have completed the applicant information and and uploaded your essay, submit it on-line. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete. Contact us if you have any difficulty in the process.

Complete Application

STEP 3 You must obtain a recommendation from a teacher, counselor, or staff person at your school. The best person is someone who has observed your work, particularly in groups. Talk with this person and ask him/her to complete the on-line form. If your recommender is having difficulty submitting the form, it might be due to controls through the school server. Have him/her contact us and we will find an alternative method of submission.

Recommendation Form

STEP 4 The last step is to print and complete the Application Signature Form. You will not receive final acceptance until we have the form. Original signatures are required to ensure you, your parents, and school personnel understand the commitment needed to participate in Operation Bentley. First, read the "Rules for Participants at Operation Bentley"; then, follow the link to the Application Signature Form to print.

Application Signature Form

STEP 5 Once you have completed the application, you will receive an email confirming we have received all your information, including the recommendation. Keep checking your email for updates on the status of your application! If you haven't heard from us, want to know the status of your application, or just have a question, please contact us via e-mail or phone.

Keep in Touch!

Ford Institute Application


Marlon Brown

Marlon I. Brown earned his Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware, School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy in 2008. Throughout graduate school, Marlon served as a Legislative Fellow with the Delaware State Senate and a Public Administration Fellow with the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware. Marlon also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the American University, School of Public Affairs (2006). In addition to this, he has participated in public policy fellowships at Harvard University and Princeton University, and he has studied abroad at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Prior to coming to Albion College, Marlon was a Management Analyst for the State Court Administrative Office of the Michigan Supreme Court.  He has also worked as a Mayoral Fellow for the City of Baltimore, Md., and he has served as a Congressional intern to both U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and U.S. Representative John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan's 14th Congressional District.

Marlon is a graduate of the 2010 class of the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University. He currently serves on the Ingham County Equal Opportunity Committee and the City of Mason Historic District Commission. Prior to this Marlon served as Secretary of the Warren City Planning Commission and in 2008 he was a candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives.

Outside of his professional and civic life, Marlon is an avid musician who enjoys playing with various ensembles in the Lansing area. He is a native of Warren and lives in Mason with his wife, Margaret.

Internship Sites

Internship Sites

Ford students are required to complete an internship in the field of public service during their time at Albion College. Many students choose internships in area of politics, but many other types of public service internships are available and have been completed by our students. Some Ford students create their own internships (with the permission of the Ford director) in an area that is of special interest to them. Below is a list of recent internships completed by Ford students.


  • Office of Senator Carl Levin, Washington, D.C.
  • Office of Congressman David Camp, Washington D.C.
  • Office of State Representative, Harold Haugh, Lansing, Michigan
  • Michigan Republican Party, Lansing, Michigan
  • Michigan Department of Education, Superintendent's Office, Lansing, Michigan
  • Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC, MP, London, England
  • Kings College, London, England
  • Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Office of the Public Defender, Montgomery County, Washington D.C.
  • KempKlein Law Firm, Troy, Michigan
  • AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois


  • Office of Senator Carl Levin, Washington, D.C.
  • US Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Washington D.C.
  • Eugemot Orphanage, Ghana
  • Albion Healthcare Coalition, Albion, Michigan
  • Albion Downtown Development Authority, Albion, Michigan

FALL 2008

  • Office of Senator Carl Levin, Washington, D.C.
  • Sutter's Mill Fundraising and Strategy, Washington, D.C.
  • Secours Populaire, Paris France


  • District Office of Senator Norm Coleman, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • District Office of Congressman Dale Kildee, Flint, Michigan
  • National Rural Health Association, Government Affairs Office, Washington, D.C.
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Washington, D.C.
  • Washington Center for the Arts, Washington, D.C.
  • British Telecom Legal Counsel Office - Washington, D.C.
  • House of Councilors, Democratic Party of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • Obama for President Campaign, Detroit, Michigan


  • Office of Senator Carl Levin, Washington, D.C.
  • Office of State Senator, Mike Bishop, Lansing, Michigan
  • European Union Parliament, Office of Peter Skinner, Brussels, Belgium
  • Political Journalist, Gallery Watch, Washington, D.C.

