Fall Seminars

During the fall semester, students learn about the policy-making process and discuss subject-based issues in a seminar course led by an industry expert. Site visits to federal agencies, guest speakers, and round table sessions ensure that students receive a variety of real-world perspectives on their chosen policy area. If you are interested in international affairs you may go to Global Fellows in Washington, D.C., our sister program, which has four terrific options, including Responses to Global Challenges! Note: All FGSM courses are cross-listed with Honors courses.

Students in the program choose from the following seminars for their fall Federal Fellows seminar (3 credits):


Political Engagement and Advocacy (FGSM310)

Tuesday, 6:30p.m. to 9:30pm, Symons Hall - SYM 0215
Please note that this course is cross-listed with Honors.
Course Description:
This course will examine questions and issues in the practice of political engagement and advocacy. The seminar will focus on the art of building a lifetime of political engagement (at local, state, or national levels) and will cover such topics as how to participate in the political process, advocate for causes, run for office, and influence or make policy. This non-partisan course will also stress the importance of civil discourse across political parties. The class will utilize public institution publications and government documents, as well as academic literature, in the readings. Practitioners with experience in the political, civic engagement, and advocacy arenas will share their knowledge and expertise with students and participate in class discussions.

Instructor Information: Dale Crowell has over 20 years of political development, public affairs, community relations and civic education experience working in the federal government, private sector, non-profit, and international organizations. He currently serves as the Congressional Liaison for the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States where he manages relations with the United States Congress. He has also served as the director of communications for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Pan American Development Foundation as well as a congressional staffer. Mr. Crowell has also held positions with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. He is a doctoral candidate in American Politics at Catholic University where he earned a Master of Arts in Congressional and Presidential Studies and was APSA Minority Fellow. He was also a former McNair Scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park where he earned his bachelor's degree in Government and Politics.

Energy and Environmental Policy (FGSM340)

Tuesday, 3:30p.m. to 6:30pm, Hornbake - HBK 0125
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378J.
Course Description:
This course will explore issues of environmental sustainability through an investigation of federal policymaking in energy, climate change, and sustainable development. Students will examine efforts of the U.S. government to respond to linked challenges of increasing energy demand, climate change, growing population, and poverty alleviation. Guest speakers from Congress, federal agencies, and the non-governmental sector will highlight domestic initiatives as well as the role of the U.S. government in international agreements related to climate change and sustainable development.

Instructor Information: Ed Fendley has served in the Federal government for 30 years, specializing in climate change and sustainable development. He has worked as a Foreign Service Officer, as a negotiator dealing with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and as a White House staffer. Mr. Fendley now serves in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Community Revitalization, where he helps people build walkable, healthy and economically vibrant neighborhoods. Mr. Fendley also served as an elected member of the School Board in his home town of Arlington, Virginia. But what he really wants to do full-time is ride his bike around the country sampling local food and drink.

Tom Carter is an expert in international, federal, and state government affairs in Washington, DC, with an emphasis on climate change, clean energy, and environmental regulation and legislation. In over two decades of public policy work in the nation’s capital, he has served in executive positions for clean energy companies and for the cement and concrete industries. He is also an adjunct professor at George Mason University and at the University of Maryland, teaching classes on environmental law and policy, sustainability, environmental justice, and related topics. Mr. Carter’s non-professional interests include cycling and music. While earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina, Mr. Carter founded a music management company and record label and toured nationally with an indie rock band. Mr. Carter is also an avid cyclist.

Homeland and National Security Policy (FGSM330)

Monday, 6:30p.m. to 9:30pm, Plant Science Building - PLS 1117
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378G.
Course Description:
This course will examine the concept of U.S. homeland and national security in the context of recent history. It will supply students with an understanding about the nature of threats and major vulnerabilities that are the focus of homeland and national security efforts, with emphasis on events since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The course will pay special attention to implications of policies and strategies regarding the threats of terrorism. Expert practitioners from the government or private sector, responsible for homeland security and counterterrorism operations, will often visit class, address topics, and participate in seminar discussion. Students will also learn and practice fundamental skills of analysis, communication, and collaboration that are necessary for success in the professional workplace.

Instructor Information: Magdalena A. Bajll is a senior manager at the National Counterterrorism Center, and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Until January 2010, Ms. Bajll worked as a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security(DHS). She joined DHS when it was first established in March 2003, and held various leadership, policy, planning, and operational positions throughout the Department. Prior to her work at DHS, Ms. Bajll served at the Department of Justice in the Office for Domestic Preparedness. She started her career as a consultant at Research Planning, Inc., where she worked on counterterrorism, national preparedness, and defense projects for the U.S. government. Ms. Bajll has an extensive background in domestic and global security issues. She holds a B.A. in History from Rutgers University, a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College, where she was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate.

Public Health Policy (FGSM320)

Tuesday, 3:30p.m to 6:30pm, School of Public Health - SPH 0308
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378E.
Course Information:
Health care policies determine who receives health benefits, what type of care is available, who administers care, how frequently care is provided, and how much care will cost. These policy decisions are critical in influencing the health and well-being of our society. This course examines the formulation, implementation and evaluation of health policy. The course also explores the complexities and challenges facing the American health care system. Students will formulate a policy brief and conduct an impact analysis to better understand the potential benefits and costs of health policies addressing issues such as child health, health reform, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, smoking cessation or injury prevention.

Instructor Information: Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH, is a community pediatrician and child advocate with experience in bioengineering, medicine, public health, community-based programming, and public policy. Dr. Kessel is the Senior Child Health Scholar in Residence at the C E Koop Institute, Dartmouth College and Medical School, and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Dr. Kessel is actively involved in projects focused on eliminating child poverty, advocacy and science related the care and cure of rare diseases, community-based strategies to prevent gun violence aimed at children, community data systems, and standards of care for newborns and children requiring cardio-thoracic surgery. Previously, Dr. Kessel served in the US Public Health Service as an Assistant Surgeon General and senior advisor on child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeons General, and Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations. Dr. Kessel has been involved in setting child health policy, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, guidelines for health supervision of children and adolescents; preventing childhood obesity through federal initiatives and community-based research that guides grandparents in helping their grandchildren make health choices; and the Healthy Start Initiative to reduce infant mortality in the US. Dr. Kessel serves on several boards including the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition Board; the Sesame Workshop Health and Nutrition workgroup; PBS KIDS Health Council; Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation; Healthy Children, Healthy Futures Organization; the Fischell Bioengineering Advisory Committee, UMD; and others. He has received the USPHS Distinguished Service Medal the highest USPHS recognition award, the Drexel 100 Distinguished Alumni Award, the Einstein College of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, and others. Dr. Kessel studied electrical engineering at Drexel University; medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and, public health at the Johns Hopkins University. He completed his pediatric residency and primary care fellowship at Boston City Hospital. He was a RWJF Clinical Scholar and an ambulatory pediatrics fellow at the George Washington University’s Children’s Hospital National Medical Center

Elaine Anderson, Ph.D. chairs the Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health. She is a member of the State of Maryland Governor's Fatherhood Advisory Council and holds Fellow Status for the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Anderson is a former Congressional Science Fellow (1985-86) and has conducted policy analysis and research for the U.S. Senate, the Minnesota and Connecticut State Legislatures and two presidential campaigns.