Barrett headshot

Emerson Fellow

Dennis Barrett

11th Class, 2004-2005

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.

Field placement: Central California Food Bank

Field placement: Foodlink of Tulare County

Field placement: Fresno Metro Ministry

Field placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Central Valley, California

Dennis increased food stamp access and participation in California’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.

Policy placement: Families USA

Washington, D.C.

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.