New Alumni Fellowship
About the Fellowship
The Wagner College New Alumni Fellowship (formerly the Presidential Fellowship) is a nine-month, project-based, residential program for new Wagner College graduates. Over the course of the 2022-2023 academic year, Fellows engage in projects that align with their academic and professional interests and advance the mission of the college. In addition, Fellows will spend a portion of their time serving as mentors to first-year students and supporting the new College Success First Year Workshops.
Meet the 2021-2022 Fellows
Braith Dicker ’21
Department: Culture & Economy; Sustainability Center
Sponsors: Professors Celeste Gagnon & Josh Mullenite
Braith Dicker ’21 is from Robbinsville, NJ. Her undergrad degree in Theatre with a concentration in Design, Technology, Management is complemented by minors in Environmental Studies and Art. In her free time, Braith enjoys creating art and tending to her plants. Braith is ecstatic to continue her work on campus this year with the Fellowship and invites you to come to check out the garden!
Braith’s Fellowship project is the installment of a sustainability center for the betterment of campus as well as strengthening the community of Staten Island. The project includes connecting different offices around campus to communicate about their impact on the environment, connecting Wagner to surrounding communities through environmental initiatives, and installing new environmentally-oriented programs on campus including strides toward solar energy. Wagner is going greener than ever before
Kiersten Gerard ’21
Sponsor: Professor Thomas Juneau
Kiersten Gerard ’21 hails from the small town of Bayport, Long Island. This past spring she completed her undergraduate degree in Arts Administration with a minor in writing. After making so many great memories at Wagner, Kiersten is thrilled to return as a Presidential Fellow! Her favorite things include any time spent by the ocean, writing songs, and dogs. You can find her music on any music sharing platform under Kiersten Gerard!
As a Fellow, Kiersten will be producing a podcast hosted by current Wagner students. It will feature a variety of segments including interviews with community members, coverage of campus events, email submissions from alumni and prospective students, and more!
Savannah Yates ’21
Department: Performing Arts; Holocaust Center
Sponsors: Professors Felicia Ruff & Lori Weintrob
Savannah Yates ’21 is from Vermont and delighted to be a Presidential Fellow this year! She is a recent graduate of Wagner with a double major in Theatre Studies and History, a French minor, as well as studying abroad at the University of Cambridge in England. When she’s not writing music or doing research, Savannah loves to drink milkshakes, travel, and sing all the time!
Savannah’s fellowship project is a celebration of Wagner’s history consisting of a theatrical and musical video project honoring moments and important figures in Wagner’s history, a permanent exhibit of Wagner’s historical artifacts, a musical about Women in the Holocaust for the Wagner Holocaust Center and a program of events sharing the wonderful and underrated history of the college and the surrounding community. She hopes her project will bring awareness to Wagner’s amazing history through the arts.
Fellowship selection happens in two rounds. Graduating Wagner College seniors interested in the New Alumni Fellowship should complete the Fellowship application by Sunday, May 1st at 11:59pm. The application involves drafting an initial proposal for a Fellowship Project and identifying a proposed Project Sponsor from the college’s full-time faculty and staff (details below).
A Fellowship Committee appointed by the Provost’s Office and representative of diverse campus departments and offices, will review the applications and confirm project and sponsor eligibility. Applicants who advance will have the opportunity to revise and refine their proposals for final review in a second round. Revised proposals will be due by 11:59pm on Sunday, May 8th. Interviews will occur during the week of May 9th. After the interviews, three Fellows will be selected for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The Fellowship has two separate components. One, applicants are responsible for developing and completing their own project in consultation with and direction from a faculty sponsor. It is important that the application makes clear how the Fellow will complete the project within the nine month timeline, working approximately 10 hours per week in the fall and 15 in spring. Independent work ethic, self-motivation, problem-solving skills, and commitment to project completion are essential for the Fellow to succeed.
Two, applicants will serve as mentors to first-year students through the new College Success First Year Workshops. This is a pre-existing project overseen by the Dean of Integrated Learning and the Provost. Fellows will work as TAs and mentors for approximately 50 first year students, facilitating workshops with three separate First Year Program Learning Community classes each week in the fall. This project will entail approximately 10 hours per week in fall and 5 in spring. Details about and training for this project will be provided closer to the start of the fall semester.
