News from the Bush School

Bush School Students Serve on local Nonprofit Boards

November 29, 2016

Bush School students

Bush School Students

One of the foundations of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University is the belief of its namesake that public service is a noble calling. To that end, an education in public service requires not only a strong academic foundation but also real-world experience, hands-on work in the field. A group of students from the Bush School have the opportunity to blend study and practice by serving on volunteer boards with nonprofit organizations in the Bryan-College Station community.

The School’s Bush Board Fellows Program places a student on the board of a local nonprofit organization as a non-voting member. This service-driven program gives students the opportunity to work alongside community leaders in major local organizations, gaining experience in public leadership and a better understanding of how nonprofit organizations function. The Fellows see the impact their service has on the community and how important board members are to an effective operation. As younger members of a board, they also bring fresh ideas that may not have been considered in the past.

“This program provides unparalleled access to how nonprofits really work,” said Dr. Will Brown, director of the Bush School’s nonprofit program. “Students become active participants on their respective boards by serving on committees, engaging in discussions, and providing advice to the board and executives. They are able to bring a unique perspective to the organization and gain practical insight from firsthand involvement .”

Fellows serve two-year terms on the boards of local organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of the Brazos Valley, Habitat for Humanity, and the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce. 

Second-year Bush School student JoEllen Reece served as a Bush Board Fellow with the United Way last year and was since given the opportunity to assist in grant review within the organization.

“Serving the organization as a Bush School Fellow broadened my knowledge of nonprofits by adding to what I have learned in the classroom and will be valuable in my future career endeavors,” said Reece. “I really enjoy my role within the organization, and I realize that this opportunity has reinforced my ambition to enter a career in public service,” she added.

All degree candidates at the Bush School are eligible to apply for the Bush Board Fellows Program. Seventeen new Fellows were accepted this fall and will serve for one year.