The LearnmoreMN blog features the voices of community members, sharing their perspectives about school success and the educational challenges we face in Minnesota. Guest bloggers change every month.
Adrienne Diercks is the founder and executive director of Project SUCCESS, a youth-development organization that motivates and inspires young people to dream about the future, helps them take steps to get there, and gives them the tools they need to achieve their goals. The program began in 1994 with 200 students in one school. It has grown to serve nearly 12,000 students and their families in 16 schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Sunny Kase is director of community initiative at the Minnesota Private College Council. She works to help the Council’s 17 member institutions increase participation and success of students of color, as well as to improve links with ethnic business leaders and groups. Previously she worked for the Minnesota Council of Foundations and Minnesota Minority Education Partnership.
Tracy Zanitsch is the Project Coordinator for the Office of College and Career Readiness at Saint Paul Public Schools. She is the “dreamer, planner, list maker” behind the district’s new Dream • Plan • Achieve campaign. Zanitsch draws on the skills and experiences gained through 12+ years in Student Affairs, plus the 10+ years working for Fortune 50 companies. One of her favorite phrases is: “plan and do today, for a smooth and effective tomorrow.”
Carol Stack is a principal at Hardwick-Day, a Minneapolis-based enrollment counseling firm. She helps private colleges with their brand strategies and advises on admissions, recruitment and financial aid. Carol is co-author with Ruth Vedvik of The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford. Carol began her career in admissions at Macalester College and has also worked at Augsburg College and institutions in Belgium.
Jesús Hernández Mejía is the assistant dean of financial aid at Gustavus Adolphus College. He moved to the US from Mexico in 1990 and is the first in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. In addition to his Gustavus position, Hernandez works with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to do outreach to Hispanic parents on the importance of a college education.
Chris Franken directs the College Planning & Assessment programs at Eastview High School in Apple Valley, Minn. Chris also serves as the past president of the Minnesota Association for College Admission Counseling (MACAC). MACAC’s mission is to support education professionals as they guide students and families in the postsecondary education planning process. Chris previously taught health careers in the District 196 Career Development program. She has a Specialist degree in Educational Administration (Ed.S.).
Kim Horner and Teddy Gelderman are the 2013-14 TORCH coordinators at Northfield High School, a program to improve the graduation and post-secondary participation of minority, low-income and first-generation students. Kim has worked with TORCH for one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Teddy has served at the Carleton College VISTA for two years, where he also worked with the TORCH cohort. Jojo Schmidt is a recent Carleton graduate and an AmeriCorps VISTA, focusing on workplace experience for TORCH students.
Sara Dziuk is executive director of College Possible Twin Cities, making college admission and success possible for 10,000 low-income students. Through her dedication and service, Sara’s focus on achieving College Possible’s mission has transformed the lives of young people in the Twin Cities community. Sara holds an MBA from Minnesota State University in Mankato, and a bachelor's degree in management from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Dave Ellefson is a high school guidance counselor at Hutchinson High School in Hutchinson, MN. He also teaches Social Studies part-time for the Crow River Alternative Learning Center. Dave is coordinating the implementation of the University of Minnesota‘s “Ramp Up to Readiness Program” at Hutchinson High School. Dave earned his BA in History and teaching from Concordia College and his MA in Counseling and Student Personnel from Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Juve Meza is program assistant at the Citizens League. He graduated from Augsburg College in 2011 in Justice and Peace Studies. As a student, he was involved in the Citizens League's Immigrant Students and Higher Education in MN report and since 2009 has helped advance its recommendations. Juve has worked with NAVIGATE, a leadership development program for immigrant students in Minnesota seeking a path to higher education. He also serves on the Latino Advisory Board of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
Curtis Johnson is a senior fellow with the Center for Policy Studies and president of the Citistates Group. He's co-authored four books, the latest being the award-winning 2008 Disrupting Class. He has been a community college president, head of the Citizens League, chief of staff to former Gov. Arne Carlson, and chair of the Metro Council.
