Muskingum University’s Fellows Program is a four-year experience, providing students with unique opportunities and valuable hands-on experiences, allowing them to make a positive impact in the community, nation, and world.
Students apply to enter one of four Fellows cohorts upon their admission to the University: the John and Annie Glenn Public Service Fellows, the Otto and Fran Walter Humanitarian Fellows, the International Fellows, and the David and Karin Kratoville Innovation Fellows.
During Fall 2023, the John and Annie Glenn Public Service Fellows (JAG) have been engaged in a wide variety of events. They hosted Myra Enos Scheurer ‘07, candidate for Guernsey County Municipal Court Judge, who spoke about community involvement, public service careers, and life after Muskingum to an audience including members of the three other Fellows programs, the Women in Politics Club, and her Muskingum sorority, Chi Alpha Nu. In October, a select group of students traveled to Case Western Reserve University to attend the Propel Ohio 2023 Collegiate Leadership Summit. The JAG Fellows are about to begin their annual “Christmas on Campus” project, partnering with a local Head Start program to provide holiday gifts for children in need, and the seniors in the group are working on a campus-wide, non-partisan Democratic Action Plan to promote student engagement and voting in the 2024 elections. Planning is underway for a Spring 2024 event to raise awareness and education around homelessness in partnership with Cambridge and Zanesville agencies working to address the issue, and will involve student volunteers spending a night “homeless” on campus. The Spring semester will also include traveling to Columbus to meet with state elected officials on issues related to civic and community engagement. Associate Professor of Political Science Brian King and Associate Professor of Education Keith Eberly lead the JAG Public Service Fellows.
Students in the Otto and Fran Walter Humanitarian Fellows have focused their Fall semester experiences primarily on addiction. They have engaged with Associate Professor of Nursing Terra Armstead, learning about her research on prevention measures. Jamie McGrew, Care Management Director at the regional Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, shared information on current issues in Muskingum and neighboring counties. Board-certified Psychiatrist and Addiction Psychiatrist Dr. Mark Hurst ’81 presented a talk and shared dinner with the students and Muskingum faculty members, relating his career experiences as Medical Director and Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Medical Director and Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Health, and in clinical leadership positions in the Veteran Affairs Health System. The Walter Fellows also hosted a campus-wide talk and shared lunch with Fulbright Scholar and Palestinian Christian social worker Amira Barham, who currently focuses her efforts on using music lessons to enhance marginalized children’s self-esteem, developing policies for safeguarding children, and using drama practice and techniques to enhance person-centered care and resilience. The Walter Fellows are led by Associate Professor of Religion Melissa Conroy and Assistant Professor of Sociology Michelle Oyakawa.
The International Fellows are exploring wide-ranging topics this semester. In September, Melanie Hilton ’07 shared her journey through Muskingum and into her chosen area of passion and service, working in international locations advocating and providing policy guidance to empower women and girls. In November, three experiences are planned. They will be working with Assistant Professor of Spanish Kathleen Cunniffe-Pena, who traveled to Morocco earlier this year, to raise awareness around the impact of the September Moroccan earthquakes. They will host Kevin McGruder, Associate Professor History at Antioch University, to lead a workshop examining how systemic racism is still prevalent in today’s society. International Fellow Mahfuz Yakubu ’24, a native of Ghana, will share information on his country’s history and culture, and the group will travel together to the Columbus Museum of Art to experience the special exhibit on Accra and later share an international meal together. The International Fellows are advised by Valerie Smith, Director of Cultural Engagement and Inclusion, and Arjun Sondhi, Assistant Professor of Economics.
The David and Karin Kratoville Innovation Fellows have focused their Fall semester work on studying innovation, planning for their high impact activities in Spring 2024, and engaging in the online innovation curriculum “Mindtrek.” Each student has presented on an innovator working in their major/career field and on their planned high impact experiences. Cassandra King, Associate Professor of Theatre, and Rob Wilson, Associate Professor of Physics, advise the Kratoville Innovation Fellows.