Following a competitive application process and one of the largest pools of applications in the history of the program, the University selected eight new Presidential Administrative Fellows last month, a University official said.
Toby Davidow, the program’s logistic coordinator, said eight seniors were selected to be fellows starting next fall. The students receive full tuition and fees toward a master’s degree, free housing and a salary in return for their work in various University offices.
“The PAFs that were chosen were ones that the committee felt could represent the core values of the fellowship, which includes high academic achievement, service to the University and community, and who could serve as the best ambassadors,” Davidow said. “I expect that they will continue to uphold the PAF legacy quite well.”
The program, which was created in 1989 by former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, drew 15 percent more applications than last year, which Davidow said is due in part to the program’s growing reputation.
“We are looking to raise the GPA [requirement] next year to make the fellowship even more competitive,” Davidow said, noting she was not certain if the spike in applications will continue into next year.
The list of selected PAF members includes former CI Cabinet members, student organization presidents and multiple leaders within Greek life: Darnell Cadette, Shakir Cannon-Moye, Brian Engel, Brian Hawthorne, Kalie Kelman, Meaghan Smith, Kelley Stokes, and Tura Woods. The number of fellows selected each year varies, ranging from seven to nine.
Smith, a senior majoring in public health and captain of the cross country team, said the opportunity to stay in the District for two more years and represent the University as a PAF was also a chance to stay connected to the GW community.
“I couldn’t be more excited that I was selected for PAF,” Smith said. “Not only will PAF help facilitate my future career goals, but it will allow me to continue to be involved across campus alongside an incredible group of people.”
Smith said her fellow PAFs are “tremendously accomplished, motivated and hardworking students.” She added she hopes her class of fellows takes advantage of the benefits of the unique program.
“We all strongly believe in the mission of the University, and this is our chance to give back and improve the GW experience,” Smith said.
For incoming fellow Hawthorne, a student veteran and founder of GW Veterans, he was surprised to be selected for the fellowship. He said he will bring a different perspective to the group.
“I want to see GW grow its relationships with outside groups that bring different perspectives to the classroom, like the military for example, to continue to strengthen the academic and social experience here,” Hawthorne said.