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Philanthropy Fellowship Seminar Series Brings Industry Leaders to Bowie State

Philanthropy Fellowship Seminar Series Brings Industry Leaders to Bowie State
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on September 26, 2022

Presidents and other senior leaders from major foundations and non-profit organizations from across the nation have signed on to join Bowie State University’s new monthly seminar series to engage student in the Philanthropy Fellowship program to help them better understand how various industries operate.

“The Bowie State Philanthropy Fellowship Seminar Series will provide students with an understanding of the relevance of the sectors to the well-being of marginalized communities,” said Kenneth M. Jones II, senior vice president and chief operating officer at the MacArthur Foundation headquartered in Chicago. “The program is customized to ensure that a professional matriculating in this fellowship will have personal and professional benefits that will impact their career progression within the not-for-profit field.”

Seminar topics will include social justice grant making, transitioning to positions of leadership, philanthropic redlining, “Care” based philanthropy that focuses on the Black experience and identifying grant proposals that target the root cause of racism.

Currently there are four student fellows participating in the philanthropy fellowship program. Stephanie Spencer, a recent BSU MPA (Master’s Degree in Public Administration) graduate and Jakeya Johnson, a current MPA student, are serving their fellowships at the Tides Foundation; Markell Smith, an MPA candidate at BSU, is at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Darren Willis, an MPA candidate is with the Association of Black Foundation Executives.



“I value the perspective the executives from the various non-profits who participate in the seminar series bring to the table,” said Willis. “They inspire and motivate me. I definitely feel like I’m being groomed for a career in philanthropy.”

“The seminar series has helped to open my eyes to the vast amount of opportunities available to me working for foundations,” said Jakeya Johnson. “Hearing presentations from the senior executives gives me a more complete view of the industry and where I may pursue employment after I graduate and complete the fellowship program in the spring.”

Senior executives participating in the seminar series include Susan Thomas, President of Melville Trust; Rychetta Watkins, Director of Grant Making & Capacity Building, Memphis Music Initiative; Kenneth Jones, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, MacArthur Foundation; Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO, Association for Black Foundation Executives; Calvin Johnson, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury, Ph.D., President/CEO, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; George L. Askew, M.D., President /CEO, Meyer Foundation; and Lawrence McNeil, Ph.D., Dean, College of Business at Bowie State.

Bowie State University launched its philanthropy fellowship program in May. Student fellows are required to maintain a six credit course load throughout the fellowship year and are paired with a C-suite executive within the fellow’s sponsoring organization.


SOURCE Bowie State University
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