Thursday, July 28, 2016

O'Connell joins Land O' Lakes

John O'Connell (MPP '06) is now the senior manager of project design and implementation at Land O' Lakes, Inc. O'Connell formerly worked at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) in Washington, D.C. 

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Lyon Edwards welcomes baby Reed

Juliet Lyon Edwards (MPP' 10) gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Reed on July 21st. Juliet, Scott, Hope and Baby Reed say, "Many thanks for the support of our friends and family across Mozambique, the U.S., the U.K., and beyond that bring us confidence and joy as we bring this sweet baby into a world that you have filled with great love and kindness."

Connect with Juliet on LinkedIn.

Pierce moves to MASCO

John Pierce, LEED Green AssociateJohn Pierce (MURP '15) has accepted an urban planning position at a nonprofit called Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, Inc., a critical job hub in Boston. Pierce was formerly a transit-oriented development planner for the Twin Cities Met Council, and is a LEED Green Associate.

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Hollenkamp to work at the City of Minneapolis' Sustainability Office

Lucas HollenkampLucas Hollenkamp (MS-STEP '10) recently accepted a position at the City of Minneapolis in their Sustainability Office. Hollenkamp previously worked at the Humphrey School Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure Initiative as the managing director.

Connect with Luke on LinkedIn.

Anderson joins NMHOA

David Anderson (MPA '14) recently became executive director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association after previously serving as executive director of All Parks Alliance for Change for nearly 12 years. Anderson continues to work with APAC as their senior advisor and management consultant.

Connect with Dave on LinkedIn.

Guthrie and Douma quoted by MN Daily

A recent UMN study finds that the unemployed are far from obtaining jobs. Andrew Guthrie (MURP '09), a research fellow at the Humphrey School and the Center for Transportation Studies, and Frank Douma (MA '95 and JD '96), director of the state and local policy program and MURP coordinator at the Humphrey School, are quoted by the MN Daily. Douma states, “If they are missing a car in our current system, the bottom line is that they need to have reliable transportation. If you can provide that with transit, then you are giving them a similar advantage that having a car would have.” Guthrie adds, "Transit plays a role in connecting disadvantaged workers with job opportunities, but it could be even more effective if efforts to get workers to the jobs they need were better coordinated with efforts to give them the skills they need for those jobs.”

Read the full MN Daily article.
Connect with Frank on LinkedIn.
Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.

Hogg interviewed about his U.S. Senate candidacy

Robert Hogg (MA '91 and JD '95) was recently interviewed by the Spencer Daily Reporter about his candidacy for Iowa's U.S. Senate Democratic Primary. Hogg is currently an Iowa State Senator. When asked why he was the right choice for the job, he responded, "I believe I have been an effective legislator during my 14 years in the Iowa Legislature. I am a fourth generation Iowan (two of my grandparents were born in Sheldon and Callender), and I believe I represent strong values of family, education and service."

Read the full interview here.
Connect with Rob on LinkedIn.

Mueller becomes researcher at Woodstock Institute

Emily MuellerEmily Mueller (MPP '16) has joined the Woodstock Institute as a researcher, and will be working directly on Chicago's vacancy problem and other forms of economic security. Mueller previously worked at Columbia College Chicago as an urban missions coordinator.

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pesch's research featured in UMN Alumni news

Ryan PeschRyan Pesch (MURP '02) aimed to reveal the finances behind small vegetable farm producers, who are essential in rural food deserts, and found that these producers do about $10,000 per acre in sales. However, after marketing and other expenses, their net profit is less than half of that. Pesch hopes that the sharing of this information will help vegetable operators become “smarter and more strategic about how they manage their business and market their crops. Our research helps existing operators identify where they could be more profitable, and gives basic numbers to help new, young farmers enter the market.” Pesch is currently an extension educator for the Center for Community Vitality at the University of Minnesota. 

View the Humphrey School News article here.
Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.

Heggeness quoted in The Chronicle

Misty HeggenessMisty Heggeness (MPP/MSW '02 and PhD '10), research economist and branch chief at the U.S. Census Bureau, was quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education in an article titled "Why Don't Young Scientists Get More Grants? They Often Don't Apply". The report highlights research done by several federal-grant experts that breaks down NIH award rates by age groups, finding that older scientists aren't necessarily any more successful than are their younger counterparts. Heggeness comments, "This definitely complicates things and requires a larger community effort to examine why younger applicants are not applying to NIH for funding as they have in the past. We also need to think creatively about what it means to have an aging work force and how to plan for the future given this reality."

