Allegheny County Scholars in Local Government looking for the Next Generation of Leaders
Scholarship. Leadership. Service.
The Scholars in Local Government Program is looking for the best and the brightest to enter into rewarding and impactful careers in public service. The Scholars program allows talented individuals to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to local government – Scholars apply their skills and creativity to real-world problems and use their leadership abilities to influence policy and practice in Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services, an agency hailed as a national model for innovative and effective government.
The Scholars in Local Government Program is a highly competitive career-development initiative designed to attract graduates of masters- and doctoral-level programs of social work, public policy, public administration, law, business, and related fields to the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and join the Department for one-year appointments, during which they complete high-profile projects and analyze difficult problems. Specific projects are tailored to the individual skill sets and interests of the scholars. In addition to on-the-job training, scholars are given unique opportunities to meet with high-level government officials, foundation executives, and nonprofit and private sector leaders, as well as to participate in educational and professional development opportunities. Scholars who complete their commitment, receive a favorable evaluation, and want to continue working for the County will be given special consideration for full-time employment.
Am I eligible?
Recent graduates of masters- and doctoral-level programs of social work, public policy, public administration, law, business, and related fields graduating within 18 months of the application deadline are eligible for the Scholars Program. Although there is no Allegheny County residency requirement, candidates must be willing to move to the Pittsburgh region by the summer of their Scholars year. Candidates are from diverse backgrounds and are selected on the basis of academic and professional experience, demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to public service, communication skills, and creativity.
Application materials, described below, must be submitted and postmarked no later than November 30, 2012. A committee of reviewers from the Department of Human Services and partner organizations will evaluate all applications and invite suitable applicants to interview in Pittsburgh in January 2013. At this session, applicants will be evaluated based on an individual interview and analytic exercise. Candidates will be informed of their status by late February 2013. Scholars begin work in the summer of 2013.
How do I apply?
To be considered for the Scholars program, applicants must provide:
- A fully completed application form ,
- A professional résumé,
- A copy of each application essay, as outlined in the application form,
- Two letters of recommendation (one from an academic institution and one from an employer), and
- An official transcript from every post-secondary educational institution attended
Application materials for the Scholars in Local Government program may be submitted by mail or email. All transcripts must be official, so if the university does not have technology to send them securely via email, transcripts must be sent by mail (copies scanned by applicants are not official). Letters of recommendation may be sent in a sealed envelope with the recommenders signature across the seal, or may be submitted via email directly by the recommender. All materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the address below.
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions. Or, call 412-350-5226 or email email@example.com.
Ms. Megan Good
Attn: Scholars in Local Government application
Allegheny County Department of Human Services
One Smithfield St., 4th Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Meet this year's Scholars
Ellen Ramsden, MPA
Ellen Ramsden works under the supervision of Walter Smith in the Executive Office at DHS. She is involved in a variety of projects related to the agency’s goal of administrative and service integration.
In April 2012, Ellen received a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management from the Graduate School of Public Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. During her time at GSPIA, Ellen completed internships with the Township of Upper St. Clair and the Department of Human Services. At the Township of Upper St. Clair, Ellen primarily wrote grant proposals on behalf of the Township for local, state and federal government funding opportunities for projects ranging from increasing accessibility of Township buildings to partnership with the school district to improve school security. At the Department of Human Services, Ellen worked under the supervision of Samantha Murphy in the Office of Community Relations. She assisted Samantha with the implementation of the state mandated CYF Education Screen and reorganized and updated education-related content on the DHS public website. Also during her time at GSPIA, Ellen joined the Board of Directors of the Human Services Center Corporation in Turtle Creek, PA, where she is now serving her second term.
Prior to graduate school, Ellen worked for two and a half years as a Legal Assistant and Office Manager for a solo-practitioner attorney and Guardian ad Litem. In this position, Ellen developed a strong interest in child welfare and juvenile justice policy and practice in Pennsylvania. Ellen received her B.A. in Policy Management in 2007 from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She is originally from Marietta, NY but had the opportunity to travel all over the United States due to her father's career with the National Park Service.
Kelly Wilkinson, MPA/MSW
Kelly currently works under the supervision of Deputy Director Mildred Morrison in the Area Agency on Aging at DHS. She is involved in a variety of projects throughout the Bureaus at AAA related to the office’s goal of serving the needs of older adults especially the most vulnerable, today and in the future.
Kelly Wilkinson joins DHS after earning a Master in Public Administration and a Master in Social Work in April 2012. In 2009, Kelly began a joint degree program through the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh. During this time, Kelly completed multiple internships including a graduate student researcher position in the Division of Applied Research and Evaluation at the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Child Development, a volunteer coordinator position at Prevention Point Pittsburgh, and an LGBT Affairs internship at DHS.
Kelly, raised in Oil City, PA, moved to Pittsburgh in 2003 to attend college. During that time, Kelly embraced many volunteer and internship experiences such as interning with Allegheny County Children, Youth, and Family Services as well as participating in an opportunity working with community health workers in Tanzania, East Africa. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. Her academics and activities framed a sincere interest and appreciation of social consciousness and responsibility, as well as culture change, diversity, and progress.
Kelly is active in the community and is proud to be an advocate for social justice. She continues to volunteer at Prevention Point Pittsburgh, and she currently serves on the LGBTQ Advisory Council at DHS.
Organizations Scholars have joined following their program year:
- Allegheny County Department of Human Services
- Bethany Hospice
- Carnegie Science Center
- Three Rivers Center for Independent Living
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
2012 Scholars in Local Government Application
2012 Scholars in Local Government Brochure