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NDSU partners with Bush Foundation to cultivate leaders

Resources are available through the Bush Fellowship program for individuals who want to build leadership skills and help tackle their communities' toughest problems.

The NDSU Extension Service has teamed up with the Bush Foundation to provide these resources. Funding ranges from $25,000 to $75,000.

Application deadlines will be staggered from May 4 and July 9.

"NDSU Extension is partnering with the Bush Foundation because the fellowship program is a great fit with our efforts to help individuals develop leadership skills and solve problems in their communities," said Jodi Bruns, Extension community economic development and leadership agent.

A Bush Fellowship is a four-year commitment. The program provides funding during the first two years of the program. During the last two years, the Bush Fellows join the foundation in advancing its goal of building leadership capacity throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 nations that share geography with the states.

The Bush Fellowship program is based on four core principles:


  • Knowing yourself first: Effective leadership builds effective relationships that improve a community. Without clarity about your values and beliefs, working with others effectively is impossible.
  • Knowing your community deeply: This involves actively listening and learning to access the community's knowledge and resources.
  • Fostering community action to solve a difficult public problem
  • Managing conflict: This is searching for answers in the differences among people.




"We believe each of these principles needs to be present if solutions to the many tough problems that exist in our communities are to be solved," Bruns says.

The Bush Fellowship program is for anyone who:


  • Cares deeply about his or her community and is committed to making it a better place for everyone
  • Has a desire to work with others in the community, including those with whom they disagree, to find solutions to a difficult problem affecting their community
  • Understands change needs to happen if communities are going to find solutions to problems and that the change needs to start with him or her
  • Is passionate about learning and committed to improving his or her leadership to work with others to solve a tough problem
  • Understands that risk, failure and conflict are not to be feared when working to find solutions to problems but are necessary to make progress
  • Understands that the solutions to his or her community's most difficult problems are to be found in the community's collective wisdom





Applications and more details are available at

3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, established the St. Paul, Minn.-based Bush Foundation in 1953.

NDSU is an economic engine of the state, top-ranked – and growing – national research power.

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