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Newest class of Roberts Fellows named

Five Roberts Fellows held a bowling fundraiser at Stardust Lanes. They raised nearly $3,000 for Community Village, an assisted living facility. Vanguard Photo | Jolie Wyse

SVSU has named its next batch of Roberts Fellows, a program of distinction in which 10 students learn to lead and engage with the world.

To be eligible, students must have 48 to 100 credit hours completed and a GPA of 3.4 or higher. They must be able to demonstrate academic accomplishment, campus and/or community service and a potential for leadership.

“An unofficial slogan of the Roberts Fellowship is that it helps future leaders be ‘comfortable with the uncomfortable,’” Foss said. “We know that effective leaders must be able to navigate complex, ambiguous situations where there is no clear-cut right course of action. Preparing students to do so is central to this program.”

Nathan Hankerson, biology junior,  was one of the selected students. He said the application process was easy since his experience with the study abroad office gave him the opportunity to work with previous Roberts Fellows. However, he said the interview process was more challenging.

 “The hardest part of the selection process was the interview portion,” he said “It was conducted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I was in my room trying not to wake my other family member being that it was early in the morning.”

Grace Kendziorski, political science sophomore, applied to be a Roberts Fellow because of her aunt, a previous fellow, who told her the experience changed her life.

“I look forward to meeting the other fellows in my class as well as learning with them,” she said. “I am excited to gain more insights on becoming a leader and gaining new perspectives.”

Madelene Cifrulak, nursing sophomore, applied to the program to find a place on campus where she could feel that she was making a difference in herself, the university and the community.

“I love a good discussion setting where the goal is not to come to a single conclusion but is intended to make you ponder a topic and all its possibilities without judgment,” she said.

The current Roberts Fellows will not travel to East Asia as planned, and their service projects were canceled. The end of the year banquet, where current fellows present on their experience and the new fellows are honored, has also been canceled. Foss said the program is working on new ways to welcome the incoming fellows to the program.

Melissa Vennix
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