Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, Special Issue, 1158-116 3
Published Online October 2012 in SciRes (
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy—Making a Difference
through the Buckman Fellowship
Marilyn DeLong1, Colleen Kahn1, Jane Newell2
1College of Design, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, USA
2College of Education & Human Development, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, USA
Received July 3rd, 2012; revised Aug ust 5th, 2012; accepted August 20th, 2012
Fostering an attitude of giving back is a useful exercise to consider within the academic community.
There are many curricula that include leadership or philanthropy, but few that provide opportunities for
individuals whose academic focus is neither exclusively philanthropy nor leadership. The Buckman Fel-
lowship offers a unique program for innovative, creative, and motivated university faculty, staff, graduate
students, and alumni to gain leadership and philanthropic skills needed to implement projects of their own
design and powered by their own passion. Housed within a university, the program cultivates emerging
philanthropic leaders, with a formal evaluation of stakeholders to refine its objectives and continually im-
prove its outcomes.
Keywords: Philanthropy; University Setting; Leadership; Fellowship
All of us experience moments, people, or events that prompt
us to take action to help others. But how do we harness this
energy and desire to create social impact, given our constraints
of time, money and expertise? In her recent book, Giving 2.0,
Arrillaga-Andreessen (2012) explains that we must find ways to
harness the generosity and passions of budding philanthropists.
Andreessen defines a philanthropist broadly, as anyone giving
time, money, experience, skills or networks to create a better
world. With this more expansive concept of philanthropy
comes the notion that we all have the potential to become more
philanthropic. Philanthropy should not be viewed as full time
fund-raising and courting donors to write out the check with no
expectation of further involvement, but instead as a way of
engaging people’s expertise and passions for changing the
The Buckman Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Philan-
thropy has just such a goal, with its year-long program of mon-
thly seminars that educate a small and select cohort of “Fel-
lows” in numerous aspects of philanthropy. Receiving training
and networking opportunities in pertinent areas of philanthropic
leadership, each Fellow engages in a philanthropic project that
he or she chooses to focus on throughout the year. These pro-
jects vary in topic and scope depending upon the goals of the
participants, who come with a diverse range of interests and
expertise in design, education and human services.
Since its inception the Buckman Fellowship has been a work
in progress, and now is in its eighth year of offering Fellow-
ships to philanthropically minded academics. This research
focuses on evaluating the structure, function, philosophic and
pedagogic underpinnings of this philanthropic program.
From our perspective, the social constructivist framework of
the program is essential and effective because it allows for a
wide range of Fellows with disparate and diverse life, academic,
and project experience to grow together on a yearlong journey
into the world of philanthropic leadership. Social constructivist
methodology allows for and supports autonomous growth
within a group of people. Fellows are selected not only for the
probability of successful implementation of a project of social
significance to them and their community, but also because of
their commitment to obtaining leadership and philanthropic
skills within a cohort of divergent learners.
These kinds of outcomes are possible because of the envi-
ronment created through the interaction and development of
each cohort of participants over their year together. The Fel-
lows work independently to design, develop, and implement
their projects outside of their monthly meeting time. However
when they come together they engage with one another to share
their trials and errors, their ideas and questions, as well as their
successes and breakthroughs. Through this process, their pro-
jects evolve and begin to take form, sometimes taking a com-
pletely different direction than what they first imagined. These
changes over time, resulting from group process and social
construction, are often noted by the Fellows as being significant
learning experiences they would not likely have discovered on
their own. Examples of projects highlight this process of phil-
anthropic leadership development and demonstrate the com-
mitment and passion of Fellows to make a difference in that
part of the world that is important to them.
Project Examples
Buckman Fellows vary widely in their interests, academic
pursuits, affiliation with the University, and leadership goals.
Encompassing the fields of design, social science and applied
sciences, projects also vary widely in scope, mission, and in-
tended impact. The following project examples are typical of
each Buckman cohort, reaching internal, local, national, and
international stakeholders. All projects are initiated by specific
interests with some projects a one-time event ending at a speci-
fied time, while others launch a new professional pathway.
Connecting Children
After a successful career in the apparel design field, includ-
ing work in major US and Asian cities, Di sought a humanitar-
ian project. She began by hosting benefit fashion shows where
proceeds from sales were distributed to international adoption
organizations in multiple countries. By the time she entered the
Fellowship program, Di had expanded the number of organiza-
tions and countries to twelve, with each organization doing
philanthropic work on behalf of children.
