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Daniel Kent ’11 Named Google Policy Fellow

Computers and the Internet are something Daniel Kent ’11 has been pondering since he was an Indianapolis middle school student volunteering at the library to teach computer skills to the elderly. Struck by the intense desire to get online he found among many seniors, Kent worked with a group of friends to launch a program that sent computer savvy young people into assisted and independent living facilities to help. As a high school student, he founded an Indiana nonprofit called Net Literacy, aimed at increasing digital literacy and digital inclusion for people in need.

This summer, the Growth and Structure of Cities major will get the chance to see how a national advocacy organization operates when he joins the Internet Education Foundation in Washington, D.C., as a Google Policy Fellow. Kent is one of 16 recipients-- selected from more than 900 applicants--of the Fellowships, which give undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the chance to immerse themselves in the public debate on these issues, and explore future academic and professional interests.

Kent, whose long term plan includes law school, says the Internet Education Foundation, which advocates for a decentralized global Internet, was his top pick among the 16 host organizations that participate in the Google program. “I'm thrilled that I got selected at my first choice,” says Kent, who will spend ten weeks at the organization working with an assigned mentor and other members of senior staff, to do policy research and analysis and draft reports.  He’ll also attend meetings and conferences, such as the Foundation’s “State of the Net” series.

“I hope to learn more about computer and Internet policy and the intersection between this emerging field and federal government policy,” says Kent, who still helps manage Net Literacy, which won a President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2005, and has, since its founding, provided over 150,000 individuals increased computer access and engaged over 3,000 student volunteers. Kent remains Student President of the all-volunteer youth philanthropy organization and has most recently co-authored a series of white papers for the group on broadband and Internet policy.

--Eils Lotozo

Founders Green on a warm spring day.

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