Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship
The Patricia Roberts Harris Public Affairs Fellowship is a one-year fellowship program designed to provide a dynamic professional development experience to Howard University students interested in public affairs. Established to honor one of Howard University’s most illustrious alumni, the fellowship provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the public affairs landscape and the competencies necessary to pursue such a career. The fellowship is administered through the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center and will aid students in recognizing the central role of public affairs in an increasingly global world.
Over the course of the fellowship year, fellows will engage in three major programmatic components: mentorship, internship, and the Patricia Roberts Harris Annual Lecture in Public Affairs. In addition, fellows will participate in various service-learning opportunities throughout the fellowship period.
Fellows will receive a minimum $2500 stipend for the summer internship, based on the internship placement.
Mentorship – The PRH Fellowship offers fellows the unique opportunity to gain one-on-one mentorship and guidance from an accomplished public affairs professional.
- Fellows and Mentors will meet at least once a month to discuss career goals and interests.
- Fellows will submit brief blog reflections during the mentorship and internship component of the fellowship.
Professional Development Workshops – PRH Fellows meet once a month to discuss topics pertinent for their career advancement.
- Topics require students to consider and develop new skills necessary for their professional success.
Internship – PRH Fellows will have access to personalized assistance securing a domestic or international summer internship. Internships will supplement coursework, encourage students to consider a career in public affairs, and assure students stand out in the competitive job market.
- The Internship Experience will take place during the summer and should last at least 8 weeks with a minimum of 24 hours/week.
- Fellows may opt to create their own internship experience that will be subject to the PRH Program Coordinator’s approval.
- Fellows will be required to submit blog posts to serve as a record of their internship experience.
Patricia Roberts Harris Annual Lecture – PRH Fellows will assist with the planning and logistics of the lecture, which is designed to encourage critical analysis on timely issues in the field of international public affairs.
- The PRH Annual Lecture convenes speakers to discuss pressing socio-political issues, and the speaker, also known as the Visiting Fellow, will engage in informal seminars with students and faculty while on campus.
- Applicant must be a student at Howard University with at least sophomore status on the date of the application deadline. Graduate and professional students are also eligible to apply.
- Applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at the time of application. Grade appeals will be considered on a case by case basis.
- International students must have employment authorization.
- Applicant must have at least one full semester remaining at Howard following the summer internship.
Howard students who wish to be considered for the Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship must submit the following by the deadline. The Application for the 2021 PRH Fellows will close in October or November 2020.
- Completed Application Form
- Two letters of recommendation by a professor and/or employer
**Selected Fellows will need to comply with the following:
- All Fellowship components
- Attendance at two or more of the Mindful Travelers Workshops and the Final Pre-Departure Orientation if the fellow will take part in an international internship (April 2021, date TBD)
- 3 Blog Posts
- Activities as assigned
Patricia Roberts Harris: A Legacy of Excellence
The PRH Fellowship is made possible due to a bequest issued by renowned Howard University alumna Patricia R. Harris (1924 – 1985) to Howard University in 1987. Ambassador Harris remains an exemplary stalwart of international public affairs and is remembered for her keen intellect and irrefutable integrity. As a 1945 summa cum laude graduate of Howard University’s College of Liberal Arts, Harris was lauded for her contributions to the public affairs domain both domestically and internationally. This included many “firsts,” as listed below:
- First female Dean of Howard University’s School of Law (1969).
- First African American woman to hold a U.S. Ambassadorship with her appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg (1965-1967).
- First African American woman to hold a cabinet position with her appointment as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1977-1979).
- First African American person to hold the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, later Health and Human Services (1979-1981).
Her remarkable accomplishments in the field of public affairs were nationally recognized with the January 2000 issuance of a commemorative stamp in her honor.