FALL 2007

  • Office of Congresswoman Candice Miller, Washington, D.C.
  • Office of Senator Carl Levin, Washington, D.C.
  • Office of Senator Chuck Shumer, Washington, D.C.
  • European Union Parliament, Office of Ryszard Czarnecki, Brussels, Belgium
  • European Union Parliament, Office of Elizabeth Lynne, Brussels Belgium
  • European Union Parliament, Office of Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Brussels, Belgium
  • Islington Labour Group, Party Staffer, London, England
  • The Police Foundation, Communications Division, Washington, D.C.
  • Political Journalism, Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, Chicago, Illinois
  • Public Affairs Intern, Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture, Chicago, Illinois
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, England
  • Overseas Development Institute, London, England
  • Waterwise, London, England
  • Hughman's Law Firm, PLC, London, England
  • Michigan Farm Bureau, Lansing, Michigan
  • Ed Kettle for City Commissioner, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Cook County Public Defender's Office, Chicago, Illinois
  • Political Campaign Investigation Initiative, Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Albion Downtown Development Authority, Albion, Michigan


  • Office of Congressman David Camp, Washington D.C.
  • District Office of Congressman Tim Walberg, Jackson, Michigan
  • U. S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Washington D.C.
  • Office of Congressman Dave Hilldenbrand, Lansing, Michigan
  • Office of Congressman DudleySpade, Lansing, Michigan
  • Office of State Senator Mike Bishop, Lansing, Michigan
  • British Parliament, Office of Jo Swinton, London, England
  • Traverse Legal, PLC., London, England
  • Press Office of Mayor Richard Daly, Chicago, Illinois
  • Secrest Wardle, Counselors at Law, Farmington Hills, Michigan
  • Rehman Robson Group, Governmental Audit,
  • Saginaw County Mental Health Authority, Saginaw, Michigan
  • Dept. of Justice: Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency, Washington, D.C.
  • Kellogg Industries, Department of Government Affairs, Battle Creek and Washington D.C.
  • Cass Corridor Social Services, Detroit, Michigan

Other Internships

What are your aspirations? Would you like to work in marketing? The arts? Medicine? Business? Journalism? Not sure? The staff of the Ford Institute will work with you, one-on-one, and find an internship that matches your interests. The opportunities are endless!

Sara Jongeward at the Detroit Free Press. Spotlight: Sara Jongeward, ’14

A recipient of the Joe Stroud Internship in Public Policy and Journalism, Sara spent the summer of 2012 as an editorial intern for the Detroit Free Press. She wrote a number of editorials that were published in the Sunday edition of the paper and assisted in candidate endorsement interviews for a variety of offices. This internship was a perfect way to combine Sara's interest in creative writing with her passion for public service.

Other Offices

  • Michigan Retailers Association
  • Target Corporation
  • Bohm Theatre
  • Real Big Marketing
  • Sparrow Health Services
  • CBS News
  • Michigan International Speedway
  • Kellogg Company
  • Canterbury on the Lake
  • Reader's Digest

Judicial Internships

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State and Local Government

Many students graduate high school without learning about state or municipality governance, yet knowledge of how to govern at a more local level is just as important as how to govern on a federal level. State and local government interns receive guidance from governors, state legislators, mayors, and city managers. Take advantage of the opportunity to see how policy directly impacts different neighborhoods and communities.

Danielle with Sheryl Mitchell the City Manager for Albion. Spotlight: Danielle Nelson, ’17

During the spring 2015 semester, Danielle interned with Sheryl Mitchell, the City Manager for Albion. Danielle was less of an intern and more of an assistant, attending meetings, creating programs for residents, and even impacting policy decisions such as adding bike lanes to the community. This experience will prepare her for a career as a city planner.

Other Offices

State Legislators

  • House Speaker Jase Bolger
  • Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop
  • Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer
  • State Representative Kate Segal
  • State Senator Gary Peters

State Executive

  • MI Department of Environmental Quality
  • MI Attorney General
  • MI Department of Transportation
  • MI State Board of Education
  • MI Governor Jennifer Granholm

Local Government

  • Miami-Dade School Board
  • Oakland County Dpt of Parks & Rec
  • Portage City Hall
  • Village of Mackinaw City
  • St. Clair County Drain Commissioner

International Programs

Through programs like Boston University or Educational Programmes Abroad (EPA), spend a semester abroad taking classes and/or working at an internship site. With emerging technologies and global interdependence, our world is getting smaller. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and place yourself ahead of the pack with international experience.

Marissa Cloutier in the Ekumfi district of central Ghana with the Global Brigades. Spotlight: Marissa Cloutier, ’14

A member of the Ford Institute and the Institute for Healthcare Professions, Marissa spent the summer of 2013 in the Ekumfi district of central Ghana with the Global Brigades (medical program). As a global health intern she interviewed community members and conducted public health research in order to improve the organization’s medical and public health programs. This experience prepared Marissa for graduate studies in molecular epidemiology.

