The Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute announced July 22 that Vonzelle Johnson and Dykisha Potter are the 2021 recipients of the Master in Public Policy Minority Fellowship.
Johnson is director of external affairs for Teach for America and is a former city commissioner for DeLand.
He has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and anthropology from Colgate University and a master’s in social work from Valdosta State University.
As part of his MPP degree program, Johnson plans to complete a capstone project about economic development and policy as it pertains to revitalizing underdeveloped areas of Jacksonville.
Potter is a graduation coach and achievement advocate for the nonprofit Communities in Schools of Jacksonville and serves the community in the ampED National Fellowship, the Junior League of Jacksonville and Jacksonville’s City Year Alumni Board.
She has a Bachelor of Science in business administration in economics with minors in accounting and English from the University of Miami and a Master of Arts in teaching in secondary education from the University of North Florida.
Potter will focus on ways that public policy can meet and support education.
Recipients of the MPP Minority Fellowship receive a full tuition scholarship to earn their Master in Public Policy degree at JU, a books and materials stipend, internship opportunities provided by the city of Jacksonville and mentorship by community leaders.
In return, fellowship award winners agree to spend at least three years after graduation in Northeast Florida. The fellowship program was created in collaboration with the mayor’s office and other community leaders.
The fellowship program was established through the collaboration of community leaders, the mayor’s office and Jacksonville University.
“Now in its fourth year, the Jacksonville University Master in Public Policy Minority Fellowship has helped numerous students achieve their higher education goals and prepare for careers in public service,” Mayor Lenny Curry said in the news release.
A board of advisers selected the finalists from among this year’s applicants, interviewed the finalists and chose the fellowship recipients.
• Cynthia Chomiak, founder and chief executive of Educated Decisions LLC and vice chair of JU’s board of trustees.
• Barbara Darby, former president of the Florida State College at Jacksonville North Campus.
• Nathaniel Ford Sr., CEO of Jacksonville Transportation Authority.
• Nathaniel Glover Jr., former president of Edward Waters College (now Edward Waters University) and former Jacksonville sheriff.
• Mark Griffin, pastor and CEO at Wayman Ministries.
• Matthew Kane, former owner of Greenshades Software Inc. and a member of JU’s board of trustees.
• Dawn Lockhart, director of strategic partnerships for the city of Jacksonville.
• Charles Moreland, director of community affairs for the city of Jacksonville.
• Charles Wodehouse, retired president of CSX Technology Inc., former senior vice president of CSX Transportation, a member of the Public Policy Institute Board of Advisors and a former JU trustee.
Applications for the 2022 MPP Minority Fellowships will open in August. Visit ju.edu/publicpolicy to learn more and apply.