DeBellis ’18 Earns Public Policy & International Affairs Program Fellowship

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 Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Program Fellowship. DeBellis was selected based on her academic record and her involvement in student activities at Morris.

The goal of the PPIA Fellowship Program is to help students earn master's or joint degrees in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field. The fellowship provides students an opportunity to participate in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI) as well as a minimum $5,000 scholarship at one of the graduate programs in the PPIA Consortiumpartnerships with universities across the country, and an alumni network that provides opportunities to connect with nearly 4,000 individuals who share the same interest in public service.

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 mission of the PPIA is to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout our civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs. More information can be found at ppiaprogram.org.