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June 5, 2015

SVSU chooses next class for leadership development program

Ten Saginaw Valley State University students will participate in a year-long leadership development initiative following their selection for the highly competitive Roberts Fellowship.

The program annually enlists SVSU students in both academic coursework and extracurricular activities designed to enhance their potential as future political, economic and civic leaders. The program culminates in a trip to Asia to provide the Fellows with an international perspective on leadership. The class recently selected for the program will travel to Asia in May 2016.  

This year's class was selected in part for demonstrating outstanding scholarship and leadership potential.

The complete lineup of Roberts Fellows includes:
•    Susie Balcom, a social work major from Millington
•    Alison Barger, an English major from Frankenmuth
•    Daphne Barkley, a social work major from Alma
•    Alyssa Cozad, a visual arts education major from Bay City
•    Billie DeShone, a history major from Saginaw
•    Taylor Fisher, a political science major from Saginaw
•    Gavin Knake, an international business major from Bay City
•    Chantala Kumar, a pre-occupational therapy major from Midland
•    Alexandra Satkowiak, a psychology major from Bay City
•    Audrey Speckhard, a biochemistry major from Freeland

To qualify, students must have completed between 48 and 100 credit hours with a minimum grade point average of 3.40 and pass a rigorous selection process. Students are chosen based upon their academic accomplishment, a record of university and community service, and other evidence of leadership potential.

Students selected to be Roberts Fellows will be required to complete a 3-credit Leadership Seminar in the fall and winter semesters, within one or more academic departments. During the year, the Fellows will also meet for informal seminars and discussions with various political, business and civic leaders from throughout the Great Lakes Bay region. Andrew Swihart, professor of psychology, and Brian Thomas, associate professor of sociology, serve as the group's faculty advisers.

Established in 1999, the program is named in honor of Donna Roberts of Midland, who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to SVSU through her personal generosity and prior service on the Board of Control and the Board of Fellows. A respected attorney, business leader and philanthropist, Roberts retired from The Dow Chemical Company, where she was Secretary and Assistant General Counsel. She is an honorary director of the SVSU Foundation Board.