During her time as a Buckma n Fellow, Di attended a number
of seminars addressing the “nuts and bolts” of philanthropic
fund raising, management, and leadership, and she discovered
that she could start her own 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. Her
nonprofit corporation now connects American children with
children from other countries as pen pals, friends, and helpers.
Di’s philanthropic reach has not only gone global, it’s been
globally acknowledged as well: CNN featured Di’s work and
organization the year following her Buckman Fellowship.
Dignity & Humanity
Roz, a social scientist, had a son who went to prison for a
crime he committed. However, the inequality in the criminal
justice system left her stunned and angry, and she decided, as a
Buckman Fellow, she could do something about it. Roz started
a foundation to help inmates learn to work through their issues
and solve their own problems through a re-entry process that
starts while the individual is still in prison.
Her newly formed foundation distributes a newspaper free to
prisons around the US. Through the paper, Roz stresses that all
choices, whether good, bad, or indifferent, have consequences,
while inspiring readers to make positive choices for themselves
and their families. Evidence from inmate testimonials, coun-
selor comments, and reduced recidivism speak to the effective-
ness of the paper and the program. Trying to affect legislation
that will change how people are treated when returning home,
Roz sees many opportunities to help men and women succeed
at living outside of prison, enabling them to complete the parole
process and finding a job within 30 days.
International Symposia Legacy
Drew and Steve entered the Fellowship together in their joint
commitment to launch an international consortium on rural
design. After months of dedicated work on their vision, they
held the first International Symposium on Rural Design, posi-
tioning their center as a world leader in this area according to
feedback from symposium attendees. Their success fulfilled
one of Drew’s central goals of leaving a legac y af ter 35 years as
a center director in higher education. He wanted to give back,
to share with emerging leaders in his field the knowledge and
wisdom he had gained throughout his career, and to empower
new leadership in rural design throughout the world. Following
Drew’s first seminar with the Fellowship, he commented that
“what was going on here was remarkable and should be hap-
pening all over the university.” His follow up evaluations con-
firmed this positive view of the Fellowship.
Program Structure
Each year a committee selects up to ten Fellows from appli-
cations of faculty, staff, graduate students, and alumni from
three colleges within the University of Minnesota related to
design, education and human services. The applications, solic-
ited and reviewed in the spring for the following year, include a
resume, a statement of interest, and a brief outline of a philan-
thropic project of significance. Applicants hear about the pro-
gram through newsletters, electronic announcements, but espe-
cially through word of mouth from faculty members of the
three colleges, and current and former Fellows who become
passionate about the possibilities of the Fellowship for imple-
menting long-dreamed-about projects. Many Fellows share
their experiences with others they believe would benefit from
participation in the interdisciplinary, philanthropically-focused
leadership development program.
Administrative Structure
The Buckman Fellowship is a nine-month, non-credit col-
laboration among multiple colleges and departments within the
university. With ongoing support from the three college deans
and multiple department heads, as well as directors of graduate
programs within the colleges, the program generates engaged
The program director, housed and supervised within the gov-
erning structure of one college, facilitates the Fellowship pro-
gram, including monthly seminars, marketing and outreach, and
public events. Interdisciplinary and collaborative skills are re-
quired to work with multiple colleges and to respond to each
Fellow throughout the implementation of their individual pro-
jects, including keeping the cohort up to date with relevant
information concerning events and training opportunities.
Financial Resources
The program is funded by an endowed gift from a former
faculty member to encourage the development of philanthropic
skills and leadership in students. Interest from the endowment
provides revenue to spend on administration, guest speaker
honoraria, public lectures, and a recognition ceremony. A sig-
nificant portion of the annual budget goes to the Fellows, who
are provided with a stipend to spend on initial project expenses
or professional development and training opportunities, such as
attending conferences, membership in the local association of
nonprofits, or pursuing webinar content focused on grant writ-
ing, organizational planning, strategic vision, or others.
Advisory Council
The Fellowship has been guided by an advisory council of
community experts in philanthropy and nonprofits, Fellowship
alumni, and the respective academic colleges. These volunteers
meet regularly to provide input on the curriculum, recruit ap-
plicants, create strategy for growth, provide contact names for
seminars, and suggest or become mentors. Examples of men-
toring include a council member who worked with a Fellow to
establish the direction of her nonprofit. Another mentor pro-
vided project direction for a Fellow to fundraise on sustainable
Monthly Seminars
Guest presenters are engaged who are expert in the funda-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 1159
mentals of fundraising, proposal writing, constructing case
statements, as well as areas of specific interest to each cohort
group. One year a number of Fellows held positions of leader-
ship that required them to fundraise so one of the academic
development directors responded to the specific issues of fund-
raising in an academic setting. Matching cohort interests with
seminar topics demonstrates social constructivist pedagogy
where methods match knowledge needs of each cohort. After
each seminar, Fellows have time for reflection and application
of the information. Through these fundamental topics, Fellows
share learning and transition into a cohort group.
