The University of Pennsylvania will establish the Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowships for the Penn Futures Project. A $2 million endowment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will create a separate fellowship for each school in Penn Futures: the School of Nursing, Graduate School of Education and School of Social Policy & Practice.
The fellowships are named for Penn alumnus Calvin Bland, former RWJF chief of staff, health-care executive and research professor at Rutgers University, whose scholarship and career have explored how to foster health equity across communities, with an emphasis on at-risk young men and boys of color.
“Calvin Bland and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have enabled us to create genuinely multidisciplinary endowed fellowships that will support work addressing the complex, evolving challenges of at-risk populations — both now and far into the future,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “This is extremely important work for our society, and we are very grateful for the generous support that will make it possible.”
The Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowships are specifically designed to incentivize faculty to conduct research aimed at improving the lives of at-risk young men and boys of color and their families. Each fellowship will have a five-year term with specific research goals for the term. Grant funds will be used for research and research-related expenses, including convening conferences, lectures, seminars and other events to disseminate the research of the fellows, and helping fellows to publish work in scholarly and popular venues.
Bland and Penn developed the Bland Faculty Fellows to promote and reward multi-pronged, interdisciplinary approaches to issues facing at-rick young men of color. Bland initially approached Penn about opportunities to fund efforts to improve the lives of at-risk young men of color.
His concerns paralleled Penn Futures’ efforts to more holistically deliver interventions to serve children and communities through established research, curriculum and other initiatives.
Launched in 2015, Penn Futures is an initiative driven by Penn Graduate School of Education Dean Pam Grossman, School of Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel and School of Social Policy & Practice Dean John Jackson. The project seeks to collaboratively generate knowledge, deliver solutions and develop future professionals ready to join forces to improve outcomes for marginalized youth and families.
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