Three LSU Students, One LSUS Student Named Presidential Management Fellows Finalists

March 14, 2023

Three LSU students and one LSU Shreveport student have been named Presidential Management Fellows Finalists. The Presidential Management Fellows program, or PMF, is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The prestigious and highly competitive program offers finalists employment with the federal government.

  • Hannah Cottrell of West Monroe, La., is a third-year law student in the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
  • Sophie Jurgensen from Centreville, Va, is a PhD candidate studying oceanography in the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, College of the Coast & Environment.
  • Candy Mancera, a San Diego, Ca. native who received a Master’s in social work.
  • Michael A. Gay, from Battle Ground, Wa., an MBA student studying at LSU Shreveport.

“I was very excited and a little surprised when I was notified about it, because it’s such a competitive program,” Cottrell said. She also earned her undergraduate degree from LSU.

PMF Finalists were selected from a pool of more than 10,000 applications. The finalists were selected from 850 applicants. Presidential Management Fellows are chosen based on their leadership skills, their future career goals and their interest in working in federal public service. Eligible applicants must have completed a higher degree program by the time the fellowship period starts. Many fellows have extensive experience in international studies, public administration, technology, science, health, human resources, business or financial management, all of which are valuable to federal agencies.

“I learned a lot about the pros and cons of working for the federal government through this application process and could see myself in several federal agencies, especially within the Department of the Interior, NOAA or the EPA. As long as I can contribute to cool science, I'm happy!” Jurgensen said.

“Being chosen to be a part of such a competitive pool of individuals mean a lot to me as a social worker. Social Workers are much needed and hold such value, especially in the federal government. Understanding how crucial social workers are was what initially drove me to pursuing this career. I have not selected an appointment at the moment; however, I am pursuing federal leadership positions with a focus in advocacy, policy analysis, public policy, research, case management/outreach and public health," Mancera said. "Being selected as a fellow will open so many doors and I look forward to making a difference within the federal government sector in both a macro and micro level. I represent others who have a passion for creating change."

In order to accept and become an official fellow, a finalist must obtain employment with the federal government within one year of being selected as a finalist.