News & Recipients
USF Student Named 2021-22 Florida Gubernatorial Fellow
Photo taken by Florida Gubernatorial Program
University of South Florida (USF) and Judy Genshaft Honors College student Andrew Paul (AP) Griffis is a 2021-2022 recipient of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program. AP is one of only 12 students to be chosen statewide for the current class of Fellows, and one of only two undergraduate students selected. He is the only USF student in the current class.
The Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program is a non-partisan program that immerses students from public and private universities in key areas of state government. During their nine-month tenure in Tallahassee, Fellows receive advanced on-the-job training as well as an invaluable front-line view of the inner workings of government. A key principle of the Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship is that Fellows’ job placements are high-level positions where their work directly impacts present and future state government. Placement opportunities for Fellows include but are not limited to: Agency for Healthcare Administration, Department of Children and Families, Department of Education and Department of Health.
Originally from Raiford, FL AP, a junior majoring in Economics and Political Science, applied for the Program because he “loves the state of Florida” and believes “our state is the best place to live, work and learn.” At USF, AP has been involved in Student Government as an Associate Justice and served as a Resident Assistant. He is a member of the Order of the Golden Brahman, the University Conduct Board, and was Co-President for USF Baptist College Ministries. AP participated in the USF Legislative Internship Program, where he interned with Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White (District 4).
Currently in Tallahassee, AP has been placed in the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). There he is working in the Office of Performance Management, analyzing data relating to traffic citations and crashes. His workday also includes meetings with different departmental staff within FLHSMV. Based on his academic experiences at USF (his classes in Economics and extracurricular activities) he feels like it is a good fit, and that USF has prepared him well for what he is doing at the FLHSMV. AP comments, “It’s not to say that it doesn’t stretch me, but it’s more in my comfort zone than not. This project goes deeper and is more technical than what I have done in my coursework. It’s more real because it’s not a hypothetical project. We are actually going to make recommendations for improvement off of this work, and we are going to implement these policies.” His internship placement with the DHSMV is approximately 30 hours per week, and he is completing his fall (and spring) semester classes online.
After completing the Fellowship and graduating from USF, AP plans to attend law school. After law school, he wants to work on policy statewide either in the state government or as a lobbyist. AP states, “Florida is a vibrant state whose wild spaces, from prairies to pine flatwoods, should be preserved for future generations to enjoy. In 10 years, I see myself helping to ensure that Florida has a vibrant economy, a safe environment, and an education system that adequately prepares students to be the next generation of workers and active citizens.”
Students interested in applying for the Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program should contact USF Office of National Scholars (ONS) Associate Director, Lauren Chambers at firstname.lastname@example.org.