Eagleton Fellows Class of 2020

Monday, May 18, 2020 – Last week, the Eagleton Institute recognized 27 graduate students from all three Rutgers campus locations as the Eagleton Graduate Fellowship Class of 2020. The cohort included students seeking degrees in law, history, public policy, women’s and gender studies, public administration, criminal justice, landscape architecture, social work, city and regional planning, and business.

The virtual ceremony attracted more than 80 viewers and participants including the Fellows, their families, internship supervisors, as well as Eagleton faculty, staff, and Visiting Associates. The program included remarks from faculty members Rich Bagger, Joe Doria and Pete McDonough and from class representatives Zane Byrd, Mariel DiDato and Ben Ojerkis. Michael Aron, senior political correspondent for NJTV gave the keynote address.

“Our democracy will be strong and we will be successful because of the young people such as yourselves who are committed to education, democracy, involvement, and learning. They will speak out and be leaders. That’s what the Eagleton Fellowship is all about – becoming leaders and getting involved,” said Joseph V. Doria, Jr., Eagleton adjunct faculty member.

“You are all now members of a very special group… You should be proud of yourselves for what you’ve accomplished,” said Peter J. McDonough, Jr., Eagleton adjunct faculty member and senior vice president for external affairs for Rutgers University. “I hope that the lessons you’ve learned and the friends you’ve made while at Eagleton stick with you.”

Richard Bagger, Eagleton adjunct faculty member, said, “Your passion for public service is needed now more than ever. We can take confidence in the impact all of you will have during the course of your careers.”

“During my time at Eagleton, I have been educated, tested, and truly inspired. At a time of such great uncertainty, I am certain about the things I want to do in my life because of Eagleton,” said Eagleton Fellow Zane Byrd.

“Every Eagleton class was so eye opening and filled with interesting discussions that you couldn’t replicate it anywhere else,” said Eagleton Fellow Ben Ojerkis.

“My fellow classmates have reaffirmed why I got involved in government and politics in the first place. When I look at the Fellows, I see a group of driven, intelligent and genuinely good people who want to make positive changes for their community and who got involved in this work for all the right reasons… Within this cohort of Fellows, I see the future of American government and policy and the good things that are to come because of that,” said Eagleton Fellow Mariel DiDato.