2024 Archer Fellows Head to Washington DC

Fellows pictured in Capitol Building at desks with American Flag in background.

Established in 2010, the Graduate Archer Fellowship program allows selected applicants an opportunity to travel to Washington, DC, and immerse themselves in the heart of federal and public service. Archer Fellows live, learn, and work in the nation’s capital for the summer semester to gain hands-on experience in the policy making process and help solve policy problems. Graduate fellows of the program are led through curriculum and experiential learning opportunities thar review four core academic topics including: Education Policy, General Domestic Policy, Health Policy, and National Security and Global Affairs Policy.  

Four UTHealth Houston School of Public Health students were selected as 2024 Archer Fellows: Amber Barrow, Stephany Bauer, Elizabeth Nguyen, and Lawrence Robinson. While still early in their fellowship, we connected with each UTHealth Houston School of Public Health fellow to learn what they look forward to during their time in DC and are eager to hearing more about their experiences with the Archer Fellowship.  


Amber Barrow, an MPH student studying community health practice, is highly anticipating her summer in DC. Barrow is currently studying the effects of recent policy changes on reproductive health, “ The landscape and environment in which we can assist our communities are changing rapidly,” said Barrow. As a reproductive health advocate, Barrow wants to shed light on women’s health, and aspires to become a physician where she can combine her public health education with practice and policy. 

“I am excited to meet and exchange ideas with professionals from various fields within the policy spectrum. This will challenge me to address the policy issues I care about in meaningful and innovative ways.” 


Stephany Bauer, MS, a DrPH student in Brownsville studying health promotion and health education, will join the education policy group to analyze the intersection of education and public health policy. As a former teacher, Bauer understood that schools play an essential role and have a broad reach in setting positive routines for students’ health development.  

Bauer spent her time as an educator seeking support for evidence-based health curricula and assistance in implementing wellness health policies. 

“I believe that schools can positively influence lifelong health outcomes by teaching, establishing, and promoting healthy lifestyles,” Bauer stated. 

As an Archer Fellow, Bauer will expand her understanding of education policy at the national level.


Grace Drew, a second-year MD/MPH student at McGovern Medical School, has always aspired to become a physician. As a dual-degree student, Drew is merging her passions for women’s health and advocacy to gain the skills to be a successful physician and researcher. 

In Washington, DC, Drew is joining the General Domestic Policy working group, crafting policy solutions for paid family leave. This opportunity as an Archer fellow allows her to draw from her interests in policy and medicine, focusing on postpartum care, to aid in policy work to improve health outcomes for women and infants. 

“I wanted to take some time to pursue my interest in policy and advocacy work. I believe the Archer program will help me better understand the role of physicians as policy advocates,” said Drew.  


Elizabeth Nguyen is passionate about promoting maternal mental health and improving access to healthy and affordable food. As an MPH student at the Austin location in the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, Nguyen aspires to advocate for food and mental health policies after graduation to build a more equitable, sustainable, and healthier food and healthcare system.   

During her time in DC, she plans to draft research on the recommendations of SNAP use by incarcerated felons to create a more inclusive food system. “These recommendations are critical because they promote access to SNAP benefits, which can help reduce the risk of food insecurity and assist in their reintegration into society,” she said. She also plans to intern at the Meadows Mental Health and Policy Institute where she will collaborate on a literature review on maternal health interventions. 

Nguyen has served as an intern at the Texas Department of State Health Services and looks forward to working at the national level as an Archer Fellow. 


Lawrence Robinson, a second-year MPH student in the Department of Management, Policy, and Community Health, will spend his summer alongside a health policy workgroup to research how nonprofit health systems can invest more in non-medical interventions/community-building activities. 

“I wanted to understand the connection between public policy and health outcomes, especially how policy affects the social determinants of health in underserved communities. Archer seemed like a great fit because not only am I getting a crash course in federal policy, but I will immerse myself in the political culture of D.C.” 

We look forward to hearing more from the fellows as summer progresses and applaud their selection in this highly competitive program. More information about the Archer Center and fellowship programs can be found on their website

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