PhD Cover Letter: Political Science

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PhD Cover Letter: Political Science

  1. 1. Duke  Alumni   1217  Northcreek  Drive    |    Durham,  NC  27707    |    (718)  496-­‐0473    |    duke.alumni@alumni.duke.edu  Duke  Contact  Intern  Coordinator  The  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights/Leadership  Conference  Education  Fund  1629  K  Street,  NW,  10th  Floor  Washington,  DC  20006    March  29,  2011    Dear  Ms.  Lighty:      As  a  first-­‐year  Ph.D.  student  in  Political  Science  at  Duke  University,  I  am  writing  to  express  my  sincere  interest  in  a  Summer  2011  internship  with  the  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights  and  the  Leadership  Conference  Education  Fund.    After  speaking  with  several  of  my  professors,  I  determined  that  the  Leadership  Conference  internship  provides  an  ideal  opportunity  for  me  to  work  and  grow  as  I  look  to  gain  real-­‐world  experience  in  the  policy  arena.    The  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights  is  an  important  and  influential  coalition,  and  one  to  which  I  believe  I  can  contribute  my  analytical  skills  and  academic  training.    My  strong  writing  and  research  skills  make  me  well  qualified  to  perform  the  work  and  meet  the  challenges  of  an  internship  with  the  Leadership  Conference.    My  background  in  the  study  of  American  politics  began  during  my  undergraduate  career,  also  at  Duke  University,  where  I  earned  a  B.A.  in  Political  Science  and  African  &  African  American  Studies.    I  conducted  independent  research  on  topics  such  as  racial  attitudes,  political  institutions,  and  policy  outcomes  as  a  Mellon  Mays  Undergraduate  Fellow.    As  a  Ph.D.  student,  I  am  working  toward  certification  in  the  fields  of  Political  Behavior  &  Identities  and  Race,  Ethnicity,  and  Politics.    My  studies  focus  on  civic  discourse  and  the  ways  in  which  beliefs,  attitudes,  and  social  identities  influence  political  decision-­‐making,  as  well  as  the  salience  of  race  in  American  politics.        The  pursuit  of  my  bachelor’s  and  doctoral  degrees  in  these  fields  has  helped  me  to  develop  my  organizational  and  communication  skills,  as  well  as  a  nuanced  understanding  of  political  analysis,  policymaking,  and  a  number  of  key  issues  facing  disenfranchised  communities.    Furthermore,  my  prior  internships  and  involvement  as  a  student  leader  have  provided  me  with  substantial  experience  communicating  and  collaborating  with  people  at  all  levels  and  across  disciplines  within  organizations,  successfully  serving  as  a  member  of  a  team,  and  working  with  diverse  groups  of  people.    My  commitment  to  social  justice  and  advancing  research  in  racial  and  ethnic  minority  politics,  coupled  with  my  demonstrated  skills,  shows  that  I  am  ready  and  motivated  to  gain  experience  at  the  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights  and  the  Leadership  Conference  Education  Fund  this  Summer.    Thank  you  for  considering  my  application.    Sincerely,    Duke  Alumni  

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