Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Little joins McKnight Foundation

arleta_little photo 2.jpgArleta Little (MPA '06) recently joined the McKnight Foundation as the arts program officer. The McKnight Foundation is one of the county's largest foundations and donates millions of dollars in grants each year. The foundation is based in Minnesota and assists nonprofit organizations in the improvement of the quality of life for people in need.

Previously, Arleta was the executive director at the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. She was the first executive director at the foundation and worked there for seven years while helping to create new strategic initiatives.

Connect with Arleta on LinkedIn.Linkedin_icon.jpg

Photo credit to Springboard for the Arts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Watson Awarded Bush Fellowship

Leslie Watson.jpgLeslie Watson (MPA '11), a consultant at CDS Consulting Co-op, was recently awarded a Bush Fellowship from the Bush Foundation. The Bush Foundation's focus is on building peoples abilities to solve problems in their communities based on the beliefs of founder Archibald Bush. The foundation has been helping to support strong leaders for 60 years and has distributed more than 2,200 awards.

CDS Consulting Co-op is an organization that builds and strengthens cooperative businesses. CDS Consulting Co-op consultants provide services that are both comprehensive and personalized and have worked on more than 500 projects to help cooperatives achieve their goals.

Read the release and other named 2013 Bush Fellows here.

Connect with Leslie on LinkedIn.

Stecs Announce Baby Boy

Stec Photo.jpgJustin Stec (MPP '05) and his wife, Agnes, are happy to welcome their newborn baby boy, Nathaniel Arthur Stec. Nathaniel was born in New York City on July 10, 2013 and weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces when born. Justin is an analyst at Office of Management and Budget and Agnes is an attorney at Credit Suisse. The family lives in Elmhurst, New York.

Connect with Justin on LinkedIn.


Hankey Featured in Star Tribune

HeadShot-1.jpgSteve Hankey (MURP '08) was featured in the Star Tribune on July 25 for his research on cleaner cycling routes. He is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota working towards his PhD in civil engineering. His fieldwork consisted of biking over 800 miles while pulling a 65 pound bike trailer with monitoring equipment. The equipment measured the amount of four types of particulate air pollution on three different bike routes to determine which route would be the healthiest.

"Shifting just 100 meters (about one block) off a major road cut morning particulate exposure by about one quarter. That was the sharpest drop, although moving over another block would trim the risk by a cumulative one-third."

Read the Star Tribune article.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mehta on Placemaking Panel

NeerajMehta.jpgNeeraj Mehta (MPP ' 01) was part of a panel on June 6 at the U of M on the topic of, "Perspectives on Placemaking," and discussed research and work in relation to place: everything from radical architecture to neighborhood yards, public housing to socially engaged art. Neeraj, director of community-based research at CURA (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs), joined Ursula Lang, Ph.D. candidate in geography, and Ross Elfline, assistant professor of art history at Carleton College, on the panel.

Previously, Neeraj worked as program officer at Nexus Community Partners, program manager and board member at Project for Pride in Living, and the strategic development director at Sanctuary CDC.

Connect with Neeraj on LinkedIn.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

McMahon joins Saint Mary's

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for clip_image019_001.jpgScott McMahon (MPP '03) joined Saint Mary's University of Minnesota as the associate vice president for external affairs in July. With his new position, Scott will lead community relations efforts for SMUMN's Schools of Graduate Professional Programs. Scott was also named the executive director of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining Saint Mary's, Scott was the director of government and community affairs for the Minnesota Private College Council, where he served as the lead lobbyist for the state's 17 nonprofit, liberal arts colleges for six years. He also spent two years as the research director at the National Institute of Health Policy.

Connect with Scott on LinkedIn


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Roberts presents on Child Labor Regulations and the American Culture of Farm Work

Megan Roberts.jpgMegan Roberts (MS-STEP '11) recently presented with Professor Deborah Levison on Child Labor Regulations and the American Culture of Farm Work. Roberts is currently an agribusiness instructor at South Central College in North Mankato, MN.

She says, "My professional passion lies in agricultural advocacy, farmer decision-making and ag policy. From newborn piglets to the orange sunsets of harvest, there is nothing that gets me more excited than agriculture."

A description of Professor Levison and Megan's work follows:

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed to change the regulations that have governed children's work and physical presence on farms in the United States since the 1970s. A period for comments was opened, then extended. Eventually, more than 10,000 comments were received by the Department of Labor and made available to the public on the website Megan Roberts analyzed a large sample of those comments and will describe their strongly pro-child-work sentiment in this seminar, while Deborah Levison will place them in the context of human rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recent decline in child/youth experience of work in America.

Watch the video of their presentation.

