Pair of SESP alums selected for government fellowship in San Francisco
The Office of Fellowships is excited to announce that Kathryn “Kate” Bowman (SESP ’23) and Neva Legallet (SESP ’23) have been chosen for the 2023–2024 cohort of the San Francisco Fellows program! Next year, Kate and Neva will travel to California to work in Bay Area city government.
Hailing from Walnut Creek, California, Kate graduated in June after studying social policy and global health with a minor in environmental policy and culture. During her time at Northwestern, she worked at MetroSquash, an organization focused on empowering youth through squash and academic programs, an experience that allowed her to witness firsthand the transformative power of education and community engagement. She also interned at UNITE HERE in Washington, DC, researching and proposing policies to address labor discrimination; and The Marjorie Kovler Center, where she assisted victims of political torture in accessing health services and public benefits. She spent a summer abroad in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia to study mental healthcare systems in postwar, postgenocide societies. Passionate about research and health equality, Kate served as a Leopold Fellow, analyzing various laws and ILO conferences to understand how Indigenous knowledge of health has historically been legally suppressed. She recently completed her honors thesis, entitled “Wheying the Claims: Investigating Protein Claims and Consumers’ Perceptions,” for which she conducted a semiotic analysis of over 150 high-protein products and interviewed fourteen college-age students to understand how protein claims led to an overestimation of the RDA for protein.
With her diverse background in education, service, and policy, Kate aspires to create a food system that ensures everyone has access to healthy food produced through ecologically regenerative processes. Now, as she returns to the San Francisco Bay Area as an SF Fellow, Kate is excited to explore the intersection of government policy and food access. This opportunity will allow her to dive deeper into her area of interest and work toward tangible solutions that promote equity and sustainability within the local food system.
Originally from Marin County, California, Neva also graduated in June after majoring in social policy and political science with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean studies. She is thrilled to be heading back to the Bay Area for the San Francisco Fellows program.
During her years at Northwestern, Neva dedicated herself to community building and political organizing. Since her freshman year, she has worked as a student organizer with Students Organizing for Labor Rights (SOLR), a mutual aid and advocacy group that seeks to build solidarity with campus workers. Neva led the student coalition supporting campus workers as they prepared to strike for higher wages and health insurance, coordinating rallies and campaigns in the months before the victory. In fall 2022, Neva was awarded the Wildcat Impact Award for Empathy in recognition of her work with SOLR.
Neva’s labor-focused activism continued through her professional experiences, as she worked for UNITE HERE Local 1 her second and third years, conducting research and coordinating volunteers for the Chicago service workers’ union. During her junior year, Neva worked for Cook County’s Commission on Human Rights, carrying out community outreach for the Just Housing Amendment, which barred housing discrimination based on conviction histories.
Maintaining her connection to her hometown, Neva spent three years as the social media manager for her local chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Neva’s passion for community building further echoed in her work as a volunteer tutor with Books and Breakfast, where she spent three years mentoring and teaching underserved students at Dewey Elementary School in Evanston. She was also part of Fossil Free Northwestern, the Northwestern Track Club, and the Undergraduate Prison Education Program.
Neva is enthusiastic to apply her experiences in community-oriented work and local government to her home city. Following the San Francisco Fellows program, Neva plans to continue her passion for local organizing and solidarity efforts, focusing on economic and educational rights.
The mission of the San Francisco Fellows program is to foster community stewardship by preparing recent college graduates and young professionals for roles in public service and administration. The fellows program is a unique opportunity to learn about public administration in local government while working full-time as a city employee. Competitively selected applicants will join a cohort of up to twenty fellows for a yearlong experience.
The most recent Wildcat to serve as a San Francisco Fellow is Jamila Wilson (WCAS ’21), who won the award in 2021.
Contact Jason Kelly Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the San Francisco Fellows program.