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ECMC Group and U of M Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Announce 2024 DePodesta Leadership Fellows

May 09, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS—Minneapolis-based ECMC Group, in partnership with the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, has announced the latest recipients of the John DePodesta Leadership Fellowship Program. The program provides graduate students in business, public policy, sociology or education the opportunity to co-design or launch a new venture in partnership with existing educational organizations that seek to improve the quality of postsecondary education.

“The DePodesta Fellowship Program represents a beacon of innovation and collaboration in the postsecondary education ecosystem,” said Dan Fisher, president and CEO of ECMC Group. “Through our partnership with the Carlson School of Management, this program empowers students to pioneer transformative ventures, tackling the complex challenges in education and workforce development.”

This is the fifth year of the fellowship program, which has provided support for 13 fellows including this year’s cohort. Each year, initial feasibility grants of $15,000 are awarded annually for up to four students. Subsequent grants of up to $75,000 may be available to students demonstrating strong progress with their concepts, significant potential impact from their venture and a commitment to operate the venture full-time for at least 12 months post-graduation. Since the program launched, four fellows have received the additional $75,000 to continue their projects.

“With each new fellow who joins this fellowship, we see a future leader who brings diverse perspective and bold solutions to the forefront,” says John Stavig, director of the Holmes Center. “We are encouraged by our ongoing collaboration with ECMC Group and the outcomes we have seen from students driving meaningful change in postsecondary education.”

The Fellowship was developed in recognition of John DePodesta, a founding board member and immediate past chair of ECMC Group, who has spent more than 25 years working to help students succeed.

The 2024 DePodesta Fellows are:

Rachel Palmer

  • Proposed Venture: Rachel is testing a peer-led and mentor-supported affinity group framework for first-generation college students.

Logan Grayson

  • Proposed Venture: Logan is working on a venture to reduce the barriers for deployed and re-stationed service members to continue their education while abroad.

Jackie Liu

  • Proposed Venture: Jackie will be testing an online leadership curriculum for upcoming college graduates and early-career women from China in partnership with the University of Minnesota.

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