September 26, 2013

UMD Center on Aging’s Legacy Leadership Institute on Public Policy program kicked off its 12th year of furthering education of adults who are 50 years or older and retired from active careers with an alumni reunion luncheon.

The event featured a presentation by Maryland delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk and the awarding of the first David M. Casnoff scholarship.

The David M. Casnoff scholarship was established by David's wife, Cheryl Casnoff, in honor of David who was a 2008 graduate of the program that died unexpectedly in 2011. The purpose of the scholarship is to honor David and the program.

Cheryl Casnoff is a public health leader in her own right and has advised the school and university in its endeavor to address health information technology research.

Lorna Bradley received the scholarship, which awarded her with $500 to put toward the program.

"We would like to make this an annual event," said Wesley Queen, program coordinator.

LLIPP has been steady in its enrollment and turnout since its inception in 2001 with an average of about 25 students per class. Recruiting begins in June each year with the program beginning in September.

Students prepare through 64 hours of intensive instruction over eight weeks at the Center for Educational Partnership in Riverdale. Topics include: History of the State of Maryland; Branches of government; Public policy; Budget and finance; and, of course, Leadership.

When the students finish in December they are placed with government or nonprofit officials who act as on-site mentors. During the legislative session, which takes place between January and April, students spend two days per week with their mentors for a hands-on learning experience.

On average, graduates of the program continue to volunteer for about two years in local communities. Graduates engage in research, writing, and community relations among other activities.

"The program has been very successful," said Mr. Queen. "We just want people to get involved."

Mr. Queen successfully recruited 25 new students for the current LLIPP class.

More information on the Legacy Leadership Institute on Public Policy program here. 

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Wesley H. Queen