Group Processes
The second half of each monthly seminar provides an oppor-
tunity for Fellows to report on their progress, challenges, ideas
and questions. Frequently, Fellows exchange information and
resources and occasionally one Fellow who shares an interest in
a peer’s vision will volunteer time to work on another Fellow’s
project. Each monthly session includes some form of feedback
loop for on-going assessment of progress toward their goals.
Each Fellowship year begins with an exercise that helps Fel-
lows clarify the values they hold and how these values can help
guide their project. When Fellows get stuck in logistical diffi-
culties, returning to the values that matter most to them can
inspire continued leadership development. One Fellow recalled
her precise values selected during an introductory exercise sev-
eral years after her Fellowship.
The one presentation that struck me the most was the (values
exercise). I don’t remember all the words, but these were the
ones I chose. We had to choose 10 words, and (from those 10
words) these were my final three: faith, because it’s very im-
portant to me, compassion, and a balanced life.
This highlights just how important the identification of these
values was to the Fellow, and the impact they had on her sub-
sequent efforts.
Project Implementation
Fellows work toward project implementation between month-
ly scheduled seminars. Often Fellows need time to become
comfortable deciding just how to proceed with their project. In
the early part of the year their work is research-oriented, dis-
covering who else is doing similar work, creating mission and
case statements, deciding on funding strategies, and learning
about best practices. This work is foundational for the later
steps such as locating partners, and establishing communication
and media requirements. Fellows often follow a common path-
way, starting with a personal and theoretical project, and mov-
ing towards greater visibility with measurable community im-
Course Website
To support and facilitate on-going knowledge building a mong
Fellows, an internet site was established for the cohort, separate
from the informational web page. This site represents an appli-
cation of the model for knowledge building (Scardamalia &
Bereiter, 2006), with many students contributing to the devel-
opment of one project. While Fellows do not have a single joint
project, they do share their separate projects on the website and
ask for critique from their cohort. In this way, Fellows contrib-
ute to the knowledge generation of their own and their cohorts’
Public Lecture
After five years, the program expanded to include sponsor-
ship of a Public Lecture for general university audiences as well
as the non-profit and philanthropic communities. This affords a
networking opportunity for Fellows as well as the opportunity
to inform and educate the non-profit and philanthropic commu-
nity about the Buckman Fellowship. Programs have included
the president of a national foundation, a panel of local philan-
thropic leaders to address critical issues, and a workshop with a
nationally recognized expert on how to work effectively across
multiple generations. The public lecture is combined with the
presentation of an acknowledged demonstration of philanthropy,
followed by an annual Fellowship Alumni Reunion. For one
Fellow, the lecture became a momentous event:
“It’s interesting, the first time that the Buckman sponsored
the lecture a couple years ago, we happened to have an object
that was being donated (to the university museum) at the same
time. We made it a corresponding demonstration of actual phi-
lanthropy that was occurring along with the lecture on philan-
thropy. It was an interesting demonstration to be able to say
‘What is philanthropy? What does philanthropy look like?’”
The reflections of this Fellow capture a perspective that com-
bines both the theoretical and practical applications from the
Fellowship experience. Her thoughts about the nature of donat-
ing are further deepened by the concurrence of philosophical
discussion and real-time action.
Annual Recognition Ceremony
Each year all Fellows from the current cohort, incoming
newly selected Fellows, administration and staff for the Fel-
lowship program, as well as deans, department heads, and the
advisory council gather for a recognition celebration and dinner.
Graduating Fellows present their projects during an informal
reception period, where incoming Fellows, council members,
and guests interact and ask questions.
Social Constructivist Framework
Social constructivist pedagogy provides the theoretical
framework that undergirds the curriculum development and
delivery processes of the Buckman Fellowship. At the heart of
social constructivist pedagogy is the notion that we construct
knowledge in groups. Ideal for the goals of the Fellowship pro-
gram, this theoretical framework enables faculty, staff, graduate
students, and alumni to build philanthropic skills collectively
through the implementation of a self-designed project. Accord-
ing to Scardamalia & Bereiter (2006) there has been an evolu-
tion of thoughts about learning and how knowledge advances,
suggesting that our civilization is a knowledge-creating civili-
zation where the advancement of knowledge is seen as “essen-
tial for social progress of all kinds and for the solution of so-
cietal problems” (Scardemalia & Bereiter, 2006: p. 97).
