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News You Can Use: 03/07/17

Get your pens ready, it’s budget consultation letter writing time!

Students have the opportunity to consult with their campus administration regarding the campus’ budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. After the consultation is complete, during the spring, student senate presidents letters to the Minnesota State Chancellor and the Board of Trustees regarding how the consultation process went.

Now is the time to begin your letter! MSCSA has resources available to assist you with this process. There will be a question and answer session on Thursday, March 16 at 3:00 PM. Please see the details below.

The first draft of your letter needs to be sent to the MSCSA office for review and feedback by Monday, April 3, by emailing sbeck@mscsa.org.

Questions? Contact MSCSA Outreach Coordinator Samantha Beck at sbeck@mscsa.org

Check out the video below for more information and guidance!

Budget Consultation Q & A
Thu, Mar 16, 2017 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3311
Access Code: 614-791-253

 

News You Can Use: 03/02/17

Groots student of the month: Matthew Stonich

Matthew Stonich photo

Once a month we will be showcasing a student that has done excellent work with our Groots initiative. The Groots initiative is a grass roots campaign to get students involved in building support for an issue by showing legislators how many people a certain problem effects. This month MSCSA would like to highlight Matthew Stonich, student senate president of Mesabi Range College-Eveleth.

Matt is graduating from the Graphic Media Designs, Visual Communications program at Mesabi Range College-Eveleth this coming May. After graduation, Matt plans on finding a job with an advertising firm in Duluth, MN. Graphic design started out as a hobby, one Matt didn’t think he could make a career out of. So he started at Hibbing Community College and while taking an accounting class, he realized it just was not working for him. “My dad told me, ‘do what you want to do with your life,’” Matt said. It was this advice that made him realize he could take his passion and turn it into his career. This led Matt to Mesabi Range College-Eveleth and the school’s student senate.

Through getting involved in his school’s student senate, Matt was able to meet and talk with a lot of people on campus. These connections made him want other students to get involved in the school and help bring the campus together.

For Matt, being involved in the Groots initiative allows him to meet other students on his campus. “Everyone knows we have a student senate, but they don’t know what we do. I’m trying to show we are more than a group of friends meeting, we are making change.” Every student on-campus, even those that are not involved, has seen Matt around campus. He has run activities, done class raps, and anything else he can to get other students involved on campus.

A 1% tuition cut is important because if there was lower tuition, students could work less, allowing them to be more involved on campus, in the form of clubs and organizations through their programs. The more student involvement, the more opportunities there is to bring in speakers, go to expos, and meet potential employers. Doing these things will make students more successful and will build the Mesabi Range College-Eveleth campus.

“Being involved in student senate and the Groots initiative allows me to get out on campus and meet everyone. All together we can build a stronger campus and community.”

Do you want to get involved? Sign our petition to tell your legislators to decrease tuition
by 1 percent!
 

Take the next step in your leadership journey, nominate someone for an award, and much more!

Association Update 02-27-17

MSCSA Association Update - February 2017
MSCSA Association Update - February 2017

Upcoming Events:

D.C. Summit 2017

Date: March 18-21, 2017
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Smithsonian - Washington, D.C.

Spring General Assembly - April 2017

Date: April 21-23, 2017
Location: Breezy Point Resort - Breezy Point, MN
Register by Tuesday, April 4!
 
Urge your state legislators to help make college more affordable with a 1% tuition cut.

Send letters to
your legislators!

 
Students all throughout Minnesota have done a lot of work telling legislators their personal stories to advocate for a 1% tuition cut. Having so many students meet with their legislators on Advocacy Day showed the capitol how many students high tuition impacts. But our work is not yet done. We need to continue to have a presence in the minds of legislators by asking students to sign letters to their legislators and share their stories. When legislators realize how many of their constituents an issue impacts, that issue becomes a priority for that legislator. Tell your legislator how high tuition impacts you.
Write your legislators!
Star Campus.

It's not too late:
Earn your stars!

