Luke Feltz ’12 is from Williamston, Michigan and is a double major in Political Science and Globalization Studies. He is a former Vice President and current active member of the International Affairs Association/Model United Nations. Luke led Gettysburg College to its first Model Arab League Conference last year. He has worked as a research assistant for Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw and Dr. Caroline Hartzell in the Political Science Department at Gettysburg College. Luke is currently collaborating with Dr. Amy Evrard, a Gettysburg College Professor of Anthropology on research in violence and conflict. He is a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and a cook at the Blue Parrot Bistro in Gettysburg.
Below is a Q&A with Luke Feltz about his experiences with The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College and what he hopes to do as an Undergraduate Fellow.
Q: What is an EI Fellow?
A: The EI Undergraduate Fellows program offers a select group of Gettysburg College students the chance to develop their leadership skills and grow in their knowledge and understanding of public policy. Fellows serve on the Eisenhower Institute’s College Advisory Council, act as liaisons for assigned Institute events at both locations, and serve as hosts for campus visitors. Students engage fully in the planning and promotion of specific programs and projects. They are responsible for selecting, developing, and promoting a public policy theme with programming in both Washington and Gettysburg.
Q: How does one become an EI Undergraduate Fellow?
A: As a freshman, Luke suggests getting involved around campus, especially with the Eisenhower Institute and the events that they host throughout the year. You can apply as a freshman, sophomore, or junior to be a Fellow. The application process starts in late fall to winter, and they’re due in the spring. It’s a tough application process and very selective, but he says it’s absolutely worth it.
Q: How did you get involved with the institute?
A: Luke went to many EI events as a freshman and became interested in getting involved with the institute soon after. He applied to be an EI Fellow as a freshman, but didn’t get accepted. He finally got selected to be an Undergraduate Fellow for his senior year, so this is the first year he is a Fellow.
Q: What are some of the benefits and opportunities that The Eisenhower Institute provides?
A: One big benefit, Luke says, that the institute provides is being able to be in contact with Susan Eisenhower. She’s a wonderful lady and can be seen around campus a lot. The institute has provided him with a networking opportunity, an opportunity to meet many different, interesting people who he would not have met otherwise. As part of the Fellowship, Fellows have to create a project; most of the time, it involves bringing a speaker to campus. Through this project, one can get to know the speaker and learn a lot from them. But mostly, he says, being a Fellow challenges you. It challenges you to push yourself, to make connections, and to work hard.
Q: What has been your favorite experience as an EI Undergraduate Fellow?
A: Luke hasn’t been a Fellow for long, so he hasn’t had many experiences so far. But what he’s really looking forward to is his trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point, which is coming up in November. He will be traveling with other EI Fellows to participate in the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA), which he is very excited about. The Student Conference on US Affairs is an annual four day conference. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate interaction and constructive discussion between students in order for them better understand the intricacies of the challenges that the United States faces in a global society. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity”, he says, and he can’t pass it up.
Q: Do you have any recommendations for students looking to get involved with EI or looking to apply to be a Fellow?
A: Luke would absolutely recommend getting involved with the Eisenhower Institute for all of the benefits and opportunities it has provided him with. Some recommendations he has for students looking to get involved would be, well, to get involved! Not just by going to events the Institute hosts, but by joining clubs and organizations around campus and becoming heavily involved with them. Be a leader, he says, because leadership is an important quality they look for in Fellows. He also suggests getting to know your professors, who have valuable knowledge and can help with recommendations down the road. The application process is a hard one, but absolutely worth it, Luke says.
Q: Any last words?
A: “Just to definitely consider getting involved with the Institute”, Luke says. It was one of the best decisions he’s made at this campus so far.