September, 2006

Elena Cross, a junior Schreyer Scholar double-majoring in political science and international studies with minors in French and history, was chosen by the Center for the Study of the Presidency to receive a fellowship for leadership and public service.

The Center for Study of the Presidency is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that encourages study of the Presidency and public service among young Americans. The Center for Study of the Presidency offers 65 undergraduate and graduate scholarships that award recipients with a yearlong opportunity to study the Presidency. This serves the American public by fostering development of the next generation of American leaders.

Cross, who has maintained a cumulative 3.95 GPA in coursework across several subjects, studied abroad in summer 2005 at the Universeit Maastrict in the Netherlands, focusing on politics of Europe. She was also selected to conduct honors research with Nancy Love on the political philosophy of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Her public service experience includes serving as a steering board member for the Public Issues Forum, a fellow for the Young People for Fellowship, secretary for the Penn State American Civil Liberties Union, secretary and elections chair for the Penn State College Democrats, and precinct election organizer for the Centre County Democratic campaign.

Cross has held an interest in American political and social history since her youth but especially after September 11, when she became increasingly interested in global politics, particularly those relating to underdeveloped countries.

Cross hopes to join the workforce in the Washington, D.C. or New York region. She plans to pursue her interests in law, public policy, politics and international development. In the near future, she looks forward to elevated voter turnout for Fall 2006 elections and hopes she can influence student turnout as president of the PSU College Democrats. “Seeing people wait in line at the HUB for more than three hours to vote [in the 2004 election] was an inspiring and gratifying sight,” she said.

For more information about the Center for the Study of the Presidency fellowship or similar opportunities for students, contact Penn State’s University Fellowships Office at (814) 863-8199 or e-mail

Story by Marisa Cavanaugh, undergraduate intern in the Office of University Fellowships.

From Penn State Live  located at