John C. Burkhardt

A message from Board Member John C. Burkhardt:
Answering the Call to Action

By John C. Burkhardt (KNFP-10)

While sometimes anyone of us can occasionally find ourselves out on a limb, I seldom feel entirely alone in the work I do. Many times, I have Kellogg Fellows to thank for that.

If it is a challenge related to undocumented students and their fair treatment, I can always rely on Jaime Chahin (KNFP-13) or Leslye Orloff (KNFP-14). If I need advice on how to work more effectively with a colleague, Dan Mulhern (KNFP-14) is often helpful. If my spirit needs lifting, there is Eva Moya (KNFP-13) or Reggie Nichols (KILP-02); and if my ego needs trimming....well there are many fellows quite capable in helping me with that too!

It just seems that whenever one of us is "called to action" that there are others who can be there with us. Sometimes the help is given through advice, collaboration or encouragement. Sometimes the help comes from someone who challenges our assumptions or tells us to revisit our limitations.

When one of us is called, the answer can be resounding.

Not long ago, a Kellogg Fellow colleague and I were discussing the topic of courage as an increasingly rare attribute of leaders, especially those who find themselves in hotly contentious circumstances. I knew from our previous time together that he had not only served as a policeman, union official and leader of a non-profit association, he also had battled back from a terrible health challenge. When he spoke of courage, I felt he knew what it meant.

I compared his stories to those of Betty Overton (KNFP-09) and Kent Wong (KNFP-10), two individuals with whom I work closely on social justice initiatives. Each of them, and the many other fellows who have become my allies and friends in so many shared efforts, all seem to have experienced times of trial, times when they have come under attack, and times of personal doubt.

Every one of us seems to have worked out an approach to deal with the public bombardment and the private pressures that come from attempting change in big, heavily guarded systems.

This has been one of the most important and valued legacies of our fellowship programs.

In this spirit, when you are given a call to action by a Kellogg Fellow, like those you’ll find in this newsletter, remember — you are not alone.

Over the past year, I have used the Kellogg Fellows network to bring over 50 fellows to five events, where they have been thought partners in framing policy to tackle complex issues of health, equity, justice, and education. Our network has tremendous resources to address today’s challenges — I invite you to join me in bringing the power of collaborative partnerships with Kellogg Fellows to bear on your work and your communities.

John C. Burkhardt

KFLA Board Member
Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity
Professor of Clinical Practice, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

Watch Live: Kellogg Fellows meet with UN Under Secretary General

In conjunction with the Global Networks Forum on Advancing Women’s Leadership, KFLA is hosting a roundtable discussion with Kellogg Fellow Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.

You're invited to join us via our free global livestream! Ready to join? Want to host a watch party with other fellows? Find out more »

Cuba Travel & Learn 2016

Cuba in Changing Times, July 2016
Havana, Cuba | Join KFLA, in partnership with trip leader Evelyn Hu-DeHart (KNFP-05), for an experiential and educational, 9-day journey to Cuba.

Call to Action

Call to Action programs unite Fellows around a specific issue, provide opportunities for intense learning and dialogue, and launch action-driven collaborative initiatives.

The 2016 Call to Action programs will be around the following themes:

  • Supporting Children in Indigenous Communities
  • Rural Issues
  • Immigration Reform

Volunteers: We are looking for Fellows to volunteer their time and expertise on planning committees for these programs. Please email for details.


Program Opportunities at a Glance


25, 2016

Thought Leader Series: Dr. Oran Hesterman | Online
“Fair Food, Growing A Healthy Sustainable Food System For All” Register for webinar »

17, 2016

Thought Leader Series: Dr. Barbara Rogoff | Online
“Developing Destinies, A Mayan Midwife and Town” Register for webinar »

7 - 30, 2016

Second Annual Global Day of Gratitude | Worldwide
Honor Mr. Will Keith Kellogg by giving back to your community. See how to participate »

21, 2016

Thought Leader Series: Dr. Manuel Pastor | Online
“Equity Growth & Community” Register for webinar »

19, 2016

Thought Leader Series: Mr. Bryant Terry | Online
“Afro Vegan” Register for webinar »

25 - 26, 2016

Call to Action | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Participate in dialogues and help launch action-driven collaborative initiatives in immigration issues.

31, 2016

Launch of The Mink’a | Online
Mink’a means “communal work” in Quechua, an Amerind language. Learn more about the details and structure that will support Fellows-helping-Fellows in communities across the globe.

12 - 18, 2016

Ecotourism | Oaxaca, México
A one-week cultural, educational and relaxing trip in the middle of nature and of the “Pueblos Mancomunados”. Register Today »

5 - 9, 2016

Call to Action | El Paso, Texas
Participate in dialogues and help launch action-driven collaborative initiatives in rural issues.

14 - 22, 2016

Cuba in Changing Times | Havana, Cuba
Participate in an experiential and educational 9-day journey to Cuba. Learn more »

6 - 9, 2016

Forum 2016 | Denver, CO
With your input, we are convening Kellogg Fellows for Forum 2016 this coming fall in Denver to focus on Putting our Children First. Read more and get involved »


A year ago we asked you: is it time for another Forum? A resounding 221 of you responded “Yes!” and told us what would make great Forum 2016.

Today we are pleased to announce that, with your input, and in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s innovative focus on Putting Children First, we are convening Kellogg Fellows for Forum 2016 this coming fall in Denver.

Ecotourism & Pueblos Mancomunados

Oaxaca, Mexico | KFLA, in partnership with Expeditions Sierra Norte, invites you to the Zapotec communities to learn the process of responsible use of natural resources and forest conservation. Dates TBD


Network in Action

Reception for Congresswoman Alma Adams

Our thanks to Dr. George Pruitt, President of the Thomas Edison State College for co-hosting a reception for U.S. Congresswoman Alma Adams, Class KNFP-11. Congresswoman Adams was sworn into office on November 12, 2014, becoming the 100th woman in the 113th Congress.

Read More


"Do you agree that our collective and individual journeys are worthy of celebration?" This was the question posed to us by Kevin Fichensher regarding the journey we began 30 years ago as Group 6 of the KNFP. Our answer, of course, was a resounding yes.

Read More

Call to Bloggers

Do you write for a blog? Would you like to share your ideas with other Kellogg Fellows?

Send an email to with the link and a brief description of your existing blog to be featured on the Kellogg Fellows Community just like the ones below:

What themes/topics would you like to see in the KFLA blog? Send an email to if you would like to write an article for the network.


Board Member's Letter
Kellogg Fellows respond to calls to action

Program Opportunities at a Glance
Request information or register for our exciting, new programs

Travel & Learn: Cuba in Changing Times
See details and register for next year's Travel & Learn opportunity in Havana, Cuba

Travel & Learn: Mexico
Make your voice heard: express your interest in a potential Travel & Learn program in Mexico

Forum 2016
With your input, we are convening Kellogg Fellows for Forum 2016 this coming fall in Denver to focus on Putting our Children First

Reception for Congresswoman Alma Adams
A Kellogg fellow became the 100th Woman in the 113th Congress — See photos and details from the reception

Fellows Reconnecting
Learn about the Fellow-run reunion hosted by KNFP Class VI for KNFP Class VI

Kellogg Fellows meet with UN Under Secretary General
KFLA and the Global Networks Forum on Advancing Women’s Leadership will host a roundtable meeting featuring the UN Under-Secretary-General