Michael Ciresi is a name partner and former chairman of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P., a Minneapolis-based law firm. He is president and chairman of the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children. A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, he is a university trustee and member of the Board of Governors at its School of Law. Ciresi serves on Twin Cities nonprofit boards with emphasis on children and education.
Rashné Rustom Jehangir is associate professor in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning in the College of Education Human Development at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her research and teaching focuses on access, retention and graduation of low-income, first-generation college students, and the transformation of teaching and learning to address intellectual, social, emotional and student development. Her recent book is Higher Education and First-Generation Students: Cultivating Community, Voice and Place for the New Majority.
Yvonne Ng is interim executive director of the National Center for STEM Elementary Education at St. Catherine University. Armed with a mechanical and aerospace engineering degree from Princeton, a master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota, internships at NASA and Honeywell as well as prestigious scholarly awards and industry experience, Ng is helping to shape the future of STEM education for undergraduates and in-service elementary teachers.
Alissa Case is the director of the Culturally Responsive Teaching Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Previously, she taught Social Studies and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination — a college preparation program) at Apple Valley High School. Alissa is passionate about establishing systemic equity in our schools. She has been engaging in this work for the past 10 years and works with elementary and secondary schools, leading professional development in equity work.
Asma Haidara is a senior at The Blake Upper School in Minneapolis. She is a member of the Justice League, a student-led social justice initiative, and Cornerstone, a student of color affinity group. She has been actively involved in several social justice conferences before being on the Youth Advisory Panel for the “Missing Voices” event.
Awo Ahmed is Literacy Coordinator for the Metropolitan State University Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship. She coordinates Project SHINE and Literacy Corps, two ongoing community-based programs involving university students as literacy and academic tutors in Twin Cities schools, libraries and learning centers. Ahmed has been an AmeriCorps member at College Possible and a college coach at Augsburg College and St. Catherine University. Previously she worked at Metro State as library-community outreach coordinator.
Todd Bloom Ph.D. is the chief academic officer at Hobsons, an education solutions company, leading its policy and advocacy efforts. He has extensive experience in the education market, having provided leadership and organizational development services to school districts, state departments, research organizations and private education companies. Prior to Hobsons, Bloom served as chief academic officer at Student Paths and as principal at Blueprint Education Group.
Steve Kelley is a senior fellow at the Humphrey School and the director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy. He served in the Minnesota Senate from 1997 to 2006 and in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1993 to 1996. He was chair of the Senate Education Committee for four years. Kelley has served on many boards, including the Citizens League and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation.
Jim Campbell is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota and CEO of Norwest Bank. He served on the Itasca Higher Education Task Force in 2012-13. Campbell is a past chairman of the University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Directors and past director and trustee for many community organizations. He received the 2003 “Executive of the Year” Award from the Business Journal, as well as many other honors.
Greg Page has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Cargill, Inc. since 2007. He held the office of president from 2000-2011. In 2012, Page accepted the business community’s call to chair the Itasca Project’s Higher Education Taskforce. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Eaton Corporation, Carlson and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Chris Stewart is director of the African American Leadership Forum, and a former member of the Minneapolis Board of Education (2007-2011). He was president of Yielding Assets, LLC, a grassroots consultancy that works with mission-driven organizations to develop self-funding social impact projects. Stewart is currently a board member with the Northside Achievement Zone and Charter School Partners.
Tori Svoboda, Ed.D., is associate dean of students at the University of St. Thomas. She is responsible for orientation and transition programs with a focus on under-represented populations such as commuter students and students of color. Tori is a 2010 Bush Leadership Fellow and recently completed her dissertation on the experiences of student affairs professionals from working class backgrounds.
Jonathan Blake is vice president of Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. He serves as a policy analyst, researcher and communications advisor — and he runs the internship program. Prior to joining the Freedom Foundation in June 2008, Blake was a public policy and communications consultant to numerous local and state government clients, primarily focusing on transportation policy and finance and intergovernmental coordination. Formerly, he served as a Research Fellow at a Twin Cities-based think tank.