Many deadlines for Star Campus 2017 have not yet passed! Make sure you submit your stars; many of the criteria are not hard to meet. View the full Star Campus criteria and decide what your campus can complete. Deadline to submit criteria for Star Campus is Friday, March 24. If you have any questions, contact MSCSA Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen at prc@mscsa.org.
Submit your star!

It's that time of year again: Budget consultation!

For resources to write your letter, visit the MSCSA website.

Please submit the first draft of your budget consultation letter to the MSCSA Office by April 3, 2017 by emailing it to sbeck@mscsa.org.
 
Your final draft is due to the Minnesota State System Office by April 24, 2017. You will email it to Rosa Melin (rosa.melin@so.mnscu.edu), please also CC the MSCSA office (sbeck@mscsa.org) and your campus president.
MSCSA Scholarships

Now accepting applications for scholarships!

MSCSA is now accepting applications for fall 2017 scholarships. Open scholarships include:
  • MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
  • John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund
  • Irja Sundgren Pratt Memorial Scholarship

Applications will be accepted until April 1, 2017. If you have any questions please view MSCSA's website or email MSCSA Development Assistant Joyce Petsch at jpetsch@mscsa.org.

Submit your workshops for the Leadership Certificate Program!

One of the missions of our organization is to develop our students’ leadership skills. This year, we have continued to do this through educating students in the areas of cultural intelligence (C), leadership development (L), advocacy and campaigns (A), and professional advancement (P).

In order to receive recognition, you must have attended at least three workshops in each of the above topic areas for the year. The topics of each workshop were designated on the itineraries at each conference throughout the year.

Submissions will only be accepted via the online form. All submissions must be submitted no later than March 6, 2017.
 
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Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to receive updates, exciting stories, and view pictures from our conferences and events!
Apply for a leadership position today!

Run for a MSCSA
leadership position!

Are you ready to take the next step in your leadership journey? We are now accepting applications for President, Vice President, Public Relations Coordinator, Treasurer, Governing Council Student-At-Large, and Platform Committee Student-At-Large. In accordance with MSCSA’s bylaws, applications will be accepted until Friday, March 24 at 5:00 PM. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Mike Dean at 651-203-9454 or mdean@mscsa.org.

In order to run for a position, an electronic application must be completed and an eligibility authorization form needs to be submitted to the MSCSA office. If you are mailing the eligibility authorization form, it must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 21.
Run for a leadership position today!

A successful Advocacy
Day 2017!

This year’s Advocacy Day was a HUGE success! Students spent Monday training with staff and Cabinet and got the opportunity to meet higher education chairs Sen. Michelle Fischbach and Rep. Bud Nornes.
 
With almost 70 meetings set up between the House and the Senate, MSCSA hit the capitol on Tuesday. Students carried the message of a 1% tuition cut for 2-year colleges, as well as reform for developmental education. 
 
MSCSA’s message was well received and students had the opportunity to share their personal stories with their legislators. Many students were also able to take a tour of the newly remodeled state capitol.
 
In the afternoon, students were able to visit the Higher Education and Career Readiness Policy and Finance Committee. At the meeting, students were able to hear testimony and were recognized by the Chair, Rep. Nornes. To complete the day, a small group of students were able to place a MSCSA sponsored bill into the “hopper”.
 
MSCSA would like to take a moment to recognize the author’s of our legislative bills: Sen. Miller, Sen. Abeler, Sen. Claussen, Rep. Zerwas, Rep. Christensen, & Rep. Bernardy.
 
Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the day a success!

Groots volunteer of the month: Matthew Stonich!

Matthew Stonich imageOnce a month we will be showcasing a student that has done excellent work with our Groots initiative. The Groots initiative is a grass roots campaign to get students involved in building support for an issue by showing legislators how many people a certain problem effects. This month MSCSA would like to highlight Matthew Stonich, student senate president of Mesabi Range College-Eveleth.

