11th Class, 2004-2005
Field Placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foodlink for Tulare County, Fresno Community Food Bank, and Fresno Metropolitan Ministry (Central Valley of CA)
Dennis increased food stamp access and participation inCalifornia’s Central Valley by training community based organizations to initiate the application process for eligible clients, setting up a Food Stamp Task Force in Tulare County, and undertaking a multi-level media campaign to reach eligible participants and improve public understanding of the Food Stamp Program.
Hunger Free Community Report:
Growing Health and Wealth: Food Stamp Outreach in the Central Valley and Beyond identifies major barriers to food stamp access and outreach and makes recommendations for improving program participation. It includes a project narrative, a toolkit for others working on similar projects,a compilation of various perspectives on food stamp outreach, and an appendix with print media coverage.
Policy Placement: Families USA (Washington, DC)
Dennis worked in the Health Policy Department to ensure that low-income people have access to quality health care. He revised sections of Preserving Medicaid in Tough Times, a toolkit for state health care advocates, and analyzed private insurance market issues and how they impact the availability and affordability of coverage for low-income individuals and families. He was also a part of a team of staff closely examining a range of policy proposals for providing coverage to the 45 million Americans who have no health insurance.
Pre-Fellowship Education and Experience:
Dennis graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in political science and history in the Honors Program. He tutored youth in South Bend, worked with the student run national publication Changing Times, served as dorm president, and organized a weeklong program encouraging students to employ their talents in the service of others. Dennis also founded a Notre Dame Chapter of the Children’s Defense Fund, and interned in D.C. with Human Rights Watch and the Children’s Defense Fund.