Maxwell School names inaugural Palmer Fellows
MPA students Katherine Gibson and Haley Smith are
pursuing their studies this year as the first-ever beneficiaries of the John L.
and Stephanie G. Palmer Public Administration Fellowship Fund.
This fellowship was recently created by Dean
Emeritus John L. Palmer and his wife Stephanie in order to provide financial
support and mentoring to a select group of MPA students each year. John Palmer
served as dean of the Maxwell School between 1988 and 2003 and was named to a
University Professorship following his retirement from the deanship. His
research focuses on federal fiscal and social welfare policy and he twice
served as a presidentially appointed public trustee for Medicare and Social
Security. A former assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human
Services, Palmer was also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and the
Urban Institute. He is a member of the Maxwell School Advisory Board, and also
serves on the board of advisors for the Robertson Foundation for Government,
the Journal of Social Security, Pensions
and Retirement Income, and the Committee for Economic Development, which he
has chaired since 2006.
arrived at Maxwell after earning a BS in psychology from James Madison
University. During her undergraduate education, she volunteered for the Society
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and was a mentor for the Skyline
Literacy Youth Program, a tutor for the Psychology At-Risk Youth Program, and a
leader of the Alternative Break Program, all in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She has
also interned with the Humane Society of Charlotte in North Carolina and
Langley Residential Support Services in Vienna, Virginia. Gibson came to
Maxwell in order to learn about the intermingling of policy across geographic
regions and increase her ability to analyze the efficacy of the creation and
implementation of policy across scales. Following the completion of her graduate
education, she intends to join the public service sector and contribute to
Prior to coming to
Maxwell, Haley Smith graduated from the University of Washington with a BS in
molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, and a BA in Germanics.
Following her graduation, Smith worked for Hematologics as a cytogenetic
technologist for two years and continues to work as a research assistant for
the University of Washington Parent-Child Assistance Program. She also spent
time as a residential youth counselor at the Spruce Street Homeless Shelter.
Seeing the structural barriers between cyclical poverty, health outcomes, and
policy, Smith decided to begin an MPA at Maxwell in order to develop
quantitative analysis and management skills and hopes to contribute to the
development and implementation of policies that increase economic mobility. She
is currently a graduate assistant with the X Lab in Maxwell.