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Frequently Asked Questions

About Roberts Fellows

Q: What is the purpose of the Roberts Fellows Program? 

To encourage a select group of especially capable SVSU undergraduate students to aspire to positions of responsibility and leadership, and to encourage them to achieve the very highest levels of accomplishment and distinction in their subsequent careers.  
Q: How does the Roberts Fellows Program accomplish these goals? 

  • Through academic study of leadership issues in an international, historical and contemporary context 
  • Through interaction with campus and community leaders 
  • Through service projects that build group solidarity and practice leadership skills while giving back to the University, the community, and the region 
  • Through co-curricular events that broaden and deepen Fellows’ understanding and appreciation of the full range of academic and civic culture 
  • Through the exploration of diverse cultures and perspectives  
  • Through ongoing engagement with previous and future classes of Roberts Fellows, and with SVSU 

Q: Who are the Roberts Fellows? 
Roberts Fellows are present and former SVSU undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, outstanding potential for distinguished careers, demonstrated a commitment to service, diverse backgrounds and life experiences, and capacity for personal and collective growth. 
Q: What are you looking for in a candidate for a Roberts Fellowship? 

  • Academic distinction 
  • Commitment to service 
  • An aspiration to succeed, and to lead others to success 
  • Willingness to work independently 
  • Willingness to work collaboratively 
  • Diverse perspectives and life experiences 
  • Openness to diverse cultures and perspectives 
  • Commitment to excellence 
  • Character 
  • Enthusiasm 

Q: Why “Roberts Fellows?” 
Mrs. Donna Roberts, formerly head of Dow Chemical’s legal department and secretary to the Dow CEO, is the founding donor and personal inspiration of the Roberts Fellowship.  
Q: How are Roberts Fellows assessed during and after the program? 

  • Engagement and participation in seminars, co-curricular events, and service projects 
  • Initiative in leading and following through on Fellowship events 
  • Reflective journals 
  • Fellows are encouraged to become and remain active in their areas of study as well as service to their respective communities. 

Q: Are there other expectations of Roberts Fellows? 
Roberts Fellows are often called upon to be the “face” of the University for visiting dignitaries and other guests. They play an important role in recruiting and advising applicants to the program.Program alumni are encouraged to remain involved in the program and to provide guidance and mentorship to members of the current class and other alumni. 

Q: What are Roberts Fellows doing now? 

Roberts Fellows are studying and excelling in 

  • Prestigious graduate programs in medicine, public health research, dentistry, law, philosophy, political science, English and many other fields 
  • Teaching in public schools; leading arts, social science, and science and mathematics departments; conducting education assessment research 
  • Teaching and researching in universities; advancing scholarship in their fields 
  • Managing the Central and South American service regions of an international NGO 
  • Working as CPAs and entrepreneurs; working for international corporations 
  • Monitoring elections in the developing world through the Carter Center 
  • Protecting Presidential candidates through the Secret Service and the FBI 
  • Pastoring churches 
  • Running for political office; staffing for senators, former Presidents and Supreme Court Justices

Faculty Administrators

Julie Foss
(989) 964-4303

David Nichols
(989) 964-4643