The LeMieux Center for Public Policy Selects Fernandez, Murray as Fellows


Fellows for 18Undergraduate students Ariana Fernandez and Sarah Murray have been selected to receive research fellowships from The LeMieux Center for Public Policy at Palm Beach Atlantic University this year.

Through The LeMieux Center Fellows Program, the two Frederick M. Supper Honors Program students will pursue an independent study of current or emerging public policy issues concerning individual freedoms, values, rights, religious liberties and institutions in the United States.

The fellows receive a stipend to cover the cost of an independent study course as well as expenses, such as travel, incurred during the course up to $2,500 as well as ongoing guidance for their research project from former U.S. Senator George LeMieux.

“This is really a great opportunity for me to work closely with both the student and faculty advisor,” said Senator LeMieux. “At the end of the day, I get more out of this than anyone, it’s a great joy of my life to be affiliated with Palm Beach Atlantic.”

Fernandez, an English and secondary education major from Miami, will study the 2017 school choice proposal. Dr. Jennifer Elmore, associate professor and chair of English, will support Fernandez in her research.

“I was homeschooled throughout my life and had other relatives in a variety of magnet, charter and public schools. This background and my passion for education drew my interest in researching the school choice policy,” said Fernandez.

Fernandez entered PBA with the Farish scholarship, a competitive merit scholarship, and is a student in the University’s Supper Honors program. She works as a discipleship assistant for Baxter Residence Hall and as an excellence coach in the Center for Writing Excellence. Fernandez volunteers in the Bridges Language Academy at PBA and has church involvement in children’s ministry at South Kendall Community Church. Upon graduating Fernandez plans to teach abroad.

A communication major from Lakeland, Tennessee, Murray has chosen to complete research on the sanctuary city policy. She will be assisted in her research by Dr. Linda Raeder, professor of political science.

“This past summer I was living and working in a primarily immigrant community in Chicago,” said Murray. “The policy is a hot topic there, so I heard a lot about it and became very interested in doing more research.”

Murray is completing an internship at Mav3n Digital where she is responsible for social media accounts. She has held a copy editor position at The Adrian Rogers Pastor Training Institute and a community service coordinator at YouthWorks. She is a student in the Supper Honors program and has served as a resident assistant on campus. Upon graduating, she plans to attend graduate school in a program that combines her interest in politics, political philosophy and public policy.

The application process included submission of a research proposal, resumé and a letter of support for the research from a faculty mentor. Selection of the fellows was based on the application and an interview.


Photo: From left: Sarah Murray, Senator George LeMieux and Ariana Fernandez .