UVa-Wise senior selected to Virginia Governor's Fellows program

UVa-Wise senior Phillip Blevins has been named a Virginia Governor’s Fellow, which means he will spend the summer in Richmond working in the public safety office for Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Phillip BlevinsBlevins, an administration of justice major, is one of 13 graduating seniors or rising college seniors selected for the program. He will begin work in the public safety administration in early June until August, just in time to begin his law school studies at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va.

The Virginia Governor’s Fellows Program offers a select group of outstanding and highly motivated students an opportunity to get firsthand knowledge of the workings of state government. The program, which began in 1982, offers an experience that often leads to careers in public service.

“I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Blevins, who serves as Student Government Association president and as the student representative on the UVa-Wise Board.

Blevins is considering a career in public service after he completes law school.

“I’m nervous about it as well because I will be leaving my comfort zone,” he said. “It will be different, but it will be a good experience.”

Students selected for the program are placed in different positions in the governor’s office and in various agencies in the executive branch. The program works to match Fellows with compatible assignments according to background, interests and future goals.

Blevins submitted an application for the program after learning about it from UVa-Wise Career Services. The application process was complex, and Blevins had to write in support of a bill that was under consideration by the Virginia General Assembly. He selected a measure which was crafted to make texting while driving a primary offense. He chose the driving while texting bill because of his experience working as an emergency medical technician. Blevins responded to a traffic accident and found that a high school classmate had been killed when a driver who was texting ran into his vehicle.