Hosting & Mentoring a University Administrative Fellow

Created in 2014, the University Administrative Fellows (UAF) program provides enrolled graduate students (typically post-generals Ph.D. students) the opportunity to work in an administrative capacity for approximately six hours per week during the course of a semester. UAF hosts craft their position descriptions in consultation with Assistant Dean James M. Van Wyck. The GradFUTURES team then circulates the posting to graduate students in the GradFUTURES Professional Development Newsletter, and on the GradFUTURES website. In most cases, graduate students apply directly to the host department and the host department selects the fellow.

The fellowship consists of working on a project under the direction of the host department, attending meetings when appropriate, and discussing with the host the various aspects of the host’s position, including specific responsibilities, organizational dynamics, external networks, etc. Fellows receive a stipend (which is covered by the host office, in most cases) in addition to their normal support. Before accepting the fellowship, selected students must receive permission from their dissertation adviser(s) and must be in good academic standing.


Graduate Students

  • Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for university administration
  • Are mentored by a non-faculty member on campus
  • Learn new skills or use existing skills to complete a project in a department outside their academic department
  • Are introduced to a potential career field

Administrative Mentors

  • Work with graduate students on a discrete deliverable or an ongoing project
  • Gain a deeper appreciation of the many abilities Princeton graduate students have, and better utilize these talents in the context of their own offices


At the end of each UAF appointment, the fellows and mentors are surveyed regarding their experience and provide suggestions for further program development. The fellows and mentors also submit a short one-page document describing the outcomes for each UAF mentor/mentee pairing.


Adjustments are made to the program based on survey feedback. For instance, based on survey feedback after the first years of the program, we have added a professional development seminar series as a requirement of the program. Fellows are required to attend four out of six seminars. Seminar topics range from “Managing Up: How to Connect with your Mentor” to “Legal and Ethical Topics in Higher Education” to “Understanding the University as a Complex Organization."

Onboard a University Administrative Fellow!

If you have interviewed a UAF candidate and would like to make a formal offer, use the form below.

Onboarding University Administrative Fellows

Find a University Administrative Fellow!

Current and Former UAFs & Mentors

Avery Agles, GS, CBE
University Administrative Fellow

"My experience has totally transformed my idea of academia into a place where meaningful change and empowerment can happen."

Jonathan Aguirre, GS, SPO
Vice President, User Experience Research Lead, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"I've been most appreciative of the stimulating conversations that have motivated me to pursue research topics I would have never otherwise considered."

Yassine Ait Ali, GS, FIT

I'm a fourth-year graduate student in the Department of French & Italian at Princeton University and an Ivy Plus Exchange Scholar in the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University in 2023-2024. I work mainly on critical reception studies, creative adaptation, and intertextuality with a focus on the way artists and writers of…

Kimberly Akano, GS, REL
University Administrative Fellow

"With the support of my mentor, James M. Van Wyck, I am eager to coordinate the 'Graduate Education: Then, Now, Next' seminar series with GradFutures. Especially during this time when students, faculty, staff, and administrators are (re)evaluating the efficacy and significance of graduate education, I hope my work will foster honest reflections and imaginative dialogue. I also look forward to cultivating new opportunities for sustained collaboration within and beyond the university."

Mai Alkhamissi, GS, ANT
Community College Teaching Fellow

Mai K. Alkhamissi is a second-year PhD student with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from the American University in Cairo. Mai is a University Administrative Fellow in the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.

Genevieve Allotey-Pappoe, GS, MUS
University Administrative Fellow

"I am excited to work on new media iniatives as part of the GradFutures program. In the 21st century, digital technology has transformed the circulation of information and knowledge both spatially and temporally. This project is a great avenue to explore the various ways graduate students can use new media in their work. This will also contribute immensely to the professional development of those students who have the desire to be public intellectuals. The GradFutures program is a great initiative for the professional development of graduate students at Princeton."

Ellen Ambrosone
South Asian Studies Librarian

Ellen Ambrosone joined Princeton University Library as the South Asian Studies Librarian in 2019. She has a Ph.D. in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, where she completed her dissertation, "Making Modern Malayalam: Literary and Educational Practices in Nineteenth-Century Kerala." Ellen has…

Anna Arabindan-Kesson
Assistant Professor and Director, Art Hx

Professor Anna Arabindan-Kesson is an assistant professor of African American and Black Diasporic art with a joint appointment in the Department of Art and Archaeology. Born in Sri Lanka, she completed undergraduate degrees in New Zealand and Australia, and worked as a Registered Nurse in the UK before completing her PhD in African American Studies and Art History at Yale University. Professor Arabindan-Kesson's research and teaching focus on Black Diaspora Art, with an emphasis on histories of race, empire, and medicine in the long 19th century. She also has interests in British, South Asian and Australian art.

Craig Arnold
Vice Dean for Innovation, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science

Caig B. Arnold is the Vice Dean for Innovation and the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science at Princeton University.  Arnold previously was the Director of the Princeton Materials Institute from 2015 through 2022.  His research ranges from basic science to applied technology aimed at…

Vandana Bajaj
Assistant Director, Princeton Center for Language Study (PCLS)

Vandana Bajaj is currently the Assistant Director at the Princeton Center for Language Study, where she leads all strategic initiatives related to less-commonly-taught language teaching and learning, including external proficiency testing for the undergraduate language requirement and cross-institutional collaborations for live synchronous courses through videoconferencing.  Prior to joining PCLS, she served as a dean’s assistant in the Office of the Dean of the College. 

Mary Bechler
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Mary Bechler is a Senior Associate Dean in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Her responsibilities there include supervision of admission and financial administration staff; Fellowship programs and graduate student financial awards; Enrollment management, which includes admission targets and offers; Oversight of fellowship…

Natalie Berkman *18, FIT
Responsable Ingénierie Pédagogique (Instructional Design Manager), ESSEC Business School

"Organizing the first Grad Student Career Meetup helped me to start picturing myself doing other things, and now I am happily managing academics at a creative media school in Paris."