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Fall Seminars

During the fall semester, students learn about the policy-making process and discuss subject-based issues in a seminar course led by an industry expert. Site visits to federal agencies, guest speakers, and round table sessions ensure that students receive a variety of real-world perspectives on their chosen policy area. If you are interested in international affairs you may go to Global Fellows in Washington, D.C., our sister program, which has four terrific options, including Responses to Global Challenges! Note: All FGSM courses are cross-listed with Honors courses.

Students in the program choose from the following seminars for their fall Federal Fellows seminar (3 credits):


Political Engagement and Advocacy (FGSM310)

Tuesday, 6:00p.m. to 9:00pm, AJC 2119
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378C.
Course Description:
This course will examine questions and issues in the practice of political engagement and advocacy. The seminar will focus on the art of building a lifetime of political engagement (at local, state, or national levels) and will cover such topics as how to participate in the political process, advocate for causes, run for office, and influence or make policy. This non-partisan course will also stress the importance of civil discourse across political parties. The class will utilize public institution publications and government documents, as well as academic literature, in the readings. Practitioners with experience in the political, civic engagement, and advocacy arenas will share their knowledge and expertise with students and participate in class discussions.

Instructor Information: Kathleen Mogelgaard has 20 years of experience in policy analysis, advocacy, and research. She works with clients in Washington and globally to promote responsible policies on such issues as population dynamics, gender, climate change, and food security. Ms. Mogelgaard has participated as an observer in negotiations on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and has advocated for accelerated action for effective adaptation planning. Previously, she served as senior advisor at Population Action International, policy advisor at Oxfam America, assistant director of government relations at the National Audubon Society, and fellow at the Population Reference Bureau, where she provided research support and technical assistance for conservation and development projects in Africa and Asia. She has a passion for political engagement.  Recently, Mogelgaard was the lead researcher and writer of “Unfinished Business: The Pursuit of Rights and Choices for All,” the United Nations Population Fund’s 2019 State of World Population Report. She received masters degrees in both public policy and natural resources from the University of Michigan.

Energy and Environmental Policy (FGSM340)

Monday, 3:30p.m. to 6:30pm, HBK 1112
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378J.
Course Description:
This course will explore issues of environmental sustainability through an investigation of federal policymaking in energy, climate change, and sustainable development. Students will examine efforts of the U.S. government to respond to linked challenges of increasing energy demand, climate change, growing population, and poverty alleviation. Guest speakers from Congress, federal agencies, and the non-governmental sector will highlight domestic initiatives as well as the role of the U.S. government in international agreements related to climate change and sustainable development.

Instructor Information: Ed Fendley has served in the Federal government for 30 years, specializing in climate change and sustainable development. He has worked as a Foreign Service Officer, as a negotiator dealing with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and as a White House staffer. Fendley now serves in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Community Revitalization, where he helps people build walkable, healthy and economically vibrant neighborhoods. Fendley also served as an elected member of the School Board in his home town of Arlington, Virginia. But what he really wants to do full-time is ride his bike around the country sampling local food and drink.

Homeland and National Security Policy (FGSM330)

Monday, 6:00p.m. to 9:00pm, ESJ B0322
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378G.
Course Description:
This course will examine the concept of U.S. homeland and national security in the context of recent history. It will supply students with an understanding about the nature of threats and major vulnerabilities that are the focus of homeland and national security efforts, with emphasis on events since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The course will pay special attention to implications of policies and strategies regarding the threats of terrorism. Expert practitioners from the government or private sector, responsible for homeland security and counterterrorism operations, will often visit class, address topics, and participate in seminar discussion. Students will also learn and practice fundamental skills of analysis, communication, and collaboration that are necessary for success in the professional workplace.

Instructor Information: Casie Antalis currently serves as the first Chief of Staff of the National Vetting Center (NVC). Prior to this position, Antalis served as the Director for Security Screening and Vetting on the Border and Transportation Security Directorate in the National Security Council (NSC). There, she directed and coordinated U.S. Government policy development in security and immigration vetting, watchlisting, biometrics, and information sharing. Antalis previously held in positions at the National Counterterrorism Center in the Directorate of Intelligence and also in the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning. She served as the Deputy Group chief for Screening and Vetting in the Directorate of Terrorist Identities prior to her assignment at the NSC. Antalis has over 15 years of experience in immigration and national security vetting and has served at the National Ground Intelligence Center, the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. She has received numerous awards during her career including the National Security Council’s Outstanding Service Award and CIA’s Meritorious Unit Citation. Antalis received her Bachelor of Arts in College Park Scholars Program citation with a focus in Child Advocacy.

John Dermody serves as Counsel for O’Melveny after a decade in government service, recently serving as a deputy legal advisor at the National Security Council (NSC). Previously, he served in the General Counsel’s offices of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense. Drawing on his experience in the highest levels of government, Dermody advises clients on data security, privacy, cybersecurity, and national security issues, including economic sanctions and national security reviews of investments and technology transactions conducted by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, the Treasury, State, and Commerce. While at the NSC, Dermody advised senior officials on cybersecurity, infrastructure protection, disaster response, border and transportation security, election security, biodefense, and other matters of US national security. His work included coordinating responses to and attribution of cyber incidents, revising US cyber operations policy, and helping to develop and implement the National Cyber Strategy. He also advised on US sanctions programs and matters and policies relating to supply chain security, 5G deployment, and spectrum allocation. Dermody’s responsibilities as a senior staff attorney in the Intelligence Law Division of DHS included advising on compliance with domestic and international privacy regimes and advising government officials on data security matters related to data analytics, data sharing, and cloud computing technology, giving him unique insight on security and privacy implications of emerging technologies. Dermody is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). He has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the Director of National Intelligence’s Meritorious Unit Citation and the DHS Secretary’s Award for Excellence. Dermody received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley; a Master of Philosophy from the University of Dublin; a M.A. in International Politics from Queen’s University; and a J.D. from The University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Public Health Policy (FGSM320)

Tuesday, 3:30p.m to 6:30pm, HBK 0108
Please note that this course is cross-listed as HONR378E.
Course Information:
This course examines the formulation, implementation and evaluation of health policy. Health care policies determine who receives health benefits, what type of care is available, who administers care, how frequently care is provided, and how much care will cost. These policy decisions are critical in influencing the health and well-being of our society. The course also explores the complexities and challenges facing the American health care system. Students will formulate a policy brief and conduct an impact analysis to better understand the potential benefits and costs of health policies addressing issues such as child health, health reform, infant mortality, teen pregnancy, smoking cessation or injury prevention.

Instructor Information: Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH, is a community pediatrician and child advocate with experience in bioengineering, medicine, public health, community-based programming, and public policy. Dr. Kessel is the Senior Child Health Scholar in Residence at the C E Koop Institute, Dartmouth College and Medical School, and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Dr. Kessel is actively involved in projects focused on eliminating child poverty, advocacy and science related the care and cure of rare diseases, community-based strategies to prevent gun violence aimed at children, community data systems, and standards of care for newborns and children requiring cardio-thoracic surgery. Previously, Dr. Kessel served in the US Public Health Service as an Assistant Surgeon General and senior advisor on child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeons General, and Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations. Dr. Kessel has been involved in setting child health policy, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, guidelines for health supervision of children and adolescents; preventing childhood obesity through federal initiatives and community-based research that guides grandparents in helping their grandchildren make health choices; and the Healthy Start Initiative to reduce infant mortality in the US. Dr. Kessel serves on several boards including the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition Board; the Sesame Workshop Health and Nutrition workgroup; PBS KIDS Health Council; Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation; Healthy Children, Healthy Futures Organization; the Fischell Bioengineering Advisory Committee, UMD; and others. He has received the USPHS Distinguished Service Medal the highest USPHS recognition award, the Drexel 100 Distinguished Alumni Award, the Einstein College of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, and others. Dr. Kessel studied electrical engineering at Drexel University; medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and, public health at the Johns Hopkins University. He completed his pediatric residency and primary care fellowship at Boston City Hospital. He was a RWJF Clinical Scholar and an ambulatory pediatrics fellow at the George Washington University’s Children’s Hospital National Medical Center.