Robert J. Jones is senior vice president for academic administration, University of Minnesota system. He provides academic, administrative and operational leadership extending the university's mission across the state, nation and globally. His responsibilities include oversight of coordinate campuses as well as other functions serving the entire five campus University of Minnesota system. He is also a professor of agronomy and plant genetics and holds an endowed chair in urban and international affairs.
Kathy Schmidlkofer is the executive vice president of the regional economic development partnership, GREATER MSP — a public-private partnership that provides leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 13-county Minneapolis-St. Paul region. With its economic development partners, GREATER MSP is advancing coordinated efforts in economic development strategy, a brand and marketing program to promote the region’s assets and in business retention, expansion and recruitment programs to stimulate capital investment and job creation.
Dale Blyth is an Extension Professor in the College of Education and Human Development and Director of the Youth Work Institute, a joint venture of the college and University of Minnesota Extension designed to bridge research, policy and practice for youth community learning opportunities. He is currently examining new pathways to improve impact of youth programs through quality improvement and use of data. He is a member of several community efforts related to improving youth success and learning beyond the classroom during out of school time.
Lesley Lydell is a research and policy analyst with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a cabinet-level state agency providing students with financial aid programs and information to help them gain access to postsecondary education. The agency also serves as the state's clearinghouse for research and analysis on postsecondary enrollment, financial aid, finance and trends. Her work includes postsecondary performance reporting, student learning outcomes analysis and workforce connections. She has taught and been a researcher within the University of Minnesota and the MnSCU systems.
Sarah Dixon is the president and CEO of Minnesota Alliance With Youth, the Minnesota affiliate of the America’s Promise Alliance and the statewide host-coordinator of more than 100 AmeriCorps Promise Fellows. The Alliance collaborates with other leadership organizations in Minnesota and convenes summits on graduation for all, drop-out prevention, and other issues essential to the success of young people. Previously Dixon cofounded the Faribault's Community of Promise Collaborative.
Vallay Varro — a mom, educator and community leader — is the founding executive director of MinnCAN, an education reform advocacy group that is closing the achievement gap in Minnesota. Vallay comes to MinnCAN after serving five years as the education policy director for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and as school board director for Saint Paul Public Schools. Vallay and her family immigrated to the U.S. over 30 years ago and she has spent her entire career working to improve education for all children.
Anne Marie Leland, a state program administrator for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, co-facilitates Minnesota FastTRAC, a cross-agency/organization initiative to increase adult postsecondary credential attainment in high demand occupations that lead to family-supporting wages. Minnesota FastTRAC is a pathway back to work strategy that integrates basic skills education, career-specific training, and support services to meet the needs of low-skilled, educationally-underprepared adults.
Sally Wherry supervises programs and initiatives through the Center for Postsecondary Success at the Minnesota Department of Education. Her work includes designing, coordinating, supporting and promoting high school and middle school redesign efforts as well as providing leadership, professional development, and technical assistance to a variety of educational programs and stakeholders.
Julie Plaut is executive director of Minnesota Campus Compact, which leverages the assets of campuses and communities in partnerships that contribute to healthy, just, democratic communities and the development of informed and active citizens. Plaut also serves on the boards of Jewish Community Action, the Minnesota Alliance With Youth, and youthrive. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University.
Lindsey Alexander is an independent consultant in public policy currently working with the Citizens League on their higher education reform initiative. In addition to her work on higher education, Alexander’s work for the Citizens League includes a look at the Central Corridor development process and the recent Common Cents project, where Minnesotans were asked to weigh in on the state’s budget challenges.
MayKao Y. Hang is president and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. Hang is an active community member who works to improve services and systems for the most vulnerable in society. She serves on the board of Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together, Twin Cities LISC, and the St. Paul and Minnesota Community Foundations and is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable.
