By Paul Szaniawski
Senior Andrew Buher fought red tape buracracy and struggled with fund-raising — all things he studies in political science — to receive a prestigious fellowship award.
Last semester the senior became Rider’s first student to receive a presidential fellowship from the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C.
Less than two weeks ago Buher returned from the second of two three-day conferences in the nation’s capital that the year long non-residential fellowship requires.
“[Buher] was working as an intern in [former acting N.J.] Governor Codey’s office, and he found out about it through that office and how the process worked,” said Dr. Harvey Kornberg of the Political Science Department.
Nationally, more than 75 top-notch colleges are a part of the Center, including Ivy League universities and others known for their political research. Each member then nominates students to become presidential fellows.
Since Buher organized the program, University President Mordechai Rozanski, Vice President of University Advancement Jonathan Meer and Dean of Liberal Arts Education and Sciences Joseph Nadeau formally selected him.
“Andy was appreciative of the help we got him,” said Nadeau. “He had a good experience preparing for it, not just doing it. That kind of education isn’t common.”
Nadeau added that Buher was very appreciative of the help he received.
“To his credit he generated the gap of the money between what we could give him and the cost of the program,” Nadeau said.
During his two stays in Washington, Buher and the other fellowship winners were treated to a panel of political speakers and a private tour of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s residence.
The main focus of the fellowship is to receive a mentor through the study to help the students draft and present a research paper about the modern presidency. Besides his Washington mentor, Buher also asked his own political science professor and honors thesis adviser, Dr. Harvey Kornberg, for some guidance.
“He’s doing a paper for the Center about the comparison of Roosevelt and Bush and their attempts to mold politics through the courts,” said Kornberg.
Entitled “A Comparison of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s and George W. Bush’s Attempts to Mold Politics through the Courts,” the research paper has a year’s worth of work put into it and is nearly 40 pages long, according to Kornberg.
Buher said he isn’t sure what path his career will take after that. The political science major said he may go to law school or pursue a career in public policy.
While an intern in Codey’s office, Buher received a taste of both these areas. He helped draw up state legislation on illegal steroids and stem cell research. Buher also had a hand in working on less popular legislation.
“Unfortunately, I also did a little research on the cell phone ban for cars,” he said. “My buddies are always giving me a hard time about that.”