Hope College senior Michael Bertrand of Naperville, Ill., is one of only 16 young scholars nationwide to receive an award through the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program for graduate studies beginning this fall.

The awards provide support for three years to students who are entering Ph.D. or equivalent graduate programs in the humanities and arts at schools of their choosing.  Bertrand, a philosophy major at Hope, will pursue a doctorate in philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and hopes to teach at the college level.

The fellowships are awarded through the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts based at ValparaisoUniversity in Indiana, which seeks to renew and enhance the connections between Christianity and the academic vocation at church-related colleges and universities.  Candidates for the awards must be seeking a teaching career in the humanities or arts.  They must also want to explore the connections between Christianity and higher education, and be interested in teaching at a church-related school.

Through the program, the 16 fellows, along with two senior mentors, will communicate and collaborate with each other in areas of research, teaching and professional development.  Their interaction will include participating in an ongoing distance colloquium that involves group readings and discussions over the course of the three-year program and attending four conferences.  The also fellowships include three annual $3,000 awards.

Active in his academic discipline at Hope, Bertrand wrote an article that was published in the September 2009 edition of the "Australasian Journal of Philosophy," a quarterly international scholarly journal.  He has also both attended and made presentations during professional conferences.  Most recently, during the 2009 Western Conference of the Society of Christian Philosophers in Durango, Colo., in October, he and Dr. Jack Mulder of the Hope philosophy faculty presented a paper that they co-wrote.

Bertrand is minoring in art history, and his activities at Hope have also included co-editing the "Opus" literary magazine during the 2008-09 school year and participating in thePew College Society Program, which exists to encourage students to pursue careers in college and university teaching as Christian service.  He is the son of Deric and Cathy Bertrand of Naperville, and a 2006 graduate of Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. He and his wife, Ashley, a Hope classmate, will be moving to North Carolina shortly after graduation.