The city of Wilmington finalized a new partnership with the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Wednesday.
David Karas is now Legislative and Policy Director for City Council. But before that appointment in January, he was a research fellow for the city starting in 2013. He was the first fellow from the University of Delaware to work for the city of Wilmington.
“It was transformative not only from an educational standpoint to actually learn about some of the policies that were being explored by the city, but also just from the opportunity to be part of city council, part of the team to write legislation, speak about legislation, be involved in that legislative process..."Karas said.
The city now has two graduate research assistants from UD researching possible legislation, most recently about support animals. They’re also on hand to field questions from city council members, and call other cities to discuss best practices.
The previously informal partnership between UD and the city of Wilmington was formalized Wednesday and will now include opportunities for DSU graduate students – the first two of which will begin work this year.
Jeffrey Revel is an MBA student at DSU, and will work with the City of Wilmington’s finance department for the next year on cost savings measures.
“I’m just grateful and thankful for this opportunity," Revel said. "I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this, it basically just fell in my lap.”
The internships – like Revel’s - aim to address projects the city has wanted to do, but has lacked resources. One big project Revel will be tasked with: comparing service costs in Wilmington with those of other cities of similar sizes.
Starting next year, Wilmington will receive fellows from both universities on a regular basis. The partnership will begin with just a few opportunities for UD and DSU students, but officials are hopeful the program will grow over time.