2014 Bush Fellows Announced

March 04, 2014

The Bush Foundation awarded its 2014 Bush Fellowships to 24 exceptional leaders from across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native nations. 

Andriana Abariotes
Saint Paul, MN
Megan Laudenschlager
Surrey, ND
Jamal Adam
Minneapolis, MN
Sherman Patterson
Minneapolis, MN
Sylvia Bartley
Eden Prairie, MN
Maureen Ramirez
Saint Paul, MN
Jacquie Berglund
Minneapolis, MN
Christina Sambor
Bismarck, ND
Tawanna Black
Brooklyn Park, MN
Lori Saroya
Blaine, MN
Tane Danger
Minneapolis, MN
Marvin Sims
Andover, MN
Makram El-Amin
Minneapolis, MN
Malini Srivastava
Fargo, ND
Nimo Farah
Minneapolis, MN
Chris Stewart
Saint Cloud, MN
Sue Hakes
Grand Marais, MN
Michael Strand
Fargo, ND
Richard Iron Cloud
Porcupine, SD
Charlie Thayer
Minneapolis, MN
Jessica Jackson
Minneapolis, MN
Jennifer Waltman
Maple Grove, MN
Syl Jones
Minnetonka, MN
Laura Zabel
Saint Paul, MN

“We are thrilled with our new class of Bush Fellows. It’s an extraordinary group of leaders who are already making a real difference in this region,” said Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy. “We are excited to see what they will make of the opportunities that a Bush Fellowship offers and what it will help them accomplish for their communities.”

Since 1965, the Bush Foundation has worked to develop the leadership capacity of the region by making investments in more than 2,200 people through its Fellowship programs. The Bush Fellowship is designed for people who have already demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, but who feel they could accomplish even more for their community with focused, intensive leadership development. The Fellowship is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing Fellows to articulate what they need to become a better leader – whether through a self-designed learning experience or an academic program – then providing them with the resources and support to make it happen.

“Some have used their Fellowship to pursue doctorate degrees, others to obtain bachelor’s degrees. Some have used it to travel across the country and build connections with thought leaders on topics important to their community, others to build stronger networks within their community,” Reedy said. “What Fellows do during their Fellowship is unique to their individual needs, but the impact is often the same: an experience that leaves them better equipped and better networked to be a more effective leader for their community.”

Nearly 400 people applied for the 2014 Bush Fellowship. Applicants were asked to describe their vision for strengthening or contributing to the common good of the region and to explain how they would use a Bush Fellowship to achieve that vision. From the initial pool of applicants, 60 semi-finalists were selected and invited to provide additional details about their vision and themselves, including three references who could speak to their qualities as a leader. From there 36 finalists were selected and invited to travel to the Bush Foundation’s headquarters in Saint Paul, Minn. for a half-day of interviews with the Fellowship Selection committee, which was composed of community leaders and Bush Fellowship alumni from across the region.

“The Bush Fellowship selection process reflects the abundance of talented and visionary leaders who want nothing more than to strengthen their ability to contribute to the common good in our communities,” said Lars Leafblad, the Bush Foundation’s leadership and engagement director. “We believe the future success of our region is tied to the success of these leaders. The Bush Foundation will continue to invest in encouraging people to think bigger and think differently about the impact they can have in their community.”

The Bush Foundation will accept applications for the 2015 Bush Fellowship in July 2014. The Bush Fellowship is open to anyone age 24 years and older who lives in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota or one of the 23 Native nations that shares the same geographic area. 

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