Indiana State University Newsroom

Second cohort of Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowships in Education Leadership welcomed

August 2, 2017

Building on a statewide commitment to help successful educators become strong school and school district leaders, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation today announced the incoming class of 2017-18 WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership program, 51 current educators seeking careers as school leaders in Indiana.

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 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.

In 2014, the first cohort of the Woodrow Wilson Indiana MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership began their work at the University of Indianapolis. This year, the second cohorts of MBA Fellows at Indiana State University and Indiana University's Kelley School of Business will join a fourth UIndy cohort. The WW Indiana MBA Fellowship program charts a new course in education leader preparation.

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.

"For teachers, children, and communities to be successful, they need effective educators leading their local schools," Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. "Through the Indiana MBA in Education Leadership, Indiana University, Indiana State, and UIndy are ensuring a strong pipeline of exemplary, inspirational school and district leaders to lead our schools while ultimately boosting student success for all. This year's 51 Indiana MBA Fellows are part of a strong commitment to school improvement across the state."

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.

"This unique and successful collaboration of the faculty in business and education welcomes its second cohort of Woodrow Wilson Fellows. We continue to be excited that this program will provide quality leaders for Indiana's K-12 schools. Preparing educational leaders has been a primary mission of Indiana State University from its inception and this collaboration brings together the talent of our faculty from two colleges to prepare a new generation of leaders," said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business at State.

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.

All three universities are partnering 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.

The 2017-18 Class of Indiana MBA Fellows in Education Leadership:

• Johnathan Bolek, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township

• Troy Cloum, Tri-Central Consolidated School Corporation

• Jeanine Corson, Warsaw Community Schools

• Criselda Harlow, Tri-Central Consolidated School Corporation

• Amy Hueftle, Metropolitan School District of Mount Vernon (Posey)

• Katrina Kelly, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township

• Dawn Merrill, Metropolitan School District of Washington Township

• Andrew Mitchell, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township

• Amber Paz, Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township

• Daniel Peo, Tippecanoe School Corporation

• John Pinson, Kokomo School Corporation

• Brady Scott, Vigo County School Corporation

• Jeffrey Steve Spradlin, Northside Middle School Muncie Community Schools

• Atticus Westerfeld, Herron Charter School District

• Donavan White, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township

Applications to the WW MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership are available by nomination only. To learn more about the WW MBA in Education Leadership, visit  

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.


Media contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications and media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or