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Meet Abigail Geesling

Combined Student earning her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Administration

I am passionate about education policy and advocacy.

This summer, I achieved a significant milestone by becoming a John Glenn Fellow through the Washington Academic Internship Program (WAIP), one of the college’s most prestigious programs. Since my freshman year, I’ve been driven to participate in this program, and I carefully planned my academic journey with the goal of living and working in our nation's Capital. 

Every year leading up to this moment, I eagerly followed the WAIP Instagram page, living vicariously through the experiences of past participants. Finally, in the Summer of 2023, my dream of pursuing my passion for education policy and activism became a reality. The process of policy implementation and my engagement in democracy, both formally and informally, deeply resonate with my younger self. I have always aspired to immerse myself in settings that challenge the status quo of policies and create a conducive space for dialogue. I am deeply grateful for the mentors who nurtured my interests and provided me with this incredible opportunity. I now have a federal perspective on education policy, which sparked a new research inquiry into how the multidisciplinary nature affects political feasibility. 

Internship: Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) 

During my summer internship, I served as an Advocacy and Lobbyist Strategy intern. I had the opportunity to attend lobbying meetings with NASPAA's incredible team. As a public administration enthusiast, I saw the power and impact of civic engagement and advocacy in our nation's Capital. For example, I engaged in conversations and presentations with Congressional staff members about our Federal Action Plan. I also helped to develop a one-pager highlighting these action plan initiatives that NASPAA hopes Congress will adopt and lead to a bipartisan agreement. A particular reaction with a staff member from the Minority Education and Workforce Committee stuck with me. She referenced a personal experience with one of our action plan initiatives. She and other team members felt very passionate about expanding federal pathway programs for students interested in working for the federal government. After this meeting, I felt a sense of urgency and excitement to continue advocating for this initiative even after completing my internship with NASPAA. I hope more students from small rural towns and the Midwest have the chance to work in D.C. 

Walking down the halls of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, where the nation's most significant decisions are made and debated, was inspiring. It reminded me that I chose the right academic and career path at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The power of collective action and organizations such as NASPAA can bring meaningful change and provide expert testimony. Through persistence and determination, we can shape a better future for public service in the U.S. 

I am so grateful that NASPAA provided me with this experience, and I got to see Dean Brown in action through advocating for students and influencing change. 


Abigail Geesling

NASPAA's Advocacy and Lobbyist Strategy Intern

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