Fellows will be expected to move in by Sunday 8/21 and complete an orientation training the week of 8/22. Fellows will also be expected to be present during Orientation to work with their appointed FYP LCs.
Fellows earn an hourly wage of $15.00 (paid weekly) plus room and board from the start date in August (TBD) 2022 through the end date in May (TBD) 2023.
Fellowship Projects are designed by students in consultation with a sponsor and are independent of the time spent serving as mentors to students in the College Success First Year Workshops. Projects may take many forms. They are expected to make a significant positive contribution to the Wagner community in the areas of scholarship, community engagement, or student learning, support, & development. Projects should provide an enriching development opportunity to the Fellows, offer significant impact to the college, align with the college’s mission and goals, and make appropriate use of time and resources.
Here are two of many possibilities: a Fellow might conduct a yearlong field research project with a faculty member on the effects of economic improvement projects within a particular Staten Island community. Or, perhaps a Fellow would coordinate implementation of a career transition support program that engages alumni from a particular department. A timeline of the project’s completion and designation of milestones along the way will be an important requirement of selected projects.
Any graduating BA or BS student from the Wagner College Class of 2022 is eligible to apply for the Fellowship. Selected Fellows will (1) have demonstrated a strong academic effort as undergraduate students, (2) be self-motivated and mature, (3) embody a commitment to inclusion, diversity, access & equity, and (4) demonstrate a desire to learn and grow professionally through the Fellowship experience.
Any full-time member of the college’s faculty or staff is eligible to serve as a Sponsor with the approval of their department head or chair, the relevant Senior Officer, and the Office of Human Resources. Applicants must confirm a proposed Sponsor prior to submitting the initial application. The Fellowship Committee will follow up with proposed Sponsors to confirm that they (1) believe the applicant is a good fit for the Fellowship program, that (2) they believe the proposed project meets the criteria for Fellowship Projects and that (3) they are prepared to supervise the Fellow in conducting the project.
Sponsors will be responsible for guiding Fellows in their day-to-day work on the Project, however not for general management or program logistics. Sponsors should anticipate committing two or three hours per week to close management of Fellows (similar to oversight of a research assistant) and quarterly check-ins with the Provost’s Office. Sponsors are also encouraged to provide discipline-specific mentorship, support, and professional development to their Fellows. Sponsors are not responsible for general employment matters such as approving Fellow timesheets or managing program logistics: these are managed by the Office of the Provost.
- Please describe your proposed Fellowship Project, including the project’s goals and desired outcomes, and the resources you will need in order to be successful to complete the project. (300 words max). Please be as specific as possible. Note that you will have the opportunity to refine and amend the project plan should you advance in the selection.
- Outline any milestones or key dates you have identified and the nature of the work you will do day to day. This should be outlined for a 9-month timeframe (Sept-May), allowing for 10 hours of work per week in the fall, and 15 hours per week in the spring. (100 words max)
- Fellowship Projects will make a significant positive contribution to the Wagner community through scholarship, community engagement, or student learning, support, & development. How will your project make a contribution in one or more of these areas? Please be as specific as possible. (250 words max).
- What prior experiences at Wagner have motivated you to propose the project? How does this project relate to your long-term personal and professional goals? How do you hope to develop and grow through the Fellowship year (100 words max).
- Fellows will work closely with first year students through the new College Success First Year Workshops. Describe your interest and experience in mentoring Wagner students. How has your Wagner experience prepared you for supporting other Wagner students as they work to find their passions, identity, and Wagner path? (100 words max)
- Wagner embraces a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (deia). How do you see this commitment manifesting in the work you will do as a Fellow? (100 words max).
- “Wagner College Designs Fellowship for Graduates Facing Tough Job Market.” Staten Island Advance, July 9, 2020.
- “Wagner Launches Fellowship for Recent Graduates,” Spectrum News NY1, July 10, 2020.