Other Offices

Government Offices

  • European Union (Brussels)
  • US Department of State (Zambia)
  • House of Commons – Canadian Parliament
  • House of Councilors – Japan
  • Australian Parliament
  • British Parliment
  • American Embassy (Costa Rica)

Non-Government Offices

  • Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies (the Hague)
  • London Art Therapy Centre
  • Checkpoint Charlie Stiftung (Berlin)
  • Shayne Industries’ Headquarters (Hangzhou, China)
  • Secours Populaire Francais (Paris)
  • Think Tank for Action on Social Change (Dublin)
  • St. Jude Hospital (St Lucia, West Indies)

Federal Government

How are laws created? What do members of Congress do when they are drafting or voting on legislation? Is elected office the right path for me? If you have asked yourself any of these questions, an internship with the federal government could be the right experience for you. From the executive branch to the legislative branch, from opportunities in Washington, DC, to local offices, the Ford Institute will help you find an internship that provides insight into our nation's government.

Brennan Ackerman in Washington D.C. Spotlight: Brennan Ackerman, ’15

Brennan spent the summer of 2014 in Washington, DC, interning for his member of Congress, Dan Benishek (MI-1). An aspiring lawyer, Brenan focused on constituent relations (answering the phone, drafting response letters) and researching legislation regarding veteran services for the Congressman and his staff.

Other Offices

Senate Office

  • Carl Levin
  • Debbie Stabenow
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Chuck Schumer
  • Senate Banking Committee

House Office

  • Candace Miller
  • Sander Levin
  • Mark Schauer
  • Dave Camp
  • Mike Rogers

Executive Branch

  • President's Council on Service and Civil Participation
  • White House Office of Political Affairs
  • Office of Vice President, Correspondence Office
  • Department of the Interior, National Parks Service
  • Department of the Treasury, Office of Economic Development

Judicial Offices

For students that have aspirations of attending law school, a real world experience in the legal field will help distinguish yourself from other applicants as well as introduce you to possible career paths for your future degree. Judicial internships experienced by Ford Institute members are typically reserved for law school students, so the rigor of these opportunities give great understanding into different aspects of our legal system.

Danielle with Sheryl Mitchell the City Manager for Albion. Spotlight: Madeline Drury, ’15, and Johanna Schulte, ’15

Through a partnership with Northwestern University School of Law, Maddie and Johanna spent the summer of 2013 in Chicago interning for the Bluhm Legal Clinic's Center of Wrongful Convictions. In addition to learning about the effects of wrongful convictions, they researched evidence for specific cases and helped evaluate whether or not the clinic should take on certain clients. This experience complemented Maddie's studies in sociology and Johanna's pre-law academic focus.

Other Offices


  • 24th District Court
  • Kalamazoo County Juvenile Court
  • Office of Juvenile Court Judge – Hamburg, Germany
  • Ingham County Probate Court
  • 3rd Circuit Court
  • 30th Circuit Court Intensive Neglect Services
  • US Supreme Court

Legal Offices

  • Clark Hill Law Firm
  • Federal Legal Aide Defenders
  • Legal Department – Meritor, Inc.
  • Wayne County Prosecutor
  • District Attorney – City of Philadelphia
  • Administrative Office of the US Courts
  • Essex County Correctional Facility

Congressional Committees


Spotlight »

Noel Niles, '10


Other Committees »

  • US Senate Committee on Labor & Human Resources
  • Committee on Education and Labor
  • US Senate Banking Committee


There are thousands of agencies that make a difference in a variety of areas. Why not intern for one? From non-governmental organizations (NGO) to groups that have some government ties, Ford students have the opportunity to work for a group for which they share similar passions. Raise awareness; work with clientele that need your help; be an agent of change.

Caitlyn Allen, as an intern for the South Lansing Community Development Association. Spotlight: Caitlyn Allen, ’15

During the summer of 2013, Caitlyn interned for the South Lansing Community Development Association. She was responsible for the organization's social media and was shortly promoted to writing their weekly newsletter. She also operated the children's tent at weekly farmers markets. In her free time, Caitlyn would help grow vegetables in the group's hoop house. This experience inspired Caitlyn to continue a career of service with Americorps.

