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May 8, 2019

SVSU students selected for leadership development program

Roberts FellowsOrganizers of a Saginaw Valley State University program aimed at inspiring the next generation of leaders recently selected 10 students eager to develop their leadership skills.


The Roberts Fellowship Program, established in 1999, inducted its 21st class of participants during a May 5 ceremony at SVSU. The ceremony marked the beginning of a year-long journey for the newest members that will involve learning from leaders of communities and industries from across the world while also engaging in service projects regionally. The program culminates in an overseas trip to Asia in May 2020.


A new group of students is selected each spring for the program. The latest members hail from communities across the state and study in a variety of academic programs offered at the university.


Members of the 21st class of Roberts Fellows include Mia Berlanga, a biology major from Midland; Tyler Boylen, a supply chain management major from Gladwin; Joshua Cianek, a political science major from Auburn; Imani Clark, a communication major from Saginaw; and Alina DeVoogd, a Spanish major from Algonac.


Other members are Vincent Frank, a music major from Greenville; Joseph Harvey, an accounting major from Sault Ste. Marie; Arianna Jones, a professional technical writing major from Kentwood; Tyler Sadilek, a biology major from Chesaning; and Justin Weller, a political science major from Bay City.


The program’s advisers are Julie Foss, SVSU associate professor of modern foreign languages, and Brian Thomas, SVSU director of global engagement and presidential liaison to Ming Chuan University.


The Roberts Fellowship Program is named in honor of Donna Roberts, a Midland resident 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.


For more information about the Roberts Fellowship Program, please visit