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DeBellis ’18 Earns a Place at Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute

A smiling young woman
Author: 
Amber Siddiqui ’17
Publication date: 
April 12, 2017
"I took a political science class my sophomore year and decided that I really wanted to do that; the liberal arts core curriculum allowed me to have classes under my belt before I decided to switch majors."—Ruby DeBellis ’18, Bloomington

Ruby DeBellis '18, Bloomington, has been awarded a spot in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA JSI) at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. DeBellis was selected based on her academic record and her involvement in student activities at Morris.

The PPIA Fellowship is designed to help students get master's degrees in fields relating to public policy and international affairs. It also serves as a networking opportunity by providing fellows the chance to connect with about 4,000 alumni sharing the same public policy interests.

DeBellis stands out for her involvement in student activities across campus. This spring she was appointed secretary of Student Services and joined the executive committee of the Morris Campus Student Association (MCSA). She was also Morris's Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition coordinator and an organizer of Support the U Day, an event that brought students from all five University of Minnesota campuses to the capitol for lobbying. In addition to being on three MCSA committees in under a year, DeBellis worked as a chemistry tutor last year and is currently a lab assistant for Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry. She also is a choreographer for Dance Ensemble and serves on the board as public relations chair and recently was elected MCSA vice president.

DeBellis's passion for political science and international affairs dates back to her high-school years, when she was involved in speech and debate. After switching her major from biochemistry to political science at Morris, she started focusing on political science again by joining the mock trial team and getting involved in the November elections.

Looking forward, DeBellis plans to get a master's in public policy or international affairs, or go to law school to become a judge. She attributes her success and prospects to her Morris liberal arts experience.

"I came into Morris thinking I was going to go to med school, but it wasn't what I wanted to do," she says. "I took a political science class my sophomore year and decided that I really wanted to do that; the liberal arts core curriculum allowed me to have classes under my belt before I decided to switch majors."

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs Junior Summer Institute (JSI) is a seven-week academic program that prepares undergraduate students to be successful in their graduate programs and careers relating to public service. More information can be found at hhh.umn.edu.