Read the article here.
Connect with Misty on LinkedIn.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kremida passes away

Damaris Kremida (MPP '03) passed away on July 10, 2016 in Istanbul after a 4 year battle with breast cancer. Her passing was peaceful with her husband Jason, mother Irene, brother Erastos and his wife Artemis by her side. Damaris is remembered as a smart, lovely, warm and earnest person.

If you wish to extend condolences or leave a thoughtful message, please visit her CaringBridge.

Cakici becomes United Nations program management officer

HANIFE CAKICI, Ph.D.Hanife Cakici (MPP '11 and PhD '14) recently became a program management officer at the UN. Her first post is to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Cakici is also excited to share that one of her manuscripts has been published in the Canadian Journal of Programme Evaluation titled "Getting to the Roots of Evaluation Capacity Building in the Global South: Agenda Status of Evaluation in Turkey".

View Hanife's manuscript here.
Connect with Hanife on LinkedIn.

Daniel named Director of Planning and Community Development of Salem

Tom Daniel (MURP '00) is rejoining the City of Salem as their Director of Planning and Community Development. Daniel formerly served the department from 2007 to 2013 as an economic development planner. Before rejoining the City, he was the Director of the Community Development department in Gloucester, MA.

View the press release here.
Connect with Tom on LinkedIn.

Heinz-Amborn to present thesis at MDH Sexual Violence Prevention Network event

Britt Heinz-AmbornBritt Heinz-Amborn (MPP '16) will present her masters thesis "Men's Engagement in Sexual Violence Prevention on Campuses" at the Minnesota Department of Health's Sexual Violence Prevention Network event. Her research speaks to the necessity for practitioners to employ multiple strategies of engagement, in particular, seeking out both activists and brokers on campus. 

Connect with Britt on LinkedIn.

Event details: 
Thursday, August 4, 9:15am-12pm.
Presentations start at 9:30.
Wilder Foundation, 451 Lexington Pkwy North, St Paul, MN.

Grant becomes President and CEO of AchieveMpls

Danielle Grant (MPA '08) has joined AchieveMpls as their President and CEO after working with Minneapolis Public Schools for nine years. Grant was formerly the Executive Director of Educational & Cultural Services and Indian Education at MPS. As a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, she currently serves as the board chair of American Indian OIC and is also a long time board member of the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership.

Connect with Danielle on LinkedIn.

Abraham awarded Equal Justice Works fellowship

Heather Abraham (MPP and JD '12) has been awarded a two-year postgraduate fellowship through Equal Justice Works to represent homeless adults and low-income renters at imminent risk of homelessness in rural Traverse City, Michigan. Abraham will launch a "Street Outreach Court" that allows homeless defendants and low-income renters to have a fresh start on overcoming rural homelessness by dismissing cumulative legal fines, bench warrants and jail time through non-monetary means, like self-restorative programs such as addiction recovery. Abraham currently works as a law clerk for the United States Courts.

View Heather's Equal Justice Works fellow profile.
Read the UMN Law School announcement here.
Connect with Heather on LinkedIn or at

Glynn receives Government of Ireland postgraduate scholarship

Natalie Glynn (MDP '14) recently received a prestigious three-year scholarship from the Government of Ireland to conduct doctoral research at Trinity College in the School of Social Work and Social Policy. Glynn will be recruiting 30-40 young people leaving care at the age of 18 for a year-long longitudinal qualitative study of the transition out of care. This study follows a change in Irish state legislation that creates an obligation to provide care leavers with aftercare plans and services.

View Natalie's full Global Notes update here.
Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.

Rau sworn in as a USDA foreign service officer

Ben Rau (MPP ‘06), who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was sworn in as a Foreign Service Officer on July 13. Rau and nine other employees of the FAS will begin their Foreign Service careers working as agricultural attachés at U.S. embassies in nine countries. Rau has been assigned to Bogota, Colombia. 

Read the full announcement here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hale to serve as interim executive director

Jocelyn Hale (MPA '08) recently joined Cantus vocal ensemble as their interim executive director. Hale is also a partner at MillerHale Associates and formerly served as the executive director of The Loft Literary Center.

Connect with Jocelyn on LinkedIn.

Leitz named senior fellow at NORC

Scott Leitz (MA '94) was recently named senior fellow at the Natural Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Leitz previously worked at MDHS as the assistant commissioner for healthcare and also served as CEO of MNsure.

View the NORC press release here.

Bayu publishes op-ed in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Mekdelawit Bayu (MDP '16) has published an op-ed in the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled "Supporting a Truly Participant-Centered Approach to Development". The article focuses on the evaluation and effectiveness of unconditional cash transfer (UCT) programs and resistance to using UCTs in development work. Bayu is the assistant program manager for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Read the full article here.
Connect with Mekdelawit on LinkedIn.

