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MCTC Instructor Lena Jones Named Bush Fellow

Lena Jones: Bush Fellow, Community Leadership Developer

Lena Jones, MCTC Political ScienceLena Jones, Political Science instructor at MCTC, is one of eight people to be named to the third cohort of the 2013 Bush Fellowship recipients. This cohort of fellows will work in fields of immigrant, urban and native communities.

“I want to see a Twin Cities where everyone, regardless of their race, creed, income, neighborhood or gender is able to live in dignity in a community that is safe and provides everything they need,” said Lena. “My hope is this fellowship will provide resources, relationships and experiences to help me play a much larger role in making this vision a reality.”

The Bush Fellowship provides resources to individuals who seek to strengthen their leadership capacity. More than 2,200 Bush Fellows have been named since 1965. In her role as Bush Fellow, Lena will identify ways for higher education institutions to build relationships with community organizations and local government to assist students in developing into community leaders.

In addition, Lena was recently awarded a grant from the Washington, D.C. based Kettering Foundation. Lena will create opportunities for civic engagement and service learning for students and faculty at MCTC with this grant. The Kettering Foundation seeks to identify and address challenges to democracy through interrelated program areas that focus on citizens, communities and institutions. Read more about the Kettering Foundation's designing of a national public conversation about the collaboration between communities and higher education in this MinnPost article.

This is not the first time Lena has made inroads on behalf of her students and their educational, professional and personal development. Lena envisioned and now teaches an annual summer course titled Race in America: Then and Now. The six-credit field study course is done in partnership with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA) and takes place in June each year. Students explore the philosophy, practice and historical implications of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and how these past struggles are inextricably linked to current struggles around race, class and inequality.

“These three initiatives—the Bush Fellowship, Kettering grant and the Race in America course—share a common focus on finding ways to support students in their efforts to become effective, powerful agents of change in their communities,” said Lena.