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Mississippi EPFP
Mississippi EPFP Coordinator
      Mississippi EPFP Site Sponsoring Organizations 

Devon Brenner (EPFP '04-05)
Office of Research and Economic Development Professor, Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education
Mississippi State University
More about Devon

Kristen Dechert (EPFP ’16-17)
Communication Director/Project Manager
Research and Curriculum Unit
Mississippi State University

Tyson Elbert (EPFP ’07-08)
Founder and Consultant



MS EPFP 2014-15 Fellows on Hill Day at the Washington Policy Seminar


"I had high expectations going into the Mississippi EPFP cohort and the program exceeded those expectations. I felt like I was part of a collegial family of peers expanding my knowledge of local, state, and national education issues while also working for the advancement of Mississippi State University. I'm proud to be an EPFP fellow. I highly recommend this enriching and challenging program." 

- Michael Black, 16-17 Fellow 


"The Educational Policy Fellow Program helped me to better understand the challenges and complexities of advocacy and policy making in Education. I gained new knowledge and insights from the monthly meetings, readings, guest speakers, and of course, the culminating trip to Washington DC!  It has enhanced my learning of the policy arena and has furthered my commitment to the field."  


- Anastasia Elder, 16-17 Fellow


The Mississippi Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP) is a year-long program co-sponsored by the John C. Stennis Institute of Government, the Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU), and the Office of Research and Economic Development, all located at Mississippi State University, and the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) in Washington, DC, that convenes education stakeholders from around the country to discuss education policy and cultivate a national network of education leaders.

The program is available to professionals who have a direct interest in education policy and advocacy. This includes but is not limited to teachers, principals, superintendents, state education agency representatives, and higher education professionals. In addition, individuals from community-based and business organizations, individuals who work in social service agencies, and military personnel are encouraged to apply. 

Mississippi EPFP provides emerging leaders in education and related fields with the knowledge and networks to advance the core issues of education policy. The program is a critical resource for individuals, organizations, and the state to increase knowledge about education policy and linkages between policy and practice.

Over a nine-month commitment, Fellows concentrate on three program strands: public policy, leadership, and professional networking. Fellows remain in their full-time positions and use their environment as the context for examining important leadership and policy issues in Mississippi.

Fellows learn about specific policy issues, policymaking and implementation processes; the intersections of local, state, and national policies; and how effective leaders function in the policy environment. Participation in the EPFP opens doors for Fellows to network and collaborate with statewide and national education leaders. Upon program completion, Fellows gain access to a rich national alumni network.

Meetings are held monthly in Jackson, MS.  The program brings Fellows and ideas together through a variety of onsite learning activities designed to create a personal development laboratory for applying new insights and cultivating new skills. Participants will hear and discuss education policy with respected policymakers from across the state and nation. At the end of the year, Fellows will be better informed, more skillful advocates for sound public policy .


2017-18 Mississippi EPFP Calendar:

The 2017-18 cohort will meet the following dates, subject to change:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sunday, March 18 – Wednesday, March 21, 2018 (Washington DC Policy Seminar)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 (Graduation)


Program Costs
Tuition: $2500*
Hotel, Meals, Flight: $1500 (estimated)
TOTAL: Approximately $4000

*covers administrative and meeting costs, including meals, materials, and activities at all monthly meetings in Jackson


Contact Information:

All Mississippi EPFP questions and comments can be directed to the following email address:


Check back in Spring 2018 to apply for next year's cohort!


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