Buckman Fellows engage in a process of creating knowledge
together with their cohort because they hope to find solutions to
societal problems. Scardemalia & Bereiter (2006) propose a set
of themes to bring about a “shift from treating students as
learners and inquirers to treating them as members of a knowl-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
edge building community” (Scardemalia & Bereiter, 2006: p.
99). These themes are:
Knowledge advancement as a community rather than indi-
vidual achievement.
Knowledge advancement as idea improvement rather than
as progress toward true or warranted belief.
Knowledge of, in contrast to knowledge about.
Discourse as collaborative problem solving rather than as
Constructive use of authoritative information.
Understanding as emergent.
These themes capture the goals of a socially constructed,
knowledge-building environment and provide a philosophical
perspective, advocated by the faculty member who oversees the
Fellowship program for each cohort of Fellows.
Discussing constructivist pedagogy in the university setting,
Tenenbaum et al. (2001) emphasize approaches with the objec-
tive of maximizing student’s construction of their own knowl-
edge and control of their own learning. Pedagogy that allows
for diversity of learning and application of knowledge, while
supporting and creating the context for knowledge generation is
imperative. Tenenbaum et al. (2001) make a curious discovery
in their examination of courses said to be operating from the
social constructivist pedagogy, namely that “integrating con-
structivist principals...seems to be a harder task than that of
establishing and theorizing these principals” (Tenenbaum et al.,
2001: p. 108). An assessment tool may be used as a benchmark
for examining constructivist practices and principles in teaching
and learning: 1) Ethos/environment is learner-centered; 2) Au-
thenticity of content is realistic/real world versus theoretical; 3)
Learner’s personal experiences are sought or offered and util-
ized; 4) Learner—learner interaction is encouraged; 5) Learner
“thinking aloud” is encouraged; 6) Feedback on contributions is
positive and encouraged; 7) Development of thinking skills and
understanding is dominant; 8) Learner contributions to tutorials
is publicly valued (Tenenbaum et al., 2001: p. 96).
To accomplish these goals in a typically designed classroom
can be challenging and attempts to do so have often been met
with a lack of evidence that students have actually engaged in
constructivist practices. The Buckman Fellowship program
does not involve a typical classroom setting, nor are the Fel-
lows “typical” students. Each of the Fellows is highly engaged
in their area of scholarship (or emerging scholarship) within the
university, and each applies for acceptance into the Fellowship
program for an opportunity to further develop needed skills.
Buckman Fellows are highly motivated to implement a self-
designed project that is important to them, and this demands
pedagogy where the learner is, as outlined above, clearly at the
center of the learning experience. All eight identified indices
above are achievable through the environment created by the
Buckman Fellowship program. The environment is intention-
ally designed to facilitate a Fellow-centered ethos—this is ac-
complished by individualized projects created by each of the
Fellows that are then supported to implementation through
consecutive seminar sessions and stimulated by on-going co-
hort discussion. Subject matter derived by individual and cohort
problem-solving and applied to real world problems is what
guides the entire learning process, as the Fellows themselves
design and execute their projects over their time while in the
Fellowship (and beyond) to address emerging issues and social
Ongoing interaction of each unique cohort is further facilit a te d
by the structure of the seminars and group processes designed
to engage Fellows with one another. Consistently, with each
successive seminar, Fellows are encouraged to “think aloud” by
a check-in and update to their cohort on progress made toward
the completion of their projects. Emphasis is placed on what
they are learning about themselves and their project in their
learning process, while leadership skills are developed over the
Fellowship year. The design and nature of the program encour-
ages, even necessitates, Fellows’ development of critical think-
ing skills and understanding as they attempt to implement their
initial plans for their project. By so doing, leadership skills are
further developed and shared with others through a public
presentation of their Fellowship exper ience.
Program Assessment & Evaluation
Assessment is on-going for the program to continue to provide
a relevant and meaningful experience. The program director
engages with Fellows on an individual basis prior to acceptance
into the program, within the first month of starting the program,
mid-way through the program, and at the end of the Fellowship
year. The primary forms of annual assessment include:
Seminar evaluation. Fellows evaluate each session to assess
the value and relevance of the seminar presenter’s material for
their needs.
