Centenary student chosen as 2020 Louisiana Governor’s Fellow
SHREVEPORT, LA — Patrick Riley, a rising senior and a political science major at Centenary, has been chosen for the 2020 Governor’s Fellows Program in Louisiana Government. The program offers participants the chance to experience public policy in action, learn about Louisiana politics from both a historical and current affairs perspective, and earn three hours of academic credit. The program runs through the end of July.
Riley was encouraged to apply for the program by Dr. Mark Leeper, assistant professor of political science at Centenary and a member of the Louisiana State Board of Election Supervisors. Leeper provided one of Riley’s letters of recommendation in a rigorous application process that also included an essay and three interviews, including a final interview with Governor John Bel Edwards’s chief of staff.
“Being at a Centenary, I have close interaction with very highly respected professionals who are active in their fields. This a huge advantage of a Centenary education and one that I am very grateful for,” says Riley. “I was motivated to apply for the fellowship due to the prestige of the program and my desire to make Louisiana, the state that I love, better.”
Each Governor’s Fellow is assigned to a Cabinet-level agency in Baton Rouge, giving the students a chance to observe how policy is developed at the state level and to contribute to ongoing projects with agency leaders. Soon after arriving in Baton Rouge in early June, Riley was assigned to the Department of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). Based on his observations of the ATC’s work throughout his fellowship, he will compile a report on a program, policy, or action that could improve Louisiana.
"I have been extremely impressed with the integrity and professionalism with which the entire Governor's staff works,” says Riley. “After law school, I want to serve my state or country in a way that allows its citizens to amplify and better realize the voice that they have in our political system. I think that our current governor, John Bel Edwards, has done a phenomenal job of this and I could not be more humbled and honored to work in his administration. I hope to take what I learn working with the impressive staff that he has assembled to continue the progress that he has made for our great state."
Riley is a native of Baton Rouge and graduated from Catholic High School before coming to Centenary, where he is majoring in political science with a minor in legal studies. He plans to attend law school after graduating from Centenary and is part of the Public Interest Law Scholar Program at LSU, thanks to a partnership signed between Centenary and LSU Law in January 2019. Riley is also a member of the men’s soccer team, Kappa Alpha Order, and Honor Court at Centenary.