The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

2015 First-Year Fellow: Anthony Marquez '18

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This summer, I worked in the Higher Education Programs (HEP) division within the Office of Postsecondary Education at the US Department of Education. HEP primarily handles federal grant programs for higher education institutions in order to broaden access for low-income, first-generation students and strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities that serve a high percentage of historically marginalized students.   

After expressing my interest in the education policy domain, I was asked to develop presentation slides, talking points, and fact sheets on the notable topics in higher education policy, which included America’s College Promise, gainful employment regulations, the expansion of student loan repayment options, the student debt crisis, and potential modifications to the Higher Education Act. These materials were then included in a master library for Department officials to use during conferences, presentations, and other relevant functions.

I was fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly welcoming, friendly, and helpful individuals in the Office of Postsecondary Education. My mentor, Lauren Kennedy '02, crafted my internship experience based on my particular interests. On the very first day, she took note of the type of work and the aspects of the department that appealed to me and then connected me with projects and opportunities aligned to my interests. As this internship was my first professional experience, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and assumed that I would be placed in a very rigid role. Instead, my role was perfectly crafted for me. I was given work that delivered meaningful contributions as opposed to being assigned tasks merely to keep me busy. I was afforded room to be creative with my approach and truly leave a unique imprint on all of my deliverables.

-Written by Anthony Marquez '18
This series introduces the 2015 First-Year Fellows. Each fellow reflects on his or her experience in Washington DC as a First-Year Fellow working with a mentor in public policy. 

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