UofL juniors Des Lane and Cornelius Sanford are heading to opposite corners of the country this summer, but for the same reason: They will be part of an intensive seven-week fellowship meant to teach them what it takes to pursue graduate degrees in law and public policy.
Lane, a Louisville native and 2014 Butler High School graduate, is double majoring in political science and liberal studies. Sanford is a psychology and pan-African studies major, a native of Eminence, Kentucky, and a 2014 graduate of Eminence High School. Both are Martin Luther King Scholars. Lane will study at Carnegie Mellon University, while Sanford is headed to the University of California, Berkeley.
The fellowship, the Public Policy and International Affairs program’s Junior Summer Institute, teaches undergrads pursuing or considering Master’s degrees in those fields the fundamentals of legal analysis and the skills needed to enter top law schools. After they complete the program, Lane and Sanford will have access to a professional network of more than 4,000 other institute alumni and waived application fees at universities partnering with PPIA.
Lane credited several faculty members with helping to cultivate her interest in public service and keeping her on the path to high achievement.
“Dr. Tricia Gray and Dr. Charles Ziegler, from the political science department, have both helped me hone the skills that I need to succeed beyond my undergraduate education,” said Lane. “Dr. Gray in the realm of staying academically engaged through model United Nations, and Dr. Ziegler with my writing. My advisor, Luke Buckman, has been of tremendous help to me as well, especially when applying to various programs.”
Sanford said he is grateful for the faculty who helped him turn his desire into action, including History and Pan-African Studies professor Tyler Fleming for his help with the application process and his ongoing mentorship.
“Cornelius is a very gifted, hardworking and determined student. Until Cornelius, I’ve never had an undergraduate student ask to meet up with me during the summer to go over planning their undergraduate studies and consider careers for the future,” said Fleming. “Cornelius is a student who has skillfully used the opportunities afforded him. His success is a testament to his ability, work ethic, and shrewd planning.”
The PPIA program is a nonprofit organization that works to increase diversity in public service by helping students from underrepresented populations get the credentials to fill leadership positions in government, non-profit and international organizations.