LBJ Archer Fellows Live, Work in Nation's Capital | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

The Archer Center at The University of Texas System in Washington, DC offers numerous hands-on learning opportunities for students. In the last 15 years, more than 950 of the brightest undergraduate and graduate students of the UT System have participated in semester- or summer-long experiential learning programs that allow each student to work in a full-time internship and attend courses for in-resident credit.

During the summer of 2017, four LBJ School students were selected as Graduate Archer Fellows, affording them the opportunity to live and work in the heart of our nation’s capital.

Archer Fellow: Natasha Bylenok
Location: Washington, DC
The Organization: Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
The Mission: To work in the Labor Branch on a variety of workforce issues
In Her Words: “I had a great experience working at OMB. It confirmed my desire to work on labor issues at the federal level. The LBJ School prepared me to think analytically about policy problems.” Bylenok added, “The LBJ School also gave me a good foundation in writing for policy practitioners.”


Archer Fellow: Elizabeth Petruy
Location: Washington, DC
The Organization: National Children’s Alliance
The Mission: To draft memos and issue briefs on different laws named after victims around the country and work closely with the Director of Government Affairs
In Her Words: “It was incredibly valuable to work with the Director of Government Affairs in a national nonprofit and confirm for myself that this is the kind of work I want to do,” Petruy said. “I credit the LBJ School for giving me a strong foundation and experience in writing memos, and learning how to communicate effectively under a deadline.”


Archer Fellow: Frank Sarno
Location: Washington, DC
The Organization: Office of Management and Budget
The Mission: To improve Supplemental Security Insurance youth policy at age 18 by easing requirements and removing barriers to education and employment
In His Words: "During my fellowship, I learned about Social Security programs and disability policy in the U.S. I studied the history of these programs and worked to improve them moving forward. My background at the LBJ School prepared me to work in the area of public finance and budgeting. Witnessing the process at the federal level was incredibly rewarding."


Archer Fellow: Allie Swatek
Location: Washington, DC
The Organization: National Defense University
The Mission: Scaling up education programs designed to engage graduate students and empower mid-level career national security employees to solve DoD problems
In Her Words: “My first big project was creating a strategic plan to scale up a program called Hacking4Defense (H4D). To support my plan, I created data-driven analysis based on variables that I helped to determine, such as top public policy, business and engineering programs, proximity to technology centers, access to startup capital, and proximity to active military installations; there were 15 variables in total. I would never have been able to construct a statistics-driven program without my LBJ quantitative core classes.”
Kudos: “When we presented to MD5’s Chief of Staff, he commented that in fifteen years of working for the federal government this was one of the easiest, most unbiased and data-driven public policy decisions he’s ever seen!”