Mayor's Fellows program

Mayor Jim Gray created the Mayor’s Fellowship program to provide bright students the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience in Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Mayor’s Fellows gain tremendous insight into a wide array of topics and issues facing Lexington while providing meaningful support to the Mayor’s staff. We are looking for passionate students who want to help make a difference in the community, and desire to learn first-hand the complexities of municipal government.

Junior or senior undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply for both the summer (full-time) and academic year (part-time) fellowships. Advanced writing, data analysis, research, self-direction, professionalism, and creativity are among the skills necessary for a Fellow’s success.

Fellows are expected to properly manage their schedule in order to complete, often time-sensitive projects in an efficient manner while providing a high-quality product. But most importantly, we hope fellows learn and expand upon skills that will serve them well in their future careers.

Fellowship Objectives

Mayor’s Fellows often assist with projects focusing on social, economic, and administrative initiatives pertaining to finance, homelessness intervention, administrative transparency, neighborhood development, economic vitality, and community diversity, among many others. Fellows are also given the opportunity to pursue projects in their field of study if possible, but the basis of the program is to provide a holistic experience. Fellows are consistently challenged to think creatively about how to address different and complex issues facing the city. In return, they gain an immense appreciation for the role of the executive branch in local government.  

2016-17 Mayor’s Fellows

Jeremiah Pickett, III

Jeremiah is from South Holland, Illinois, and is a senior Political Science major at the University of Kentucky. At UK, Jeremiah is a member of the Black Voices Gospel Choir. He plans to continue his education after graduation, and in the future hopes to work in the office of an elected official at either the state or federal level. Jeremiah is particularly interested in the affordability of education, increasing the quality of life in developing urban neighborhoods, and implementing new resources to enable the success of underprivileged populations. He has interned for Mayor Jim Gray’s 2014 mayoral campaign, in the office of US Senator Richard Durbin, the office of Kentucky State Representative George A. Brown, Jr., and has served as a field operation assistant for Mayor Jim Gray’s 2016 US Senate campaign. Getting an inside look into the operations of local government, was the main reason he applied for the Mayor’s Fellowship. Being a fun and energetic person, Jeremiah enjoys spending his free time with friends and trying new restaurants.   

Benjamin Troupe

Ben is from Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and is a junior at the University of Kentucky majoring in Philosophy, and minoring in Political Science. At UK, he is a student member of all committees governing institutional sustainability policy, and is conducting multiple university and community projects benefitting the environment. Ben is also an undergraduate researcher developing an ethical model to address environmental stewardship, and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He plans to attend law and graduate school to receive Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Policy degrees, in the hope of working at the federal or international levels of government. Ben is concerned about reducing humanity’s impact on the environment by appealing for public policy that encourages sustainable development, and the transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable energy. He has interned for Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan-Grimes, and served as the 2016 UK Student Sustainability Council summer coordinator. The Mayor’s Fellowship program appealed to him because it offered the opportunity to experience how public policy is formed at the municipal level. In his free time, Ben exudes his outgoingness and determination by spending time outside, cycling, hiking, meeting new people, and trying new foods.

Gabriel A. Tomlin

Gabe is a senior at the University of Kentucky, majoring in English and African-American Studies. He is the founder and president of Poetic Justice, a student organization geared towards using the arts as a vehicle for activism. He has self-published three books of Poetry: Midday Epiphanies (2013); Thoughts from a Concrete Afro (2015); Poetic Justice Vol. 1 (2016). Along with his inclinations towards the literary arts, Gabe is interested in public policy, with special regard to education and community development. He is concerned with the equitable distribution and allocation of resources necessary to bridge opportunity gaps in underserved communities. Gabe is curious about the ways in which art, creativity, and equity encounter public policy, and is excited by possibilities that these encounters can create. In his spare time, Gabe enjoys Netflix, reading, and catching up on sleep.