Future Faculty Fellowships

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A King Chavez Parks Initiative of the State of Michigan, PA 62 2011-2012

The King Chávez Parks Future Faculty Fellowship Program is funded by the State of Michigan and is intended to increase the pool of traditionally underrepresented candidates pursuing faculty teaching careers in postsecondary education. Preference may not be given to applicants on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, gender, or national origin. Applications are encouraged from minorities, women, people with disabilities, and individuals from cultural, linguistic, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds who would otherwise not adequately be represented in the graduate student and faculty populations.

For more information regarding graduate studies at NMU, check out the 2013-2014 Graduate Bulletin.


  • You must be accepted into a master's degree program at Northern Michigan University. Conditional admits are not acceptable.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Be a Michigan resident as defined by the university
  • Intend to pursue a faculty position in higher education
  • Not be in current default status on any guaranteed student loans

Application Due Dates                                        

Winter Semester: Friday, December 19, 2014 at 5:00pm

 Award Amounts                                                                        

The King Chavez Parks Initiative Fellowship award at NMU is a maximum of $15,000.  The award amount will be prorated according to program progress.


In order to be considered for the fellowship, you must fill out the application and return it along with:

  • Two letters of recommendation from university faculty or staff who know your abilities.
  • A personal statement detailing what program you are pursuing and what you intend to do after you graduate.
  • If you have not been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies at Northern Michigan University, you should attach your completed application for admission to this scholarship application.
  • Complete official transcripts from any college you attended.
  • Graduate Records Examination or Miller Analogies scores (if applicable).


Selection Process

All students who apply will be evaluated and ranked by a committee of three.

Actual awards will be based on the amount of funds available. If the entire award amount for an individual student cannot be encumbered within one year, continuing students will receive preference in the successive year's distribution.

Any money available after that will be equally distributed between all qualified recipients, unless there is some compelling reason to reduce their award. An example would be if a student applied in their last semester before graduation and had not been awarded before. They would qualify for a reduced amount of funding.

If any student leaves the university before earning their master's degree, the remaining amount of their award will be returned to the pool available for distribution.


Award Obligations

Persons awarded will be required to sign a Future Faculty Fellowship Program Agreement, agreeing to the following conditions:

  • They will earn their degree within four years of receiving the grant.
  • They must make their best effort to attend the Future Faculty Fellowship Conference.
  • They must not accept another Future Faculty Fellowship for the same degree level.
  • They must begin teaching either full time or part time at any college or university within the U.S. within one year after graduation.
  • The fellowship is repaid after three years of full time or that equivalent is reached. Less than full fellowship awards result in reduced years of obligation to repay the loan.

Default occurs when a fellow has not met these obligations and this fellowship reverts to a loan, repayable with interest, to the State of Michigan.

Congratulations 2014-2015 Future Faculty Fellowship Recipients


Molly Fox

Molly graduated from NMU in 2014 with a BS in English and is now pursuing an MA with concentrations in Writing and Literature. Her writing focus is Creative Nonfiction and she is currently working on her thesis-a collection of spiritual essays.  Besides working as a Teaching Assistant, she is also the Multilingual Resource Manager for the Writing Center and is president of Sigma Tau Delta. After completing her MA, Molly plans on pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, and hopes to continue teaching and writing.

Ryan Kauffman

Ryan Kauffman is an MFA in nonfiction. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Arts in English from Northern Kentucky University. His writing tends to focus on the in-between - the shadowy crevices between philosophy and literature, white collar and blue collar, urban and appalachian. Ryan hopes to continue his education with a PhD in creative writing after completing his MFA.

Christen Leppla

Christen Leppla is a MFA candidate in fiction and poetry. Her work tends to focus on the Appalachian region she's from, the rural and urban landscapes that cut through Kentucky, Southern Ohio, and West Virginia. When she's finished with her education at NMU, Christen hopes to return home to teach and continue writing through the lens of diverse Appalachian perspectives.

