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CWGCS Fellowship Gives Ibañez a Career Boost

August 11, 2009



Laura Ibañez  was a Center for Women in Government and Civil Society Fellow.

Laura Ibañez, who gained valuable experience as a Center for Women in Government and Civil Society Fellow this spring, is now a policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Labor's youth team in Washington, D.C. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

Laura Ibañez has gone from Center for Women in Government and Civil Society (CWGCS) Fellow to a job in Washington, D.C., where she helps develop federal policy for at-risk youth.

One of six graduates from the fellowship program in 2009, Ibañez has two passions: to work with disconnected youth and to protect the labor rights of immigrants.

"There are indeed opportunities in government," said Ibañez. "Maybe the system hasn't changed yet but the rules can change – there is a way to navigate the system to leverage those opportunities to create change that truly impacts people's lives."

The daughter of Mexican parents who moved to California before she was born, Ibañez has taken a great interest in stemming workplace violations of immigrants’ rights. "Hard work should equal economic security for all people, including immigrants," she said.

The fellowship program at CWGCS offers semester-long placements in government and public policy internships. UAlbany is uniquely located for these opportunities.

"The Fellowship on Women and Public Policy is a springboard to careers in public policy," said CWGCS Interim Director Dina Refki. "Our fellows undergo an intensive leadership development training which equips them with the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to become effective leaders in the policy arena."

Group photo of the 2009 Fellows on Women and Public Policy.

From left, Women and Public Policy Fellows Mary Olushoga, Jillian Faison, Elizabeth Becker, Trina Scalza, Christina Hansen, and Laura Ibañez. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

Ibañez earned a master's degree in May from Milano The New School in Manhattan. CWGCS placed her in the New York State Department of Labor, where she worked on issues for disconnected youth.

"The Center staff did everything possible to ensure that I was assigned a placement that was aligned to my interests and passion and that would provide me a meaningful professional development experience," Ibañez said.

Today Ibañez is a policy adviser for the U.S. Department of Labor's youth team in Washington, D.C., where she and her colleagues recommend ways to increase youth access to the work force.

Elizabeth (Libby) A. Becker, Jillian (Jill) Faison, Christina (Tina) Hansen, Mary Olushoga, and Trina Scalza, were also 2009 fellows. 

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