Marisa Cordon, one of five Presidential Administrative Fellows (PAF) in the 2016-2018 cohort, jokes she feels she has grown two years in just the first month of her fellowship. After studying Psychology and Public Health as an undergraduate student at GW, Cordon is now pursuing a Master’s of Public Health, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. As a PAF, she will receive a stipend covering up to 42 credits towards her MPH and gain professional experience through her placement at the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.
“GW has been a really big surprise for me,” Cordon says “As an undergrad, I got to see a lot of DC through GW. I applied to the PAF program because I wanted to continue learning about the city.”Cordon believes the diverse demographics and wide range of social issues facing DC mirror global populations.
As an undergraduate student, Cordon became involved in service through the Milken Institute School of Public Health working with Hispanic and bilingual communities. As a PAF placed in the Nashman Center, Cordon continues this work with Professor Dolores Perillán on GW Operación Impacto. Impacto is an academic service-learning program that aims to give back to the DC community while fostering students’ Spanish language and cultural literacy outside of the classroom. In addition to facilitating relationships with community partners, Cordon also works with Impacto to plan GW’s Second Annual Celebration of Cesar Chavez Day, which she hopes will become a staple event for years to come. Over the next two years, Cordon hopes to build connections between the student population and the Nashman Center and give back to the Hispanic community.
After her time as a PAF has ended, Cordon hopes to pursue work in global development professionally, especially in Latin America. She aspires to work with communities to create sustainable change and focus on women's rights. Cordon says the PAF program has helped her become more focused in her career goals by emphasizing organizational and time management skills as well as providing networking opportunities and professional experience.
Cordon encourages seniors who are considering applying to be themselves and demonstrate their dedication to their passion. “All of the PAFs are so different. What we have in common is that we are all doing something we are passionate about,” Cordon says. “The Nashman Center has sponsored a number of PAFs over the years,” says Amy Cohen, Executive Director of the Nashman Center, “We love having a PAF in the office. Each one brings unique skills and perspectives and helps to push forward with our agenda for innovation.”
The PAF application instructions for the 2017-2019 cohort are now available. If you are interested in applying, you are encouraged to attend an information session to meet current fellows on Thursday, October 6 from 5-6pm in the Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) 209. Applications are due October 14, 2016.