Market Overview

Capella University Fellows Program to Foster a New Generation of Leaders in the Twin Cities


Seven finalists of community-based organizations and service-oriented
organizations to receive full scholarships to pursue a master's degree
with the university

Today, Capella University announced the winners of the Capella Fellows
Program, awarding seven promising Minneapolis-St. Paul community members
full-tuition scholarships to a Capella master's degree program of their
choice. Members of the cohort will also receive a leadership assessment,
expert coaching and access to networking opportunities. The program aims
to support those who will use what they learn to help mitigate social
and economic inequities in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities.

The winners include:

  • Ayan Abdinur, African Development Center
  • Maria Ayala Ramirez, Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES)
  • Kendall Benson, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis
  • Jennifer Christianson, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Rebecca Lopez, Avivo
  • Ben Phillip, Summit Academy OIC
  • Nou Vang, AchieveMpls

The cohort will begin classes in January 2019.

"When one person receives a quality education, they're able to bring the
lessons they learn to their families, friends, workplaces, and broader
community," Dick Senese, President of Capella University, said. "At
Capella, we're honored to be working with cornerstone organizations in
the Twin Cities –cultural and economic development groups, local
government, and major employers – on our Fellows Program to have a
positive impact on our community and region through the power of
education and applied scholarship."

"The amount of economic growth we've seen recently in the Twin Cities is
remarkable – 17 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here and we're
home to many healthcare, STEM and manufacturing jobs. Education is the
keystone of much of this growth,"1 Jacob Frey, Mayor of
Minneapolis, said. "We're proud to partner with Capella University to
help foster even more community leaders."2

Employees of 31 community-based organizations, service-oriented
organizations, and select Capella University employer partner
organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area agreed to
participate as a Capella University Fellows Founding Partner and were
invited to apply to the program.

"In this competitive environment, we must be laser-focused on attracting
and retaining the best and brightest talent. We need the Minneapolis-St.
Paul region and our entire state to be a finely-tuned economic engine
that supports innovation and growth," said Jonathan Weinhagen, President
and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. "The Capella Fellows
Program recognizes some of the brightest talent in our communities and
provides life-changing educational opportunities so these leaders can
address the most pressing social challenges we face."

The selection committee included nine leaders representing non-profit
leadership, prominent foundations, and government entities, including
the Minneapolis Mayor's Office, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Bush
Foundation, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota
Department of Employment and Economic Development, Hennepin County, St.
Paul and Minneapolis Foundations, Capella University's former Board
Chair Dr. Marcia Ballinger, and Capella University alumni.

About Capella University: Capella University (
is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Founded in 1993, the
university is dedicated to providing flexible, professionally aligned
online degree programs designed to help working adults advance in their
careers. Known for its commitment to learner success, academic quality
and innovations in online education, Capella pioneered competency-based
direct assessment programs allowing students to learn at their own pace.
For more information, call 1.888.CAPELLA (888.227.3552).

About Strategic Education: Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) is dedicated to enabling economic mobility with education. We
serve working adult students through a range of educational
opportunities that include: Strayer University and Capella University
(separate institutions that are each regionally accredited), which
collectively offer flexible and affordable associate, bachelor's,
master's, and doctoral programs; a Top 25 Princeton Review-ranked online
MBA program through the Jack Welch Management Institute; self-paced
courses for college credit through Sophia; customized degrees for
corporations through Degrees@Work; and non-degree web and mobile
application development courses through DevMountain, Generation Code,
Hackbright Academy, and The New York Code + Design Academy. These
programs help our students prepare for success in today's jobs and find
a path to bettering their lives.


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