This summer, Kelly Mauch ’17 landed a coveted seat as an education and outreach fellow for the Partnership for Public Service in Washington, D.C. She joined HWS alums Caleb Campbell ’11 and Megan Marra ’13, who work at the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that strives to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation of Americans into federal service and by transforming the way government works.
“It was a tremendous opportunity to contribute to such an important mission at the Partnership for Public Service,” says Mauch, a public and community health individual major. “It was an absolute pleasure working with such a talented, welcoming and driven group of individuals. I’ve experienced an unimaginable amount of personal and professional growth working for this national thought-leader on federal management issues. Among other skills, I learned how to operate in a professional work setting, the benefits of collaboration, and gained a better understanding of the intricacies of working within the federal space.”
Marra, who serves as the conference and events manager, and Campbell, an associate manager, have remained committed to their service for The Partnership and perform outreach. Campbell has returned to campus several times to speak about his experiences working in D.C., which sparked Mauch’s initial interest when he discussed his position and their summer fellowship program this past spring semester.
“Caleb spoke about the importance of attracting strong talent into the federal workforce,” says Mauch, who also attended one of his one-on-one meetings. “After taking part in his discussion and meeting with Caleb, I was hooked on working for the Partnership.”
From there, Mauch says she worked with the HWS Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education to prepare for the selective application process and interview. In January, she also spent a week of her winter break in Washington, D.C., participating in Career Service’s “Day on the Hill” program and attending a Public Leadership Education Network seminar, funded by the William Smith Dean’s Office. Together, these experiences solidified her desire to work in the nation’s capital.
“I was captivated by D.C. and the potential for impact,” she says.
After spending the summer immersed in the inner-workings of the government, Mauch is more enthusiastic about the nature of D.C. and the possibility of pursuing a career in government service. Marra and Caleb are inspired by her enthusiasm.
“Kelly made an immediate impact on our team and within our organization as a whole,” says Campbell. “Within her first two weeks I asked her to give a presentation to the vice president who was impressed with her confidence, her communication skills, and her professional demeanor.”
As an education and outreach fellow, Mauch was part of a team that worked with colleges and university counselors to guide their students toward thinking about national service. The team worked with various agencies to improve hiring practices with a goal to “inspire, hire and retain strong talent,” she says.
Already accustomed to collaborating with other groups through her sustainability leadership on campus, Mauch says her favorite part of the fellowship was the external contact she had with federal agencies. For example, she presented to a group of interns at the Department of Justice on the benefits of working for the federal government, application tips for securing a job, and different programs that exist for young jobseekers. In addition, she served as a panelist on a federal agency webinar focused on USAJob announcements, allowing her to share her suggestions on how to simplify job postings with dozens of federal employees from agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration.
“Having the chance to share my insight as a young jobseeker made me realize I was having a true impact,” she says. Though skeptical at first of the impact she’d be able to have on the organization’s goal to revitalize the government, Mauch says she quickly realized that she was not “just the intern,” but that her voice and work were valued.
On campus, Mauch is the co-president of the Sustainable Foods Club, house manager of the Local Organic Food Today (LOFT) theme house, mentor for the first-year sustainability program, and leader of the “Real Food Challenge.” She’s also an eco-representative, Admissions tour guide, and a part of the Centennial Center for Leadership. In the fall, she will study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark and pass on her leadership responsibilities to other students who will further her environmental efforts on campus.
HWS President Mark D. Gearan, one of the nation’s leading experts on the intersection of higher education and civic engagement, served on the Board of the Partnership and helped to create the Fellowship program during his tenure.
The photo features, Partnership for Public Service Education and Outreach Fellow Kelly Mauch ’17 (left) with Associate Manager Caleb Campbell ’11 and Conference Services Manager Megan Marra ’13.