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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Government Ethics Fellowship

The application period is open for rising SCU juniors and seniors to apply for a 2024-25 Government Ethics Fellowship.

Application forms and references are due by 5 p.m. PDT Monday, May 20, 2024.

Columns outside of a courthouse.

Fellows work on projects at the intersection of policy and ethics with Dr. John Pelissero,  Ph.D, director of government ethics at the Ethics Center.

The Government Ethics Fellowship is open to students who are in good academic standing, are juniors or seniors during the fellowship year, and are majoring in the social sciences, humanities, or business.

The goal for the fellowship is to provide students with an academic research experience and an applied government experience that helps to develop one’s ethical awareness and ethical decision-making abilities. Each fellow develops a proposal to conduct research on a practical ethics issue in government, is engaged with Markkula Center projects at the intersection of public policy and government/political ethics, and is placed in a government office for an internship experience for part of the year. 

Plans for the 2024-25 academic year will include options for research and curriculum projects on civics education and engagement, ethical culture in governments, and ethical approaches to voting and elections in the United States, as well as fellows’ individual ethics research projects. 

If selected, the fellowship requires approximately 4 to 5 hours per week working on the fellowship during the 2024-25 academic year. Each fellow will be scheduled to meet with the director on a bi-weekly basis, members of the Government Ethics Council, and will present a summary of their research at the annual student showcase in May 2025.

The Government Ethics Fellowship is supported by a gift from Louise Aiello '73.

Benefits of the Government Ethics Fellowship

Hear from 2022-23 Government Ethics Fellow Grace Davis about how the fellowship enhanced her learning experience and career preparation at Santa Clara University.

2023-24 Government Ethics Fellows

Sebastian Falabella Government Ethics



Sebastian Falabella '25

Hi! My name is Sebastian Falabella, and I am very exited to be a fellow this year. Living in Colombia during the last few tumultuous years, I have been very interested in politics and what is happening in the country. This is why I will be focusing my fellowship on investigating why a plebiscite concerning peace did not pass through the general public but was still passed by the government. What are the ethical implications related to the government? Of the people? Majority vote?



Kimber Wood Government Ethics


Kimber Wood '24

My name is Kimber and I am entering my senior year with a double major in political science and dance. I am originally from Chicago, Illinois and I am looking forward to investigating the issue of homelessness in the Bay Area. Last summer, I had an internship with Abode Services, a nonprofit organization that helps with rehousing processes for those experiencing homelessness. I was able to work directly with the community in Santa Cruz and appreciate the communicative skills of my co-workers. Many of these individuals dedicate themselves to supporting others and being a resource for many members of the Santa Cruz community. Through this experiences, I discovered my passion for engaging with a community and being a part of positive change. In terms of my research, I am looking forward to diving deeper into the issue of homelessness and discovering realistic solutions that benefit all parties involved to better the overall well being of a community.


Apply for a Government Ethics Fellowship