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UIndy welcomes 2017-18 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowships in Education Leadership

The University of Indianapolis welcomes the incoming class of the 2017-18 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, announced recently by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. This year’s class represents the fourth cohort at the University and is comprised of 21 current educators seeking careers as school leaders in Indiana. Through the national program, the University of Indianapolis is fulfilling the mission to grow the pipeline of education leaders for the state.

About the program
Developed by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the WW Indiana MBA Fellowship program was created to develop a new model in education leader preparation, equipping graduates to head changing 21st-century schools across the state. The University of Indianapolis launched the program in the State of Indiana in 2014.

“The UIndy MBA in Education Leadership presents an innovative interdisciplinary model of principal preparation that integrates best practices in both education and business within an educational context,” said Dr. John Somers, associate professor at the UIndy School of Education. “The program instills key business skills and competencies that will equip principals to serve as exemplary school leaders and enable them to advance to higher levels of administration within an evolving entrepreneurial education landscape.  To date, this model has produced nearly one hundred new leaders who are transforming Indiana schools through a more robust knowledge base and skill set. We applaud the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for their vision and ongoing support to enact a truly revolutionary education enterprise.”

As the WW Indiana MBA Fellowship program expands throughout the state, it charts a new course in education leader preparation. The WW Indiana MBA blends clinical practice in schools with innovative business school coursework, it ensures graduates have the knowledge and skills not only to guide schools and districts in a changing education environment, but also close achievement gaps between America’s lowest- and highest-performing schools and between the country’s top-performing schools and those around the world.

Indiana is one of three states, with New Mexico and Wisconsin, that currently offer the WW MBA Fellowships, which integrates graduate education coursework with an MBA curriculum tailored to school leaders’ needs. The Woodrow Wilson Foundation administers the programs in Indiana through the generous financial support of Lilly Endowment Inc.

Under the Woodrow Wilson model, Fellows take MBA courses with a specific focus on the education context. Offered through business schools in collaboration with education schools, the program is designed to prepare leaders who will drive innovation, expand the use of analytics and evidence-based practices, raise student performance to international standards, and improve the quality of school systems and teaching over time.

Unlike programs that recruit career changers from other fields to work in schools, the Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship is intended for education professionals nominated by their school districts or charter school leaders. Those school systems partner with participating universities to establish internal leadership talent pipelines and cultivate new leaders. Fellows selected have demonstrated effective leadership and will use their knowledge of the education context to help transform schools from within. Each Fellow receives a stipend, which covers full tuition, materials, and associated program expenses. In exchange, each Fellow agrees to serve in an approved school or district leadership role within the state for at least three years, with Foundation-supported mentoring.

The University of Indianapolis partners with a variety of area school districts and charter schools to develop partnerships that will sustain clinical placements, or in-school learning arrangements, and mentoring opportunities for WW MBA Fellows. Learn more about the program.

About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation: Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation ( identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.

About the University of Indianapolis: Since 1902, the University of Indianapolis has been committed to education for service. Today, 5,400 students are enrolled in respected undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs in the health sciences, arts, sciences, business, education and engineering, with an average class size of 17 providing a student-centric interdisciplinary and experiential learning environment. Located minutes from downtown, UIndy is a community anchor, elevating quality of life for all while connecting students with the internships, culture, recreation and community service opportunities available in a vibrant metropolitan atmosphere. The recently launched Campaign for UIndy is advancing education as well as social mobility and the health of communities. More information is available at


  • Brad Bates, Avon Community School Corporation
  • Tim Blom, Metropolitan School District of Washington Township
  • Weston Bonczek, Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Amy Conrad, Zionsville Community Schools
  • Melissa DeWeese, Western School Corporation
  • Mark DuBois, Huntington County Community School Corporation
  • Jeannie Hawkins, Elkhart Community Schools
  • Melissa Illuzzi, Anderson Community Schools
  • Alan Landes, Anderson Community Schools
  • Keith Manring, Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township
  • Seianna McCray, Concord Community Schools
  • Kellie McIntyre, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
  • Frank Meyer, Avon Community School Corporation
  • Nasreen McDowell, Center Grove Community School Corporation
  • Rebecca Pennington, Center Grove Community School Corporation
  • Matt Swaim, Hamilton Southeastern Schools
  • Tyler Thiems, Washington Township Schools
  • Miranda (Randi) Tolentino, Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township
  • Meranda VanderVeen, Center Grove Community School Corporation
  • Chris Wey, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township
  • Brice Willey, Hamilton Southeastern Schools