Jacksonville University Announces Minority Master's Fellowship To Train Black Leaders

Feb 15, 2018

Jacksonville University on Thursday announced a new fellowship program aimed at creating the city’s next African-American leaders.

The school’s Public Policy Institute is offering two students a two-year scholarship worth $40,000 to its Master’s in Public Policy program, along with annual stipends. The city of Jacksonville will also provide recipients with internships, and they’ll get special help with job placement after the program.

Public Policy Institute Director Rick Mullaney said the minority fellowship program is possible because of a six-figure donation by former CSX executive Chuck Woodhouse.

“He thinks it’s important to help prepare, train, educate those who are going on to leadership, and help them be leaders — African-Americans in particular — for the future of Jacksonville. He thinks that’s an important part of our future,” Mullaney said.

Applications to begin the program this August are now open and will be accepted through May 1, Mullaney said. Applicants must be African-American students with bachelor’s degrees, and they must meet the admissions standards and requirements of the Master’s in Public Policy program. 

Recipients must commit to working in the Jacksonville area for at least three years after graduation. 

The fellowship will be awarded to two new students each fall for a minimum of five years, for a total of 10 recipients, Mullaney said. The MPP Fellowship Advisory Board is committed to soliciting additional funds to enhance and expand the program.

To date, board members are:

  • Cynthia B. Chomiak – Founder and Chief Executive, Educated Decisions LLC; Jacksonville University Board of Trustees.
  • Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. – Chief Executive Officer, Jacksonville Transportation Authority.
  • The Honorable Nathaniel Glover Jr. – President, Edward Waters College, former Jacksonville Sheriff.
  • Mark L. Griffin – Pastor and Chief Executive Officer, Wayman Temple.
  • Matthew Kane – Owner, Greenshades Software, Inc.; Secretary and Advocate, Jacksonville University Board of Trustees.
  • Dawn Lockhart – Director of Strategic Partnerships, City of Jacksonville.
  • Dr. Charles E. Moreland – Director of Community Affairs, City of Jacksonville.
  • Chuck Wodehouse – President, CSX Technology, Inc. (Retired); Senior Vice President, CSX Transportation (Retired); Treasurer, Jacksonville University Board of Trustees.

The Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute offers the only Master in Public Policy degree in Florida. The MPP includes courses in microeconomics, public policy, public institutions, ethics, law, public finance and leadership.

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, jpalombo@wjct.org or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.