Nekima Levy-Pounds is an associate professor of law at the University of St. Thomas and director of the Community Justice Project, a civil rights legal clinic that uses problem-solving, advocacy, and legal research and writing to fight for social change. Levy-Pounds’ scholarly writing focuses on the intersection of race, poverty, and the adult criminal and juvenile justice systems. She also presents seminars and lectures on the school-to-prison pipeline for youth.
Dane Smith is the president of Growth & Justice, a policy research organization that seeks a broader prosperity for Minnesota through smarter public investments in human capital and infrastructure. Prior to joining Growth & Justice, Dane enjoyed a 30-year career as a Minnesota journalist, where he wrote about state, local and federal government and politics for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Tony Murphy is executive director at the National Center for STEM Elementary Education at St. Catherine University. Murphy's 2004 proposal for an interdisciplinary STEM curriculum at St. Kate's earned early support from the 3M Foundation and brought together faculty from six departments and two schools to develop a multifaceted academic initiative and model of team teaching that has been recognized for its innovation. The center opened in summer 2010.
Jon Eversoll is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program Coordinator at Park Center Senior High in Brooklyn Park. In addition to teaching English Language Learners in Minnesota, he has instructed ELLs in South Korea and the Czech Republic. He also taught ELLs and IB Diploma Program students in Malaysia and was an examiner for IB. He received his M.A. from the U of M, and completed his teaching license at Hamline University.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher is the president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association, which supports the growth, sustainability and global competitiveness of Minnesota’s high tech economy. Prior to joining MHTA, Anderson Kelliher served 12 years in the Minnesota Legislature, four as speaker of the House of Representatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and is also a lecturer at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute.
Todd Otis is founder and CEO of Ready 4 K. He graduated from Harvard College in 1967, then joined the Peace Corps and served in Senegal. After earning a Masters in Journalism in 1970, he worked in corporate community relations and later served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1979 to 1990. He was DFL Party Chair from 1990 to 1993 and then did public affairs consulting focusing on early childhood and environmental issues.
Rebecca Hopkins is the dean of the Graduate School of Education at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The school has 12 programs that provide professional development and degree options in more than 100 locations across Minn., Wisc. and in Jamaica. Prior to joining Saint Mary’s, Rebecca was a middle school and elementary teacher. She is licensed K-6, 5-8 Social Studies, and K-12 Reading.
Mary Cathryn Ricker is president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, the union representing more than 3,600 teachers and educational assistants in St. Paul Public Schools. Previously she was a middle school English/Language Arts teacher. She serves on the board of several organizations including Education Minnesota, the Greater Twin Cities United Way and the St. Paul Public Schools Foundation.
Carlos Mariani Rosa is executive director of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership. He is a recognized leader in the nonprofit and public sectors, where he has spent more than 25 years advocating on behalf of communities of color. He also serves as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and chairs the E-12 Education Policy Committee. In addition, he is a member of the MN Dept. of Education’s graduation assessment working group.
Bill Blazar is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Blazar is responsible for the Chamber’s public affairs program, including policy development, lobbying and elections. He also manages Grow Minnesota!, the Chamber’s business retention and expansion program. Prior to joining the Chamber, he was Manager of Government Affairs for Target Corporation. Blazar has an M.A. from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Joe Graba is a founding partner of Education Evolving, an education policy think tank in St. Paul. Previously, Graba served as dean of the Graduate School of Education at Hamline University, executive director of the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Board, head of Minnesota’s Technical College System and Deputy Commissioner of Education for Minnesota.
Jim Bartholomew is Education Policy Director for the Minnesota Business Partnership. Previously he was Director of Government Relations for the Minnesota Department of Education and Policy Director for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Scott McCallum.
Laura Gilbert is a speaker, researcher and author on higher education for adult learners. Her book, Back to School for Grownups, Web site and blog offer practical guidance for adults considering a journey back to the classroom. After returning to school to complete a bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University, Laura earned a master’s in industrial relations, a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.
Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn is the executive director of Youth Community Connections Minnesota’s statewide alliance of out-of-school time stakeholders. LaCroix-Dalluhn has focused her passion and work over the past 17 years on bridging and connecting resources and policies to support the well-being of youth, families and communities. Her bachelor’s degree is in youth studies and she holds a master’s degree in public health.
Dolores Fridge is the chief resolution officer for Medtronic and works with employers to resolve conflicts related to personnel issues. Her first career was teaching; she's also been commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and worked for the MnSCU system. Fridge is on the board for the Twin Cities American Red Cross and the Minnesota Minority Enrichment Program. She is also a certified master trainer for the College Board's college preparation program.
Chris Coleman has been mayor of Saint Paul since 2006. He brings a wealth of experience to the office — as an attorney, a community and neighborhood leader, an investment advisor and a city councilmember. Bridging the education gap for children is at the core of Mayor Coleman’s agenda. His initiatives for Early Childhood Learning, Second Shift/Out-of-School Time, and College and Career Readiness are changing the role city government plays in education.
Nate Lassila is vice president of research and policy development at the Minnesota Private College Research Foundation. He earned his Ph.D in public administration and policy from Florida State University. Previously he worked for the Florida Department of Education conducting institutional research on pre-K-20 and the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.
Duane Benson is the executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation. Previously he served as executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership and was a member of the Minnesota Senate, including a period as Senate Minority Leader. After graduating with honors from Hamline University, Benson was drafted into the NFL and played 11 seasons. He owns and operates a cattle farm outside of Lanesboro and is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. Benson is also a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees.
Jerry Timian is program officer for Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation. A nine-year veteran of the Foundations, his grantmaking responsibilities include E–16 education and adult literacy. Previously, Timian spent 25 years managing various social service programs in the Twin Cities area. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in anthropology from the University of Minnesota and is a licensed social worker.
Frank Hernandez is the director of the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching at Hamline University. The center trains teachers in effective, real-life strategies for diverse classrooms and works with schools to increase student achievement. During 15 years in public education, Hernandez has served as a teacher, a principal, and a district coordinator of multicultural programming. He received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kent Pekel is the founding executive director of the College Readiness Consortium at the University of Minnesota, a new organization working to increase the number and diversity of Minnesota students who graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills and habits for success in higher education. Pekel was previously a K-12 teacher in Bloomington and an administrator in Saint Paul and held several senior staff-level positions in the Clinton Administration.
Shvonne Johnson is the outreach coordinator of Multicultural and International Programs and Services at St. Catherine University. She oversees the First Step Summer Institute, a college immersion program that prepares young women of color for higher education. Johnson recently was awarded a Bush fellowship and plans to pursue a master's degree in history, specializing in the African-American diaspora, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 2010.
Kathleen O'Donnell is the Program Manager of Destination 2010, a graduation scholarship initiative of The Minneapolis Foundation. O'Donnell has made the work of cultivating partnerships across home, school, and community on behalf of youth and in support of their achievement and healthy development her mission. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2001, O'Donnell worked for both Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools. She holds an M.A. in Family Social Science from the U. of M. and is a licensed parent educator.
Maureen Ramirez directs the Minnesota Civic Engagement Table, coordinating electoral and advocacy work for a coalition of nonprofits. She is a Regent of the University of Minnesota, with ten years experience working with college students and their families.
Tia'Lana Hunter is a junior at Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis. She participates in ThreeSixty, a youth journalism program for high school students of color at the University of St. Thomas. She recently wrote an article for ThreeSixty about the "fresh start" Edison underwent last year because its students did not do well on state assessment tests.
John Fitzgerald is a fellow at Minnesota 2020, a think tank focusing on public policy issues. He focuses on education. Fitzgerald has spent nearly 20 years as a newspaper reporter and editor in Minnesota, Florida, Iowa and Montana. The Minnesota School Public Relations Association recently awarded him the 2008 Excellence in Educational Media Award.
