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New Scheinman Fellowships

New fellowships for ILR students pursuing non-paying credit internships in labor relations and conflict resolution began this year through a collaboration between the Scheinman Institute and the ILR Credit Internship Program.

Associate Professor Ariel Avgar, associate director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution, said the institute has expanded its support for students to include summer internships at labor and employment agencies and fellowships for unpaid credit internships during the academic year.

“The rationale is that the mission at the Scheinman Institute is to train the next generation of neutrals and practitioners,” Avgar said. “We have to make sure that there is a supply of ILR-trained leaders in our field.”

Brigid Beachler, managing director of the credit internship program, has partnered with the institute on this initiative and is part of the student selection process. “My main goal has been to ensure that students can pursue any available internship regardless of their economic background. The Scheinman Institute fellowships help to make that goal a reality for many of our students who would otherwise be unable to pursue an unpaid internship.”

The first credit internship fellowship recipients are Michael Durham ’18 and Mac Barreca ’20. Both are interns with the National Labor Relations Board.

Durham said, “In this internship, I will be able to handle my own unfair labor practice cases filed by unions, employers and individuals. I will have the opportunity to take witness affidavits, solicit position statements from parties, write reports on possible violations and perform legal research. I will also learn to set up and run elections and possibly hold pre or post-election hearings.”

Durham, who has worked at UPS for 10 years and works 30 hours a week during nights of the academic school year, credits the fellowship for allowing him to financially pursue his internship.

“Without the opportunity to combine this aid with my job, I'm not sure I would have been able to accept this internship experience at all. I am grateful for the array of resources available to ILR students of all backgrounds.”

Barreca is an unfair labor practices investigator intern at the National Labor Relations Board's Washington, D.C., office.

“The stipend and fellowship has a huge impact on me and my semester. I would love to work in the conflict resolution field and receiving the fellowship makes me feel like there is a real possibility of entering this career area after graduating from ILR,” Barecca said.

“In the future, I aspire to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation doing crisis negotiation. If anything, the fellowship is a vote of confidence.”

Two students had internships last summer at the New York state Public Employment Relations Board and the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Center. Avgar said the Scheinman Institute is appreciative for the agency collaborations, and thanked John Wirenius and Joel Weisblatt of those agencies for working with ILR to place students in meaningful internships.