Zachary Bauer SPA/PhD ’20 is one of 25 graduate students and new professionals selected from a nationwide competition to be a 2017 American Society for Public Administration Founders’ Fellow. The year-long program will include a mix of activities and networking opportunities geared at those entering public service careers.
“It was humbling to be selected,” said Bauer. “It will be a good learning experience to be able to interact with other PhD students across the country and practitioners. It’s important to make that bridge between theory and practice. Having a variety of academics and people actually working in the field will be very beneficial to get different perspectives.”
Bauer, who is in his first year of the doctoral program at AU’s School of Public Affairs (SPA), receives complimentary admission to the upcoming American Society for Public Administration conference, where he will present research and participate in special events with the other fellows. He will also participate in professional development webinars throughout the year.
Bauer says he’s looking forward to being paired with a long-time faculty mentor in the field from another campus for the year to give him professional guidance and feedback on his research.
“His commitment to the study of public service, democratic processes, and governance really has impressed us,” says SPA Associate Professor Anna Amirkhanyan. “He’s actively involved in several projects. He’s been a great student. He’s responsive. He exemplifies the culture of our Ph.D. program.”
Bauer’s research interests include collaborative governance, accountability, contracting, privatization, and organization performance. He is currently conducting research on the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the accountability failures that led to it. In addition, he is working with SPA Professor Jocelyn Johnston to investigate the management of immigration detention facilities.
“It’s always nice to be recognized by a national association,” says Johnston of Bauer being named a Founder’s Fellow. “It will give him exposure to meeting practitioners in the field and being able to take advantage of those connections for research.”
Bauer is the fourth American University student to be chosen for the fellowship, which reflects the strong emphasis on being a productive scholar.