Future Faculty Fellowships at NMU

The King*Chavez*Parks Future Faculty Fellowship program is designed to increase the pool of Native American, Latino and African American students pursuing careers in postsecondary education. At NMU, the program is managed by Diversity Student Services. April Lindala (Diversity Student Services) said the goal is to grant at least two new fellowships per academic year.


Graduates sign an agreement that they will remain in a teaching or administrative position at public or private, in-state or out-of-state institutions for a period of time determined by the amount of their awards. If they are unable to secure such a position, the fellowship becomes a loan that must be paid back.


Shirley Brozzo (Gateway Academic Program, pictured) became a fellowship recipient while enrolled as a graduate student in the English Department from 1992-94.


“I received a grant of $20,000 over two years,” she said. “It was very helpful at the time because I was single and had three teenage kids. Back then, I had a choice of three ways to repay it: go on to another institution and earn a doctorate; teach three years full time at the college level; or pay it off with my own money.”


Brozzo, a member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, said it was not an option to leave the area after graduation. She was hired by NMU in 1994 as coordinator for the Gateway Academic Program (GAP), which is intended to increase retention among academically and economically disadvantaged students. She began serving as an adjunct instructor in the Center for Native American Studies in the summer of ’95.


“After I submitted some letters of support, it was determined that my combination of part-time teaching in the Native American minor program and full-time work with minority students fulfilled the fellowship requirements,” she said.

Brozzo continues to teach at least one class per semester, including one she created on storytelling by Native American women. In addition to her roles as adjunct instructor and staff member, Brozzo recently became a student again. She is enrolled in the MFA program in creative writing.


“I still have the goal of sharing my cultural knowledge with whoever wants to hear it,” she said. “I’m not the ‘be all, end all’ by any means, but I do know something about it and I’m eager to contribute what I can.”


The Future Faculty Fellowship is a competitive grant with an application and review process. In 2003-04, NMU received nearly $39,000 and awarded two fellowships: one for the past academic year to Vicente Ramos, who was doing independent study with the CAPS and English departments; and one for the summer session and upcoming fall semester to Terry Prout, who is in the training and development program.


“Because NMU does not offer Ph.D. programs, fellows are encouraged to investigate other graduate schools while working on their master’s program,” said Lindala. “It is also highly suggested that they attend the Joint Fellows Conference with DSS staff. This year it will be held in November in Illinois. It is a tremendous opportunity for our recipients to connect with other fellows from Michigan and Illinois.”


The Future Faculty Fellowship is one of four King*Chavez*Parks programs at NMU. The others are the Gateway Academic Program, College Day, and Visiting Professors.




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Updated: July 21, 2004