Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

From left to right: Carly Armstrong ’15.5 policy director Matthew Appenfeller, Jonathan Cohen ’15.

"With its small size and wide political spectrum, Rhode Island state government offers a invaluable opportunity to observe diverse perspectives first-hand."

Carly Armstrong '15.5

This spring, two undergraduate concentrators are working in Rhode Island governor’s policy office as part of the Taubman Center for Public Policy’s Governor Frank Licht '38 internship program. Carly Armstrong ’15.5 and Jonathan Cohen ’15 have been selected by Governor Gina Raimondo’s policy director, Matthew Appenfeller, to work on policy projects throughout the spring semester. Armstrong and Cohen were chosen because their particular interests align with key policy areas on which the Raimondo administration plans to focus, said Appenfeller. Armstrong will be working on projects related to education policy and Cohen will be working on projects related to community development and housing issues, he added.

Cohen, who has a strong interest in civil rights and social welfare policy, said his courses at Brown have shed light on the central — and often groundbreaking — role that state and local governments play in these areas. "The role of state and local government cannot be overstated. I am excited to learn more about its underlying processes, the greatest problems it faces, and how it operates from day to day," said Cohen.

Armstrong has focused on education and language policy for migrant students. She hopes her experiences in Rhode Island's state house will prepare her for position in state policy when she returns to her home state, California. "With its small size and wide political spectrum, Rhode Island state government offers a invaluable opportunity to observe diverse perspectives first-hand," she said.