University Announces Newest Presidential Administrative Fellows

Graduating seniors will continue at GW to pursue master’s degrees and gain professional experience in university departments

2013 Presidential Administrative Fellows
(L-R) Christopher Kim, Lauren Shenfeld, Austin Frizzell, Meredith Waters, Shirley Hsieh and Adam Bethke, the new class of Presidential Administrative Fellows will gain work experience in a university department while pursuing master's degrees.
May 14, 2013

By Brittney Dunkins

The university announced the newest group of students who will participate in the Presidential Administrative Fellowship over the next two years and receive up to 42 credits of tuition for the master’s degree program of their choice, while gaining professional experience through working in a George Washington University department.

Seniors Adam Bethke, Austin Frizzell, Shirley Hsieh, Christopher Kim, Lauren Shenfeld and Meredith Waters will serve as fellows for the 2013-15 academic years.

Founded in 1989, the Presidential Administrative Fellowship provides tuition and fees toward a master’s program at GW along with a graduate stipend.

“This cohort of fellows is an exemplary group,” Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski said. “They were effective in not only presenting their exceptional skills and academic credentials, which include a 3.74 combined average GPA, but also in navigating the interview process.”

A panel of GW staff assessed the 68 first-round applicants based on their academic records, three recommendations and five written essays on their skills and abilities as leaders in the GW community. Senior members of the faculty and staff then interviewed the semi-finalists and chose the six finalists from the pool.

Students will begin their placements and graduate programs in August. 

“They will serve in a number of critical roles that serve the campus and community as we embark on the implementation of the new strategic plan,” Dr. Konwerski said.


Adam Bethke, B.A., Criminal Justice and Political Science, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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

Goal as a PAF: “GW has given me a plethora of opportunities as an undergraduate, and I'm excited to give back. I'm looking forward to contributing to the university in whichever department I end up working in.”

Words to live by: "Decisions are made by those who show up." –Unknown


Austin Frizzell, B.A., Human Services, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Pursuing: M.P.H., School of Public Health and Health Services

Words to live by: "We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak."–Martin Luther King Jr.

Most influential professor:  “During my undergraduate career I took four classes with Dr. Lynette Osborne and she has played a meaningful role in my development as an academic and a person. Although I considered myself a feminist before taking her courses, they helped me to crystallize feminism as a viewpoint that informs my life and my academic pursuits.”


Shirley Hsieh, B.A., International Affairs, Elliott School of International Affairs, B.S. Economics, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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

Dream job: “I am interested in the fields of international affairs and economics. Ultimately, my goal is to work for a multinational institution or an international corporation.”

Words to live by: “Work hard and stay true to yourself.” – Unknown


Christopher Kim, B.S., Economics, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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

Dream job: “I want to be in education. I want to influence the design of education policy and hope that a public policy degree in education will help me do that.”

Best advice you’ve received: “‘Stress causes change.’ My water polo coach in high school was referring to swimming. We have to apply stress to our muscles to change them, make us faster, and make us better swimmers. I’ve learned to apply this logic to everything I do.”


Lauren Shenfeld, B.A., History, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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

Dream job: Director of a children’s museum

Most surprising part of your GW experience: “As a transfer student, I did not expect to be so involved with student life on campus, nor to be a strong candidate for an award like the PAF. GW’s active student organizations, numerous opportunities for student engagement and leadership in and out of the classroom, and engaged faculty and staff rerouted the path I thought I would have.”


Meredith Waters, B.S., Public Health, School of Public Health and Health Services

Pursuing: Master of Health Services Administration, School of Public Health and Health Services

Dream job: “I hope to one day enhance public-private partnerships for health to better serve the disadvantaged and improve population health outcomes around the world.”

Person you admire the most: “My older brother Paul Waters. He went to GW as an undergrad, is currently a third-year student at GW Law School and has given me endless love and support. He is my role model and best friend.”