February 1, 2021

CSI Announces Leprino Fellowship
Dr. Benda Bautsch Dickhoner named as first Mike A. Leprino Free Enterprise Fellow

Denver, CO – “We are pleased to announce the Mike A. Leprino Free Enterprise Fellowship and name Dr. Brenda Bausch Dickhoner as the first fellow,” said Common Sense Institute (CSI) President & CEO Kristin Strohm.

Established by Laura Leprino and Matthew Leprino in honor of the late Mike A. Leprino, the Leprino Fellowship will focus on issues reflected in the values and accomplishments of this former pillar of the community. “From humble beginnings Mike built an enviable legacy and exemplified hard work, the entrepreneurial spirit, and the American Dream,” continued Strohm.

Dr. Brenda Bautsch Dickhoner will serve as the first Leprino Fellow. “Brenda is a leader, a Mom, passionate about education and an expert in Colorado public policy,” continued Strohm. “She is the ideal candidate for the Mike A. Leprino Fellowship.”

Dickhoner has spent the last decade working in education policy at the national and state level. Most recently, at the Colorado Department of Education, she developed and implemented policies to ensure all students have access to a high-quality education. Highlights of Brenda’s work include helping Colorado’s Commissioner and the State Board of Education determine actions to take to improve the state’s lowest-performing schools and districts. She supported the Education Leadership Council in crafting a nonpartisan, statewide vision and strategic plan for Colorado. Brenda also successfully drove the adoption of state legislation to bolster supports and accountability for schools. Dickhoner began her career at the National Conference of State Legislatures where she advised state legislators in numerous states on policy.

Dickhoner earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs and studied political science as an undergraduate at Duke University.


Common Sense Institute is a non-partisan research organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of Colorado’s economy. CSI is at the forefront of important discussions concerning the future of free enterprise in Colorado and aims to have an impact on the issues that matter most to Coloradans. CSI’s mission is to examine the fiscal impacts of policies, initiatives, and proposed laws so that Coloradans are educated and informed on issues impacting their lives.