Scholarship Winners

July 16, 2018

Ivan Alvarado, a bilingual MBA student at the University of St. Thomas, has been awarded the Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative’s Spring 2018 scholarship. The Diversity Collaborative, which represents eight industry associations working to increase diversity within the commercial real estate industry, has awarded 10 scholarships to diverse students studying commercial real estate. The $2,000 scholarship supports tuition and books for students from a minority class who are interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate. 

Alvarado, who is born in New York City, but raised since high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has worked as a residential real estate agent, a project manager, an English teacher in Spain, and most recently, in multi-functional roles for the Fourth Judicial District Court in Minneapolis.  With more than ten years of working experience, he identified commercial real estate as the best fit for his long-term goals. 

“Making a difference in the lives of others is my purpose in life and a career in commercial real estate will help me create meaningful change in my community,” he said. 

Each scholarship applicant requires a letter of recommendation from an educator; for Alvarado, Hannah Hedegard, director of Graduate Programs at the Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, submitted rave reviews about his insights and ideas that have already improved the St. Thomas experience. 


“It cannot be understated the impact that Ivan has had during his time at our university. He’s proven himself to be a leaders who is thoughtful, engaging, and a true change-maker in our community and beyond,” she wrote. 

“We were impressed that the first time we met Ivan, he had visions for his career and his impact in our communities,” said Raymond Vaughn, CCIM, RPA, senior property manager-Ryan Companies and chair of the Diversity Collaborative’s scholarship committee. “He’s already taken initiative to apply his passion to support the success of the Diversity Collaborative going forward.”

“Our goal is to develop bench strength with diverse candidates who can build their careers around any firm in our market,” said Stephanie Lee, vice president-Carlson Commercial and one of three leaders of the Diversity Collaborative. “We have built partnerships across the Twin Cities but are always looking for mentors, volunteers and companies to join us in our efforts to diversity commercial real estate.”

The Diversity Collaborative has been awarding scholarships since 2013, distributing more than $25,500 in educational support for diverse students who demonstrate an interest in commercial real estate as a career path. In addition to the scholarship, students also are invited to attend industry events, are matched with a commercial real estate professional for mentoring and are provided internship openings from the commercial real estate companies who participate in the DC. 


 

2017 Fall winner: Albert Martinez-Castro

Feb. 28, 2018

St. Cloud University student Albert Martinez-Castro selected for Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative Scholarship

$2,000 scholarship encourages pursuit of real estate careers

Albert Martinez-Castro, who is a sophomore studying real estate at St. Cloud State University, was selected for the Fall 2017 Diversity Collaborative scholarship. The $2,000 scholarship supports tuition and books for students from a minority class who are interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate. 

Albert, who is from Rosemount, Minnesota, has participated in the campus Real Estate Association, attended the national Institute of Real Estate Management Summit in Chicago in 2017, and has attended numerous events hosted by BOMA, the building owners and managers association. He learned of commercial real estate from his father, who runs a commercial painting company, and decided that being an owner and manager of a commercial real estate firm would allow him to impact sustainable real estate practices and support the local community.

 

“My interpersonal skills have made me a successful student leader and I believe they will be critical in the commercial real estate industry,” he said.

The scholarship selection committee was impressed by Martinez-Castro’s professionalism and maturity, documented by St. Cloud State’s Commercial Real Estate program adviser Kelly Jamison. In her letter of recommendation, she noted, “In addition to attending classes and achieving a 3.75 GPA, he has experience working several jobs and gaining relevant business experience. He is a conscientious and considerate leader and I know he will be a great contributor to commercial real estate.”

Martinez-Castro is the fifth student from St. Cloud to be awarded this scholarship. “We were impressed with Albert’s knowledge and interest in commercial real estate – even at such an early stage of his education,” said Raymond Vaughn, CCIM, RPA, senior property manager-Ryan Companies and chair of the Diversity Collaborative’s scholarship committee. 

The Diversity Collaborative has been awarding scholarships since 2013, distributing more than $23,500 in educational support for diverse students who demonstrate an interest in commercial real estate as a career path. In addition to the scholarship, students also are invited to attend industry events, are matched with a commercial real estate professional for mentoring and are provided internship openings from the commercial real estate companies who participate in the DC. 

2017- Austin Ruehle

June. 20, 2017

Austin Ruehle, a junior at St. Cloud State University, was awarded the Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative 2017 scholarship. Austin’s passion and enthusiasm in pursuing a career in commercial real estate caught the attention of the Diversity Collaborative. The Diversity Collaborative mission is to deliver members of the commercial real estate industry the tools, talent, and opportunities to drive inclusiveness, diversity, and future success. Ruehle has shown leadership at school with sports and in his classes.

When asked what interests him most about commercial real estate he said, “Commercial real estate interests me because it offers many career paths and because it seems to have variety in the daily work.” Ruehle’s long-term career goal is to become a leader in commercial real estate, potentially starting his own company. He is also interested in continuing the work of the Diversity Collaborative by mentoring other diverse candidates once he starts his professional career.

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