Two students named Cleveland Foundation Fellows

“The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. If the philosopher Herbert Spencer was correct, then the University of Akron has proved itself through two students who will work to change the world-or at least their communities. Evelyn Burnett and Darin Siley were recently awarded the Cleveland Executive Fellowship, along with five other students from universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State University and the College of Wooster.”

The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.

If the philosopher Herbert Spencer was correct, then the University of Akron has proved itself through two students who will work to change the world-or at least their communities.

Evelyn Burnett and Darin Siley were recently awarded the Cleveland Executive Fellowship, along with five other students from universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Ohio State University and the College of Wooster. Ramona Ortega-Liston, associate professor of public administration and urban studies, has worked extensively with both of these students.

We are proud that two of our outstanding MPA students have been named Cleveland Foundation Fellows, she said. Both have exceptional scholastic records and have proven themselves to be future leaders for Cleveland and the state of Ohio.

This is an unprecedented achievement for them and for the University of Akron and the department of public administration & urban studies.

The fellowship is extremely prestigious, Ortega said.

Candidates are selected from a pool of 100 applicants. It is then narrowed to 20 finalists, and then to a final seven recipients of the actual association.

These recipients will be trained in numerous environments; the year-long fellowship includes assignments in nonprofit associations, public and government education and private and corporate workplaces. Through contacts they make and interviews, the fellows will create ideas of their own and utilize them in innovative ways to design workshops and seminars.

This fellowship will also take them on a two-week journey to China where they will learn and experience new ideas about culture.

Evelyn Burnett is currently a master’s student in public administration and will graduate in December before beginning her fellowship. She possesses a bachelor’s degree in business and organizational communications and public relations, with a double minor in sales and marketing and dance.

Burnett also studied in Ghana, Africa in 2004 and is currently the president of the Public Administration and Urban Studies Student Association (PAUSSA), of which Ortega-Linston is faculty adviser.

What she [Evelyn] has managed to accomplish as PAUSSA president for the past year has been exemplary, Ortega-Linston said. She has successfully brought students together in special networking events with community leaders and members of the PAUS faculty.

After Darin Siley received a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio State University, he completed his master’s degree at the University of Akron in public policy. While finishing his master’s degree, Siley was president of PAUSSA and ran for Hudson City Council.

Darin Siley left behind a legacy of community service and academic accomplishment, Ortega-Liston said. Among other things, he helped raise thousands of dollars for student scholarships and participated in the Akron Hurricane Katrina clean-up in New Orleans.

Students Burnett and Siley have not only made a name for themselves, but also for the University of Akron.

It is exciting that the department of public administration and urban studies has had two of our finest scholars selected as Cleveland Foundation Fellows, Ortega-Liston said. I believe it is unprecedented that two students from the University of Akron have been chosen to receive this outstanding recognition.

The Cleveland Foundation Fellows Program is one of the finest fellowship programs and we know our students are prepared to make a significant contribution to the program.