ASU online graduate earns Presidential Management Fellowship

Lashanda Glasgow graduated with her master’s degree from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University and will begin work at a federal agency as a Presidential Management Fellow. More than 12,000 graduate students applied for the federal leadership training program last year. Only five percent were accepted.

“I truly believe that I would not have had the opportunity to be a Presidential Management Fellow Finalist had I gone somewhere else,” said Glasgow.

She chose the ASU School of Criminology and Criminal Justice for its academic reputation and the convenience of its online degree program. The school is part of the College of Public Programs in downtown Phoenix.

“I did a little research on other schools, spoke to admission counselors and decided that ASU better suited my needs,” Glasgow said. “It was the best decision that I made in regards to advancing my education.”

Glasgow earned her Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 18 months, graduating with a 3.91 grade point average.

“The instructors are really involved in the students’ success even though everything is done online,” said Glasgow. “I still felt as though I could reach them if needed, and their feedback also helped with my success. I was challenged the same, if not more, than if I had actually sat in ‘traditional’ classrooms.”

One of the keys to Glasgow’s success was planning for a post-military career before she left the Army. A combat medic who served in Afghanistan, Glasgow enrolled in the American Military University earning an undergraduate degree in Homeland Security.

“Towards the last few years of my military career, I began making a transition and positioning myself to possibly work for the federal government,” Glasgow said. “I knew that I would have to work hard to prove to myself and the federal agencies that I have what it takes.”

The New Orleans native is the first in her immediate family to earn a college degree. Glasgow currently lives in North Chicago with her husband, whom she met while both were stationed in South Korea. While pursuing her master's degree, Glasgow worked full-time at the Army Medical Recruiting Command performing quality assurance checks on applicants' submissions for security clearances.

As a Presidential Management Fellow finalist, the 32-year-old will be placed with a federal agency for two years and receive leadership training. Glasgow interviewed for a program and management analyst position with the Federal Drug Administration and is in communication with the Department of Homeland Security about opportunities there.

“I really want to help combat human trafficking and, or, terrorism,” said Glasgow. “I have always been interested in those areas and since I was able to experience some effects of terrorism while serving in Afghanistan as a medic, I knew that I wanted to increase my knowledge-base and experience in those areas. Hopefully this fellowship will allow me to do just that while positioning me to excel within the federal government.”

Glasgow almost didn’t apply for the Presidential Management Fellow program. She had seen an e-mail from ASU about the opportunity but didn’t pay any attention until she came across an advertisement for the program while searching for federal jobs. At that point, the application deadline was just two days away.

“I was a bit intimidated at first,” recalled Glasgow. “I thought, ‘there are literally thousands of people who apply for this each year and only a small fraction get selected, what are my odds of even making it to the semi-finalist level?’ To my surprise, I was selected as a semifinalist and subsequently a finalist!”