Future Faculty Fellowships

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A King Chavez Parks Initiative of the State of Michigan

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 2014-2015 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 18, 2015 at 5:00pm

 Award Amounts                                                                        

The maximum King Chavez Parks Initiative Fellowship award at NMU 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. They can be e-mailed to Shirley Brozzo at sbrozzo@nmu.edu
  • A personal statement detailing what program you are pursuing and what you intend to do after you graduate.
  • Complete official transcripts from any college you attended other than NMU.  NMU student transcript is fine.
  • Graduate Records Examination (GRE) 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 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.