Graduate School alumni and student selected for prestigious awards

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three Graduate School alumni and a current graduate student have been named William Penn Fellows by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. The William Penn Fellowship, a two-year program focused on making Pennsylvania a better place to live, was established by Gov. Wolf in summer 2016. Over 250 individuals with master’s-level and other advanced degrees applied to the program, which was then narrowed to 23 finalists before selecting the final ten fellows.

Below is the list of William Penn Fellows from the governor’s office, along with brief biographical information:

Adam Walters completed his Master's in Public Administration with a certificate in policy analysis and evaluation at Penn State Harrisburg in 2016. He is currently a project administrator with Downtown Inc., working to improve the overall economic health of the City of York through enhancements in public space and safety. He also does grant writing, relationship building and administrative support. As an intern with Downtown Inc., he surveyed the city’s business district to gather GPS, image and other data.

Jordan Lewis is a postdoctoral research scientist in the department of psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine, where she earned her doctorate in neuroscience. She recently studied the relationship between obesity, sleep apnea, and cardiometabolic disorders in adults and adolescents. Lewis is also a science communicator who appears in national and international publications. She has authored over 130 articles, contributed to several books and spoken to students and researchers about how and why scientists should communicate with the public.

Megan Litz is currently working toward her Master's in Public Health at Penn State College of Medicine. In 2016, she participated in the University’s Global Health Scholars Program at Taipei Medical University. As an intern with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Litz developed a statewide profile of hepatitis C and public information about the disease, and coordinated seminars across the state. Her professional experience also includes work as a lab technician and community health volunteer.

Allison Hendricks earned her doctorate in German, with a dual title in language science, at Penn State, then started as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of South Carolina, where she conducted research and lead projects related to language and literacy development in children with hearing loss and language impairment. While pursuing her degrees, Hendricks taught courses in German, linguistics and speech-language pathology and audiology. She also has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, spoken at academic conferences and earned multiple awards in her field.

The fellowship program seeks individuals who are passionate about public service and interested in addressing the challenges facing Pennsylvania. Fellows will work closely on a variety of Gov. Wolf’s priorities, including Jobs that Pay, Schools that Teach, and Government that Works. 

The fellows will present the results of their work to the governor at the end of the two-year Fellowship period. 

More information about the William Penn Fellowship is available at

Last Updated March 20, 2017