Public Service Pathways Program/Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach


The Public Service Pathways program is a broad and impactful program, open and accessible to all current first-years and all future incoming students. The program is housed in the office of the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs and Madison House, and is focused on the development of student competencies for effective and responsible public service. Public Service Pathways aims to build a culture of service across the student body through specialty programming and community-building.

The newly launched program aims to graduate citizen leaders empowered to live out the University of Virginia’s mission to serve the community, state, country, and globe. Through the cultivation of a public service mindset, students begin to understand and act upon their charge as a citizen to direct their talents, time, and energy toward community and personal wellbeing. Students do this through pursuing a curated list of public service, academic, career, personal advising, and experiential learning opportunities into a centralized program.

Students explore their interests and develop core competencies associated with public service through participating in one of seven pathways: Public Health, Global Sustainability, Diplomacy & Security, Justice, Education, Public Interest Technology, Public Arts. The program's list of activities are designed to challenge students to connect, learn, serve, reflect, and plan and are centered on public interest topics culminating in a designation as a Presidential Public Service Scholar upon graduation. The Public Service Pathways Program is situated within the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Outreach.


Our office empowers the UVA community to direct academic resources toward the public good. A respectful exchange of views, data, and information is crucial to our work. Academic Outreach augments UVA’s mission to graduate ethically minded leaders by amplifying programs that clearly serve the public, and by supporting research that leads the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world toward a better future.


Dreama Montrief Johnson, Director of the Public Service Pathways Program


This internship will prepare interns for careers in any of the following: 

  • Academic Research and Administration
  • Communication, Outreach, and Publishing
  • Faculty
  • Non-profit
  • Teaching (Non-Faculty)


This internship will provide experiences to develop and polish the following skills: 

  • Communication (written and/or verbal)
  • Data Literacy and Fluency
  • Grant Writing and Funding Development 
  • Knowledge of Sector and Networking
  • Marketing
  • Problem-Solving and Analytical Thinking
  • Project Management 
  • Self and Career Management
  • Teaching, Mentoring, and Training
  • Team Work and Collaboration
  • Thought Leadership and Innovation 


The Public Service Pathways Program PhD Plus Intern will be a major contributor to biweekly meetings of the entire Pathways planning team. The core of this team is comprised of staff from the Office for Academic Outreach, Student Affairs, Karsh Institute, Equity Center, Madison House, and the Alumni Association. They will also be encouraged to attend weekly Office of Academic Outreach meetings where they will have the opportunity to learn about the wider footprint of community engagement at the University. The PhD Plus Intern will meet weekly or biweekly with their manager and mentor, the Director of the Public Service Pathways Program.

They will also engage in a performance review process including professional and personal goal-setting, mid-year, and end-of-year self-evaluation, reflection, and feedback meetings with the Director of Public Service Pathways. Based on the Intern's interests, the mentor will work together to identify contacts and make introductions to UVA faculty, staff, alumni and professional association networks. The Intern's mentor spent the last ten years working in career services and believes deeply in the personal and professional development of student team members. Access to tools like self-assessments or support for application material development like resumes/CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles will also be on offer for the Intern should they choose to seek support.


The PhD Plus Intern will gain a deeper understanding of the history of UVA and the local community to understand the context of the work we do. They will also have the opportunity to further explore responsible practices in community engagement as well as connections between democracy and public service. Our team also cares deeply about developing the same core competencies we ask our students to develop in our program. These include civic identity, civic commitment, community context, civic communication, collaboration and ethical action ( These competencies will also foreground the work of the Intern.

The PhD Plus Intern will also have the opportunity to develop transferable skills related to the responsibilities and projects listed below. The Intern will write content for undergraduate student audiences for newsletters -send digital newsletter communications in Marketing Cloud by Salesforce -utilize Microsoft Teams for communication and file sharing -navigate large-scale university environment as a part of pan-university program -succinctly and effectively share ideas in group settings -contribute and collaborate with a impact-drive team -develop mentoring and coaching skills in working with undergraduate students.


The success of this program is dependent upon close, open collaboration between many university departments and units, and the continual (re)evaluation of program elements based on student, staff, and faculty feedback. The Public Service Pathways Program PhD Plus Intern will be expected to:

  • Oversee Pathways’ newsletter creation by communicating with various University and Pathways stakeholders to ensure newsletters are accurate and informative
  • Attend, actively participate in, and identify action steps during planning team and other stakeholder meetings, attended by faculty, staff, and students
  • Collaborate with university staff, faculty, and entire units in the design of undergraduate learning opportunities
  • Attend and actively participate in stake holder meetings and listening sessions as we build out a version of the Pathways experience for graduate students
  • Other projects based on the candidate's skills and interests that could include but are not limited to:
    • Prepare written reports of program progress and collaborate in the creation and administration of program assessments
    • Mentor and develop undergraduate student leaders on the program's Student Advisory Council Teach in or contribute to the development of UNST 1410: Democracy and Public Service, a one-credit course offered in both fall and spring and is required for all second-year undergraduate students in the Public Service Pathways Program
    • Envision, plan, and attend meetings and social events for undergraduate students enrolled in the Public Service Pathways Program
    • Continually update a new public-facing website reflecting the Pathways Program news and offerings as well as a new student engagement platform


The Public Service Pathways Program is seeking an individual who is passionate about public service and student development, and who shares our team's belief that universities can and should be held accountable by the communities they impact. Please apply if you are interested in learning more about higher education administration, assessment, student development, career advising, and the best practices of university-community engagement. The ability to write and speak with clarity as well as confidence before diverse audiences is critical.


Willing to consider all options depending on the intern's availability. 


Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025