Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

March 13, 2013

This Year’s Opportunity to Apply for the John D. Solomon Fund for Public Service

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on March 13, 2013

I am a little late this year advertising this opportunity, as the deadline for applications is March 15.  Nonetheless, if you know someone eligible it sounds like a great opportunity for individuals in the New York City area who want to serve their community.  I cannot come up with a better description of the history behind this fund than what I wrote last year:

John Solomon was a man who cared deeply about citizen preparedness. Though he held a job that had nothing to do with homeland security, he volunteered on a New York City CERT team and spent free time interviewing government officials and non-governmental leaders.  He learned about threats to the United States, both natural and man-made, and endeavored to match them with actions every citizen could take to become more resilient.  John blogged about it all on his site, “In Case of Emergency, Read Blog – A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness,” wrote op-eds, and worked on a book.

Tragically, John passed away on November 1, 2010.  He was only 47.  To honor his memory and passion for citizen preparedness, a fund to support the next generation of citizen-leaders in homeland security has been established in New York City.  It was set up by John’s family and friends in cooperation with the Fund for the City of New York.  This program aims to pair graduate students from New York City schools with various city agencies.

So if you are or know someone who is eligible and interested, it would honor the memory of a great homeland security leader to apply.

website contains all the relevant information and describes the fund:

The John D. Solomon Fellowship for Public Service is the first student fellowship in New York City government devoted specifically to emergency management. This program provides the opportunity for up to seven graduate students in New York City-area universities to have a nine-month paid fellowship (approximately 20 hours per week) in an agency of New York City government, including OEM, that is charged with helping the City be prepared for all types of emergencies. Each fellow will receive a $4,000 stipend, will be assigned an agency mentor, and will participate in special programs with other fellows.

Sponsored by OEM, the John D. Solomon Fellowship Program was established by the family and friends of the late John D. Solomon, who was an accomplished journalist on homeland security and other public policy issues and who was devoted to public service. An active member of his local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and a passionate advocate of emergency preparedness and resiliency, John originated “In Case of Emergency, Read Blog — A Citizen’s Eye View of Preparedness.” In recognition of his many contributions, in 2011, OEM created the John D. Solomon CERT Award for Exemplary Service in Emergency Preparedness Education and in 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the national John D. Solomon Preparedness Award.

Participating Agencies

  • The NYC Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is the main New York City agency charged with preparing and educating New Yorkers about emergencies and helping City, state and federal agencies coordinate their responses.
  • The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, one of the largest public health agencies in the world, has critical responsibilities in any emergency that threatens the health of New Yorkers from bioterrorism to viral epidemics.
  • The NYC Department for the Aging, responsible for protecting the health and safety of the City’s 1.3 million older adults, is on the front lines in reaching low-income and the vulnerable elderly during times of emergency.
  • NYC Service was created by Mayor Bloomberg in 2009 to drive volunteer activity to where New York City’s needs are greatest. In the areas of emergency preparedness its goal is to nurture volunteer activities to increase business, individual and household “readiness.”
  • The NYC Digital Project-NYC Digital, launched in 2011 by Mayor Bloomberg, provides opportunities for New Yorkers to engage with City government digitally and for City government to engage with New Yorkers through Facebook, Foursquare, Tumblr and Twitter, which are key channels during emergencies.
  • The NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, which is joining as a participating agency for 2013, was established in 1996 to provide the City of New York with high-quality youth and family programming.
  • The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, which is joining as a participating agency for 2013, promotes the well-being of immigrant communities by recommending policies and programs that facilitate successful integration of immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Who’s Eligible
Graduate students who will be entering their first or second year in fall 2013 and who are specializing in the following fields:

  • Public Health
  • Public Safety
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Emergency Management
  • Social Work
  • Community Organizing
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Education

Selection Criteria
Fellows will work on projects that involve collaborating with many individuals in their own agencies, in other City agencies, with community organizations and New Yorkers. Therefore, in addition to academic achievement and prior work experience, the selection process will take the following into consideration:

  • Fluency in using major social media platforms, especially for marketing and communications;
  • First-hand knowledge of New York City’s neighborhoods and its community based organizations;
  • Experience writing for a wide audience;
  • Experience in working collaboratively and communicating clearly;
  • Commitment to New York City and serving the public;
  • The ability to speak at least one foreign language (is desirable).

Please note that New York City residency is not required for this fellowship. Additionally, students enrolled at universities within the New York City metropolitan area, including Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut, may apply for this fellowship.

To apply:
The application period for the 2013-14 academic year has begun. The deadline to apply is March 15Click here to apply

At the same website you can read thumbnail sketches of the impressive first batch of fellows and read about their experiences on a blog.


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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

March 14, 2013 @ 7:35 am

John Solomon’s loss was and is still tragic for the future of EM!

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