2011 Woodrow Wilson Fellows announced

Vlad Borza, 4th from left, will attend Grand Valley as a Woodrow Wilson teaching fellow.
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Vlad Borza, 4th from left, will attend Grand Valley as a Woodrow Wilson teaching fellow.
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A recorder of climate change in arctic Alaska, the captain of the Muskegon Thunder arena football team and  a geologist of fossil digs in Israel describe just a few of the 2011 Woodrow Wilson Fellows coming to Grand Valley State University.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and Gov. Rick Snyder announced the inaugural class of teaching fellows at a news conference May 12 at the Michigan State Capitol. A total of 92 fellows were announced for the 2011 statewide cohort; 14 fellows will attend Grand Valley State University beginning June 1.

The Kellogg Foundation launched the Michigan fellowships in 2009, with $18 million in support, to recruit teachers — both recent college graduates and career changers — with strong backgrounds in math and science fields and to place them in hard-to-staff middle and high schools across the state. Each fellow will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete an intensive master’s degree program, and they must commit to teaching for three years in designated state schools.  

Grand Valley has partnered with Grand Rapids Public Schools, Godfrey-Lee Public Schools and Muskegon Public Schools. Grand Valley was one of six Michigan universities chosen to participate in the program, which is aimed at increasing the number of science and mathematics teachers. The university has developed an innovative master’s level teacher preparation program linked with intensive classroom experience in the candidate’s field of expertise.

“It is an honor to be a part of this exciting program which is designed to make a difference for students in high needs secondary schools,” said Loretta Konecki, project director of Grand Valley’s Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Program. “We look forward to having our first cohort of fellows start their cutting edge teacher preparation program and participate in their year-long clinical placements in our partner districts.”

Gov. Rick Snyder said: “We need great teachers and great teaching to support our development of the highest quality education in Michigan. The teachers in this fellowship program will bring their much-needed expertise in key disciplines to some of our schools in which the need is greatest. We want our students to have every opportunity for success in this global economy. Greater exposure to these key subjects will provide that foundation.”

The 2011 W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows attending Grand Valley are:

• Vlad Borza, from Sterling Heights
Wayne State University ‘07, biology
Former manager, University of Michigan Neuromotor Behavior Laboratory (medical physics, brain research)

• Ana Castleberry, from Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State University ‘09, biomedical sciences
Substitute science teacher at Intercity School, youth advocate for Grand Rapids Public Schools

• Steven Feutz, from Grand Rapids
University of Notre Dame ‘09, aerospace engineering and music theory
Engineering intern at high-tech aerospace manufacturer, researcher on airfoil modification and testing in aerodynamics lab

• Novel Grant, Jr., from Southfield
Ohio State University ‘84, mathematical sciences, minor in engineering sciences
Cambridge College ‘11, master’s in education leadership
Sales manager/business developer, 20 years in engineering consulting, sales development and loss control; licensed insurance agent

• Anne Heyt, from Sparta
Michigan State University ‘85, civil engineering
Grand Valley State University ‘08, MBA
Civil engineer in water and wastewater systems for more than 20 years, volunteer engineering mentor in public schools

• Heather Holland, from Sparta
Grand Valley State University ‘10, mathematics and psychology major
Volunteer math tutor at middle/high schools and community college

• Steven Jablonski, from Grand Haven
Grand Valley State University ‘10, biology
Volunteer at GVSU Regional Math and Science Center assisting with science presentations and activities for children

• Elyssa Krivicich, from Geneva, New York
The College of Wooster ‘09, geology
Ohio State University ‘11, master’s in geology
Research assistant in tree ring lab at The College of Wooster; undergraduate researcher in Jurassic fossils from Israel

• Toby Onyekonwu, from Champaign, Illinois
St. Francis University ‘11, health leadership
Certified health tech since 2007 with British Government training in classified drugs/substance abuse and the law

• Robert Slider, from Grand Rapids
Grand Valley State University ‘09, biology
Grand Valley State University ‘11, master’s in biology
Arctic ecologist with three field seasons in Alaska researching the impacts of climate change on plants as part of an international study

• Tammy Stambaugh, from Jenison
Grand Valley State University ‘11, biology
Published undergraduate researcher; teaching assistant in ecology lab

• Virginia Wimmer, from Whitehall
Grand Valley State University ‘94, chemistry and psychology
University of Florida ‘97, master’s in physical chemistry    
Research chemist in private industry for a decade, lab technician in municipal water facility, chemistry teaching/research assistant

• Nathan Wruble, from Big Rapids
Ferris State University ‘06, survey engineering
Survey engineer for five years, former captain of Muskegon Thunder football team

• Christina Muckenfuss will be named a fellow once application is fully processed.

NOTE: Grand Valley alumni are heading to other institutions as fellows. They include:
• Benjamin Garlets, math/biomedical science ’10, who will attend Michigan State University
• Shanda Bennett, cell/molecular biology ’09, who will attend Western Michigan University
• Mitchell Overway, health sciences BS ’88 and MS ‘90, who will attend Western Michigan University
• Jennifer Buchman, cell/molecular biology ’08, who is attending the University of Indiana

For more information contact Grand Valley News and Information Services at (616) 331-2221.