MPP Honors: David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship
by Mella Tesfazgi MPP'23
Sanford Master of Public Policy candidates are receiving high honors. Ari Panzer MPP’23 was awarded the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship for 2023-2024, one of only two awardees for this fellowship. In addition, Rachel Calloway MPP’23 was among the finalists nationwide for this award.
“I am honored, humbled, and thrilled the David A. Winston Fellowship Board selected me as a Fellow from a group of brilliant and talented applicants. The Fellowship will provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn from leading health policy experts and continue growing professionally. I am thankful for the Board investing in my career, and I am excited to engage with all the Fellowship has to offer.”
Panzer says the most challenging yet rewarding part of the fellowship application was writing his personal statement." I didn't have a conventional path, but I don’t think there is one" he says. Panzer had an early interest in healthcare after interacting with the system growing up, but the decision to attend graduate school in public policy came much later. His early experiences inspired him to declare Community Health and Psychology as majors at Tufts University. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Panzer was interested in understanding gaps in the U.S. healthcare system and how the system perpetuates health inequities. To improve individuals’ experiences with healthcare, Panzer values a deep understanding of the complex historical and contemporary challenges plaguing our systems. He hopes to honor David A. Winston’s legacy as a leader, unifier, and difference-maker on the front lines of health policy for years to come.
Before enrolling at Sanford, Calloway gained seven years of clinical experience as a pediatric nurse. Calloway knew she wanted to go into policy while still in nursing school when she had the opportunity to give a legislative testimony to staffers at the Texas state senate. While on a clinical rotation supporting teenage mothers in Texas, Calloway witnessed care gaps resulting from young mothers being unable to sign paperwork without parental consent. Calloway says that obtaining a signature for a required release form was near impossible for women estranged from their parents. In her testimony, she advocated for these women to have automatic enrollment in programs that would support their health and well-being and the health and well-being of their infants.
Panzer and Calloway encourage future applicants to lean into their backgrounds when sharing their stories. Both were thrilled to receive the news that they were selected as finalists. And with that news came a wave of connections, conversations and experiences they each cherish in unique and special ways. Panzer and Calloway each hope to leverage this experience in their next chapter working in health policy in Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Congratulations to these outstanding members of our Sanford community!