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GW swooped into fifth place this year on the list of medium-sized schools that sends the most graduates into low-income schools with Teach for America.

 The University sent 37 Class of 2013 graduates into the selective program, helping GW jump ahead of Columbia and Tufts universities and marking the second straight year the University made it into Teach for America’s top 20 list.

About 7 percent of last year’s graduates applied to the service program and more students have opted into the program in recent years. Teach for America accepted on average less than 15 percent of applicants in the last three years.

Last year, GW nabbed the number-13 spot after 33 graduates committed to a two-year stint teach. More than 317 alumni have taught in U.S. public schools through the Teach for America program in all.

Harvard and Vanderbilt universities led the list of medium-sized colleges after 45 of each school’s 2013 graduates joined Teach for America. Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania came in just ahead of GW, each contributing 40 of their most recent alumni to the program.

Teach for America also brushed up against criticism this summer, with former members speaking out against its lack of training and bureaucracy.

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Friday, Oct. 29, 2010 11:33 a.m.

Mike Bloomberg to be Commencement speaker

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will be the University-wide Commencement speaker this May.

Bloomberg, an independent, was named by Forbes magazine the 10th richest person in the United States in 2010. Besides his role as mayor, Bloomberg is noted for his extensive philanthropy. Through the Bloomberg Family Foundation, he donated or pledged almost $700 million to charities before 2007, according to the Chronicle of Education.

He has served as mayor of New York City for the last nine years.

The announcement was made by University President Steven Knapp during the GW Global Forum in New York City Friday.

“Michael Bloomberg has an extraordinary record of achievement as a public servant, philanthropist and business leader,” Knapp said in a statement. “He is also an inspiring speaker, and we are honored that he has accepted our invitation to address the class of 2011.”

Mayor Bloomberg will speak to about 25,000 graduates and guests and receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service on May 15.

“I think that his success in business and politics will really speak to GW students,” Jason Lifton, Student Association President said. “We’re excited to have him here.”

First lady Michelle Obama was the Commencement speaker for the Class of 2010′s ceremony. She stressed public service in her address to graduates. Previous Commencement speakers also include Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff to President Barack Obama; former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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This post was written by Staff Writer Ashley Roberts.

Though the nationwide unemployment rate has reached well above nine percent, some recent GW graduates are discovering a booming job market in D.C. thanks to economic factors and undergraduate experiences.

Earlier this year, the District was named the best big city for college graduates to find a job by University of Toronto business professor Richard Florida, and the city’s unemployment rate, 6 percent, is significantly lower than the national average.

Michael Bradley, a GW economics professor, said D.C.’s job market is so hot because of the federal government, private sector and government regulation of the economy. Because the federal government is expanding its budget, it requires additional employees to monitor these programs and additional spending is being funneled into the private sector where government contractors have close proximity to the agencies which they serve.

“Thus, they locate here and this also adds jobs to the Washington D.C. area,” Bradley said.

2009 graduate Jeremy Sapriel, a business manager in D.C. at THEO, Inc., said that though finding a job was hard, his experience was easier than that of many of his peers.

“It was difficult for me. However, most of if not all of my graduating class friends seem to have had a far more difficult time. If D.C. truly is one of the better places for a college graduate to find a job, I can only imagine how hard it is in other cities,” Sapriel said.

But some graduates who have stayed in D.C. to work also said connections built at GW played a significant role in job hunting.

John Carlos Estrada, a 2009 graduate, found his job as a desk assistant at the ABC News Washington Bureau through the GW network on Facebook.

“I did a search on Facebook for ABC News and I found out that a mutual friend worked for ABC’s This Week with George Stephanolopous (sic).  I sent her a facebook message telling her I was a graduating GW student looking for a job at ABC after graduation.  She wrote me back and gave me the name of the person at ABC who hires desk assistants, the entry level job at any network,” Estrada said in an e-mail.

Other students have turned internships held during the school year into paying jobs. Riki Parikh, a 2007 graduate and communications employee in Sen. Mark Warner’s office, D-Va., said he interned for Warner the year before he graduated and was able to parlay that into a job on his Senate campaign.

“I have always believed that I would not have my job today had I not gone to GW or been in DC.  My internship with Warner in 2006 was in Alexandria, VA, just a few metro stops away.  My class schedule allowed me to hop on the Metro three times a week to the internship.  The more I went, the more involved I became, which helped get me the full-time gig in the summer of 2007, which led to my job post-grad, which led to my job in the Senate now. Very few areas in the country would give me the opportunity to take that internship I had during school and run with it the way I did,” Parikh said in an e-mail.

Alumnus Kirsten Marie Vernegaard said she made the connection that led to her current position as a federal analyst at Deloitte Consulting LLP in D.C. through GW alumni dinners.

“A Deloitte partner and Deloitte manager signed up for one of these GW events, to take out approximately ten students to for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  In addition to a free, delicious meal, which is always nice in college, Deloitte practitioners were able to give us career advice and speak about their consulting experiences,” Vernegaard said in an e-mail. “Networking goes a long way in finding a job and the GW Alumni Office does a great job bringing people together.”

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