Sherrie Elzinga joined the University of Illinois Springfield in August 2017 to direct the Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) program following 31 years in the public sector working at both the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. During her tenure at the Illinois EPA, she was a senior public service administrator to seven cabinet members under five administrations from 1991 to 2017. In 1992, she helped create and then further developed and directed the Governor’s Environmental Corps (GEC), a paid summer internship program for college juniors, seniors and graduate students. The GEC, in its’ 28th year, promotes environmental awareness and education and provides exposure to emerging issues in the field of environmental protection. Nearly 900 students have participated in this mentoring program giving students the opportunity to experience the demands of a regulatory agency and encourage future careers in public service.
Sherrie is committed to training students to be effective public service professionals and believes that the Graduate Public Service Internship program at UIS is uniquely positioned to achieve that goal. Because of the University’s location in the heart of the Illinois capital, students are able to pursue their graduate education while simultaneously working at state government and non-profit agencies to gain real-world professional experience. A tuition waiver and stipend allow potential public service professionals to gain both their graduate education and 2 years of experience in the public sector. A native of Chicago, Sherrie has lived in central Illinois for nearly 4 decades. She attended both the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and the University of Illinois Springfield and is a passionate promoter of the many educational programs of the University of Illinois system.