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Answering the Call to Leadership
Four Graduate Students Named Finalists for Prestigous Federal Fellowship

For LSU graduate students Adam Shilling, Allison L. Snell, Ryan Williams and Ryan Machtmes, 2008 has been a year of opportunity. They have all been named finalists for the 2008 Presidential Management Fellows program, a prestigious and highly competitive program administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

All were chosen for the PMF program based on their academic and leadership achievements, their future career goals and their interest in working in federal public service.

Selection into the program qualifies the students for internships with federal government agencies and also provides them with an inside look at some of the top federal jobs in the nation.

The four were among a large number of finalists from colleges and universities across the nation.

PMF official logo

Presidential Management Fellows Program

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program was established by Executive Order in 1977 to attract to the Federal service outstanding men and women from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. By drawing graduate students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, the PMF Program provides a continuing source of trained men and women to meet the future challenges of public service.

Fellows are responsible for ownership of their individual learning, career development and advancement, and have the following program requirements:

  • With the input and approval of the supervisor, prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that identifies specific developmental activities designed to impart the competencies of the occupation or functional discipline in which the Fellow is most likely to be placed.

  • Complete 80 hours of formal classroom training each year, to include recommended participation in the PMF Orientation Training and Graduation Ceremony.

  • Complete a 4 to 6 month developmental assignment with full-time responsibilities consistent with the IDP.

  • Participate in other optional PMF Program activities, including rotations or Action Learning Teams.

  • Inform the PMF Program Office of current contact information by updating the Information Worksheet under the “Forms” section of this website.

  • Successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of the position to which assigned.
Before a graduate school can formally nominate a student, the school must conduct a competitive nomination process. Many students nominated for the Presidential Management Fellows program have extensive experience in public administration, technology, science, health, human resources, business, or financial management, all of which are valuable to federal agencies. All finalists were assessed on their superior writing, interpersonal, analytical and leadership skills.

For finalists, there is one last step to becoming a fellow – to acquire an internship with the federal government. To assist the finalists in this endeavor, the Presidential Management Fellows program held a job fair in April at the nation’s capital. This allowed the finalists to interview with several federal agencies.

Both Shilling and Machtmes left the fair with job offers, while Snell and Williams are still weighing their options. Presidential Management Fellow finalists have one year to be placed with a federal agency.

Shilling, a native of Denham Springs, La., received a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Georgetown University; a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics and another master’s in Human Resource Education, both from LSU; and is currently completing his Ph.D in human resource education at LSU. He decided to attend LSU because he believes it is one of the nation’s top research universities.

He attended Live Oak High School in Watson, La., and graduated from the Louisiana School for Math, Sciences, and the Arts in Natchitoches, La.

Shilling has demonstrated both academic and leadership skills through his service in the Army and National Guard and will soon begin a job with the Center for Army Analysis.

Snell of Bonanza, Ore., has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Literature from Western Oregon University, and she has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from LSU. She said that it seemed as if attending LSU was simply meant to be. “When I called for more information about the MLIS program, the dean of the School of Library and Information Science happened to answer the phone,” Snell said. “That conversation led me to pursue applying for the program. After that, everything fell into place.”

Snell graduated from Bonanza High School in Bonanza, Ore. She credits her PMF nomination to her critical thinking skills and past experiences. Snell hopes to work in a variety of areas while having mobility in her career choices.

Williams of Zachary, La., received a bachelor’s in English Literature from LSU, and he has a Juris Doctor/Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. This degree is part of a joint degree program that is designed to strengthen the LSU Law Center’s leadership role and give its students a broader range of knowledge and skills.

Williams attended Scotlandville Magnet High School in Scotlandville, La., and is an accomplished editor of the Louisiana Law Review. “I was one of nine editors on the Louisiana Law Review. There are between 40 and 50 students on the Review, but only nine editors,” Williams said.

He plans to pass the bar exam in July and begin work at a law firm in Shreveport, La.

Machtmes of West Lafayette, Ind., received a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science with a minor in Mathematics form Purdue University. He is currently graduating with a Master of Applied Statistics from the Department of Experimental Statistics within the LSU College of Agriculture. Machtmes said he attended LSU for several reasons, but the most important one being the quality of the education he would receive. “I owe a great deal of my success to the education and experiences I was fortunate to receive as a graduate student in this fine program,” he said.

Machtmes was home schooled throughout his high school career.

He credits his PMF selection to the skills he developed during his time in the Department of Experimental Statistics.

“My background in statistical and research methods uniquely qualified and prepared me for numerous program and management analyst positional opportunities as a PMF,” Machtmes said. “This background was so favored by agencies, and so unique among all PMF finalists nationwide, that I fielded several invitations to interview for various positions.”

Machtmes plans to begin a job with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Arlington, Va. He was the only one in his field nationwide to become a finalist in the PMF program.

For more information on the PMF program, visit www.pmf.opm.gov. For more information on being nominated for the program by LSU, contact Marie M. Hamilton at 225-578-3885.

Tara Harris | LSU Office of Public Affairs
Summer 2008

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