Cherelle Cotton, who's pursuing a master of public administration degree at Old Dominion University, has been selected for the latest cohort of Virginia Management Fellows, a program that works with Virginia Tech to train and prepare government leaders.

"Through the Fellows program, this group of aspiring agency leaders will put their diverse education and experiences to work as we plan for Virginia's future by training them to be even stronger leaders," Governor Ralph Northam said.

The General Assembly approved the Virginia Management Fellows program in 2017. The Office of the Secretary of Administration oversees the program. The Department of Human Resource Management provides additional support and infrastructure.

During the two-year program, Virginia Management Fellows learn and practice technical and generalist skills that are important to state agencies. Each Fellow is assigned a mentor to help them with projects, hands-on agency work and research efforts.

The cohort selects a local nonprofit for which they will research, plan, organize, budget, fund, implement and evaluate. Last year, the Fellows wrote curriculum, packed and mailed supplies, and led online leadership sessions for youth ages 9-13 for The Next Star Arts program.

Cotton received her bachelor's degree in philosophy, politics, economics and law from the University of Richmond.

ODU alums Jessica Gaines and Joseph Roman were selected for the program in 2019.

Additionally, Anna Jeng, professor of community and environmental health in the College of Health Sciences, was reappointed to the State Board of Health. That agency provides leadership in planning and policy development for the commonwealth and the Virginia Department of Health.

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