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EDUCATION PHILANTHROPY DIVISION OF ASCENDIUM EDUCATION GROUP

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2021 Education Philanthropy Report
Newsletter Article May 09, 2022

Education Philanthropy Team Welcomes New Hire with Community College System Expertise

Ascendium’s Education Philanthropy team extends a warm welcome to Valerie Crespín-Trujillo, a new program officer. She will support grantmaking in our Streamline Key Learner Transitions and Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training focus areas. With 20 years of experience working on behalf of state postsecondary education governing organizations, legislatures, universities and colleges, we’re excited to have Valerie join our team!

Valerie joins us from the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS), where she worked most recently as an education director with a focus on general education, collegiate transfer and business, finance and marketing programs for Wisconsin’s 16 technical college districts. At WTCS, she also advocated for improvements to credit transfer through Transfer Wisconsin, a collaborative effort by the University of Wisconsin System and WTCS to help students transfer between public postsecondary institutions in Wisconsin.

“Valerie brings deep experience working within state systems and building partnerships between sectors,” said Deputy Director – Education Grantmaking Keith Witham. “Her knowledge of how these systems can be leveraged to create change will help us achieve greater impact through our grantmaking.”

Outside of Ascendium, Valerie is an Education Graduate Research Scholar at UW-Madison. She has a special interest in how public policies and institutional decision-making impact postsecondary access and outcomes for learners, especially historically excluded populations of learners, many of which are targeted through Ascendium’s philanthropy.

“I am honored to join a nationally recognized funder of postsecondary education and workforce training initiatives,” Valerie said. “Elevating opportunities and outcomes for learners from historically excluded backgrounds is important to me personally and professionally. I look forward to collaborating with my Ascendium colleagues to promote large-scale change which leads to individual upward mobility.”

Looking for an opportunity to join our team? We are still seeking a dedicated program officer for our Support Rural Postsecondary Education and Workforce Training focus area. The ideal candidate will have lived experience with and knowledge of rural geographic, economic, educational and cultural environments, plus an enthusiasm for supporting learners from low-income backgrounds.

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