Matt is graduating from the Graphic Media Designs, Visual Communications program at Mesabi Range College-Eveleth this coming May. After graduation, Matt plans on finding a job with an advertising firm in Duluth, MN. Graphic design started out as a hobby, one Matt didn’t think he could make a career out of. So he started at Hibbing Community College and while taking an accounting class, he realized it just was not working for him. “My dad told me, ‘do what you want to do with your life,’” Matt said. It was this advice that made him realize he could take his passion and turn it into his career. This led Matt to Mesabi Range College-Eveleth and the school’s student senate.

Through getting involved in his school’s student senate, Matt was able to meet and talk with a lot of people on campus. These connections made him want other students to get involved in the school and help bring the campus together.

For Matt, being involved in the Groots initiative allows him to meet other students on his campus. “Everyone knows we have a student senate, but they don’t know what we do. I’m trying to show we are more than a group of friends meeting, we are making change.” Every student on-campus, even those that are not involved, has seen Matt around campus. He has run activities, done class raps, and anything else he can to get other students involved on campus.

A 1% tuition cut is important because if there was lower tuition, students could work less, allowing them to be more involved on campus, in the form of clubs and organizations through their programs. The more student involvement, the more opportunities there is to bring in speakers, go to expos, and meet potential employers. Doing these things will make students more successful and will build the Mesabi Range College-Eveleth campus.

“Being involved in student senate and the Groots initiative allows me to get out on campus and meet everyone. All together we can build a stronger campus and community.”
Nominate someone for a MSCSA award!

Help make our Annual Awards Dinner a success!

During every Spring General Assembly, MSCSA hosts an awards dinner where we recognize the people that have gone above and beyond during the past year. Do you know anyone that deserves recognition? Submit a nomination in one of the categories below.

Student Awards:
Student Leader of the Year: This award recognizes some one who has excelled both academically, in the association, and in their community. This individual should be someone who has risen above all other students both in their actions and their attitude to bring their campus, the association, and the community together as well as give back to each of these communities.

Governing Council Member of the Year: This is a Governing Council member who displays many great qualities within the association. They have exemplified the ideals of the organization, built relationship and effective teams within their region and have gone above their call to serve our students.

Platform Committee Member of the Year: This award honors a Platform Committee member who has dedicated their time and effort to research and develop a working knowledge of the issues facing our students, our legislative agenda, and then spend time educating the students of their region.

Student Senate of the Year: Each year we honor one senate for taking their work above and beyond the call of duty. Past winners have had significant impact on their communities and campuses. In many cases, they have changed the lives of countless amounts of students for the better.

Minnesota State Committee Member of the Year: Minnesota State committees are some of the most important venues for change across the state. Students who serve on these committees are essential in ensuring students have a voice on a variety of topics. Nominees should be students who have served or are serving on a Minnesota State committee this year.

Non-Student Awards:
Alumni Member of the Year: The Alumni of the Year award is to honor an alumni member of our organization. Nominees should have a continued and lasting impact on the lives of students or their community in ways that honor the mission and values of MSCSA.

College President of the Year: This award honors the exemplary work of a college president within the 2-year colleges of the Minnesota State system. A nominee should display the qualities of being available to students for consultation and willing to discuss issues that affect the student body throughout the decision making process. Furthermore, a nominee should be proactive in wanting to create a welcoming and team environment for all cohorts of their college.

Instructor of the Year: An instructor deserving of this prestigious award is one that not only connects with their students to deliver the subject material, but also does it in ways that allows students of all learning methods to succeed. Previous award recipients have used creativity through technology and teaching styles to show students new learning methods that have shown high success rates in their class. Furthermore, past award recipients have ensured students have the support they need both in class and outside of class to provide them the best opportunity to excel in their college careers.

Student Senate Advisor of the Year: This award honors a student senate advisor who has gone above and beyond the daily roles and responsibilities of advising the student senate on their operations and serving as their advocate. An advisor of the year is one that also serves as a mentor to student leaders in ways that allow them to grow in their education and careers.

Nominations are due by Friday, March 24. Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
Nominate someone for a MSCSA award!

