Photo: Scholarship recipients Emily Horton and Bill WoodsonEmily Horton and Bill Woodson

Giving matters: fostering educational leadership

The Bergauer Fellowship helps OLPD graduate students engage with their communities

Bill Woodson was working full time when he started graduate school. Then his job was eliminated—but he stayed the course. He seized the opportunity to deepen his involvement in campus life, becoming vice president of a student organization and creating events to connect students with employers. His dissertation relates to an initiative he designed to help the U facilitate enhanced police–community relations by increasing representation of police officers of color. His research has led to guest radio appearances and moderating police–community town hall meetings.

“The fellowship allowed me to be fully involved in the student life of the University.”

A Bergauer Fellowship has made all the difference.

“Not having to take on additional work responsibilities has been a blessing,” says Woodson. “It gave me a chance to broaden my community engagement. Building relationships takes time. It would be very hard to sustain this level of engagement and make progress towards my Ph.D. without the fellowship.”

The fellowship was created by alumna Judith Bergauer, Ph.D. ’91, a former teacher, special education administrator, and principal, and her husband, Edward, a retired software engineer with Lockheed Martin.

“The scholarship support we received transformed our lives, and we wanted to do the same for others—especially for future educational leaders who will impact the lives of so many.” —Judy Bergauer

The Bergauer Fellowship supports strong, full-time graduate or professional students in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development who have overcome obstacles in their lives and are forging careers as educational leaders.

Master’s student Emily Horton is already working to increase access and completion rates for people historically left out. Last summer she traveled to communities in northern Minnesota conducting seminars for educators on reducing micro-aggressions, those small or subtle but often powerful actions and messages that undermine and discourage students. The Bergauer Fellowship is helping her avoid adding to debt accrued as an undergraduate.

“My interest in equity and inclusion work really grew out of my own experience,” says Horton, “fighting to go to college, fighting to afford it, fighting to see myself represented in my classrooms.”

Photo by David Ellis | Spring/Summer 2017