University at Albany

Seven Rockefeller College Alumni Selected as Excelsior Service Fellows

In fall 2015, seven Rockefeller College alumni will begin their service to the public as Excelsior Service Fellows. The New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship attracts the best and brightest who are called to careers in public service. 

Recent Rockefeller College graduates Jessica Aubin, Matt Curran, Jerome Han, Geoff Orokos, Ben O'Shaughnessy, Emily Steinbach, and Erin Trowbridge were selected as fellows because of their outstanding academic achievement and commitment to leadership within New York State.  The fellowship is a two-year program that combines both experiential and professional development opportunities designed to nurture and cultivate the next generation of leaders in New York State government.  

Jessica Aubin will receive her PhD in Political Science from Rockefeller College in August 2015. "My time at Rockefeller College has been incredibly meaningful both personally and professionally," says Jessica. The College has provided me with opportunities to advance my interpersonal skills, collaborate on teams, and grow my professional network."  Formerly a graduate assistant, Jessica conducted research for the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council for the past two years while working on her PhD.  She is a graduate of Henninger High School in Syracuse N.Y.  Jessica's academic interests include American politics and public policy.  "I am excited about the opportunity to continue to cultivate relationships with New York State policymakers and play a significant role in cultural, societal and systems change," says Jessica.
Jessica's Placement:  NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Matt Curran received both his BA and MPA from the University at Albany. He credits Rockefeller College with helping him identify his desired career path. "The Rockefeller faculty, administration and alumni all care about your success and always go the extra mile to provide you with the guidance and resources you need to achieve your career goals," says Matt.  During his time in Albany, Matt interned at the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services as well as the National Center for Security and Preparedness.  "By investing in its fellows,  New York State proves its commitment to cultivating the next generation of leaders for our state," says Matt.  He adds that he is looking forward to "unparalleled networking opportunities and professional development seminars."
Matt's Placement:  Division of Policy and Program Development, NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services

Jerome Han received his MPA from Rockefeller College with concentrations in policy analytic methods and global affairs.  Jerome is a Capital Region resident who grew up in Latham, N.Y.  "Rockefeller College gave me the tools and skills necessary to better understand the dynamic environment here in Albany. With passionate professors and a diverse selection of courses, Rockefeller encouraged me to think critically about issues that I deeply care about while giving me the skill set to apply this knowledge to the real world," says Jerome.  He began as an intern in the New York State Executive Chamber and was later honored as a confidential assistant in January 2015.  Jerome looks forward to serving the people of New York and making a positive impact in Albany.
Jerome's Placement:  NYS Executive Chamber

Geoffrey Orokos received his MPA from Rockefeller College with a concentration in policy analytic methods. An Albany High School graduate, Geoffrey interned in the New York State Department of Health's Office of Health Insurance Programs. "Rockefeller College has equipped me with the knowledge, skill set, critical-thinking techniques, and core-competency proficiencies necessary to contribute as an Excelsior Service Fellow to New York State's nation-leading policies and programs. Through study and extracurricular activity, I developed and strengthened my individual principles of equity, representativeness, responsiveness, transparency, and fair-process in protecting the rights of a diverse citizenry as a public administrator," says Geoffrey.  "As a fellow I am eager to continue New York State's tradition of exceptional governance with the same reason, science and progress that Rockefeller College has instilled in our next generation of leaders."
Geoffrey's Placement:  NYS Office of the Medicaid Inspector General

Ben O'Shaughnessy received his MPA with concentrations in government information strategy and management and homeland security from Rockefeller College. During his time as a graduate student, Ben interned for the National Center for Security & Preparedness and the SUNY Center for International Development. "At Rockefeller I found mentors that helped me channel my academic interests into fruitful professional experiences. I look forward to meeting and working with other like-minded recent graduates and experienced public servants interested in building a New New York," says Ben.
Ben's Placement:  Real Property Management & Facilities Group, NYS Office of General Services

Emily Steinbach earned her MPA in nonprofit management and leadership at Rockefeller College. A native of the Capital Region, Emily has had an awareness of state government since she was a child. "I look forward to learning a great deal about New York State public policy, working with like-minded, highly-driven individuals, and expanding my professional network," says Emily. "Rockefeller College provides a classroom experience that mirrors the professional environment. I have been able to develop competencies such as the ability to work in groups, write memos, deliver presentations, and think critically." Emily notes that the Rockefeller Office of Career Development has been "an invaluable resource." The Career Development Office directed Emily toward a fellowship with the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. Through this experience, Emily says she has grown as a leader and thinker.
Emily's Placement:   Office of Health Insurance Programs, Division of Program Development and Management, Department of Health

Erin Trowbridge received her MPA from Rockefeller College in spring 2015.  While at Rockefeller, Erin concentrated her studies in women and public policy and policy analytic methods. "Through Rockefeller College's rigorous curriculum, I was able to build up a basis of knowledge that is indispensable to understanding and analyzing policy. I gained experience using comprehensive and practical tools relevant to a wide range of areas including budgeting, financial management, economics, decision making, and public management, both in and outside the classroom," says Erin.  A former intern at the NYS Department of Health and SUNY Center for International Development, Erin hails from Encinitas, California and studied development studies at UC Berkeley.  She is looking forward to learning about and contributing to New York State government.
Erin's Placement:  Office of the Prevention of Domestic Violence, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services