News You Can Use: 02/07/17

President Nelson testified on equity at the January
Board of Trustee meeting

At the Jan. 25 Board of Trustee meeting, President Minda Nelson testified to remind the board of the equity issues currently facing Minnesota State students and to urge them to begin a plan to address these issues.

President Nelson called for a campus-based and a system-based approach to equity, and said that a guiding plan needed to come from the system office. “While some campuses have the resources to thrive on their own, others need more help than a small campus department can provide.”

The Board of Trustee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee recently met and came to the conclusion that system-wide benchmarks and strategies need to be identified in the areas of equity. President Nelson reminded the Board of the letter MSCSA sent to the committee in September outlining four proposals to begin addressing equity in Minnesota State. It was suggested that by including students in these discussions, the equity benchmarks would be widespread and encompassing of all stakeholders.

President Nelson’s testimony concluded that while work is being done in the Minnesota State system on equity, a plan is still missing. She stated, “We want to partner in addressing these issues, but that requires engagement from the Board and the new chancellor.”

Below you can read President Nelson’s full testimony at the January Board of Trustee meeting.

The sound of silence.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

That is what has made the last 12 weeks so hard for us as student leaders, to hear the silence of the governing board of the Minnesota State system on one of the most pressing issues on our college campuses – the opportunity gap facing so many of our students.

At the September retreat, Board members asked for suggestions on what you as a board could do to address the issues of equity on our campuses. We took that question seriously, and developed a response on some realistic ideas that could be addressed by the board, in a letter to the Chair of the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee dated October 14. A few weeks later we testified at the October Board meeting with Students United outlining our ideas and concerns around the lack of progress on campus climate issues and the opportunity gap. After the meeting all we heard was silence.

At the November Board meeting, Students United Chair Joe Wolf testified again on these issues. His testimony was met with silence.

The IFO sent a letter on November 30 to Trustee Anaya and Chair Vekich in support of our letter. The response to that was silence.

Then on December 8th, we sent a follow-up email to Chair Anaya requesting a meeting to discuss these issues with her. Again only to be met with silence.

Finally, on January 9th we received a response to our concerns from Chair Vekich. The letter’s first paragraph said that the system is committed to equity because we have a committee to address that. A committee does not demonstrate a commitment. Especially when that committee has only met 14 times during the last 35 meetings of the Board of Trustees in the last 3 years. And during those meetings action was only taken a couple of times.

The letter failed to address our underlying concern and our point that the Minnesota State system does not have a strategy to address the opportunity gap. In March of last year, the College Board issued a report on how to best achieve diversity and inclusion goals. One of the key findings is that,
A growing body of research confirms the importance of alignment based on mission across programs, functions, and offices to create the greatest potential for achieving diversity goals. Research confirms that a more holistic approach to diversity strategies – developing a mission that includes the benefits of diversity, implementing strategies to foster interactions between students, and assessing strategies for impact and effectiveness – can help institutions achieve the benefits they seek.

The problem is that 54 different strategies to address equity is not going to work. The research has shown that. We need both a campus-based and a system-based approach on equity. While some campuses have the resources to thrive on their own, others need more than the help that a small system department can provide. We need a guiding plan from the system.

We felt optimistic by the discussion from the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee yesterday that system-wide benchmarks and strategies need to be identified; and that idea was outlined in our first letter to the committee. Now is the time for the board to come together to develop those benchmarks and bring key stakeholders like students to the table to develop them.

Students of color on our campuses are tired of being ignored. The struggles that they go through on a daily basis are likely unimaginable to many people in this room. The smallest of these is the self-doubt that they face, wondering whether they really belong because there is no real support system for these students on our campuses.

We agree that work is being done in this area, some of it very positive like the increase in diversity of campus presidents and the human resources practices. Yet, the system still lacks a strategy.

We want to be a partner in addressing these issues, but that requires engagement from the Board and the new Chancellor. Our students will no longer accept silence from this board and will continue to speak out about inaction.

