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Riley Institute selects fellows to develop state-level afterschool policy

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Sixteen leaders in the afterschool and expanded learning fields nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Through discussion of actual case studies led by policy change-makers, the Fellowship equips graduates with a real world understanding of the art and science of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. In the 10-month program which begins in October, fellows will study afterschool and expanded learning policy, and develop state-level policy plans in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

The 2014-2015 White-Riley-Peterson Policy fellows are:

Caroline Allen, Pennsylvania Afterschool Youth Development Network (PSADYN) (Camp Hill, Penn.)

Sara Beanblossom, Director of Communications and Special Events, Indiana Afterschool Network (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Armelle Casau, Research and Policy Analyst, New Mexico Voices for Children (Albuquerque, N.M.)

Erin Frati, Network Lead, Maine Afterschool Network (Farmington, Maine)

Ricky Gourrier, Executive Director, Nevada Afterschool Network (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Casey Hanson, Coordinator, Head Start and Afterschool Data Contract, Center for Family Policy and Research (Columbia, Mo.)

Alli Lidie, Policy and Communications Coordinator, New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) (New York, N.Y.)

Britney Lomax, Program and Policy Specialist, Governor’s Office for Children, (Baltimore, Md.)

Lemar Marshall, Council District 4, City of Hammond (Hammond, La.)

Judith McShane, Project Coordinator, University of Idaho 4-H Youth Development (Caldwell, Idaho)

Del Ruff, Director, NC Center for Afterschool Programs, Public School Forum of NC (Raleigh, N.C.)

Jim Snell, Director, Volunteer Tennessee (Nashville, Tenn.)

Fontella L. Taylor, Site Coordinator/Extension Educator, University of Delaware/NCC Cooperative Extension (Newark, Del.)

Samantha Thorstensen, Afterschool STEM Policy Director, Florida Afterschool Network (Kennedy Space Center, Fla.)

Rachel Willis, Project Coordinator, Kansas Enrichment Network ( Lawrence, Kan.)

Lori Zahdraka, 21st CCLC Project Director, North Valley Career-Tech Center (Grafton, N.D.)

The fellowship is named for William S. White, President and CEO of the Mott Foundation; Richard W. Riley, former South Carolina Governor and U.S. Secretary of Education under President Clinton; and Dr. Terry Peterson, national board chair with the Afterschool Alliance and a senior fellow at the College of Charleston. The fellowship is made possible by a $245,000 grant awarded to the Riley Institute by the C.S. Mott Foundation.

For more information about the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship, click this link. Or contact Cathy Stevens at the Riley Institute (864) 294-3265, or

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