Allison Utting ’18 Burkhardt, who teaches United States history at West Middle School in the Byron Center Public Schools, has been named the state of Michigan’s recipient of a 2022 James Madison Graduate Fellowship by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.
Recognized as one of America’s most prestigious awards in constitutional history and government for secondary teachers, James Madison Fellowships support the graduate study of American history by aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, American government and civics. The foundation offers only one fellowship per state per year.
“I became aware of the James Madison Fellowship during my freshman year at Hope,” Burkhardt said. “Being selected as a 2022 fellow is an incredible honor, and I am excited for the opportunity to deepen my own understanding of our nation’s founding and continue to share my passion and knowledge of the U.S. Constitution with my students in the classroom.”
Named in honor of the fourth president of the United States, the fellowships are intended to recognize promising and distinguished teachers, to strengthen their knowledge of the origins and development of American constitutional government, and thus to expose secondary school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.
The fellowships fund up to $24,000 towards a master’s degree to individuals desiring to become outstanding educators of the American Constitution. As part of the program, each fellow also attends a four-week summer institute on the Constitution held in Washington, D.C. Taught by constitutional scholars and running June 11-July 8 this year, the course focuses on the principles, framing, ratification and implementation of constitutional government in the United States.
Burkhardt is pursuing a Master of Arts degree with a specialization in teaching American history and government through Ashland University. She anticipates graduating this coming December.
Burkhardt majored in secondary education with a focus in history at Hope. While at the college, she interned at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and later co-authored the book Making Music: Hope College’s Department of Music, A History with Dr. Marc Baer, who is retired from Hope as professor emeritus of history, interim dean for arts and humanities, and interim chair of the Department of Music.
Additional information about the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation may be found at www.jamesmadison.gov.