Nix announces candidacy for St. Paul City Council

Noel Nix1.jpgNoel Nix (MURP '08) recently announced his candidacy for St. Paul City Council Member in Ward 1. Noel is currently a legislative aide in the office of St. Paul Council Member Melvin Carter.

After completing his degree at the Humphrey School, he accepted a position with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, and had previously spent several years working in the private sector and as a residential property manager in St. Paul. Noel also holds a bachelors degree in business from the Carlson School of Management.

For more information, visit Noel's campaign website.

Photo credit to

Alexander named Best Young Political Lobbyist in IL

Adrienne Alexander.jpgAdrienne Alexander (MPP '08) was recently named the Best Young Political Lobbyist by the Chicago Reader as a Critics' Pick.

"The first question Alexander generally gets when meeting a legislator is: "How young are you? You look so young to be a lobbyist." So how young is she? "I turned 27 in December," she says. A lot of lobbyists are former public officials taking advantage of the contacts they made while in office. But Alexander's never run for office. Raised in Georgia, she got her start working as a fellow for the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. In 2010, she moved to Chicago to work for AFSCME, lobbying in the City Council, the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and the General Assembly. "The hard thing is the mentality that you can't win. People always tell us, 'You can't organize against the mayor,' or 'Don't bet against Speaker Madigan.' You have to convince legislators that it's in their best interest to take a stand because we have so many members in their district--and come Election Day, our members vote." Alexander has quickly come to understand that politics is not always about who's right; it's about power and relationships. "I love Chicago and Illinois politics," she says. "It's a special form of exhilaration and frustration."

Originally published by the Chicago Reader.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Vang begins position at McKnight Foundation

Kaying Vang.jpgKaying Vang (MDP '10) recently accepted a position at the McKnight Foundation as a program assistant in the Collaborative Crop Research Program. The McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) seeks to increase food security for resource-poor people in developing countries. The CCRP strategically combines elements of research and development, seeking innovative solutions to real problems that will improve availability, access, and utilization of nutritious food by rural people with the fewest resources. Her previous positions have been in the Office of the Dean at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Mano a Mano, and Peace Corps - Guatemala.

Kaying says, "I am looking forward to an opportunity to be an instrumental part of the continued success of CCRP. My Humphrey School education and work experience has prepared me for the career that I am embarking on. The MDP program, especially, has been an incredibly valuable experience that built up my skill set, challenged me to understand the complexities of international development, and gave me an opportunity to do meaningful work in Bolivia."

Connect with Kaying on LinkedIn. Linkedin_icon.jpg

Slawik announces candidacy for mayor

Nora Slawik.jpgNora Slawik (MPA ' 05) recently announced her candidacy for the Mayor of Maplewood, Minnesota. Nora is currently the Director of Education at the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM). She was previously a Minnesota State Representative serving the Oakdale and Maplewood area and a lecturer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Read the recent Pioneer Press article on the Maplewood mayoral race.

Schneekloth joins Community Heath Charities of Minnesota

Erica Schneekloth.jpgErica Schneekloth (MPA ' 10) recently accepted a position with Community Health Charities of Minnesota (CHCM) as the Sr. Corporate Relations Manager. She will be assisting corporations throughout the Twin Cities with maximizing their employee giving campaigns for various member health charities. She officially began the position on July 8, 2013.

Erica previously held positions at Ter-Schnee Properties, LLC, Thomson Reuters, Aztec Software and Person Education. Her graduate assistantship focused on strategic planning and international development.

She says, "I am thrilled for this new opportunity and find it to be the perfect blend of my new education and previous work experience."

Connect with Erica on LinkedIn.

Haugen named invasive species coordinator

Scott Haugen.jpgScott Haugen (MPP '10) has been contracted by Becker County in Minnesota to perform aquatic invasive species coordination services.

Haugen has a master's degree in public policy, with a concentration in environmental policy from Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. His work experience includes the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Voyageurs National Park Association and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Haugen's graduate research included aquatic invasive species and water quality. In this contracted position with the county, he will develop an AIS rapid response plan, annual AIS management plan, assess lakes susceptible to AIS, prioritize enforcement, develop a lake rating/risk rating system, and identify new funding sources.

Connect with Scott on LinkedIn. Linkedin_icon.jpg

Raus welcome baby boy

Logan Rau.jpgOn May 11, 2013, Logan Benjamin Rau was born to Ben (MPP '04) and Kate (MPP/MSW '04) Rau in Washington, D.C. He weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces at birth. Kate is a policy analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Head Start Program and Ben is an international trade specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. The family lives in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mitchell Co-Founds Waste Wise

katrina-mitchell.jpgKatrina Mitchell (MURP '06) recently co-founded Waste Wise, a new initiative to address the global waste crisis. Waste Wise is using 21st Century tools to bridge the expertise gap in waste solutions expertise worldwide. Compared to existing ways information is shared - conferences and complex studies - Waste Wise believes their initiative has great potential for expanding access to thought leaders while achieving nearly zero environmental impact and extreme affordability.

