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Two LBJ School Students Awarded Terrell Blodgett Endowment Fellowship

AUSTIN, Texas-- June 22, 2009-- Two LBJ School Students, Katherine Mason and Jordan Munn, both Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) students, were awarded the Terrell Blodgett Endowment for Graduate Study in Urban Management and Finance.  The $6,000 Fellowship is awarded annually to students who express an interest in entering into local government management.

“The committee chose these two because of their expressed deep interest in local government,” said Terrell Blodgett, Mike Hogg Professor Emeritus in Urban Management. “Both Kate and Jordan worked several years after receiving their undergraduate degree and both saw the impact, which individuals, working at the local level, could have on people's lives.  Both received strong recommendations from their LBJ School professors.  There were two other applicants and the committee had a difficult time in their decision-making.”

This year, the fellowship also alloted $2,000 to each recipient to attend the annual conference of the International City/Council Management Association. This year the conference will be held in Montreal, Canada.

Munn, a native of Dallas, former certified pharmacy technician, and former head teacher for two locations for the  C2 Education Center in Suwanee, Georgia, says he enjoys the art of cities, but his head is more hard-wired for numbers, so urban management and municipal finance are becoming his specialties.

“It's a major honor to be selected as a Blodgett Fellow,” said Munn. “I came to the LBJ School with a specific interest in urban affairs because so much of our society occurs at the local level. Even in my internship for the City of Austin, millions of federal dollars are administered at the discretion our local city department and council. Professor Blodgett's renown in the management field is massive, and so his willingness to mentor students like me is humbling.”

 
Mason, a native of Houston, Texas, who received her undergraduate degree in sociology, is a former lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union. Mason has worked in the private, non-profit and public sector. She is also a co-founder of the LBJ School student CLASS (Citizens for Local and State Service).
 
Currently, she is working for the Audit Services Division in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Oregon Fellowship Program "performance management track".

“Serving in local government is an invaluable experience to understand the ways communities function and everyday people's needs and concerns,” said Mason. “Its a great foundation for figuring out how best to serve the public, no matter where you decide to live or what you decide to do in the future. I am grateful to have the support this fellowship provides to allow me to pursue this education.”

The endowment was initiated in 1982 when LBJ School Professor and Mike Hogg Professor Emeritus in Urban Management Terrell Blodgett retired from the accounting firm Peat, Marwick, Mitchell. Several of his friends decided that the establishment of such an endowment would be a fitting retirement gift to celebrate Blodgett’s 13-year career with the firm. The fund has been augmented by gifts from the Blodgett family and now the fund stands at over $200,000.