Friday, April 25, 2014

Bodin takes position with DEED

Chet Bodin.jpgChet Bodin (MPP '13) has taken a position as a labor market analyst at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). DEED is the state's principal economic development agency. Its programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development; and community development.

Part of Chet's position will be to develop and execute original labor market and economic analysis to assist DEED management/administration, workforce centers, partner agencies, and other regional audiences.

Chet also currently serves as a civil affairs NCO with the Minnesota Army National Guard.

Connect with Chet on LinkedIn.

Pinchot receives 2014 Global Spotlight grant

ariel pinchot.jpgCongratulations to Ariel Pinchot (MDP '13) on winning a 2014 Global Spotlight grant for MA, Professional, and Doctoral International Grants (pre-oral exam). Ariel is currently a Master's student in Natural Resource Management at the College of Food, Agriculture & Natural Resource Sciences.

The Global Spotlight grants support current University of Minnesota Master's, Professional, and Doctoral students pursuing a program of study with an international focus from academic units throughout the University of Minnesota system.

The following is a description of Ariel's research initiative:

Investigating a community forest enterprise approach for sustainable livelihoods in central Vietnam.

Forests resources are an important component of the livelihood and food security strategies for over a quarter of Vietnam's total population. For these forest dependent people, recent shifts in forest and land management policies have improved forest rights, offering new opportunities to manage forest ecosystems for local livelihood benefits. The country has also undergone widespread economic transitions that are creating a more conducive environment for small private enterprise development. Given these and other changing national contexts, there is growing potential for a community-based forest enterprise approach for rural livelihood development. As demonstrated in other countries, community-based forest enterprises provide a means through which forest users can generate diversified income, employment, and social benefits while improving conditions of local forests. This research will assess the viability of this approach for local forest users in Vietnam by exploring the legal, institutional, regulatory, ecological, market, social, and cultural contexts for forest enterprise development in communities in Quang Nam and Thua Tien Hue provinces. The findings will inform the efforts of the collaborating organization - the Consultative & Research Center for Natural Resource Management based in Hue, Vietnam - in facilitating the establishment of community-based forest enterprises with partner communities, with an initial focus on palm products and environmental services.

The GPS Alliance is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Global Spotlight grants for international scholarly activities. This program supports targeted research and other scholarly initiatives related to the spotlight areas for 2012-14: the region of South Asia and the issue of Global Food Security. More than $700,000 has been awarded to University of Minnesota faculty and graduate students through four grant programs that fund innovative research and support the continued development of a global network of engagement and scholarship across the University.

Previously published in Global Notes.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Scherpelz joins Sivo Insights

JB Scherpelz.jpgJB Scherpelz (MDP '13) recently joined Sivo Insights as the director for their business development. Sivo Insights is a consumer insight consulting firm in the Twin Cities. JB describes the position as "very interesting work, creative, and I get to talk with people, which I love." His work consists of facilitating focus groups and working directly with many different clients.

JB also recently joined the board of the Minnesota International NGO Network (MINN).

Connect with JB on LinkedIn.


Abariotes named a 2014 Bush Fellow

Andriana Abariotes.pngAndriana Abariotes (MA '96) was recently named a 2014 Bush Fellow. A Bush Fellowship provides individuals with opportunities to demonstrate and improve their capacity for leadership as they learn by doing. The work of the Fellowship is to blend opportunities for personal development with efforts to effectively engage with others to create positive change within their communities.

From the Bush Fellows website:

"As executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation - Twin Cities, Andriana Abariotes works with more than 30 different community-based developers and neighborhood partnerships to direct millions of dollars in investments to some of the region's most challenging neighborhood. Andriana sees an opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods she serves by working to transform the relationship between health care and community development organizations. She will use her Fellowship to build the skills and relationships necessary to bring this vision to life."

Meet all of the 2014 Bush Fellows.

Photo courtesy of the Bush Foundation.

Friedemann-Sánchez awarded Global Spotlight International Research Seed Grant

Greta FriedemannSanchez.jpgGreta Friedemann-Sanchez (MA '99) was recently awarded a Global Spotlight International Seed Grant for her team's project studying caregiving for older adults in India. The Global Spotlight grants support innovative project-based scholarly research and creative production of an international nature with a focus on the region of South Asia and/or the issue of Global Food Security.

Following is the abstract of Greta and her team's research project:

A Mixed Method Study of Caregiving for Older Adults in India

Principal Investigator: Benjamin Capistrant, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, School of Public Health


Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, Associate Professor, Humphrey School

Dr. Subharati Ghosh, Assistant Professor, Tata Institute of Social Science

As the world's second most populous country, India is rapidly undergoing two simultaneous transitions: an epidemiologic transition to growing chronic disease burden and a demographic transition to an unprecedentedly large and growing aging population. This project will investigate the experience, demands, and tradeoffs of caregiving for other adult family members, and identify formal and informal support services currently used in this context. Due to the rapidly aging population, more caregiving responsibilities for older adults in India will fall on fewer shoulders as the population ages and lives longer with disability. In lower and middle-income countries, the care of older persons nearly always falls to family members, overwhelmingly to women. It is critical to engage the lens of gender when considering experiences of caregiving and decision making about unmet needs in supporting the aging family members. We do not yet understand the best ways to support family caregivers and enable them to continue providing necessary care for the aging population. This study will directly address this gap by investigating perceived unmet needs and opportunities to support caregivers. In particular, we have stratified the sample by perceived strain to be able to characterize the conditions that might differentiate higher strain from lower strain situations. Although this study will be focused on caregiving in the Indian context, the themes may be relevant other countries and settings.

Previously published in Global Notes on March 23, 2014.

Truong takes position at Yelp

Jonathan Truong.jpgJonathan Truong (MPP '13) began a position as a community manager with Yelp in the fall of 2013. Jonathan is working to organize and host large monthly events to connect locals to great local businesses; build relationships with business owners, non-profits, and other organizations in the Tin Cities.

Jonathan is also the director of House of Dance 763, which has helped to organize and lead a team to begin the Twin Cities' first hip-hop dance after-school program. The program is aimed to provide a positive, safe, and affordable space and opportunity for at-risk, violent, and low-income youth.

Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.


DuHamel appointed as a special assistant at MnDOT

Daniel DuHamel.jpgDaniel J DuHamel (MPP '06) was recently appointed special assistant to the deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In this role, Daniel has been leading various department work groups, supporting the Deputy Commissioner in management initiatives at MnDOT, and providing legislative support to agency leadership.

Daniel is continuing his services on the Board of Directors at Open Your Heart for the Hungry and Homeless (currently as President of the Board) and as adjunct faculty for both Cardinal Stritch University and Globe University. Previously, Daniel was with the Minnesota Department of Human Services, serving as a community action program administrator.

Daniel can be contacted through LinkedIn or via email.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Williams joins Project for Pride in Living

Paul Williams.jpgPaul Williams (MA '85) announced he will be returning to nonprofit housing after three and a half years as deputy mayor of the city of St. Paul. In March 2014, Paul was named the new president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living, or PPL, one of the Twin Cities' most visible nonprofit housing development agencies.

He previously spent 13 years with Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) and 10 years before that working in philanthropy with the St. Paul Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, and the United Way in St. Paul.

Read the Pioneer Press's story on Paul's new position.

Photo courtesy of the City of St. Paul.