Bridget Parler

Bridget is a native of Detroit, MI where she was born and raised. She was educated primarily in the Detroit Public School system. Her personal educational experiences continue to shape her educational journey. May 2013 she earned a Bachelor’s of Art in psychology with a minor in sociology from Michigan State University. While at Michigan State University her research focused on understanding various aspects of learning, education and the nature/nurture debate. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters of Science in psychology here at Northern. After her Master’s degree she plans to obtain a PhD in cognitive/educational psychology. 

Ania Payne

Ania Payne is currently an MFA candidate in nonfiction.  She has a BA in English from Hendrix College.  Her essays often focus on issues of identity, especially her own exploration of space as an Asian-American woman.  Ania is very grateful for all of the support and opportunities that NMU has provided her.  After graduating with her MFA, Ania plans to continue teaching writing and composition.  

Congratulations 2013-2014 Future Faculty Fellowship Recipients


Rebecca Pelky

Rebecca Pelky is currently an MFA candidate in poetry.  She has a BS in zoology from NMU and a BA in English from Indiana University, South Bend.  Her research and writing often focus on Native American history and issues, especially those of her own tribe, the Brothertown Indians of Wisconsin.  After completing her MFA, Rebecca hopes to pursue a PhD in creative writing.

Josh Brewer

Josh Brewer graduated from Duke University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Anthropology and English. Josh's love for beautiful spaces led him to Marquette where he writes fiction and nonfiction in pursuit of a MFA in Creative Writing. Josh's fiction is often set in the multicultural and multilingual spaces of the American South. Josh plans to continue his study of literature after his MFA in a PhD program.



Congratulations 2012-13 Future Faculty Fellowship Recipients

AJ Lara

AJ Lara is pursuing his MPA in Public Management.  After earning his MPA his degree next May, AJ wishes to gain his Ph.D. in ethnic health studies or public health policy.

Ultimately, AJ hopes to one day run a non-profit organization to improve the total health and wellness of underserved population in the United States.


Lynn Fay

Lynn’s writing for a long time.  Her work (appearing under the name L.E. Kimball) has appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, the Massachusetts Review, Lynx Eye, Orchid, and Washington Square.  Her first novel, A Good High Place, was published June 2010 by Northern Illinois University.  Her essays and creative nonfiction pieces have been published in dozens of places such as Exceptional Parent and The Detroit News op.ed section, and most lately in Natural Bridge.  Her latest fiction piece—a piece from her new novel and thesis—appeared last April in Gray's Sporting Journal.  She will soon be anthologized in a collection of Michigan writers published by Wayne State University.  Her novel A Good High Place is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com.  You can find out more about her at lekimball.com

She is thrilled to be working on her MFA in Fiction here at Northern and hopes to be teaching and scribbling away indefinitely.  She has intimate ties with Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula and one of her interests is exploring the reciprocal relationship of setting as a sort of evolutionary (in)?determinism.  When she’s not in Marquette, she lives off the grid on The Little Two Hearted River near Paradise.


Zarah Moeggenberg

Zarah Moeggenberg received her B.A. in English from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids in 2009.  She is currently a MFA candidate here in Poetry.  Her research interests pertain to LGBT foci in the composition classroom and developmental composition.  Her MFA thesis focuses on lesbian love relationships, many poems of with are in spoken word form.  She is currently in her second year in NMU’s program.  After her time here, Zarah plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition.




Michael Flores

Michael Flores is pursuing his M.A. in Literature and Pedagogy.  He received an Associate degree from Long Beach City College in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science from NMU in 2011, both in Literature.  He currently works as a Graduate Assistant in the School of Education, Leadership and Public Service at NMU.

Michael plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Chicana/o and Native American Literature from a university in the Southwest, where it's "a bit warmer."  Michael is grateful for his time spent at NMU and for the opportunity to experience the people and culture of the U.P. where he met his wonderful wife.