This past summer, Shivani Sidh ’25, a University of Maryland junior pursuing a double major in public policy and international relations with a minor in U.S. Latina/o studies, interned for the Office of Governor Wes Moore. Sidh was a recipient of the Internship/Scholarship Award, which awards undergraduate policy students with an interest in housing policy, community development and related policy issues an internship stipend to gain valuable experiential learning. Leveraging the skills she sharpened through her coursework and capstone project, Sidh joined the governor’s communications team, learning valuable lessons that she believes will continue to resonate throughout her career.
A key takeaway for Sidh was mastering the art of concise and compelling formal writing. She also learned to coordinate seamlessly with other departments and offices, consolidating multiple voices into one cohesive product.
During her internship, Sidh conducted research and interviews with the governor’s staff members on HB0412: Criminal Law - Sexual Crimes - Consent and Second-Degree Rape from the 2023 legislative session. She drafted a policy memo on sexual assault prevention in Maryland and presented policy recommendations for the bill to the governor’s principal staff members.
In this capacity, Sidh had the opportunity to draft press releases, social media content and event briefs – documents that were essential in preparing Governor Moore for various public engagements including interviews, speeches and other public appearances. Ten of Sidh’s press releases were published, including “Governor Moore Announces Nearly $3 Million in Federal Funding for Severna Park Company to Support Efficient Building Standards,” and six of the social media graphics she created about public safety can be found on Governor Moore’s Instagram account.
Sidh’s most impactful work came when she was entrusted with helping to create documents for Governor Moore’s first televised town hall on WUSA9 where he discussed his mission of creating social equity. The 86-page document covered a wide range of topics including public safety, support for the LGBTQ+ community, service as a college alternative and the rebuilding of state government.
Commending the Moore-Miller administration’s commitment to diversity, Sidh noted, “I appreciate their diversity intentions, as they embody the message of leaving no one behind by considering diversity in all aspects – age, race and gender.”
Throughout her experience, Sidh emphasized that her classes at the School of Public Policy instilled in her a deep sense of dedication and commitment to serving constituents. In total, she spent ten weeks in her role in the governor’s office. In addition to her portfolio of work, she believes her time interning with the Moore-Miller administration strengthened her ability to communicate effectively and develop rapid response and crisis communication skills. Ultimately, Sidh said the position helped her to learn “how to engage authentically and connect with people - a transferable skill set applicable to all fields.”
- Social Policy