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Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship Recipients

Sponsored by PMI-MN

The Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship

Immediate Help, Lasting Benefits, A Continuing Legacy

The Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to community service, personal advancement, and continuous learning, and who also exhibits high personal standards and passion for life.

Manish Kalra2016 Recipient: Manish Kalra
Manish leads a very active life, with both an impressive work and volunteer resume. He has an MBA from the University of New Delhi, PMP, CSM and Certificate of Quality (QAI). Having worked in the Health Care sector for several years, in 2014 he was received the ROCK STAR Award from Health Partners. He has also been active in PMI-MN as both a member and volunteer, while continuing his education with project management related coursework at the U of MN. Now, Manish has won the coveted Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship jointly offered through PMI-MN and ATD-GTC.

Manish was officially awarded the Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship on November 18th, at the ATD-GTC breakfast meeting at the University of St Thomas Minneapolis campus. On hand for the award was Loras Holmberg, Ana’s husband and committee chair for the scholarship. During the award ceremony Loras announced, “Manish and his background project a man of knowledge, drive, and compassion. Ana was a person who was accomplished in mind and spirit.  Manish also is, through his work and volunteer activities.”

Manish impressed the awards committee with his passion for volunteerism and social commitment. In the works of one reference, “Manish came to The Aliveness Project a non-profit helping Minnesotans living with HIV/Aids. He has excellent and effective communication skills which helped him impart his knowledge in a way that both members and staff could easily translate into everyday use. He is punctual, dedicated and passionate about the health and wellness of our members, and we love his input and knowledge.

2015 Recipient: Christopher Boyce was officially awarded the Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship on September 21, 2015, at the PMI MN dinner meeting in Minneapolis. Residing and working in Jamaica, Christopher was not able to be present for the award. However, the announcement was also a part of that night’s webcast.

Loras Holmberg, speaking on behalf of the selection committee, said, “Chris came across as enthusiastic with dreams and goals.  All of us should shoot for that.” One of Christopher’s references described him as… ”very thoughtful. He is not one to respond carelessly to impulses, this is reflective of a discipline that will ensure he completes what is required of him, but more so, an ability to think critically about what he is doing, and what is before him… making an impact on Caribbean lives… [displaying] not only competence, but also caring…”
Christopher, a native of Barbados, currently works for Sandals Resorts International within their Projects & Engineering Management team. He has also acted as project lead for the Sandals Foundation. He led a community project to give the Ciceron Children’s Home on the island of St. Lucia a face lift. “Whenever I can, I also go to schools to read to the children with the Sandals Foundation Reading Road Trip.”
Christopher holds a PMI CAPM and will be using his scholarship to further his PMBOK training and certification. He hopes to announce his PMP certification soon.

Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship
Christopher Boyce was awarded the Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship on September 21st, 2015, at a PMI-MN function. He is shown here (on the left) receiving the award from his project manager and mentor Mark Pike (on the right).


Rajeswari Itharaju - 2014 Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship Recipient2014 Recipient: Rajeswari Itharaju 
Rajewari Itharaju received the Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship on September 19th, 2014, at an ATD-GTC (Association for Talent Development – Twin Cities Chapter) function.

Loras Holmberg, husband of Ana Alvarez-Holmberg, commenting on the 2014 award to Rajeswari Itharaju said, “I am excited to see Rajeswari awarded the scholarship! Her dedication, perseverance and energy will take her far.” Rajeswari interests are primarily in biomedical engineering. She has been a volunteer at Children’s Heart Link, supporting young children with heart conditions, and volunteers / sponsors / assists in various other health related causes in the U.S. and India.

Raswari is currently a Senior Design Assurance Engineer at Covidien Incorporated, located in Plymouth, MN. She received a BS at Osmania University, India, and MS in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. A PMI-MN member, she certified as a PMP (PMI). Also a member of ASQ, she is certified as a Quality Auditor. The scholarship will help fund Rajeswari toward completing her masters in Strategic Management at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University – Bloomington. 

Marceleen Mosher - 2013 Ana Scholarship Recipient

2013 Recipient: Marceleen Mosher
Marceleen Mosher was awarded the Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship for 2013 by PMI-MN and ATD-GTC.

Marceleen is a lifelong learner and exemplifies many qualities of Ana. She’s a Marketing Coordinator at Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., in Minneapolis. Deeply involved in her community, she contributes her efforts in volunteering for multiple community organizations such as Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of MN, Athletes Committed to Education Students (ACES), Twin Cities in Motion and Special Olympics.

