Northwestern graduate selected for policy fellowship

Kate Martin | April 19, 2013

Leadership program is part of the U of M Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Katy Lundell, DC (’10), was selected to participate in the Policy Fellows Program at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The leadership program draws Minnesotans who are early or mid-career from a broad range of sectors. She is one of 38 individuals taking part in the year-long program.

“The main emphasis is, ‘How can we work together for the greater good?’” said Dr. Lundell, who raved about the program and the experience. The program fellows meet for one day a month at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.

Dr. Lundell felt compelled to apply for the program when she learned about it from her local Chamber of Commerce. “Chiropractic barely has a seat at the table in health care reform,” she said. “I wanted to learn how to make a difference from within the system.” She didn’t know exactly what to expect, but she said the experience has been fantastic, noting the program has far exceeded what she might have imagined. “I’m learning how the system works and how to affect change from within the system.” The Policy Fellows program is not partisan, with speakers and presentations representing a broad range of viewpoints. “Really it’s leadership training, looking at the big picture,” said Dr. Lundell. The experience has included exploring personality types, learning about adaptive leadership, civic engagement, and spending a day at the state capitol.

One highlight was a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., which she describes as unbelievable. The trip included a half day at the Pew Foundation, a think tank for public policy; a half day at the Capitol visiting with the Minnesota delegation; a reception with Senator Al Franken; a State Department visit where they talked with a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. The group visited the White House Conference Center and talked with a special assistant to the President, and Vin Weber from the Council on Foreign Relations. They met Alan Hunt from Bloomberg News, learning about the media influence in politics and how the 24/7 news cycle is changing how and what the public learns and how it is reported.

Participating in the program has been challenging at times. In addition to the program fee, Dr. Lundell makes the trek to the Twin Cities once a month from her hometown of Granite Falls in West Central Minnesota, where she operates a private practice. As a self-employed doctor of chiropractic, when she’s not at her practice she’s not earning income. “But I considered it an investment in my future, and the future of my profession,” she said. “I can’t continue to watch, and be satisfied with, the status quo. I want to help. I’m hoping to learn new ideas, find and connect to people that can help me do it. It’s so worth it.”

Photo: Lundell poses with her policy fellow colleagues in front of the White House.

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