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HT Junior Kennedy Fears Selected as the Inaugural Research Assistant Intern for Huston-Tillotson University’s Public Leadership Project!

AUSTIN, Texas — The Congregational Church of Austin, United Church of Christ recently announced their commitment to provide financial support for Huston-Tillotson University (HT) student, Kennedy Fears. Fears, a Junior political science major from Dallas, Texas was selected as a Research Assistant Intern in support of HT’s newly created Public Leadership in Faith and Social Justice Traditions (Public Leadership) project. Fears’ internship, transpiring from April 2021 to August 2021 will be supervised by Dr. Robert M. Ceresa, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Huston-Tillotson University.

Public Leadership involves a collaboration between Huston-Tillotson University and Central Texas Interfaith, of which Congregational Church of Austin UCC is a member. This collaboration will foster experiential learning opportunities for Huston-Tillotson University students. These opportunities will enable students to connect their collegiate experiences to concrete and pragmatic avenues that build upon and sustain the energy and passion that politics offers. Students enrolled in HT’s Public Leadership will explore ways of working with local community members to drive change reflecting students’ shared values, interests, and experiences. In the process, students gain real-world experience as they learn and subsequently, demonstrate skills and competencies in the domain of public leadership in the tradition of political citizenship from civic studies.

Already three weeks into her internship, Fears has learned, being a leader is not for the timid of heart, but “I like when people are comfortable coming to me to talk about things in their life and I can be a resource.” Fears’ ultimate goals for this internship are to shape new leaders and contribute to building a strong community in the process. Regarding her career aspirations upon graduating from Huston-Tillotson University, Fears is still deciding, while “taking every opportunity I can to figure this out.”