Iraq War vet accepted into Presidential Fellows Program

May 15, 2014

Kent Dell, an Iraq War veteran and senior in the Michigan State University Honors College, has been accepted into the Presidential Fellows Program.


Dell is MSU’s 8th Presidential Fellows Program winner. He graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in public policy and is now pursuing his master’s degree in public policy through the Department of Political Science within the College of Social Science. He’s from Fowler, Michigan.

The Presidential Fellows Program offers up to seventy-five top undergraduate and graduate students from leading colleges and universities across the country a year-long opportunity to study the U.S. Presidency, the public policymaking process, and our Chief Executive’s relations with Congress, allies, the media, and the American public.

“My area of research would involve exploring the decision calculus of the modern President when deciding whether or not to use military force,” Dell said. “As a veteran of the Iraq War, a Parachute Infantryman who served a total of 17 months in country, this unique role of the President is of great interest to me.”

Tapping into his own experience as a veteran, Dell completed an honors thesis regarding the use and non-use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He recently presented his work at the Midwest Political Science Association conference.

He’s also worked as a research assistant to MSU Honors College Dean Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, most recently on a project examining the influence of institutions and demographics on legislator’s use of information sources when making policy decisions.

“Kent is a remarkable young man with a deep and abiding respect for all things American and in particular the inner workings of the political process,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the MSU Honors College. “He has an insatiable desire to learn all that he can about government and governing. I have no doubt that he will thoughtfully, aggressively, and systematically pursue the research inquiry he is proposing for the Presidential Fellows Program.”

Dell is interning at the MSU Center for Community and Economic Development. A recipient of the Purple Heart, he’s also an instructor for the U.S. Army Reserves.

The National and International Fellowship and Scholarship (NIFS) Office at Michigan State University, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes. The Honors College serves academically talented, committed students who wish to pursue and achieve academic excellence. The Honors College strives to ensure an enriched academic and social experience for our members and create an environment that fosters active, innovative learning.