As part of the public service mission of the University, the School of Public and International Affairs seeks to partner with organizations and individuals in order to bring knowledge and resources to the people of our state and the world to enhance their quality of life.


Carl Vinson Institute of Government

We continue to enhance our relationship with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, co-sponsor of our MPA Program and an important partner with us in building excellence in public service in Georgia, across the country, and now around the world.

MPA Student Professional Development: Soft Skills

A series of six 3-hour workshops for the students in the MPA program at SPIA focused on the soft skill side of landing the job, keeping the job, and excelling at the job.   Instructed by public service and outreach faculty from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, participants will earn a certificate of completion upon attendance and participation in six of the workshops.   An optional seventh session is included for a mock interview for a state/local government job.

J.W. Fanning Institute of Leadership Development

The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, is dedicated to strengthening communities, organizations, and individuals through leadership development, training, and education. Founded in 1982, the Institute is named for UGA’s first Vice President for Services, Dr. J.W. Fanning. His legacy of leadership development is embodied in the Institute’s dedication to developing leaders of all ages, in every community, from all walks of life.

Fanning Institute faculty and staff design and deliver programs and services in four primary areas of focus.

Community leadership development

Leadership creates positive change in communities. Fanning’s community leadership programs help develop knowledgeable, skilled, committed and action-oriented leaders. Participants from diverse backgrounds and different perspectives enhance their existing leadership skills and gain a better understanding of themselves and their roles as community leaders so that they can ultimately impact community vitality.

Nonprofit and professional association leadership development

We develop leaders throughout the nonprofit sector. Fanning develops curriculum for nonprofit executives, boards, staff, and volunteers on topics relevant to nonprofit and professional association leadership. Fanning also provides strategic planning and technical assistance to nonprofits on a number of topics.

Youth leadership development

We are committed to developing youth as leaders and enhancing their access to higher education. Our youth leadership development focus is on preparing young people to meet the challenges of transitioning to adulthood through a variety of programming options that foster youth leadership and community engagement.

Mediation and conflict resolution

Fanning offers leadership development services that can help transform conflict into previously unimagined solutions. Fanning offers training and support services in mediation, conflict resolution, dialogue, and other alternative dispute resolution processes so that individuals will have the necessary leadership skills to address barriers and transform conflict in their communities and organizations.

The Institute’s multi-disciplinary faculty assist communities and organizations by offering education, training, and services that include the following:

  • Leadership curriculum development and programming
  • Customized training and technical assistance
  • Mediation and conflict resolution
  • Non-profit capacity building
  • Youth leadership development
  • Cultural competencies and diversity
  • Organizational assessment and evaluation
  • Board governance
  • Community engagement
  • Change leadership including strategic planning and community visioning
  • Leadership coaching and succession planning

For more information, visit

Internship Partners


SPIA partners with other entities to offer applied experiences for students in Athens, Atlanta, Washington, and beyond.

Georgia Legislative Internship Program

CITS Russell Security Leadership Program

Washington Semester Program

Isakson Public Policy Fellowship


The Office of Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Goeriga offer SPIA undergraduate students opportunities for applied and academic study in Washington, D.C. via the Public Policy Fellowship.

A Fellow is selected each fall and spring term to work for Senator Isakson’s Senior Policy Advisor and legislative staff in Washington, D.C. She or he is directly involved with a broad range of issues and activities in support of Senator Isakson’s responsibilities in the fields of finance, education, labor, veteran’s affairs, and ethics.

The Fellow’s tasks include the following:

  • Assist in the preparation of background papers for the Senator’s meetings and Congressional hearings.
  • Attend selected Congressional hearings and prepare a summary of relevant points.
  • Analyze the major state and national events that impact U.S. policy and provide commentary on their significance.
  • Participate in discussions and briefings on public policy issues at universities and think tanks.
  • Research public policy topics using the Library of Congress and other Senate resources.
  • Coordinate with the Executive Branch on a broad range of domestic policy issues.
  • Work with other Senators’ offices and with Senate committees and coordinate Senator Isakson’s endorsement of relevant bills, resolutions, and letters.
  • Meet with individuals, on behalf of Senator Isakson, to discuss their concerns and interests in domestic policy affairs.

In addition to a stipend of $1,500 per month ($6,000 total for the term), the Fellow pursues academic credit under the supervision of a SPIA faculty member. This academic component compliments and enhances the applied learning of the Fellowship.

In order to apply, students should be 21 years of age by the start of the Fellowship (Aug 14, 2017) and submit an application portfolio including:

  1. Fellowship Application
  2. A letter of application (see the Career Guide linked below for examples)
  3. A personal resume
  4. An official academic transcript (obtainable from the Office of the Registrar)
  5. A list of three references (at least two of which should be academic)

Applicant’s portfolios should be completed no later than February 22nd for priority consideration to:

Office of the Dean
c/o SPIA Senatorial Public Policy Fellowship Selection Committee
School of Public and International Affairs
The University of Georgia
204 Candler Hall
Athens, GA 30602-1492

Finalists for the fellowship will be interviewed on campus in March, with final selections made shortly thereafter.

Additional information: All undergraduates 21 years of age are invited to apply. Required academic coursework will vary according to the Fellow’s academic preparation and needs. Usually, the Fellow independently arranges credit with a SPIA faculty member via political science or international affairs internship course credits.

The Career Guide published by The Career Center provides general information on writing letters of application and cover letters (pp. 33-34) and creating personal resumes (pp. 24-31). The Career Guide can be picked up at The Career Center in Clark Howell Hall or in the Candler Hall lobby and is available as a “pdf” download at

Transcripts can be ordered at the Registrar’s Office via Athena. Your list of references will ideally come from faculty members, although one outside reference is acceptable. Simply provide the names and contact information for the references. Letters of recommendation are not required.

Any questions can be forwarded to Paul Welch by email at or phone at (706) 542-0096.

Undergraduate Study Abroad
Seoul Metropolitan Government & University of Seoul

Every spring the department offers PADP 8560 Special Topics in Urban Administration: Case Study in Seoul, where MPA and PhD. students travel to Seoul, South Korea. The students spend a week in Seoul, where they are guests of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the University of Seoul. The course’s goal is to increase students’ understanding of city management, specifically the policies and programs that cities can adopt to meet the challenges facing any large metropolitan area. Before heading abroad students complete readings and take part in discussions covering several key areas of city administration including built environment, economic development, human rights, and human services.

Directors from several city agencies and scholars offer lectures on the reform efforts of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Students not only participate in lectures on the policies, they also see the policies in action during several field trips. Students visit the 120 Dasan Call Center, the Transportation Operation and Information Service Center, Mapo Resource Recycling Facility, World Cup Park, and explore the Han River Renaissance by boat. In addition to the lectures, discussions, and field trips, students also visit tourist attractions, cultural sites, shop in the many markets, and enjoyed Korean cuisine. Overall the experience provides the participants with insight into the public administration of Seoul and an understanding of Korean politics, economy, and culture.