In September 2016, MSCSA sent a letter to the Board of Trustees outlining four proposals that were necessary first steps to address the equity challenges facing Minnesota State students. The four proposals included:

  1. Require that a new System Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan be created within 12 months.
  2. Double the size of the Equity and Inclusion Office in the system.
  3. Bring an equity lens to the Board of Trustees.
  4. Create benchmarks and timelines to develop more culturally competent curriculum.

The letter concluded by saying “While we cannot get ahead of the next chancellor, these issues cannot wait for that chancellor. What we propose will help lay a solid foundation of information that will propel the next chancellor forward.”

Read the full letter President Nelson mentions in her testimony and see the
Board of Trustee’s response.

 

Update: 02/15/17

Read the letter President Nelson sent to Chair Vekich on February 14 in response to his letter
from January 9.

Meet our new staff and cabinet members, the legislative session, and much more!

Association Update 01-30-17

MSCSA Association Update - January 2017
MSCSA Association Update - January 2017

Upcoming Events:

Chancellor Search Forums

Date: February 8, 2017
Location: TBD
Meet with the candidates to be the new Chancellor of the Minnesota State system.

Advocacy Day 2017

Date: February 20-21, 2017
Location: Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge - St. Paul, MN
Register by January 31!

D.C. Summit 2017

Date: March 18-21, 2017
Location: Holiday Inn Capitol Smithsonian - Washington, D.C.
Register by February 13!
 

Earn your stars!

Don't forget to participate in
Star Campus! Many of the deadlines have not yet passed; it is not too late to earn your campus a star! If you have any questions please contact MSCSA Public Relations Coordinator Kimberly Thielen at 651-203-9457 or prc@mscsa.org. Make sure to watch MSCSA's Facebook page for regular updates on campus progress.

Now Accepting Fall 2017 Scholarship Applications

MSCSA is now accepting applications for the following
four scholarships through
April 1, 2017. These scholarships will be awarded for the fall 2017 semester.
  • MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
  • Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
  • John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund
  • Irja Sundgren Pratt Memorial Scholarship
MSCSA Leadership Scholarship
This scholarship rewards emerging student leaders for their community services for both two-year college and four-year university students.

Dr. Steve and Darla Frantz Leadership Scholarship
This scholarship is for students who demonstrate leadership in academics, extracurricular activities, and community or national service. Priority given to those who are serving or have served in good standing in any branch of the U.S. Military or other U.S. national service and have exhausted federal and state service related education benefits excluding the Minnesota GI Bill.

John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund Scholarship
The endowed fund provides students with funds for tool purchases required for
Minnesota State students completing a technical course in Technical/ Management/Trades, with an emphasis in HVAC (heating, ventilation,
air conditioning).

Irja Sundgren Pratt
Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is given
annually to a student enrolled
at any college within the Northeast Higher Education District and who has completed at least one semester of
course-work at the college.
 
For more information please visit our website.

10th Annual Scholarship Gala
a success!

Thank you to everyone who donated to or attended our 10th Annual Scholarship Gala on January 6! Together we helped raise over $10,000, which allowed us to give 13 Minnesota State students scholarships! Every one of the recipients is a student leader in their community and is committed to making it a better place. Thank you for
your generosity!
MSCSA will work hard to continue furthering student success and achievement through scholarships.
We hope you can join us at
next years Scholarship Gala on Friday, January 5, 2018.

Now seeking 2017 MSCSA Annual Award Nominations!

The annual awards dinner is a highlight of the MSCSA Spring General Assembly and we need your help! Do you know individuals that went the extra mile this year? Nominate them for an award! The nomination process is simple: submit a brief letter of nomination and any supporting materials that you want to provide via the link below. We are counting on you!
 
Student Awards
  • Student Leader of the Year
  • Governing Council Member of the Year
  • Platform Representative of the Year
  • Student Senate of the Year
  • Minnesota State Committee Member of the Year
Non-Student Awards
  • Alumni Member of the Year
  • College President of the Year
  • Student Senate Advisor of the Year
  • Instructor of the Year
Nominations are due by Friday, March 24, 2017.
 
Questions? Contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
Nominate here!

