The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith mourns the passing of longtime legislator John Paul Hammerschmidt, and the university expresses its appreciation for his service to both UAFS and the state of Arkansas.
UAFS, in conjunction with U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., established the John Paul Hammerschmidt Fellowship in 2013, which provides an internship in Womack’s office geared towards highly motivated college students with an interest in public service. UAFS students from the 3rd District are eligible for the fellowship, offering them an opportunity to work in Womack’s office in Washington, D.C.
Students in the JPH Fellowship earn college credit for participating in a rigorous curriculum focusing on the operations of the U.S. House of Representatives. Work includes extensive legislative research for Womack, attending hearings and interacting with the congressman’s constituents.
Jordan Hale, an admissions officer at UAFS and graduate of the university, served as the first JPH Fellow and expressed gratitude for Hammerschmidt’s contributions to Arkansas.
“John Paul Hammerschmidt was a lifetime servant of Arkansas and the 3rd District. It was my honor to be selected as the first JPH Fellow to represent UA – Fort Smith and serve in Congress Womack’s office in Washington, D.C.,” Hale said. “John Paul Hammerschmidt is widely respected, and I am exceedingly proud to be associated with such a leader.”
This fellowship is a legacy to Hammerschmidt’s public service, according to Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor. Beran lauded Womack and Hammerschmidt’s commitment to higher education.
“UAFS was honored by Representative Steve Womack when he conceived the opportunity for a student every year to have a unique governmental and political experience under the guise of a fellowship named for John Paul Hammerschmidt,” Beran said. “This kind of opportunity for a university and one of its students is a gift that we appreciate from Congressman Womack, and it shows his commitment to higher education and his constituents.”
Hammerschmidt served as a U.S. Representative from 1966-1993, winning numerous bids for reelection, including a 1974 victory over Bill Clinton.