Three University of Georgia undergraduate students in the Vinson Institute Fellows Program concluded their spring semester projects by presenting their research results to Institute of Government faculty and staff at a gathering Friday morning.

Vinson Fellows work with faculty mentors on hands-on projects that allow them to delve into the inner workings of government, both in Georgia and abroad. Fellows meet elected officials, examine critical issues in government and education, and investigate international concerns. The fellowships give fellows the opportunity to explore the possibility of future careers in public service.

Eilidh Geddes, a double major in economics and mathematics from Dunwoody, investigated the effects of preschool education and later learning opportunities on advanced placement (AP) test performance. She worked with faculty mentor Wes Clarke, a finance and economics specialist with the Institute.

Melinda Johnson, an economics and political science major from Dacula, made presentations on two projects after working with faculty mentor Anna Boling, a continuing education expert with the Institute. One project added to ongoing research by assessing the ongoing impact of mandatory arbitration when city and county governments reach impasse in negotiating Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) distribution. Her second project examined whether receiving college credit through high school AP classes reduces subsequent HOPE Scholarship costs.

Kameel Mir, an international affairs and English major from Marietta, investigated the relationship between government officials and non-governmental organizations in Bangladesh. She worked with faculty mentor Rusty Brooks, director of the Institute’s International Center.

All three Vinson Fellows are second-year students.

The Institute hosts Vinson Fellows every fall and spring semester. The Vinson Institute Fellows Program fall internship is open to all UGA undergraduates. The Institute works with the UGA Honors Program and the university’s chapter of the Roosevelt Institute to select the fellows for each spring semester cohort.


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