Self-assessment. Fellows also complete a self-assessment at
the beginning of their year-long Fellowship, refer to this as-
sessment at mid-year check-in, and conduct a post self-assess-
ment at the end of their Fellowship year to determine their
growth and development.
End of year evaluation. Fellows assess the overall value of
the Fellowship for the advancement of their individual philan-
thropic plan.
Assessment of the overall program was conducted seven
years after inception with the intention of evaluating effective-
ness. Brief questionnaires were sent to those various stake-
holders affiliated with the Fellowship: current and former Fel-
lows; current and former advisory council members; deans and
department heads. All stakeholders were asked the same ques-
tions and responded through a qualitative, narrative response
format about the perceived benefits, program strengths and
motivation for engagement. The following summary highlights
responses from each of the stakeholders polled. Refer to Tables
Perspectives of Fellows and Former Fellows
Some Fellows recognized the opportunity to change their ho-
rizons in the following comments:
“It changes how you think about what’s possible.”
“The experience gave me the confidence to try something new,
because I had already done it (try out new things) while a Fel-
low at the Buckman. The Fellowship allowed me to see that
new things weren’t scary, and I could try something out. Even
if it didn’t work out in the end, it was the trying that mattered.”
Former Fellows named many of the same benefits as current
Fellows. Several former fellows made clear declarations su ch as:
“I want to invite others to pursue their passions”
“I want to be effective at influencing change”
“(I’m interested in) how as individuals we can take a role in
helping to facilitate philanthropy, both through helping others
to achieve philanthropic acts or by modeling that so there is an
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 1161
Table 1.
Summary of current fellows’ responses.
benefits for
Taking action/producing desired outcom es
To build & use skills
Program aligned with personal values/beliefs
Meet ne w people
Have structured time & support for project .
Format, program des ign, and pr o cess
The quality of people (Fello ws, advisory
board, and i nh erent network)
Seminars and professional development
Having an experienced coordinator
Motivation for
Increased effectiveness in project/help achieve
desired outcomes
Values the role of phila nthropy in helping
Flexibilit y of progra m design tha t p rovides an
“exemplary environment” for learning about
Has a vision or dream
Table 2.
Summary of former fellows’ responses.
Perceive d b enefits of
serving the fellowship
Connection with leaders in
Networking opportu nitie s the
Fellowship pr ovi de d
The structure of the program that
allowed for dedicated time to their
The learning experience and skill
building that occurs t hrough
seminars and professional
development opport un ities
Opportunity for alumni to
Program strengths
The design of the program: it is
situated in an innovative community,
speakers knowledgeable and events are
customized for members of the coh ort
A willing community to provide support
Program a llows individualized
design of outcomes
Individual attention
Experience of being in a cohort
understanding that you don’t have to be (wealthy) to participate
in a philanthropic environment.”
Current and former Fellows noted their commitment to en-
gage in a training process that would allow them to implement
a project of personal value and significance and that would
make a contribution to the well-being of others, as a way for
them to make a difference.
The cohort effect is a core principle of the Fellowship. Fel-
lows learn from and with one another—everyone benefits col-
lectively as they engage in the Fellowship. Projects move
through with greater velocity when individuals are processing
through their learning and implementation of their projects in
conversations with their cohort. Fellows reported that having
monthly seminars with cohort time built in is one of the most
valuable features of the Fellowship experience. Fellows, while
initiating innovative projects of their own design, do not have
that “I’m alone” feeling; they are able to share their successes
Table 3.
Summary of advisory council responses.
Perceive d b enefits
of serving the
The importance of connecting to
others interested in learning a bout
Strengthening one’s own philanthropic
Gaining a greater understandi n g of the
composition and imp act of the p rogram.
Acknowledging a sense of service to
Advancing a broader and more integrated
sense of philanthropy in the community
Program strengths
Design of the program where Fellows
become a learning cohort, in a
non-threatening, very lea r n in g f ri endly
environm ent that can be tailored t o t h e
individual needs of each Fellow.
Outcomes produced by Fellows as the
program evolves and builds susta inability
over time, reflected in the following
Strong local philanthropic community from
which to draw candidates and speakers,
association with the University building the
Motivation for
The topic of philanthropy is important to
the respondent
Desire to b e a part of a process that allows
further connection to the college
To give back in areas where expertise or
insight may assist in the growth of the
Pleased to be able to do some thi ng
innovative tha t is good for the colleges as
well as the community
Enjoyed mentoring those who a re interested
in philanthropic/serving their communities
This is an excellent model for encouragi n g
community engageme n t
and their challenges together.