Other Offices


  • Project Interfaith
  • Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
  • Gerald R. Ford Museum
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • Cass Community Social Services
  • SAFE Place Women's Shelter
  • United Way


  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Albion District Library
  • Brooklyn-Irish Hills Chamber of Commerce
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • National Public Radio
  • National Park Service (Gettysburg)
  • Community Action Agency

Institute Application

1. Apply to Albion College

Each Institute at Albion has its own application. Please complete the College application first, and then you may submit your Ford Institute application.

2. Apply to the Ford Institute

We accept 60 students into our first year class. For your application to receive equal consideration with those of other candidates and to receive preferential consideration for a Ford Institute scholarship, it must be submitted no later than March 1.

Applications will continue to be accepted after the March 1 date, and qualified students will be granted admission on a space-available basis.

Use the form below to complete the online interview.

3. Schedule an Interview

Please include on your application a WEEK DAY date or two and general time that would be convenient to visit campus for your interview.  Telephone interviews are also available. The Ford Institute Coordinator will contact you to schedule your interview, or you may e-mail us at  , or call the Ford office at any time: 517/629-0368.

Notification: You will be notified of our decision by letter following your interview.

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Contact Us

Thank you for visiting the site. We'd like to hear from you. Please use the form below to send any questions you may have about the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service.

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Alternatively, you may contact the Ford Institute directly using the information below:

Campus Address:

201 Robinson Hall

Mailing Address:

Gerald R. Ford Institute
Albion College
611 E. Porter St.
Albion, MI  49224

Phone: 517/629-0368
Fax: 517/629-0920

Internship Requirement

Ford students are required to complete an internship in the field of public service during their time at Albion College. Many students choose internships in an area of politics, but numerous other types of public service internships are available and have been completed by our students. Some Ford students work with the Director of the Institute to create their own internships in an area that is of special interest to them.

Internship credit may be obtained one of two ways:


A full-time internship for at least one unit of academic credit (300 hours), or two 150-hour part-time internships (0.5 units each), in an area of public policy and public service are typically completed in the junior year or over the summer break. This can be done locally while taking courses at Albion, or a student may concentrate only on the internship off-campus.

Off-Campus Programs

There are many work/study programs that help arrange an internship in the field of public policy and public service for one to two units of academic credit in conjunction with two to three units of academic course work that are transferable to Albion College. Programs such as the Washington Center, Washington Semester, Chicago Center of Urban Studies, Philadelphia Center, Educational Programs Abroad (EPA), and international experiences through Boston University allow students to explore their academic and career interests in a different city or nation.

For more information regarding internship opportunities, visit the Career and Internship Center website and contact them to set up an appointment.


Click here for examples of recent Ford internships.

Community Service Log

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Internship Forms

The following links will provide you with the forms you will need to complete your internship paperwork. This paperwork is due as stated within each form. It is your responsibility to pay attention to deadlines and to submit your paperwork on time.

Please note: These forms are in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to be able to open these forms.

Registering for an Internship:

General Information:

Internship Forms:

Example of well-written Internship Final Papers:

Current Ford Students

Resources to keep you up to date in the Institute

  • Internship Forms - All the forms you need to complete your internship paperwork

Ford Vision



The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service exists to enhance student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of life’s public dimensions. It strives to develop leaders and engaged citizens who understand the competing and conflicting interests of our world and the ability to advocate for the greater good.


The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service will enable every student to engage as leaders in public policy and service, from grassroots advocacy to political office, regardless of chosen profession. Beginning with the foundation of a liberal arts education, the Institute draws on its core values of excellence in teaching, challenging internship opportunities, and instilling a foundation of ethical and meaningful service to one’s communities to achieve this end.


The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service serves as a bridge between the classroom and real world. It supports the transition of our students as they begin to apply their studies to long-term career and life goals. To this end, its fundamental objectives are to:

  • Actualize the integrity and ideals expounded by Gerald R. Ford throughout his career and service to people across the world,
  • Develop leadership skills to achieve collaborative relationships in a world of competing interests,
  • Provide students diverse opportunities to broaden their thinking and understanding of our global society through dialogues and internships with local, regional, national and international entities in public policy and service,
  • Experience the opportunities, challenges, and satisfaction of providing service to one’s communities,
  • Enhance our understanding of historical and current events through interaction with other students, faculty, colleagues, the community, guest lecturers, and visiting scholars,
  • Engage in meaningful research that will inform the policy and service communities, and
  • Enhance our understanding of the contributions made by Gerald Ford and how the Institute can continue his legacy of egalitarian leadership.


