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Advance Team Application

Advance Team 2020-21

Applications are due by 5 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Riley Institute at Furman is a non-partisan, multi-faceted institute affiliated with the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. It is unique in the United States in the emphasis it places on students and on engaged learning. Through its national conferences, symposia, lectures, fellows-in–residence, and outreach programs, the Riley Institute works to enhance an understanding of public policy issues, to promote civic responsibility and participation, and to develop leadership among Furman students and the greater community.

Riley Institute Advance Team members work with Riley Institute staff to carry out a variety of Institute programs and, in the process, have special opportunities to interact with local, national, and international leaders. Over the past several years the Riley Institute has hosted prime ministers, senators, cabinet members, governors, members of congress, ambassadors, diplomats, mayors, members of parliaments from countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and a large number of community activists and leaders. The Advance Team also exclusively plans and implements an event each spring with previous guests including Anthony Ray Hinton with an upcoming event with Ezra Klein.

Applicants should be aware that membership in the Advance Team requires a substantial commitment of time and energy during the academic year. Membership in the Riley Institute Advance Team is open to students from all majors and the application process is competitive.

Mandatory requirements are listed below.  Please be sure that you can meet all of them before committing to the application process. Contact Shekinah Lightner or Jill Fuson if you have questions about these requirements.

  • Attend an introductory meeting on Tuesday, April 21 at 5 pm (if you are on study away, you are excused from this)
  • Attend all Advance Team meetings; these are held twice a month on Tuesdays during late afternoon/early evening hours. Only one excused absence per term will be permitted.
  • Attend all Riley Institute events.
  • Participate in the team’s effort to conceptualize and implement a CLP event.
  • Participate in a current events presentation over the 2020-2021 academic year.

Riley Institute Advance Team Application

Part I (all applicants)

What activities will you be involved in at Furman during the 2020-2021 academic year? (Please include Greek Life, sports teams, other student organizations, jobs and/or internships, etc.) 

Please specify how often these other activities will conflict with Advance Team meetings and other Riley events if you have a tentative schedule for the next academic year.

Part II (all applicants)

Please email a resume to that includes:

  • Leadership and/or civic activities at Furman (and/or high school if you are a freshman)
  • Any study away, service learning programs and/or collaborative research programs while at Furman
  • Any internship/work experience
  • Your GPA

Part III (New applicants only)

Please answer the following two questions in short essay format

Question 1: Briefly describe a public policy issue of interest to you. Include in your essay the differing perspectives of this issue. Why has this issue had a particular impact on you?

Question 2: Tell us why you would like to be a member of the Riley Institute Advance Team, and what you could bring to the group dynamic.

Part IV (New applicants only)

Applicants must provide the name of a Furman professor who will act as a reference. This reference may be contacted to speak on your behalf.

Part V (returning Advance Team members only)

Please answer these questions in the box provided below:

  1. What improvements do you suggest for the Advance Team experience next year?

  2. Please describe one experience on the Advance Team that has impacted your Furman experience. 

Applications are due by 5 pm, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

When you hit the submit button, your information will be transmitted.

Please remember to email your resume to

Interviews may be conducted; please monitor your email. The new team will be announced by April 14th, 2020.