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Deadline extended: Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars accepting applications for 2020-21

Hardika Singh
February 25, 2020

The deadline has been extended to March 15 for students to apply for prestigious Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar positions for the 2020-21 academic year with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

Voinovich Scholars gain valuable experience as they work closely with Voinovich professionals for 10 hours per week, 15 weeks per semester for two semesters. Students not only apply knowledge from their coursework and other academic experiences to real problems, but also get paid $11 per hour to do it.

Highly motivated students from any school or department are eligible to become Voinovich Scholars. Students should have a strong academic record, with a preferred minimum 3.5 GPA. Interested students should email a cover letter, resume, recent DARS report and short writing sample to Professor Ani Ruhil at

Opportunities include innovative research and work related to:

  • Energy and the environment
  • Sustainability
  • Watershed management
  • Ecology
  • GIS (Geographic Information System)
  • Field and lab research opportunities
  • Entrepreneurship and regional development
  • Small business planning
  • Economic development
  • Product design and marketing
  • Public policy and leadership
  • Community health
  • Education
  • Public relations and communication
  • Program evaluation
Justin Riley close-up headshot
Justin Riley

Undergraduate Research Scholar Justin Riley, an HTC junior in political science, explores renewable energy as an economic development strategy, under Gilbert Michaud, assistant professor of practice.

“I plan to dedicate my life to public service and leadership, so the Voinovich program has been a great opportunity for me to get hands-on experience with public policy,” said Riley.

Through his research and work with Michaud, Riley said he has developed expertise he hopes to apply in the future as the transition to renewable energy becomes even more urgent.

Sarah Stanzi headshot
Sarah Stanzi

“From assisting with scholarly articles on public policy to synthesizing regulatory documents and surveying Ohio’s wood industry, I have been able to work on a variety of projects and immerse myself in many areas,” Riley said.

Sarah Stanzi, a junior studying environmental geography with a certificate in environmental studies and GIS, works under Director of Environmental Programs Jen Bowman, Associate Professor Natalie Kruse and Environmental Specialist Nicole Kirchner on the energy and environmental team.

“It has been a great opportunity to understand the role of environmental studies in a variety of real-world applications,” Stanzi said. “I love being able to see the impact of my work in ongoing projects and knowing that my work contributes to long-term projects as well.”

Colton Campbell Headshot
Colton Campbell

Another scholar, Colton Campbell, a junior year student studying economics with minors in geography and philosophy with a certificate in GIS, works under Matthew Trainer and Jackie Kloepfer in GIS research.

“Working at the Voinovich school has helped me enhance my skills in gathering data and using GIS to build projects and analyze information,” Campbell said.

Aleah Cumberbatch Headshot
Aleah Cumberbatch

Aleah Cumberbatch, a senior studying psychology and returning Voinovich Scholar who works under Professor Holly Raffle on the Programmatic Partnership for Community-Based Prevention, said she receives numerous opportunities to collaborate with staff and students on projects aimed at addressing some of the issues affecting communities in Ohio.

"I understand how the work that I do in the classroom overlaps with my work here, and it is encouraging to see how they are both helping me to prepare for the work in my chosen field,” said Cumberbatch.

For more information, visit the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar program webpage.