University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Applications Open for First John P. Murtha Foundation Public Service Fellows

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and the John P. Murtha Foundation invite Pitt-Johnstown students to apply for the first-ever John P. Murtha Foundation Public Service fellowship, which starts this summer.

The fellowship is a community-building, paid summer employment program for Pitt-Johnstown students to identify and support local solutions through grantmaking. Each summer four students from the university are to be selected to participate in the seven-week fellowship that begins in late June and ends in mid-August.

This fellowship provides the students with a public service-focused employment opportunity. In turn, the foundation expects to benefit from the perspectives of community young people. The John P. Murtha Foundation is funding the $30,000 cost for the fellowship program annually.

John P. Murtha Foundation Public Service Fellows are students with an interest in community engagement and equity, urban planning, government, journalism, political science and/or current events.

Students of all majors and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Requirements include the ability to work effectively in diverse teams and independently, strong communication skills and demonstrated leadership ability.

Applications are available through Vision Together 2025 and must be submitted by March 25.

Murtha Foundation Vice Chairman Ed Sheehan Jr. said the fellowship program meets several of the foundation’s objectives, including preserving the memory of former U.S. Rep. John P. Murtha and upholding his legacy of public service.

“This community in particular was so important to him,” said Sheehan, who also serves on the board of Vision Together 2025. “We are looking forward to selecting students who are interested in exploring public service and working with Vision Together 2025 to develop leaders with different perspectives on our region’s challenges and opportunities.”

Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar added: “This fellowship from the John P. Murtha Foundation provides a great opportunity for Pitt-Johnstown students who are interested in public service to engage with the community and tackle real world issues. We are honored the foundation selected Pitt-Johnstown for a student fellowship that will further the great Congressman’s commitment to strengthening our region, consistent with the proposition that every person can make a difference.”

Cambria County Planning Commission Senior Planner Katie Kinka, who is leading the Vision Together 2025 Future Leaders priority team, said Vision is an ideal partner and avenue for local young people to get involved in making positive change at a grassroots level.

“It’s exciting to see all the right organizations come together to offer this opportunity to younger folks who are eager to step into service and leadership positions, and likewise, for these organizations to gain the opportunity to learn from the voices of an often underrepresented demographic within our community,” she said. “We look forward to collaborating with this initiative as we continue to cultivate the next generation of future community leaders.”

The fellowship is offered in collaboration with the John P. Murtha Foundation, Pitt-Johnstown, Vision Together 2025, the Cambria Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, which provides administrative support for the John P. Murtha Foundation.