Kagan Scholarship Information

Dr. Norman Kagan devoted his career (over 20 years at MSU) to exploring ways people interact.  He was particularly interested in counselor/client and health professional/patient communications.  He focused on measuring and developing methods for teaching empathetic interactions and greatly influenced the education of physicians, counselors, and paraprofessionals nationally and internationally. 


     In his father’s name, Mr. Steve Kagan has established an endowed scholarship with the goal of furthering research in these and related fields.  The scholarship is intended to honor and encourage graduate and professional students and faculty in research and scholarship related to communication in health settings to include communication between healthcare professionals and patients or communication between healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals will include individuals licensed to deliver health services in a variety of healthcare settings (e.g. physicians, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, counselors, and other experts involved in the delivery of healthcare to patients, clients, and families).  Research and scholarship is defined to include original research, case reports and analyses conducted by individuals (e.g. healthcare professional students, graduate students, medical residents and faculty) associated with academic units at Michigan State University.


The scholarship is administered by the Director of the MSU Learning and Assessment Center (LAC) with recommendations made by a designated Scholarship Selection Committee. Faculty and students enrolled in the following colleges are eligible for this award: 

  • College of Human Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Additional colleges may be considered such as Social Sciences, Psychology, Communications, etc.


Student eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. The student(s) must demonstrate an interest in and desire to study interpersonal relations related to healthcare
  2. The student(s) must be enrolled at MSU in one of the above colleges
  3. The students must be graduate level. At the Scholarship Selection Committee’s discretion, should no qualified graduate level student(s) be identified, a senior undergraduate student planning to enter graduate school and meeting all other criteria may be considered.
  4. The student(s) must be involved in research or scholarship activities as part of their academic program.
  5. The student(s) must meet the minimum academic standings in their respective schools, as verified annually by the Scholarship Selection Committee.


Faculty eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. Faculty must have a full or partial appointment in one of the aforementioned colleges.


  1. Other MSU faculty may be included at the discretion of the scholarship selection committee if the proposed project specifically relates to a better understanding of the impact of interpersonal relations and/or effective communications in a healthcare setting.


The number and amount of awards shall be determined by the Scholarship Selection Committee.  Student awards will be given in the form of tuition reimbursement with half of the annual awards available at fall and spring semesters.  Faculty and medical resident awards shall be administered over the course of one fiscal year through a MSU unit account or LAC account and shall be used for direct support of the research or scholarship project expenditures (Conference, workshop, or tuition will not be considered for support by this award).  Should the recipient(s) in any year cease to meet the criteria or leave the University, the unused portion shall be either given to another recipient or returned to principal at recommendation of the committee.


Recipient(s) may reapply in subsequent years for consideration of funding. Recipients are expected to send appropriate acknowledgment of appreciation within 30 days of award notification to:

                        Mr. Steve Kagan

                        953 North Leavitt St.

                        Chicago, IL  60622


Recipient(s) are also expected to present scholarship at a forum scheduled at the Learning and Assessment Center in fall or spring dependent upon completion of their project.

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