Perspectives of Advisory Council Members
Current and former advisory council members provided their
perceptions of the benefits to serving on the advisory council,
perceived strengths of the program, and their motivation to
serve on the council. Comments from the Advisory Council
include recognition of the program’s value to both the Fellows
and the communit y as follows:
“We have only scratched the surface of what this can be-
“This program is perceived as “a great opportunity to intro-
duce people to philanthropy and to make their dreams a real-
“We are enticing people to participate in the program and to
learn about leadership and philanthropy in a way that is not
readily available in the marketplace.”
“Our Fellows learn so much in taking the leadership role and
learning what it takes to accomplish what at first appears easy.”
Perceived benefits for advisory council members highlight
the nature of individuals who are drawn to and interested in
serving in this capacity: they are philanthropically-minded
themselves and this service is meaningful to them personally
and professionally. They appreciate the development of the
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. 1163
Table 4.
University administrator s’ summary of responses.
benefits of
I believe this i s an outstanding p rogram that
brings a sense of ethics and caring.
Personally, it t ruly warms m y heart to see
people involve d in the progra m.
The benefit to me (as dept. head) i s that the
participants seem to have a stronger
connection to the college/program
because I perceive the Buckman
experience to be such a positive
professional devel opment activity for them.
It can be a transformative experience that
offers incredi ble opportunities for Fellows.
Program strengths
Opportunity and mentoring
Devote stru ctured time to projects
The projects seem to reach a higher level
than they would have otherwise because of
the investment of the partici pants in this
Provides a structure that lets Fellows pursue
their interests in a community of peers, while
giving them chances to learn what it will
take to realize their goals
Motivation for
Nurtures an innate caring for m ankind
Seeds are planted and this program
nurtures them to grow
The results seen of past participants
It can be a transformative experience that
offers incredi ble opportunities for Fellows
next generation of leaders, and acknowledge the challenges and
commitment it takes to become a philanthropic leader.
Perspectives of Deans and Department Heads
To gauge perspectives of deans and department heads in
three colleges and multiple departments, our evaluation invited
participants to describe the perceived benefits and strengths of
the program, as well as motivations for constituent participa-
Significance of the program to deans and department heads is
seen in the ability of the Fellowship to provide a context inside
which incoming Fellows are supported to design a project that
is uniquely and specifically their own creation. Those individu-
als who take on such a level of commitment not only impact
their communities but impact their academic departments and
the university as a whole through their advanced leadership
Stakeholders offered many positive comments and thoughts
about the future that were unique to their point of view. These
responses indicate evidence of a holistic transformational lead-
ership experience that is inspiring, not just for the Fellows, but
for stakeholders who know them and are committed to their
success: everyone benefits from an individual empowered to
envision, design, and implement their unique projects.
The Fellowship has been effective in fulfilling its stated
goals of developing philanthropic leaders. This objective has
been carefully cultivated in the socially constructed environ-
ment dedicated to creating a safe place for learning where Fel-
lows are free to talk through ideas and share wisdom from other
perspectives. Across the board, stakeholders saw the program’s
strengths in the opportunities it provided the Fellows for struc-
tured training and time to devote to a project or leadership de-
velopment goal. The cohort of Fellows provided an opportunity
to brainstorm, discuss, analyze and decide upon options for
projects. More than that, the cohort of members helped each
Fellow work through unforeseen difficulties, making deep and
meaningful relationships one of the most important aspects of
the Fellowship.
Recommendations for the longevity of this program include
the following: consider expanding the program to more people/
departments within the university, as well as building strategic
partnerships within and without the university with local phil-
anthropic partners; highlight success stories of former Fellows
to draw more awareness to the program and as a networking
opportunity. Programmatic recommendations include securing
stakeholders within the university, securing funding to expand
the program, as well as time and money to fine tune the re-
cruitment process to attract and provide programming for a
competitive group of applicants.
Opportunities to be explored include expanding the program
beyond its current audience. For example, one administrator
suggested “the Fellowship reaches a small cohort of individuals
annually; can this information be more broadly disseminated to
enhance a wider number of grass-roots organizations?” Build-
ing long-term-growth partners and strengthening communica-
tion with not-for-profit constituents in the local area was noted.
Other possible opportunities include considering increased
access such as through webinar delivery to reach larger groups
of interested professionals.
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