Students invited to apply for Gibbs House Fellowships

contact: Matt Hollander
| WMU News
Photo of WMU Gibbs House.

Apply by March 30 for Gibbs House Fellowships.

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University students interested in taking the next step toward sustainable living are encouraged to apply for one of five yearlong residential fellowships at the Gibbs House. The deadline to apply for the 2013-14 program is Saturday, March 30.

The Gibbs House Fellowship program is open to all WMU students who pay the University's sustainability fee. Selected students are paid to research and work on campus sustainability projects and policies while living in the historic Gibbs House, located at 4503 Parkview Ave., adjacent to WMU's Parkview Campus and across from the scenic 274-acre Asylum Lake Preserve. The property features a locally sourced, organic, student-run farm. Bronco Transit bus service is within walking distance, and the house is a short bicycle ride from WMU's main campus. Parking is provided, and fellows will have their own private room.

Fellows will be expected to work 10 to 15 hours per week, and will be paid as hourly student employees at a rate consistent with their level of experience and the scale of their project. Schedules will be flexible and arranged to accommodate other academic commitments. Fellows are assessed a home-improvement fee twice a year to support sustainability upgrades and general upkeep of the house. Fees for 2013-14 will total $2,000, with half due at move in and half due at the beginning of spring semester. This works out to be roughly $170 a month, with utilities, Internet, and washer and dryer included.

Apply now

Applications are available online at, and can be submitted via email to or in person at the Office for Sustainability, located at the corner of West Michigan Avenue and South Howard Street. Applications must be completed in full and accompanied by a personal statement, essay on sustainability and a proposed project, resume, and three academic or professional references.


The Gibbs House was purchased from the federal government 150 years ago by John Gibbs, a carpenter from New York. Gibbs constructed the Italianate house which still stands on the property and is now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places. The farm was transferred to WMU in 1959, and in 1991 the development of WMU's Business Technology and Research Park was approved. The BTR Park now encompasses the majority of the property. The Gibbs House Fellowship program was created by WMU's Environmental Institute in 2002, and in 2010 it was transferred to the Office for Sustainability. Since the program was created more than 40 student fellowships have been awarded.

2012-13 Gibbs Fellows

2012 Fellows

2012 Fellows Brian Balconi, Seseer Mou, Charity Brown, Rebecca Brand, and Nichole Tramel

Current Gibbs Fellows include:

  • Brian Balconi, who studies business and is conducting research on vermicomposting and other biophilic methods of waste management and nutrient cycling.
  • Rebecca Brand, who studies photography and is the Office for Sustainability's lead photographer.
  • Charity Brown, who studies interior design and is helping to lead the Office for Sustainability's transition into its new building.
  • Seseer Mou, a graduate student in communications, who helps plan events for the Office for Sustainability.
  • Nichole Tramel, a graduate student in anthropology, who helps plan events for the Office for Sustainability.

For more information, contact Matt Hollander at or (269) 387-0941.