Surge Institute
Summer, 2015
Table of Contents
Upcoming Events 

Virtual Presence Webinar
On July 8, 2015, the Surge Fellowship will host a webinar titled Managing Your Virtual Presence. Email us If you're interested in participating in this event that coaches leaders on how to brand themselves online!

2016 Fellowship Cohort Application
We will begin accepting applications for the 2016 Surge Fellowship cohort on July 6, 2015. All diverse, emerging leaders are encouraged to register to receive Surge Fellowship Application details as soon as they become available.    

The Surge Institute is officially on the map and doing the great work of diversifying education leadership. This first issue of our quarterly newsletter, shares information about the impressive 2015 Surge Fellowship Cohort, the ASU+GSV and NewSchools Summits, and our recognition of #ProofPointDay. We aim to keep you up to date on events and issues related to leadership development, education, diversity and The Surge Institute. Here's to changing the landscape!
~Carmita Vaughan, Founder and President
Recent News 

 2015 ASU+GSV Summit
Carmita Vaughan had the pleasure of introducing keynote speaker, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The ASU+GSV Summit brings education practitioners and leaders together for the purposes of ed innovation. Register for the 2016 Summit in San Diego!

Selection of Inaugural Surge Fellowship Cohort

On April 15, 2015 we announced the twelve elite leaders selected for 2015 Surge Fellowship in Chicago. Surge Fellowship, The Surge Institute's signature program, provides them with leadership development, access to valuable networks and visibility. The inaugural cohort is made up of talent from higher education, CPS, charter networks, advocacy organizations and justice reform. 

NSVF Summit 2015
Diversifying education leadership was a hot topic at the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit. Carmita Vaughan joined JoAnn Gama, Colleen Dippel and Amanda Fernandezfor the 2015 Hour of Power Panel titled From Talk to Action: Increasing the Diversity of Education Leadership.  Attendees praised the candid discussion about the reality of a dearth of talent of color within education and focused on the actions and courageous conversations that will be required to bring diverse talent to key roles.

Surge Fellowship Session II
On May 29, 2015 Surge Fellows convened in Pilsen at the National Museum of Mexican Artfor their second session of leadership programming; which included a high-impact "Shark Tank" style pitch to Surge'sextraordinary Shark Panel:  Jose RicoKim FoxxAngelique Power, and Sarah Duncan. They also received primers on the art of telling compelling stories and how-to create a powerful, authentic personal brand.
Featured Fellow 

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Get to know
Melissa Connelly
Senior Director of Regional Persistence, OneGoal
1. Was education your calling? If so, why? If not, what changed your path?
I did not know I would be an educator. In fact, I did not always know I would go to college. When I registered for high school, I found out I had been automatically enrolled in a truancy program because I had skipped more than 50 days of 8th grade! The high school social worker gave me a second chance to shape my future, and to repay her I committed committed to doing well academically. My high school principal and teachers taught me to compete for grades. I did a complete 180 and earned all “A”s from sophomore year through two Masters degrees. In college, I learned that my struggles were not unique; being a minority and low-income student meant that many of my experiences were the result of much larger systemic social issues. With the knowledge gained from African-American studies, gender studies, and education and housing policies, I decided that the best way to express gratitude for what I received is to serve students by teaching them how to advocate for themselves and fight for their education.
2. As an emerging leader with a time machine, what is one piece of leadership advice you would share with your "childhood self"? 
You have worth.
3. What action hero or cartoon character do you most identify with, and why?
XMEN's Storm always resonated with me. As a kid I would only buy Marvel comic books with her on the cover. I always admired her presence as a strong Black woman and how she positioned herself in the group: She was the one in charge even without having to be out in front. Storm was just boss plus she could control the weather which was pretty amazing to me as a kid growing up in Chicago.
Leadership Lighthouse 

The Leadership Lighthouse is a regular Surge newsletter feature that highlights leaders catalyzing transformative change. 
May 29, 2015 was National #ProofPointDay - a day of recognition for the hundreds of thousands of first generation (FG) college graduates in the United States.  The movement's creator Chastity Lord, imagined communities across our Country wearing green as visible and vocal #proofpoints for FGs - creating a new narrative about what is possible.  We are proud to honor Chastity as this issue's Leadership Lighthouse Keeper.  Go Green! 
The Surge Institute

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