This year, the University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s Do Good Institute has announced two new Global Philanthropy Service (GPS) Fellows. The students receiving the fellowship are Chitra Kalyandurg and Rebecca Hiemstra.
Chitra Kalyandurg, a first-year master’s student at the School of Public Policy, is specializing in nonprofit management and leadership. She has more than twelve years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, with a particular interest in the leadership, nonprofit management and policy-making perspectives of arts and culture organizations. Kalyandurg is also a nationally recognized performer and choreographer in the south Indian classical dance style of Kuchipudi. She has been awarded several grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and received the prestigious Princess Grace Dance Honoraria for her artistic excellence in Kuchipudi.
Kalyandurg previously served as a program manager for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships 2012. While there, she observed unique aspects on the policy-making process by federal government through interactions with fellows from various domains. In that role, she gained insights into the importance of understanding the interplay between public policy and nonprofit management, a perspective that also informs her commitment to arts and culture policy and future leadership roles. As a GPS fellow, Kalyandurg is interested in utilizing a comparative viewpoint examining the difference between philanthropic giving for arts and culture in various institutional settings globally. “The Global Philanthropy Service Fellowship provides students a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience in global philanthropy and non-governmental management. It offers an international lens that will strengthen my learning in nonprofit management and policymaking, and make me a better arts leader,” Kalyandurg said. “With this support, I will pursue a self-directed internship or study abroad experience, where I can work with and study the arts organizations, government entities or philanthropic foundations with a different national setting, with a specific focus in understanding aspects of resource generation and the interplay with policy and management.” She added, “It is really nice coming back as a student and honing an analytical lens to my professional experiences, I am so happy to meet so many wonderful students here and I really appreciate the quality of interaction with faculty.”
Rebecca Hiemstra graduated cum laude from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, with a bachelor’s degree in international relations. She is a first-year MPP student in the School of Public Policy, with a specialization in nonprofit management and leadership. She currently serves as a graduate assistant with the Do Good Institute as the Do Good Challenge coordinator. Hiemstra developed a passion in and commitment to global philanthropy work during her two-year service as a U.S Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda and her internship work with an NGO in Goma, Congo. Through this experience, she engaged in projects related to healthcare, clean water/sanitation, hygiene and poverty reduction, and became aware of the substantial positive impact of global grant-making efforts on local community development, as well as some of the complications. Her work in Rwanda shaped her focus on international relief and humanitarian work in the context of conflict.
“Studying at the School of Public Policy is a wonderful experience,” she says. “I find the orientation toward practical application in our curriculum particularly compelling, which stretches me in new and important ways. I wish to equip myself with essential technical skills and professional knowledge in nonprofit management during my master’s degree study. My goal is to return back to Central Africa after graduation and continue to devote myself to international development work. The GPS Fellowship, which allows me to engage in additional international nonprofit experience, plays an important role in pursuing my goal.
The Global Philanthropy Service Fellows program provides awards of up to $10,000 in support of their meaningful domestic or international field experiences in global philanthropy and NGO leadership. Ultimately, GPS Fellows will develop essential skills and experiences to become tomorrow’s global leaders and create positive change in our world.