Sarode joins the Future Services Institute

Trupti SarodeTrupti Sarode (MDP '16) recently joined the Future Services Institute as program evaluation associate. Sarode also holds a graduate research position at the Sustainable Cities and Infrastructure Initiative and an evaluation fellowship at MasterCard Foundation.

Connect with Trupti on LinkedIn.

Ekeberg joins the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities

Julia EkebergJulia Ekeberg (MPP '14) recently became an auditor at the Met Council. Ekeberg formerly worked at the American Refugee Committee as program manager.

Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.

Dusek becomes managing director

Brian DusekBrian Dusek (MURP '01) is now the managing director of global real estate and facilities at Vista Consulting Group. Dusek was previously the senior vice president of real estate advisory at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn.

Johnson joins MinnCAN

Aara A. Johnson, MPPAara Johnson (MPP '11) recently started working at MinnCAN as their senior summer fellow. Johnson was formerly a visiting monitoring and evaluation researcher at Fundación Escuela Nueva.

Connect with Aara on LinkedIn.

Hoffman published by the Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal

Daniel Hoffman (MA '85), principal of consultancy, recently published a policy piece titled "New Approaches to Geriatric Healthcare Will Save and Improve Lives, Revitalize Neighborhoods and Spur Technical Innovation". The article notes the serious and largely ignored by local government health crises faced by Philadelphia elders and suggests not only how some of these health problems might be tackled, but also how by doing so could spark neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Hoffman's current work focuses on energy issues and geriatric policy. He also specializes in employer-assisted housing, a phrase he coined and field he created, and other workforce housing strategies. Dan encourages anyone who may be interested in these topics to contact him at

Read the full piece here.
Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

McDougall becomes business development manager

Erica Duin McDougallErica Duin McDougall (MPP '11) moves from senior program specialist to business development manager at Land O'Lakes International Development. 

Connect with Erica on LinkedIn.

Culpitt joins Minnesota Computers for Schools

Des CulpittDes Culpitt (MPP '09) becomes workforce development manager at Minnesota Computers for Schools. Culpitt was formerly the global network coordinator for the International Living Future Institute.

Connect with Des on LinkedIn.

Hartstein becomes partner at Health Policy Alternatives

Marc Hartstein (MA '88) recently became a partner at Health Policy Alternatives, a DC consulting firm, after spending 27 years with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hartstein says, "I greatly loved and appreciated my federal career and left having successfully accomplished all of my professional goals for influencing health policy in a positive way.  I look forward to continuing in public service from a different vantage point."

Connect with Marc on LinkedIn.

Edwards becomes branch chief

Ashley EdwardsAshley Edwards (MPP '10) advances from survey statistician to branch chief of the Poverty Statistics Branch at the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.

Kwarciany joins DC Fiscal Policy Institute

Jodi Kwarciany (MPP '14) recently joined the DC Fiscal Policy Institute as a health policy analyst. She previously worked as a health policy research associate at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Connect with Jodi on LinkedIn.

Kiedrowski quoted in Star Tribune

Local governments cry foul over feds' move to limit tax-free municipal bonds. Jay Kiedrowski (MPA '73), a senior fellow at the Humphrey, is quoted. "There have been many critics of states and cities who say that tax-exempt debt has been overused as an economic development tool," Kiedrowski said. "Tax-exempt debt makes sense for streets, water projects, sewers, parks, schools. But when tax-exempt debt is used for economic development, it's always been fuzzy as to where that line should be drawn to prevent bad projects vs. good projects."

View the full story hereConnect with Jay here

Monday, July 18, 2016

Arcand creates consulting company

Amy ArcandAmy Arcand (MPA ’08) has founded Willow Consulting, a company that provides interim executive leadership to organizations in crisis or transition.

Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Brosnan becomes executive director

John BrosnanJohn Brosnan (MPA ’11) recently became the executive director of the Seattle Audubon Society. Seattle Audubon cultivates and leads a community that values and protects birds and the natural environment.

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Fox joins Ladyboss Coaching

Meredith Fox, PMP CPCC ACCMeredith Fox (MPP ’01) is now a life/leadership coach with Ladyboss Coaching. She partners with her clients to inspire and support them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Connect with Meredith on LinkedIn.

Baumbach moves to Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation

Brandon BaumbachBrandon Baumbach (MPP ’12) recently became the business development projects coordinator at Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation. He was formerly a rural health policy specialist at the University of North Dakota.

Connect with Brandon on LinkedIn.

Plascencia joins San Antonio Housing Authority

Rosario PlascenciaRosario Plascencia (MPP ’14) has joined the San Antonio Housing Authority as a management analyst. She was formerly a research analyst with the Chicano Latino Affairs Council.

