CRF Team


Lauren Tuckley is the Director of the Center for Research and Fellowships. She joined the department in August 2011, then GOFAR. Tuckley is dedicated to designing, developing, and administering transformative co-curricular research programs and mentoring Georgetown University students and young alumni competing for national and international fellowships.

Tuckley received her Ph.D. in Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University. Her research focuses on genre theory, occluded academic genres, and the rhetorical pedagogy of the personal statement.

In 2016, she was the recipient of a Fulbright International Education Administrators award to Korea.  And in 2017, she was a recipient of Georgetown University’s President’s Excellence award.

L. Tuckley Publications & Presentations

Deputy Director

Bill Cessato joined the Center in February 2022 as the Deputy Director. He received the Doctor of Liberal Studies (DLS) degree at Georgetown, where he also completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Bill advises applicants interested in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program and the Goldwater Scholarship, among other programs, as well as helps manage the administration of the summer undergraduate research programs housed in the center. He co-leads the Raines Seminar.

Assistant Director

Colleen Dougherty (she/her/hers) joined the Center for Research and Fellowships in August 2021. Through her work, she aims to increase accessibility in fellowships advising for all Georgetown students with a special focus on reflective practices intended to help students identify and develop personal and career goals. Colleen primarily manages the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship Programme in addition to advising on competitive fellowships in the Center’s portfolio. Prior to joining Georgetown, Colleen served as the Assistant Director for Early Career Initiatives with NASPA- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, where she managed professional development programs for undergraduate student, graduate student, and new professional members. Colleen holds a master’s degree in Student Development in Higher Education from the University of Maine and bachelor’s degrees in Women and Gender Studies and Anthropology from the University of Delaware .

Faculty Director

Sarah Stewart Johnson, Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of Planetary Science, joined the Center for Research and Fellowships in October 2022. She has been a member of the Georgetown faculty since 2014 and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biology and the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program. Her academic research is driven by the underlying goal of understanding the presence and preservation of biosignatures within planetary environments. Her lab is also involved in the implementation of planetary exploration, analyzing data from current spacecraft as well as devising new techniques for future missions. She enjoys advising students from all walks of life, and as the CRF Faculty Director she is eager to help expand Georgetown’s undergraduate research portfolio. A former Goldwater, Truman, and Rhodes Scholar, she received her Ph.D. from MIT and has worked on NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Rovers.

Administrative Program Assistant

Fatima Smith joined the department in August 2021. Smith provides part-time administrative support for the Center. Additionally, Smith provides part-time support to the University’s Honor Council.


Jonathan Compo joined the center in August 2022.