25th Cohort of Presidential Administrative Fellows Selected

Six high-achieving graduating seniors will gain career experience and pursue master’s degrees at GW.

The 25th annual class of Presidential Administrative Fellows: (r-l) Kelly Bartz, Ashlynn Profit, Chelsea Lenhart, Khadija Lalani, Kelsey Johnston and Yuxuan Shen (not pictured).
May 12, 2014

By Brittney Dunkins

The George Washington University announced the six graduating seniors selected to participate in the prestigious Presidential Administrative Fellowship program on Monday. 

During the two-year commitment, Kaitlynn "Kelly" Bartz, Kelsey Johnston, Khadija Lalani, Chelsea Lenhart, Ashlynn Profit and Yuxuan Shen will receive a graduate stipend while gaining professional experience working in a university department and pursuing a master’s degree in the program of their choice.

The PAFs will also receive tuition and fees to cover up to 42 credits of a master’s program to be completed at GW.

“My colleagues and I on the PAF Advising Team are excited to welcome another amazing cohort of talented students into the PAF program,” Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski said. “These students have clear goals for their graduate study, aspirations for their professional experience and a deep commitment to GW.”

This upcoming academic year marks the 25th year of the program, which began in 1989 with the first PAF, John David Morris, B.A. ’90, M.P.A. ’93.

Mr. Morris said that helping to create the PAF program was a humbling experience. He defined the fellows as the embodiment of three ideals: commitment to service, pride in GW’s mission, and fulfillment of their duty as an ambassador of the university in the world.

PAF Means: commitment to service; pride in GW’s mission; and a duty to be an ambassador of the university in the world.

“The administrative leaders of GW were some of the best mentors in my life,” Mr. Morris said. “My best experiences were not through my internships on Capitol Hill, presidential campaigns and the White House, they were the mentoring opportunities with the president and other visionary, accomplished administrative leaders that took place right on campus.”

Learn more about the new cohort of PAFs below, who will follow in the footsteps of Mr. Morris and the other more than 120 PAF alumni who came before them.

Kaitlynn “Kelly” Bartz, B.A., International Affairs and International Politics, Elliott School of International Affairs 

Pursuing: M.P.A., Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Person you admire the most: Easily a three-way tie: my dad for his courage and joy, my mom for her selflessness and resilience, and my sister for her passion and discipline. 

Your greatest accomplishment: "Thank you for listening when I had no one else to talk to, and thank you for loving me anyway." One of the Serbian youth I worked with said this to me while I was researching youth leadership development and ethnic tensions as a U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Laura W. Bush Fellow.

Kelsey Johnston, B.A., History, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Pursuing: M.A., Museum Studies, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Most surprising part of your GW experience: I never thought I would be able to translate my passion for history into a career. The culmination of my experiences at GW and guidance from my professors helped me turn my hobby into a professional reality.

Person you admire the most: Abraham Lincoln, hands down.  My life changed 10 years ago when I first read the Gettysburg Address. His humility, passion for learning and incredible strength are what make him such an admirable figure in American history and one that continues to inspire me daily. 

Khadija Lalani, B.A., International Affairs and Political Science, Elliott School of International Affairs

Pursuing: M.P.A., Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Words to live by: "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." - Ernest Hemingway

Most surprising part of your GW experience: My academic and professional interests have evolved significantly from what I originally intended to pursue. While I am still interested in international development issues, I would like to earn an M.P.A. with a focus in corporate government relations and public-private sector partnership strategy. 

Chelsea Lenhart, B.A., International Affairs and Security Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs

Pursuing: M.P.A., Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Dream job: My dream job is traveling the world as a host of my own travel and food show or working for an office similar to the Department of State's Office of Logistics Management. I would like to provide the necessary security for our diplomats visiting other countries.

Goals as a PAF: I’d like to enhance the skills that will be required for my future career through my studies and my placement in the Office of Safety and Security. The second goal is to actively give back to the GW community through service and mentorship.

Ashlynn Profit, B.A., Communication, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Pursuing: M.P.A., Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

Dream job: I’d like to be a "gladiator"—a reference to the popular TV show “Scandal”—for education. My dream job is any position where I can close the achievement and opportunity gaps for low-income students and students of color.

Your greatest accomplishment so far: Receiving the award for "Most Outstanding Tutor" when I worked for D.C. Reads and all of my students passed their unit exam.

Yuxuan Shen, B.A., International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs; B.A., Economics, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Pursuing: M.A., International Trade and Investment Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs

Most surprising part of your GW experience: As an international student who is not a native English speaker, I came to GW with the simple idea of being a good student and finishing my degree. However, during my undergraduate years, I found myself not only able to achieve my academic goals, but also able to have awesome opportunities such as lobbying for international issues on Capitol Hill or representing an NGO at UN conferences.

Goal as a PAF: I want to give back to GW as much as I can. Since I have benefited so much from the university's rigorous academic programs, enormous opportunities and great support, I would like to contribute to my fellow students' success by helping GW grow even more.