Learning Logs: Fellows

Updates and Insights from Bush Fellows During Their Leadership Journey

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I began last year envisioning my Fellowship as a bridge-building exercise. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge during my January trip to San Francisco solidified the imagery in my mind. I pictured myself beginning at one end of the bridge, rooted in my past experience in the nonprofit and public sector, and that I was using the Bush Fellowship and MBA program to get myself across to something new, as yet undefined, but likely to include a fabulous new job and career prospects.

Ernesto Velez Bustos

Duality rather than bi-nism… as I prepare for the family trip this Christmas, a series of familiar emotions and memories began to get triggered. Going back home; is different each time and that is just the nature of our lives given that we live in biculturalism – living in the United States while we embrace our heritage and culture also the fact that statically most of the continent speaks Spanish and English is the second language. All of the sudden something hit me and changed completely how I really feel about going back home.

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During past year, I have been engaging in numerous academic and experiential learnings that has brought me closer to my dream of attaining a doctoral degree and contributing to the advancement of young immigrant students’ ability to access and succeed in higher education. In my application, I mentioned:

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The first year of my Bush Fellowship opportunity was really rich, allowing much learning and growth taking place along with the chance to plant long-term seeds. My quest started out with
the vision to work within the Somali community of Minnesota by providing one-on-one life coaching and group leadership workshops for Somali women and children. I went on a journey
to gather, simplify and translate Somali proverbs and stories of leadership and resilience into English for the purpose of using them to compliment existing leadership tools in a personal and

Jacquie Berglund
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In this first year of my fellowship I have learned a great deal about the importance of attitude in leadership.  In my most challenging moments over the past year I have found that if I could  make up my mind in my head that I was going to get something solved or get something done and convinced myself I could do it  that this thinking helped to propel me forward. When I am focused on a goal and achieving an outcome if I can focus on visualizing the positive outcome of what I wish to achieve hit helps me to keep my fear at bay and it helps me to keep the momentum going.

Tane Danger
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Year One of A Bush Fellowship: A story in pictures (and some words)

Photo of Tane Danger winning a Fellowship

When you first learn that you have won a Bush Fellowship, you can hardly believe it. You try and keep your composure as you imagine all the doors this amazing opportunity could open for you. You fail at keeping that composure and make crazy-excited faces that entertain your friends.


Christina Sambor
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My life since beginning my Fellowship has changed so dramatically. In a year, I went from the private practice of law (pulling my hair out, being anxious, gaining weight, feeling unfulfilled by my work), to being a part of a coalition that has brought about sweeping change to awareness, collaboration and policy on human trafficking in North Dakota. It really blows my mind to see how far we’ve come in just a year. I will never be able to thank the Bush Foundation enough for selecting me as a Fellow, because that selection started this whole change.

Makram El-Amin
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I begin my one year learning log reflecting on the many opportunities and challenges that I've been given by way of this fellowship through the Bush Foundation. Before starting on this journey, I consulted with others who have been through the fellowship and who had told of the potential life and career changing opportunity. I'm most appreciative of the space to consider my thoughts and feelings about what I'm doing strategically, as well as day to day.

What have I learned?

Michael Strand
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During my six-month learning log I shared some new directions within the fellowship, surprising changes in my plan and a focus on self-awareness and care that has guided my first year during this fellowship. I have included this first learning log as a backbone for this report updated each. In addition I reflect on a year of transformation, accomplishment and milestone.

12-Months - Risk, Reward and Life in and out of the Academy

Richard Iron Cloud

In this past year in retrospect, the first year of my Bush Fellowship, my understanding of leadership has changed. I have been doing my dissertation prospectus and reading about Servant Leadership theory that was created by Robert Greenleaf in 1977. One of the questions posed to me by the chair of my committee Dr. Patricia Loun, was “is this theory the same as Indigenous Lakota Leadership” (Personal Communication, Loun 2015).