It’s your chance to go out into the real world and implement what you learned in the classroom.

Each student in the Ford Institute must complete a one-unit internship tailored toward their specific career interests. Placements are secured through our strong alumni network, partnerships with national and international programs, and personal or professional connections.

Internships provide insight into what one’s career might look like. Many of our alumni cite their internship as one of the most memorable and life-changing opportunities during their undergraduate studies. To learn more about past student experiences, check out the sections below and browse the Meet Our Alumni pages.

We look forward to finding an insightful experience for you!


Charles Green '10 spent the spring semester of 2009 in London taking classes through Boston University. This international exposure provided Charles with the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe while learning about cultures other than his own.


Christina Borrelli ‘07 spent the fall semester of 2005 serving an internship in German Parliament while taking classes through the international EPA (Educational Programmes Abroad) program.


During the annual Ford Senior Trip to Washington D.C. in 2008, the students had an opportunity to sit down with then Vice President Dick Cheney for over 45 minutes discussing current issues and the student’s career aspirations.


One of our more animated alums, Gerry Martini ’07, spent a semester abroad with Boston University’s London Internship Program. Gerry worked with Health Unlimited coordinating health care services in underserved areas of Third World Nations.


Clark Hoffman '08, served an internship in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C.


Needs Content

Why Ford?

Are you interested in making an impact on your community, your city, your world? Are you motivated to go beyond the surface and what is "required" to learn more regarding topics you feel passionate about? Are you committed to serving others to improve their reality?

The Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service has more than 140 student members from a broad range of majors and minors. Through the Institute, students can pursue a major in public policy or a concentration in public policy and service. An internship or off-campus experience is typically part of the program.

Albion College faculty across a range of academic disciplines are specially chosen to teach Ford Institute courses. We encourage you to explore the Ford Institute website to learn more about our offerings and how we can help you make that impact.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to receive additional information.

About the Ford Institute

FoundingIn 1977, former President Gerald R. Ford announced the establishment of the first institute in the country to prepare undergraduates for public service careers.

Today the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service administers an interdisciplinary program for undergraduate students interested in all aspects of public life. The curriculum, through seminars and coursework, visiting scholars and lecturers, service hours and internships, increases student awareness, understanding, and appreciation of life's public dimensions.

For 29 years, the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Policy and Service at Albion College has been dedicated to improving the human condition by preparing graduates for careers in law, international relations, journalism, public policy, education, and the non-profit sector, just to name a few. Our mission is to equip members as skilled analysts, advocates, and leaders in the increasingly complex world of public service and administration.


Ford Institute students give a presentation.

Completion of all Ford Institute requirements leads to a concentration in Public Policy and Service. A concentration is a focus in a specific area of study that is selected in addition to a major (and minor, if applicable).

Each student is required to choose a major sometime before junior year. Often, course requirements for the Ford Institute overlap with major courses or other requirements of the college. We have student members from over thirty different majors. Involvement in the Ford Institute is an exceptional complement to a range of interests. Opportunities through the Ford Institute help students find specific interests and strengths, as well as network with alumni and experts within their fields.

The Ford Institute concentration requires 5.5 units of coursework to complete, plus one unit of internship, as well as attendance at lectures and a commitment to community service.

Ford Requirements

  • PBSV 101 – Intro to Public Service
  • PLSC 101 – Politics of American Democracy
  • PLSC 216 – Public Policy Analysis
  • General (at least one)
    • Communications – Public Speaking
    • Communications – Argumentation and Advocacy
    • English – Advanced Expository Writing
    • English – Introductory Creative Writing
    • English – Multimedia Journalism
    • Economics & Management – Intro to Micro-Economics
    • One semester of modern language at the 200 level or above
  • Philosophy (at least one)
    • Philosophy 201 – Ethics
    • Philosophy 202 – Social Philosophy
    • Philosophy 206 – Contemporary Moral Problems
    • Philosophy 301 – Environmental Ethics
    • Philosophy 302 – Leadership Ethics
    • Philosophy 303 – Business Ethics
    • Philosophy 304 – Ethics and Public Policy
    • Philosophy 308 – Biomedical Ethics
    • Philosophy 309 – International Ethics and Global Development
    • Philosophy 335 – Philosophical Issues in the Law
    • Religion 242 – Christian Ethics
  • PBSV 397 – Senior Colloquium (spring of senior year)
  • Internship (one unit minimum)
  • Community Service (ten hours x number of semesters in Ford)
  • Lectures and Events (at least two per semester + occasional mandatory)