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Master of Community Development grant concludes with major success

December 20, 2016

This month marks the conclusion of the $750,000, three-year grant awarded to the University of Detroit Mercy by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to support the Master of Community Development (MCD) program. The grant was designed to create a pipeline of leaders committed to strengthening local neighborhoods and to increase capacity of local non-profit organizations through Capstone scholarships, internship placements for students, and fellowships for recent graduates.

Since 2013, the grant has supported 36 Capstone scholarships, 11 internships and 6 fellowships in collaboration with 20 community organizations. Additionally, the internships and fellowships have resulted in four full-time and four part-time positions for students and alumni at their host organizations as well as launched other significant career opportunities.

As a result, the grant has had tremendous impact in expanding the MCD program's development of new leaders in community development, broadening opportunities for attainment of graduate degrees for people seeking careers in community development, and bringing additional expertise and capacity to local non-profit organizations.


The Capstone scholarships funded tuition reimbursements for students in their two-semester Capstone Project experience. The grant funded 36 scholarships to 19 students. Below is a list of students who received a Capstone scholarship. their projects, and community partners.

Project Title: "The F.R.E.E. Project: Framework and Resources for Empowering Environments"
Student Team: Scott Douglas and Joe Gruber
Community Partner: Bailey Park Project

Project Title: “Highland Park Connections: Facilitating Access to Youth Resources”
Student Team: Shaundra Board, Jeffry Henze, LaToya Mobley, and Karen Thurman
Community Partner: 323

Project Title: “Community Engagement and the Inner Circle Greenway: A Strategy for Connecting Communities through Arts and Culture” 
Student Team: Jessica Back, Toni Henry, Elizabeth Iszler, Megan McGreal, and Annie Mendoza
Community Partner: The Detroit Greenways Coalition

Project Title: “Mack Avenue: Strategies for Revitalization, Collaboration, and Improvement"
Student Team: Phillip Caldwell, Priscilla Darby, Ritchie Harrison, and Lori Wild
Community Partner: Eastside Community Network

Project Title: “The Equitable Land Initiative: Community Land Trusts in Detroit’s Springwells Community”
Student Team: Molly Redigan, Amber Rucker, Alex Serowoky, Rob Weber
Community Partner: Urban Neighborhoods Initiative 


The internships provided a paid, semester-long work experience for students including tuition reimbursement for academic credit. The grant funded 11 internships for 9 students. Below is a list of the host organizations and students who participated in the internships.

Host Organization: Wayne County Edge
Student Intern: Jeff Henze

Host Organization: Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
Student Intern: Jessica Back 

Host Organization: Detroit Land Bank Authority
Student Interns: Megan McGreal and Annie Mendoza

Host Organization: Neighborhood School Stabilization Anchor Initiative
Student Intern: Carrie Kulikowski

Host Organization: Greater Woodward Community Development Corporation
Student Intern: Toni Henry

Host Organization: EcoWorks
Student Intern: Karen Thurman

Host Organization: Focus:HOPE
Student Intern: Priscilla Darby

Host Organization: The Villages Community Development Corporation
Student: Molly Redigan


The fellowships provided a one-year paid work experience to recent graduates of the MCD program. The grant funded 6 fellowships for 6 alumni. Below is a list of the host organizations and alumni who participated in the fellowships.

Host Organization: Detroit Green Skills Alliance and the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development
Alumna Fellow: Alex Mueller

Host Organization: Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
Alumna Fellows: Larissa Carr

Host Organization: IFF
Alumnus: Jeff Henze

Host Organization: Michigan Department of Transportation
Alumnus: Joe Gruber

Host Organization: Southwest Housing Solutions
Alumnus: Carrie Kulikowski

Host Organization: The Guidance Center
Alumna: Shaema Al Saade

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