Adriana Abariotes (BF’14) is executive director of the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation program, one of the partners involved with 2700 University Avenue, a groundbreaking mixed income housing development. The $54 million project, located at the corner of University and Emerald avenues in Saint Paul, Minn., will feature community spaces, public art installation and 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. According to Abariotes, “The 2700 University partnership has demonstrated a new replicable approach that leverages public investment and traditional multifamily financing.”
Rebuilder Dave Archambault II (Cohort 1) was featured on the cover of City Magazine’s September/October 2015 issue in a story about how his leadership as the 45th Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe led to a number of notable accomplishments, particularly for Native youth. Archambault and tribal citizens hosted an historic 2014 visit from President Obama and the First Lady. That visit led to a first-of-its-kind White House convening that brought 875 Native youths from across the country, Michelle Obama and Cabinet members together.
Justin Beaulieu The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development named Rebuilder Justin Beaulieu (Cohort 2) one of their 2015 “Native American 40 under 40.” Beaulieu, a citizen of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, was nominated by members of his community based on his leadership, initiative and dedication.
Frank Big Bear (BF’08) of Duluth, Minn., won two fellowships in 2015. He was named a USA Knight Foundation Fellow by United States Artists, a grantmaking and arts advocacy group. The prestigious honor includes $50,000 in unrestricted funds through USA, and an additional $5,000 through the Knight Foundation to lead a community engagement project. He also received a 2015 Native Arts & Culture Foundation Artist Fellowship to support future art endeavors now that he has shifted from drawing to collage-making and painting.
Jacquie Berglund (BF’14) is behind a growing Minneapolis-based social entrepreneurship movement. Finnegans—the nonprofit brewery she founded in 2000—announced in 2015 that it would be an integral part of a seven-story, 148-room hotel development. The one-of-a-kind “Brewtel” project will house the Finnegans micro-brewery, an event space and a new social-impact “Finnovation Lab” that will serve as a business incubator for social entrepreneur start-ups.
Kevin Brooks (BF’13) received North Dakota State University’s 2015 Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Brooks offered the $5,000 award as a fundraising match to launch the Refugee Consortium of North Dakota. As a newly established network of advocacy organizations, the Consortium is dedicated to supporting the Fargo-Moorhead refugee community through citizenship classes, youth programs and other resources. In September 2015, the consortium hosted a Welcome Week to recognize refugees’ community contributions and encourage integration in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Poet and painter Alvaro Cardona-Hine (BF’78) celebrated two accomplishments in 2015. He showcased his latest series of paintings, “Dream Cities,” in his Cardona-Hine Gallery in Truchas, N.M.; and he received the New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award for his contributions to the local poetry community.
DeAnna Cummings (BF’07 and current Board member), executive director of Juxtaposition Arts, oversaw a major renovation project in north Minneapolis. The new space, Juxtaposition’s fourth such project, is home to the Community Design Studio and a “maker space” where local youth work with artists, architects, landscape architects, planners and organizers on a variety of creative projects for clients.
In 2015 Vincent Delaney (BF’03) debuted his play “The Art of Bad Men” in Seattle. The piece taps the insight Delaney gained from interviews with American World War II prison guards and their prisoners of war, telling the story of a group of German prisoners.
Jim Denomie (BF’08) garnered national and international attention for his vivid paintings. The artist, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, won a Regional Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation; he was also the first artist to show work in a new studio gallery space in Germany.
The Huffington Post recently featured Karen Diver (BF’02) in a series of articles highlighting the “people and issues that will shape the world in the next decade.” Diver implemented policies benefiting both the economy and the environment as chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. In November 2015, President Obama appointed her special assistant to the president for Native American affairs.
Makram El-Amin (BF’14), an imam at Masjid An-Nur in north Minneapolis, met with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she spoke in Minneapolis in December 2015. El-Amin was among a handful of Muslim and Somali community leaders who met with Clinton to discuss their concerns about rising tensions surrounding international terrorist attacks.
In Morris, Minn., one of Stevens County Commissioner Jeanne Ennen’s (BF’13) dreams has become a reality. Ennen used her Fellowship to develop Raising Up Stearns Stevens County Kinship, or RUSC Kinship, a nonprofit youth mentorship program. The program is an affiliate of Kinship, the regional mentoring organization with a network of 36 affiliates located in the upper Midwest.
