University of St. Thomas MBA student Ivan Alvarado selected for Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative Scholarship

July 17, 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 was 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.”

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.

“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.”

About the Diversity Collaborative

The Diversity Collaborative is a collaboration of eight commercial real estate associations and individual members that strive to promote and expand diversity within the commercial real estate industry. Its mission is to deliver members of the commercial real estate industry the tools, talent, and opportunities to drive inclusiveness, diversity, and future success. Learn more at