Connect with Rosario on LinkedIn.

Kim moves up at Korean Service Center

Minsun KimMinsun Kim (GC-NM ’14) has become the dementia program manager at the Korean Service Center. He was formerly a development officer.

Connect with Minsun on LinkedIn.

Ahmed presents Minneapolis' strategies in Swedish cities

Abdirashid Ahmed (MPP '13) is the East African Community Specialist for the City of Minneapolis' Neighborhood and Community Relations Department. Ahmed was invited by the U.S. Embassy in Sweden to share Minneapolis’ successful engagement model with Swedish city officials and Somali community leaders. Swedish officials invited the City to share its best practices around community engagement in order to learn how it positively engages immigrant communities in their new country.

View the full story here.
Connect with Abdi here.

Cheney becomes vice president

Craig Cheney (MA ’87) recently became the vice president at Red Horse Corporation. Red Horse Corporation uses technology and information management approaches to deliver creative solutions to complex problems.

Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.

Amara quoted in the Capitol Report

Abou Amara (MPP '12) joined Neighborhoods Organizing for Change as the Public Policy Director, and was interviewed by the Capitol Report for bringing his insider experience to community efforts. Amara formerly served as an adviser to House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis.

Read the full story here.
Connect with Abou here.

Whyte Jr graduates with PhD

Amelious N. Whyte, Jr. (MA '97) graduated this spring from the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development with a PhD in Higher Education from the Department of Organizational Leadership and Policy Development. His dissertation was titled "An Exploration of the Role of the “Assistant To” in Student Affairs Using the Courageous Follower Model". 

Connect with Amelious here.

Voigt becomes Director

Susan Voigt (MPA '15) is the new Director of the Minnesota Community Healthcare Network, and will work to create comprehensive treatment and integrated care models that promote wellness and recovery while saving costs. Voigt formerly worked at the Medica Foundation as Program Manager.

Connect with Susan here.

Greco quoted for Star Tribune story

Mike Greco, AICPMichael Greco (MURP '10) is the Director of the U's Resilient Communities project. More than 300 University of Minnesota students participated in the Resilient Communities Project in Carver County this last school year. Greco was quoted, "“It was a very successful partnership. The variety of the projects made it a very interesting year for us.” Students tackled subjects from augmented reality to mobile home communities.

Read the full Star Tribune story here.

Connect with Mike here.

Niehoff joins Environmental Initiative

Erin NiehoffErin Niehoff (MS '15) recently joined Environmental Initiative as a Project and Administrative Assistant. She formerly held positions at the Oregon Department of State Lands and the Minnesota Department of Health. 

Connect with Erin on LinkedIn.

Lisichonak joins SolbegSoft as their Business Development Manager

Siarhei Lisichonak (MPP '09) recently moved on to another career path and now works as the Business Development Manager for SolbegSoft, a custom software development company in Belarus. Lisichonak was previously a Programme Analyst for the United Nation's Development Programme.

Connect with Siarhei on LinkedIn.

Gray sends Humphrey alum updates from Korea

Sherry Gray, Coordinator of Humphrey's Global Policy Area, had the fortune of visiting South Korea earlier this summer and reconnecting with Humphrey alums Sarah Yeo (2012), Kiwook Ha (2014), Moojoo Son (2011), Yoontaik Kim (2014), Jin Hyuk-Her (2012) and Jun Sup Han (2013). Gray wrote, "I left Korea last week bearing good memories of a lovely country with excellent food, beautiful mountains, and citizens kind to foreign visitors.  I am proud of the many talented and kind alumni from the University of Minnesota and the Humphrey School I met on my trip.  I returned to Minnesota pleased that the work our faculty and staff do to support international students, scholars and fellows is important in creating these fine networks of loyal alumni around the world."

See her full Global Notes blog post here.

HHH Alumni Board Update

Join us in welcoming our new HHH Alumni Board members! The following Humphrey alums have volunteered to come back and promote the Humphrey School, helping us achieve our mission through a rich and diverse alumni network:
David R Anderson, MPA 2014
Anne Betzner, MPA 2011
James Chan, MPP 2014
Amanda Janzen, MURP 2010 
Rima Kawas, MPA 2014
Kelly Muellman, MURP 2011
Minerva Munoz, MPP 2009

While we say hello, we also say goodbye and extend a very special thanks to our retiring Humphrey Alumni Board members: 
Amelious Whyte, MA 1997
Keith Butcher, MS 2001
Emily Saunoi Sandgren, MPP 2009
Joel Larson, MPP 2009
Sarah Lynch, MPP 2001
Matt Swenson, MPP 2009 

We are so grateful for your time, talents and service on the Board! Your contributions will have far-reaching impacts.