Loras Holmberg, husband of Ana Alvarez-Holmberg, had this to say about our 2013 recipient: "Marceleen has a spark about her that tells me she is going to ignite in her career and life." 

Marceleen will use the scholarship towards obtaining her American Sign Language (ASL) certification.

Jessica Ayub - 2011 Ana Scholarship Recipient

2012 Recipient: Jessica Ayub 
Jessica Ayub is a student services and career advisor with Pine Technical Colleges, where she coaches students through their academic lifecycle from admissions to program completion. Beyond graduation, she assists with job-seeking skills, resume development, and job placement.

Jessica plans to apply the ATD-GTC - PMI-MN Ana scholarship toward completing the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification course this summer while she continues her masters’ studies in Counseling Psychology at Bethel University.

Jessica shared why she felt strongly about the scholarship “Ana exhibited deep compassion, genuine concern for others, and an appreciation of each person’s uniqueness. Her devotion to fostering awareness on important issues was built on authenticity, life-long learning, and in spreading messages of inclusiveness and stimulating action. The accomplishments we celebrate in the memorial scholarship highlight a passionate giving spirit, illustrating an inspired vision to engage in continual improvement.”

Jessica noted, “With the scholarship, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certification will help me better coach others as they continue developing their potential.” Jessica feels connected to Ana’s legacy and hopes to “pay forward” the scholarship gift to professional and other greater communities.  

Taylor Kristoffe-Jones - 2011 Ana Scholarship Recipient

2011 Recipient: Taylor Kristoffe-Jones 
Taylor Kristoffe-Jones has been awarded the Ana Alvarez Holmberg Scholarship for 2011 by PMI-MN and ATD-GTC.

Loras Holmberg, the husband of Ana Alvarez-Holmberg, shared why Taylor was selected for the scholarship, "Taylor impressed me as being full of life. She has a drive to make the world better and better herself. Ana had these qualities."

A busy professional and mother, Taylor knows the importance of education, and is pursuing her Master's degree at the University of Minnesota in Human Resources and Training and Development. Full of energy and committed to lifelong learning, she also believes in civic involvement -- and has been a candidate for the Minnesota House Of Representatives in both 2006 and 2008.

Upon completion of her Masters, Taylor plans to pursue a law degree in public service to represent those who are without a voice such as battered women and children who are sexually abused.  "Having a law degree, combined with my political experience, will give me the credentials to reach a broader audience when advocating for victims of physical and sexual abuse. Working one-on-one with these victims will only add to my ability to address all aspects of this important issue. This scholarship brings me one step closer to making a difference."

Many recipients who have shared their experience have told us their experiences with PMI-MN — we heard that the benefits received extend well-beyond the immediate financial assistance.

Consuelo Cervantes - 2010 Ana Scholarship Recipient

2010 Recipient: Consuelo Cervantes
For Consuelo Cervantes, the immediate help of the scholarship "has certainly given me momentum to take more classes than planned" and a lasting momentum "to achieve as much as possible—continuing to work, learn and give to the community as Ana passionately did."

Consuelo, who is currently an OE consultant at Cargill, says that she was "pleasantly surprised that there was a scholarship dedicated to Organization Development in the Twin Cities."

And Consuelo knows that she's part of Ana's continuing legacy:

"As I read further, I was touched that these 2 organizations honor the memory of an inspiring woman. I somehow felt close to Ana—she could have been my colleague, my friend, my cousin. I will certainly honor her spirit." 

Karen Rainford - 2009 Ana Scholarship Recipient

2009 Recipient: Karen Rainford
As Karen Rainford puts it, "I’m very grateful for the recognition that I received from the Ana Scholarship. It’s good for my confidence level, and encourages me to keep learning and keep volunteering. In the year since I received the scholarship, I successfully completed the comprehensive written and oral exams for my doctorate, and I’ve started working on my research proposal for my dissertation. "

Both a student and a professor, Karen noted, "With today’s ugly economy and the ever increasing cost of an education, the Ana Scholarship is a great boon to students."

Karen used some of the Ana Scholarship to buy resource books on service-learning -- a strategy where students practice academic skills as volunteers in non-profit organizations and use reflection on lessons learned to optimize the experience. Karen says she "avoided quite a few bumps in the road, as well as getting a better understanding of the learning theory."

This semester (early 2011), she's coaching several student volunteers who are documenting and managing real projects in non-profit organizations.

Her goal is "research on how we teach project management, and on the best methods to develop thoughtful, capable, professional project managers."


The Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship Program is jointly offered by the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute and the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development.