Federal Government Chooses Ashford University Graduate Students for Prestigious Leadership Development Program

Three Ashford University students earn Presidential Management Fellowship

Three students from Ashford University were selected for the federal government's Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. PMF is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. More than 12,000 students applied to the program this year, and only 663 were selected as finalists to the PMF Class of 2013.

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The Presidential Management Fellows from Ashford University are Eli Cadena, Master of Arts in Education; Ivan Gutierrez, Master of Business Administration; and Maxine Mendez-Williams, Master of Arts in Health Care Administration.

"I feel honored to be selected for this program, and I am looking forward to working for the U.S. Government and once again serving my country," said Gutierrez, who served for years in the United States Marine Corps. "I truly do feel that my education with Ashford University is extremely valuable, and that there is no way I would be here without my MBA."

Gutierrez is currently an account manager for an executive protection company in Los Angeles, Calif. While he is looking forward to working with any government agency, he hopes to work with the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense.

Cadena, who lives in San Antonio, Texas, is passionate about education and the impact technology will continue to have on it. Currently pursuing his doctorate, Cadena is excited about the opportunity to get management-level experience in a government agency with the hopes of one day working in educational policy.

"I am so honored and excited for this opportunity, especially knowing that there were so many outstanding individuals from across the country vying to get into this program," said Cadena. "I am really interested in policy-level work with education and this is a great foot in the door."

Created by executive order more than three decades ago, the program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a more narrow focus — developing a core group of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program instills a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government.

About Ashford University
Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor's degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu or call Shari Winet Rodriguez, vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.