Cal Lutheran to Launch Gallegly Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement

CLU to launch Elton Gallegly center  

Internships, research to be part of new program

California Lutheran University is launching a new center and academic program in collaboration with former Rep. Elton Gallegly.

The Elton and Janice Gallegly Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at CLU will be dedicated to preparing a new generation of leaders. As part of the university’s Master’s in Public Policy and Administration program, the nonpartisan center will provide students with extensive experiential learning opportunities at the local, state and national levels. The focus will be on developing public servants of character and integrity.

MPPA Director David Powell and faculty members Haco Hoang and Herb Gooch are developing a combined undergraduate and graduate degree program to put students on a fast track to careers in public service. The students who are selected for the program will be Gallegly Center Fellows. They will be able to pursue internships in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and locally. As graduate students, the fellows will complete a research project and field practicum that will prepare them for public service careers. The first two fellows are seniors Nina Kuzniak, a political science and global studies major from Las Vegas, and Zachary Zabo, a political science and criminal justice major from Louisville, Ky.

Gallegly, who just left Congress after completing his 13th term, is loaning his legislative and personal papers to CLU so that students and faculty can use them for research. He is also donating his desk and other office furniture for display at the university. The Simi Valley resident is the longest serving congressional representative in Ventura County history. He began his public service when he was elected to the Simi Valley City Council in 1979.

Future plans for the center include providing student scholarships and public affairs research grants, bringing in visiting scholars and speakers, and hosting forums on public service highlighting leadership and civic engagement.

CLU and Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library officials are discussing a partnership that could provide additional opportunities. Possibilities include students interning at the library, scholars conducting research at the library while teaching at CLU under joint appointments, and the library’s distinguished speakers working with students during their visits. Eventually, CLU may help the library develop graduate seminars in crisis decision-making.

With Gallegly’s help, CLU will begin a $3 million fundraising campaign for the center.