It has been an exciting few months for GPSI. First, on May 14, 2022, I had the pleasure of attending UIS Commencement as a volunteer. I rarely see our current GPSIs, partly due to COVID and partly due to their busy schedules as graduate students and interns, so I took the opportunity to see some of them during the two commencement ceremonies held at the Bank of Springfield Center. I felt like everywhere I turned, I was seeing one of our students! In total, GPSI had 114 out of 479 graduates receiving their master’s degrees at Saturday’s ceremony. Those 114 represented nearly a quarter of all UIS master’s graduates. While we know we hire and serve the largest number of graduate students at UIS, it is always astounding seeing these numbers. We couldn’t be prouder of our graduates and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!
Next, we’re thrilled to announce a record-breaking interview round for GPSI. Not only did we place the highest number of interns for an interview round this May, but we also had the most positions seeking an intern in one round (156) and intern applicants (292) than ever before. GPSI is excited to bring on 96 new interns this Fall! These students hail from 16 different countries and speak a variety of languages, but they are all coming here to learn about public service from Illinois state government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
The students hired through this interview round aren’t the only exciting announcement to share. We are also expanding further outside of state government with our GPSI positions! Students will be starting new GPSI positions at Kemmerer Village, City of Springfield, Vision for Hope, Innovate Springfield (iSPI), Office of the Illinois State Treasurer, the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, and SIU School of Medicine this Fall. We are thrilled that more and more organizations are taking advantage of the GPSI program to staff their workforce and train eager graduate students in public service.
These new organizations offer unique opportunities for GPSIs. For example, at Kemmerer Village, students will get the opportunity to work with therapists to revise client individual treatment plans based on a collaborative process with other treatment team members. They will also have the opportunity to gain experience in community services and will learn all aspects of casework services provided to children in Kemmerer Village Community Service programs. At SIU School of Medicine, in the Office of Correctional Medicine, the intern will be part of changing the narrative of correctional healthcare by assisting in the development of quality services that leave a legacy of improving lives & creating pathways for healthier minds. Innovate Springfield’s GPSI position offers their intern the opportunity for complete immersion in their programming and processes, including the opportunity to meaningfully participate and engage in iSPI programming, as well as with community leaders, business leaders, and university leaders.
Needless to say, GPSI’s growing in both students and agencies and we could not be more excited to see how these new placements broaden our program’s placement landscape. But wait: we’re not done yet! We are currently interviewing more candidates to start internships this Fall along with the other 96. Following this round, our next interviews will occur in November and the deadline for agencies and students to apply is November 1, 2022. I welcome the opportunity to talk with any agency or student about this phenomenal program!
Myra Kaufman is the Program Director of the Graduate Public Service Intern program at UIS. Prior to her start at UIS and GPSI in July 2017, Myra earned her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Communication Studies- Interpersonal Communication and her Master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education degree in Education, Policy, Organization and Leadership in Higher Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.