Before helping to found Waste Wise, Katrina was a studio manager at Earl Kendall Photography, producer at Target Corporations, and a consultant at Stine and Associates. While attending the Humphrey School, Katrina worked as a research assistant.

For more information about Waste Wise - visit their website:

Connect with Katrina on LinkedIn.

Haddad named assistant dean

Stephanie Haddad.jpgDean Eric Schwartz is pleased to announce that Stephanie Haddad (MPP '98) will be assuming supervisory responsibility for the Humphrey Student Services office in her new role as assistant dean on August 1. Stephanie joined the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in June, 2012 and served in the role of Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, Stephanie worked closely with Dean Eric Schwartz to implement the School's strategic priorities, and oversees and connects some of the School's administrative functions. Before joining the Humphrey School, Stephanie worked with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) as Program Director where she was responsible for developing and implementing MCN's educational and training programs and guiding MCN's Leadership Program.

Before joining MCN, Stephanie worked in management and leadership roles at several Minnesota nonprofits including the Minneapolis-based neighborhood organization Longfellow Community Council where she was Executive Director. She also worked with the Southeast Asian Community Council, YouthCARE/Camp Sunrise, and Youth Frontiers. She also spent two years instructing and developing programs with Outward Bound in South Africa and drove new voters to the polls during their first democratic elections in 1994.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn

Nadel joins Minneapolis Jewish Federation

Andrea Nadel.jpgAndrea Nadel (MPP '11), began a position in May as an Israel program specialist with the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, strengthening connections between Minnesotans and Israel through community engagement, immersive travel experiences and cultural exchange. She recently finalized her master's project, which investigated the impact of the concept of Jewish people hood as a motivating agenda within the organized Jewish community.

In addition to her work with American Jewish communities, Andrea has also had international work experience. She spent a summer working as a policy analyst with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council in Melbourne Australia through the AJC Goldman Fellowship. In 2009-2010, she also worked as an intern with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel's Jerusalem branch as part of the Career Israel internship program.

Connect with Andrea on LinkedIn

Harris named President of Minnesota Council on Foundations

TristaHarris.jpgTrista Harris (MPP '00) recently became the newly appointed president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF). She will begin her position on July 29, 2013 MCF is an organization whose members award almost $1 billion a year. The goal of the MCF is to expand and strengthen a diverse community of grant makers while advancing the common good.

"The MCF board is convinced that Trista Harris is the right leader at the right time," says Kevin Walker, chair of MCF's board of directors, and president and CEO of Northwest Area Foundation. "Our members' communities, our state, and the world are changing fast. Trista's passion for unlocking philanthropy's potential is a great fit for the challenges we face."

Trista is known nationally as an advocate for leaders in philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. She is also an accomplished speaker and has been recognized in the news numerous times for her New Voices of Philanthropy blog.

Trista was previously the executive director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice and her other professional experiences include serving as a program officer at The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation, as well as the director of advancement at Portico Healthnet.

Read the MCF release here.

Connect with Trista on LinkedIn

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Johnson to join Peace Corps in Colombia

Aara Johnson.jpegIn late August 2013, Aara Johnson (MPP '09) will join the Peace Corps in Colombia as a Teaching English for Livelihoods (TEL) Trainer. She will work with teachers to build capacity, develop English learning materials, and enhance community development. Her training will be in Barranquilla and placement will be on the North Atlantic Coast.

Johnson is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Midwestern Higher Education Compact in Minneapolis, writing reports on a variety of higher education policy topics. She is also a manager at Noodles & Company in St. Paul, gaining experience in restaurant management and business development.

Connect with Aara:


Malloy joins Ehlers Inc.

Patrick Malloy.jpgPatrick Malloy (MPP '11) recently began working at Ehlers Inc. as a financial specialist. Ehlers is an independent advisory firm that has been in business since 1955 working exclusively for public sector clients throughout the Midwest. He will start out working closely with two financial advisors and will gradually become more independent while learning more about the business. Patrick grew up in the Atlanta area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, where he studied geography and urban studies.

Before coming to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Patrick worked in affordable housing finance for the City of New York's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. While attending Humphrey, he held internships with the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and the City of Portland (Oregon) Office of the City Auditor. Patrick also worked as a TA for the Humphrey School during his second year.

Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn