Dallas County Government Internship Positions (GIP) Fellows

[1st Dallas County Commissioners Court Fellows, in partnership with SMU, get ceremoniously inducted into service today]

Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012
By: Maria Arita

Jeremy Rechtien, Pol-Sci, SMU Pascual Pellegrino, Pre-Law/Pol-Sci, SMU Marva McGrew, Assoc. Dir. Hegi Center SMU/Commissioners, Judge, GIP Fellows

Two SMU juniors, Pascual Pellegrino and Jeremy Rechtien, were selected among a pool of applicants at SMU as the first two GIP Fellows to serve for a one year period at Dallas County. Both will be given projects and specific assignments designed to propel them forward in their chosen careers. Upon completion of those projects they will be given college credit, a personal recommendation by Judge Clay Jenkins and unprecedented real-world political experience and exposure to contacts and resources for their chosen fields upon graduation. Their first assignment was, to take part in a telephone discussion directly with the White House and President Obama regarding issues pertinent to the new student loan rates for higher education. The Dallas County GIP program was coordinated between the Dallas County PIO’s office and the Hegi Center. Marva McGrew was integral to that process and was present in Commissioners Court representing SMU. See program description below:

The Dallas County “Government Internship Positions (GIP) Fellows Program” recruits highly qualified undergrad or Grad-level students, through a partnership with SMU, from a variety of disciplines to participate in a unique unpaid mentoring program through Commissioners Court. Students learn about government from a political, fiscal and/or public relations perspective. Students must be self-motivated with an excellent work ethic, possess good communications and social networking skills, be able to work under pressure and be a team player

The goal of the program is to provide students with monitored, well supervised real world experiences across various aspects of government and business in order to equip them for either public or private career tracks. Through this unique government program, GIP Fellows will gain invaluable insight into the way government works on a County-wide level while applying computer, technical, communications, and government and business skills to complement their academic studies and overall resume. The newly formed program matches students or Grads to County departments and mentors towards the development and completion of specific projects and innovations. Fellows will emerge with a solid foundation for careers as elected officials, political science researchers, public administrators, journalists, producers, communicators and/or public relations professionals.

Jeremy Rechtien is a Political Science major and fluent in Arabic. Jeremy has expressed the desire to learn about government from multiple points of view. With a near 3.8 GPA Jeremy is not only smart but comes with some knowledge of marketing and advertising and says “I want a chance to make a working contribution to the future of Dallas County.” Rechtien will be working directly under Maria Arita, PIO, in the Office of Homeland Security.

Pascual Pellegrino is a Pre-Law, Political Science and International Studies major who is tri-lingual (fluent in Spanish, English and Italian). He is very active in campus politics and an accomplished fundraiser for Dedman College. He seeks a career in community affairs and government and is interested in learning more about the Obama White House and law, stating “this is what I want to do…I’m very excited to serve my County and looking forward to the experience.” He will be working directly under Judge Jenkins.

We believe that the two students chosen to serve the County in this capacity represent both sides of the political spectrum and the kind of Mosaic that is now Dallas County. We welcome our first GIP Fellows – Pascual Pellegrino and Jeremy Rechtien.