Rogelio Muñoz, Jr. is the executive director of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council for the State of Minnesota. He works to capture the Latino voice and bring it to the halls of the State Capitol. He advises the governor and legislature and he and council staff involve Latinos around the state in research and civic engagement.
Tiffany Hasbrouck works at Deloitte & Touche LLP and volunteers with AchieveMpls. She is the co-lead for the Deloitte Volunteer Initiative which presents a six-week workshop series at the Achieve College and Career Centers. The workshop was developed in the summer of 2007 and includes Resume Writing, Interview, and College Search skills.
Joe Nathan directs the University of Minnesota's Center for School Change at the Humphrey Institute. The Center works at the school, community and policy levels to help increase academic achievement and graduation rates. Funding is received from the Blandin, Bill and Melinda Gates, Carlson, Carnegie Frey, and Rockefeller Foundations, plus the Minnesota and US Departments of Education. The Center's current projects include helping policymakers understand research-based priorities for increasing high school and post-secondary graduation rates, helping train a new generation of K-12 leaders and helping convince more students to take challenging courses while in high school.
Elona Street-Stewart is chair of both the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership and the Saint Paul School Board of Education. She was the first American Indian to serve on the board of an urban school district in Minnesota. She has served in many positions that have resulted in improved access and opportunity for American Indian and other students of color, immigrant families and those living in poverty.
Jessica Ihrke is Vice President of Education/Workforce Development for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. She works collaboratively across sectors to advance a highly skilled and competitive educational and workforce development system for preK to the most seasoned worker/learner. The Workforce 2020 effort in Rochester includes initiatives such as LearnDoEarn, STEM, Worklife Flexibility and Diversity in Business. Ihrke is a former elementary educator.
Debra Pridgen is Community Relations Specialist for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. She works with diverse communities of color to identify, promote and coordinate community-based collaborations and partnerships. Debra was a Girl Scout as a girl and is a Lifetime member. She joined the Girl Scouts in 1996 as a membership staff person.
Arnise Roberson is the Program Manager for the Achieve!Minneapolis Career and College Centers. These centers help ALL Minneapolis public high school students develop a plan for what they’ll do after high school. Previously Roberson was the Career and College Center Coordinator at North Community High School in Minneapolis and assistant director of Undergraduate Admission at Hamline University.
Kathy Glampe is the director of the TRiO/Student Support Services program at St. Olaf College. Federally-funded TRiO programs provide educational opportunity to low-income and first-generation students and students with disabilities. Glampe has worked with TRiO programs for 15 years and serves as the cochair of the Legislation and Education committee of the Minnesota TRiO board.
Jenny Wright is the director of the Minneapolis Beacons Network, a collaborative of youth development organizations including the YMCA of Minneapolis, The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, The YWCA of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Community Education. Each day these organizations partner with the Minneapolis Public Schools to transform schools into afterschool and summer youth centers for low-income youth and their families.
Jon Pekel is the full-time volunteer president of mygrowthplan.org, a nonprofit organization that provides growth planning services for high school and college age youth. For 40 years Jon has used a variety of platforms for his life-purpose of serving others and championing justice for all — as a clergyman, public affairs officer, consultant and teacher.
Katherine Bristol is a senior at Macalester College, receiving her degree in Psychology, Geography, and Urban Education. She has worked both in and out of schools on topics such as special education and workforce readiness. Most recently, she was a head researcher for the Mayor's Forum in which Minnesota state educational policy and best practices were discussed.
Dr. Josie Johnson is the former University of Minnesota associate vice president for minority student affairs. In 1996, she “retired” to form Josie Robinson Johnson and Associates — which helps educational institutions resolve diversity issues. As an activist, educator and dedicated community volunteer, she strives to make the world a better place, especially for underserved people of color.
William Tully is the Education and Enrichment Activities Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. He has worked in the area of college access for four years, with BBBS and previously Admission Possible, and is committed to making education accessible and equal for all. To contact him directly, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651.789.2445.