Fellowships in Philanthropic Studies

The Johnson Center was shaped by a collection of visionary leaders who were dedicated to the idea that rigorous, multi-disciplinary scholarship can fuel effective philanthropy. The Russell G. Mawby Faculty Fellowship in Philanthropic Studies and the Dr. Kathy A. Agard and Dr. Joel J. Orosz Fellowships provide powerful experiences for emerging scholars and faculty. Through original research, publication opportunities, and faculty-staff-student mentorship, fellows are encouraged to explore new approaches to and ways of understanding philanthropy.

Russell G. Mawby Faculty Fellowship in Philanthropic Studies

One (1) Faculty Fellow and two (2) Undergraduate Fellows
Duration: 1 year


  • Faculty applicant must be a member of the Grand Valley State University teaching faculty (all program/degree areas are invited to apply).
  • Upon successful award, applicant must choose two (2) Grand Valley State University undergraduate students to assist with the research project.

The Russell G. Mawby Fellowship provides the opportunity for one member of the GVSU faculty to work with two undergraduate students on a research project addressing issues related to philanthropic studies. Preference will be given to research topics that emphasize a research-to-practice philosophy and that align with the overall research agenda of the Johnson Center. Other topics will be considered, provided the proposed project focuses on the intersection between a field of academic study and/or the theory and/or practice of philanthropy.

Fellowship support may be used to cover expenses related to research materials, travel, publication, and presentation of findings. The Fellowship stipend is intended to cover a portion of research costs, such as the faculty and student fellows’ time, research materials, travel, publication costs, expenses for the presentation of findings.

This ongoing fellowship program honors Dr. Mawby’s lifelong devotion to nurturing, mentoring, and opening doors of opportunity for youth worldwide, as well as his commitment to supporting research on philanthropy and his quarter century of leadership in the world of philanthropy as the CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Learn more.

Dr. Kathy A. Agard and Dr. Joel J. Orosz Fellowships in Philanthropic Studies

Duration: 1 year


  • Applicant must be enrolled full-time as an undergraduate or graduate student at Grand Valley State University (all program/degree areas are invited to apply)

The Agard and Orosz Fellowships provide the opportunity for GVSU students — in any program/degree area — to explore their interest in philanthropy. Fellows have an opportunity to develop their own research project as well as contribute to ongoing research at the Johnson Center.

Agard and Orosz Fellows can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year.

These ongoing fellowship programs honor two previous leaders of the Johnson Center. Dr. Kathy A. Agard made a significant impact on the field of community philanthropy, including providing leadership for the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project and Learning to Give. Dr. Agard retired as executive director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy in December 2010. Learn more.

Dr. Joel J. Orosz’s contributions to the field of philanthropy included serving as program director at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and as distinguished professor of philanthropic studies at Grand Valley State University. During his time with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Dr. Orosz was the founding director of The Grantmaking School. Learn more.

2018–2019 Agard & Orosz Fellow in Philanthropic Studies: Kristina Pepelko

Learn more about the work of previous Mawby Fellows, Agard Fellows, or Orosz Fellows.

Questions? Contact jcp@gvsu.edu.