Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Zimmerman launches MZ Strategies

Mariia_Zimmerman.jpgMariia Zimmerman (MPlan '95) has established her own consulting practice, MZ Strategies. Zimmerman offers valuable services, such as program evaluation planning and political advocacy, to governments of all sizes.

Zimmerman writes, "I am thrilled to be working on several Minnesota-based efforts, where the expansion of transit, bicycling, and revitalizing the central cities and urban neighborhoods is resulting in nationally recognized models. I enjoy the messy and complex issues that don't fit neatly into one category (i.e., transportation planning, economic development, and environmental planning) but rather require solutions that involve multiple sectors."

Zimmerman also is a visiting fellow at Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech. Zimmerman previously had been the deputy director for sustainable communities at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); prior to her work at HUD, she was the vice president of policy at Reconnecting America.

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Yusuf publishes book, Somalis in Minnesota

yusuf.jpgAhmed Ismail Yusuf (MPA '08) recently published Somalis in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012). In his book, Yusuf outlines the history of the Somali community in Minnesota, which began with the diaspora in 1992, and explores the economic, political, and cultural characteristics of the varied Somali communities throughout the state. Yusuf also recently published a collection of short stories in Somali. Yusuf is a writer, independent translator, and case manager at Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC), a clinic affiliated with the University of Minnesota that serves economically disadvantaged populations. Find more information on Somalis in Minnesota and upcoming events on the Minnesota Historical Society Press's website:

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Montzka elected chair of the Chisago County Board

Montzka.jpgBen Montzka (MA '87), was elected chair of the Chisago County Board of Commissioners for 2013; he has served on the Chisago County Board since 1998 and is its most senior member. Montzka works alongside fellow Humphrey School alumnus Bruce Messelt (MA '88), who serves as Chisago County Administrator. Montzka also is employed as an attorney with Montzka Legal Services in Wyoming, Minnesota.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Morris (MA '47) was deeply committed to her community

Louise Spaeth Morris (MA '47) passed away on December 27, 2012, at the age of 91. Originally from Ada, Minnesota, Morris spent 55 years in Evanston, Illinois, and is survived by her husband, Robert (MA '48).

In 1947-48, Morris worked for the Minnesota Historical Society as a field representative during the State's Territorial Centennial celebration. She was then the administrative assistant for the chairman of the Department of Education at the University of Chicago in 1948-49. Morris and her husband then moved to Glencoe, Minnesota, where Robert became the village manager, a position he held for 32 years.

Morris was active in her community. She was a member of the Glencoe PTA, Girl Scouts, Infant Welfare, League of Women Voters, Woman's Library Club of Glencoe, and the Sherry Literary book club. She also taught Sunday school at the Glencoe Union Church, was president of the Woman's Guild, and served on the Church Prudential Board.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trista Harris launches website

Thumbnail image for TristaHarris.jpgTrista Harris (MPP '00) recently launched a new website that highlights her work on leadership, philanthropy, and organizational culture. Harris is the executive director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. Headwaters is a community foundation with a mission to act as a catalyst for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice. Harris also is the co-author of the book How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar (2010), which is available at the University of Minnesota bookstore.

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Stuber joins Wilder Research

In September, Nick Stuber (MPP '10) began work as a research associate with Wilder Research at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. Wilder Research focuses on getting at the heart of community concerns and examining issues that often are overlooked or misunderstood. Its clients include nonprofit agencies and service providers, government agencies, foundations, and policymakers. Each year, Wilder Research issues about 250 reports that help these organizations better understand major social issues and how they can most effectively address them.

Stuber works on a research and evaluation portfolio that includes public health and human service projects in the areas of children's mental health, healthcare for children with complex medical conditions, and grant funding targeted at health-related initiatives. His clients include nonprofit healthcare systems, private foundations, and public agencies. He creates and deploys such research tools as surveys, key informant interviews, and focus group protocols to inform program evaluations and needs assessments. In addition, he is beginning to assist the Wilder Foundation's mental health programs with their internal evaluation and planning.

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