Elizabeth Glidden (BF’13) traveled to Brazil in August of 2015 to study the impact of the country’s racial inequality reduction laws. Glidden, who serves as vice president of the Minneapolis City Council, is leading efforts to address racial disparities in the city.
Esperanza Guerrero-Anderson (BF’88) was one of eight individuals named to Minnesota Women Business Owner’s Hall of Fame by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for her founding of Guerrero-Anderson, Inc.
Richard Iron Cloud (BF’14, Cohort 1) first swam the icy waters between Alcatraz Island and San Francisco in 2003 as part of the inaugural PATHSTAR Alcatraz Swim Week. The weeklong event, which promotes healthy lifestyles for Native Americans, just concluded its 13th swim with 13 participants from across several generations and numerous Native communities.
|Richard Iron Cloud|
Kevin Kling (BF’03), one of the notable storytelling voices behind National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and famed Minnesota artist, performed at the 10th anniversary of the Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork, Minn.
Megan Laudenschlager (BF’14) created Strengthen ND, a nonprofit with an objective of helping other nonprofits in western North Dakota succeed. The organization was profiled in the Minot Daily News, which led to national attention from The Washington Times.
Bryan Nelson (BF’97) was named a 2015 Exceptional Master Leader by The ChildCare Exchange, an advocacy group that supports early childhood education professionals worldwide. Nelson, executive director of MenTeach, joined a cohort of nearly 50 peers for his efforts to increase awareness that men make great teachers.
Maureen Ramirez (BF’14) is director of policy and research for Growth & Justice, a Saint Paul, Minn.-based advocacy organization. In 2015, Minnesota was one of 19 states without a goal to increase postsecondary attainment. Because of Ramirez’s leadership, Growth & Justice helped Gov. Mark Dayton set a goal during the 2015 legislative session to have 70 percent of residents obtain postsecondary degrees by 2025.
We note with sadness the 2015 death of Sharon Rice Vaughan (BF’79). Prior to her Fellowship, she was part of a group that established Women’s Advocates. In 1974, the group converted a Saint Paul, Minn., home into the nation’s first domestic violence shelter—a shelter that continues to serve victims today. Rice Vaughan spent her career creating places where women and children could be safe from domestic violence.
Lori Saroya (BF’14) co-founded and is former executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN). Her civil rights activism and leadership at CAIR-MN were honored in 2015 by Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison.
In late 2015, the Bill Simenson Quintet debuted at The Nicollet, a south Minneapolis cafe. Composer and teacher Bill Simenson (BF’99) was on the trumpet, Nathan Hanson on saxophone, David Martin on guitar, Chris Bates on bass and JT Bates on drums. The quintet played many of Simenson’s original compositions.
Saint Paul, Minn.-based poet Richard Solly (BF’95) passed away in May 2015. His poetry, which often reflected difficult personal themes, can be found in various books such as “From Where the Rivers Come,” published by Holy Cow! Press in 2006. He most recently worked as senior acquisitions editor of publishing at Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
In July 2015 Rebuilder Sam Strong (Cohort 1) ran 200 miles to support, encourage and celebrate sobriety as part of the 19th Annual Anishinabe Spirit Run. The four-day run, Strong’s seventh consecutive, included up to 50 other runners. The group began in Redby, Minn., and ended at the Fond du Lac Mash-ka-wisen Powwow Grounds in Sawyer, Minn., for the 36th annual Celebration of Sobriety Powwow.
Barton Sutter (BF’89) spent the past five years writing a collection of 150 haiku about his nature walks near Chester Creek in Duluth, Minn. Nodin Press published “Chester Creek
Ravine,” which features artwork by Cecilia Lieder, in 2015. His May book release was celebrated at Duluth Congregational Church and included Scandinavian music by his brother Ross Sutter.
President Obama appointed Ryan Taylor (BF’13) to serve as North Dakota state director for rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Taylor, a fourth generation rancher, used his Fellowship to learn how Norway’s economy could impact North Dakota as it harnesses its notable energy boom.
Bush Medical Fellow Patricia Walker (BF’95) was named president-elect of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Founded in 1903, it is the largest international scientific organization of its kind, focusing on reducing tropical infectious diseases and improving global health.
In a 2015 Pollen profile, David Whitesock (BF’15) shared his personal story of addiction recovery and how it led to his work helping others overcome the same illness. Whitesock is the addiction informatics officer for Face It TOGETHER Sioux Falls, an organization that received a 2014 Bush Prize for its highly collaborative, community-based approach to solving addiction (see story).