Jacob Feuerstein '22, a Bucknell University political science and economics major from Lewisburg, Pa., is one of 20 students selected as a Key Into Public Service Scholar by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated interest in working in the public sector and possess a strong academic record in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences.
Chosen from more than 800 applicants attending chapter institutions across the nation, each scholar will receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and take part in a virtual convening in late June to provide them with training, mentoring and opportunities to reflect on pathways into active citizenship. Inspired by many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the course of our nation through local, state and federal service, the award highlights specific pathways for liberal arts and graduates seeking public sector careers.
"The society selected these exemplary students for their intellectual curiosity; breadth and depth across liberal arts and sciences coursework; positive contributions on and off campus through academic research, internships and community work; and demonstrated commitment to serve the common good," says Phi Beta Kappa Secretary Frederick M. Lawrence. "As the country tackles concurrent health, economic and social crises, the society applauds the 2021 Service Scholars for their pursuit of arts and sciences excellence in service of the greater good."
Feuerstein's academic interests include analyses of economic systems that account for culture, economic and political processes, and intersectional political activism centered on the ideals of social justice. At Bucknell, he works as the opinions editor for the student-run newspaper, The Bucknellian, is an Outdoor Education & Leadership student manager, and works with other peers and members of the University administration to educate students about sexual violence and harassment.
Coinciding with his academic study, Feuerstein has worked in local and state politics and managed the campaign for a Pennsylvania State House candidate. In this work, he has interacted with thousands of voters, managed teams of employees, and developed strategies to effectively advocate for a progressive policy vision for rural America. While managing the campaign, he interned for Purple Strategies, a D.C.-based consulting firm where he conducted studies for clients to help them identify and communicate with their constituencies.
After college, Feuerstein aspires to work on Capitol Hill, where he can help advocate for progressive policy solutions to some of our biggest challenges to build a more humanistic and compassionate world.
"It is an honor to have been selected for the Phi Beta Kappa Key Into Public Service Award. Winning the award has allowed me to both meet peers interested in careers in the public service sector and learn from experts and those with experience in the public service environment," Feuerstein says. "The process of applying for the award afforded me the opportunity to investigate the importance of service in my life and explore future career opportunities that are dedicated to giving back to my community."