2017 Graduate Becomes First in Governor’s Fellowship Program

by Katie Bradley | Jul 06, 2017

Topher AndersonTopher Anderson ’17, a biology major and San Damiano Scholar, will spend the next year learning the ins and outs of state government through the Governor’s Fellowship Program.

The highly selective fellowship will provide Topher with a unique experience in Indiana State Government. Fellows serve state agencies on a rotating basis over the course of a year, participating in the daily activities of state government, completing special projects, and experiencing firsthand how policies are made.

“It’s a great career step and a really exciting way to apply my biology major to something besides medicine,” Topher said. “I really like local government because it’s a place where you can have your voice heard and I really want to get involved.”

Topher originally planned on medical school after graduation. When he decided to make a change, he went to the Exchange to discuss what else was possible with a degree in biology and an interest in government and policy.

Ellen Whitt, executive director of the Exchange, told him about the Governor’s Fellowship Program and even introduced him to people serving in state government.  

“I met with them and we talked about what state government is like,” Topher said. “Everything I heard confirmed that it was the right next step for me.”

Topher is one of only four recent college graduates accepted into the fellowship. He begins his first rotation in the Department of Workforce Development.

Topher credits many with helping him throughout his time at Marian, including Mark Erdosy and the San Damiano Program for Church Leadership; professors Carl Lecher, Ph.D., Matthew Sherman, Ph.D., and Loren Bertocci, Ph.D.; and the people who worked with him to create the Students for Sustainable Stewardship, a program founded by Topher to promote Responsible Stewardship on campus.  

“Being surrounded by a community of people who are always pushing you to grow and seek the better was just awesome,” Topher said. 

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