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New Cohort of Twin Cities Leaders Announced for 2021 Capella University Fellows Program
[December 21, 2020]

New Cohort of Twin Cities Leaders Announced for 2021 Capella University Fellows Program

Today, Capella University (News - Alert) - an institution dedicated to providing flexible online degree programs to help working adults advance in their careers - announced the cohort of the 2021 Capella Fellows Program. Finalists were chosen from promising Minneapolis-St. Paul community members and will be awarded full-tuition scholarships for a Capella master's degree program of their choice.

The Capella Fellows Program is dedicated to helping students gain the talent and leadership skills required to address social and economic inequities in the Twin (News - Alert) Cities and surrounding communities. Members of the 2021 program are currently employed at local nonprofits and will receive a leadership assessment, expert coaching and access to networking opportunities. The classes will begin in January.

With each fellow hailing from different backgrounds and expertise, this year's talented leaders will make distinct impacts throughout the Twin Cities community. The 2021 cohort includes:

  • Maihlee Lee, Plymouth Christian Youth Center
  • Wanda Vue, Hmong American Partnership
  • Elizabeth Knight, Catholic Charities
  • Aubrey Fredrickson, People Incorporated
  • Sydney Velez, Emerge
  • Marina Brady, People Incorporated
  • Barbara Chromy, Lutheran Social Service

"At Capella, we are committed to supporting the promising leaders in our communities," said Dick Senese, President of Capella University. "The Capella University Fellows Program helps us create the most direct link among learning, professional development and employment, by personally coaching our fellows and providing them with networking opportunities to enhance their impact in the community."

"We're focused on fostering the future of Minneapolis. Educating our community leaders is the perfect place to start," said Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis. "We're thrilled to continue our ongoing partnership with Capella University and are thankful for their continued investment in our community leaders."

Employees of 33 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 Partners and were invited to apply to the program.

"To attract and retain top-tier talent to the Twin Cities region, we must grow our skills training and education offerings to compete with nationwide initiatives," said Jonathan Weinhagen, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. "The Capella Fellows Program provides an opportunity for top-performing employees in our communities to gain an advanced degree of their choosing at no cost. We hope this will encourage our young leaders to commit to enhancing the Minneapolis-St. Paul region."

The selection committee included seven 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, 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).

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