The School of Social Sciences to Launch Gateway Public Service Practicum, led by Mayor Annise Parker '78 and Judge Ed Emmett '71

Annise Parker and Ed Emmett

Photo: Troy Fields

The School of Social Sciences is excited to announce the launch of the Public Service Practicum, which will start during the Fall 2024 semester under the Frances Anne Moody-Dahlberg Gateway Program. The course will be co-taught by Mayor Annise Parker '78 and Judge Ed Emmett '71.

“We are honored that our students will have the opportunity to learn from Mayor Parker and Judge Emmett,” said Rachel Kimbro, dean of the School of Social Sciences. She continued, “In this era of divisive politics, their track record of working together to move our region forward is inspiring.”

The Public Service Practicum aims to bridge the gap between theoretical learning and practical application. Designed for social sciences undergraduates, the immersive program offers hands-on experience and develops essential skills for impactful careers in diverse public service areas. During the semester, 10 social sciences students will be placed in governmental, political, and non-profit offices across Houston. Students will gain valuable hands-on experience working on public service projects, fostering their development as future leaders in diverse public service fields.

“Introducing students to public service is exciting,” said Emmett. He continued, “In today’s world, it is important to understand the positive impact of public servants in both the governmental and private sectors.”

With Parker and Emmett leading the course in Fall 2024, just in time for the upcoming election season, students will have the unique opportunity to gain valuable insight from two of Houston’s most prominent public service leaders. Parker served as mayor of Houston from 2010 to 2016, and Emmett served as county judge of Houston from 2007 to 2018. During their years as elected city officials, Parker and Emmett demonstrated a keen ability to work together and across party lines to bring about impactful change to Houston.

“Judge Emmett and I have decades of experience in public office and non-profit leadership, and we come from the ‘just get it done’ school of politics,” said Parker. She continued, “Students should expect a practical and direct application of that knowledge.”

Other internships and pre-professional opportunities available through the Gateway Program include the Finance and Banking Practicum, the Consulting Practicum, the Community Health Practicum, Summer Fellows, and Legislative Internships. The Public Service Practicum will be offered annually every fall. For more information, or to learn about hosting a student, visit the Gateway website.

The Frances Anne Moody-Dahlberg Gateway Program provides experiential and co-curricular opportunities for Social Sciences undergraduates to apply what they learn in the classroom to real life. Our internships and practica, research, international programs, and events are designed to lead our majors to a thoughtful path to career development and self-discovery. Thus, prior to graduation, social sciences students have an idea what it takes to build networks and become leaders in academia and the workforce.