A look at the
legislative session

Last week, Governor Mark Dayton gave his “State of the State” address, where he committed to helping students struggling to afford skyrocketing tuition costs. The next day, he released his recommendation for his biennial budget, which calls for an additional $125 million in base funding over the next biennium for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. The governor also included $25 million over the biennium to fund improvements to the Integrated Statewide Record System (ISRS), which is the backend database for many student services, such as applications, registration, course scheduling, housing, financial aid, transcripts, and more. The governor’s budget recommendation funded approximately 84% of what the Minnesota State system was requesting.
 
Following the governor’s recommendations, Minnesota State presented its legislative agenda to the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. Minnesota State requested an increase of $178 million in their budget request for FY2018-19. Affordability is a top priority for our students. The request for new funding will support a two-year tuition freeze helping students with the ever-growing costs related to attending community and technical colleges. While legislators are currently busy with overviews of different state departments, budget bills will start moving after the February budget forecast comes out in early March.

 
Minnesota State is also requesting over $200 million in general-obligation bonding, including $142 million for 18 major capital projects and $110 million for asset preservation. User financing of $48 million would cover the total difference.

The breakdowns of some of the governor’s proposed projects are as follows:
  • South Central College, North Mankato - STEM and Healthcare Design and Renovation 6.4 million North Mankato Nicollet Southwest Greater MN
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Fergus Falls - Center for Student and Workforce Success Design and Renovation 652,000.00 Fergus Falls Otter Tail Central Greater MN
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Wadena - Library and Student Development Design and Renovation 547,000.00 Wadena Central Greater MN
  • Northland Community and Technical College, East Grand Forks - Laboratory Design and Renovations 551,000.00 Grand Forks Polk Northwest Greater MN
  • Bemidji State University - Academic Learning Center (Hagg Sauer Replacement) Design and Renovation 12.6 million Bemidji Beltrami Northwest
  • Rochester Community and Technical College - Memorial and Plaza Halls Removal, Design, Renovation and Construction 14.5 million Rochester Olmsted Southeast Greater MN
  • Hibbing Community College - Campus Reconfiguration 7.5 million Hibbing St. Louis Northeast Greater MN
  • Winona State University - Education Village Phase 2, Renovation and Demolition 16.9 million Winona Southeast Greater MN
  • St. Cloud State University - Student Health and Academic Renovation 12.3 million St. Cloud Stearns Central Greater MN
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato - Clinical Sciences Phase 2, Design and Renovation 4.4 million Mankato Blue Earth Southwest Greater MN
  • Riverland Community College 5 million Albert Lea Freeborn Southeast Greater MN
While these are estimates of where the funding would go, it helps provide a general framework of the governor’s higher education plan.

Get to know Director of Government Relations Angelique McDonald!

Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: I hold two bachelor's degrees, one from St. Cloud State University and the other from the University of Minnesota. I obtained my Master's degree in Public Policy while working as a lobbyist for the Realtor's Association and Messerli & Kramer, P.A. From there, I worked on candidate and policy campaigns as a consultant.

Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: What interests me about working for MSCSA are the ever changing issues that the students face. Everything from developmental education, equity issues, credit transfer policies, and working to ensure graduation is very exciting to me! I have already begun to work with some of our students and I look forward to continuing to build new relationships.

Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: I think that students will always have drive to fight for affordability, and so that is a primary area that I plan to focus my work on. Going forward, I hope that I can work with the universities to help streamline the collegiate process for students, especially first generation/ESL students. I think that applying for college and trying to determine if you qualify for aid is a very intimidating process for many students. One of my goals is to create a system that is student friendly so that they have a clear understanding of the college system and what options are available to them.

Q: What interests do you have outside of work?
A: Outside of work, I am likely with my family (1 spouse, 4 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1, turtle)! My oldest is a freshman in college (Bemidji State), so many of the issues that our students face I deal with at home. We are a pretty big hockey family so we are often at the rink or cheering on the Wild. I also have a daughter who dances competitively so we end up all over the place watching her on stage. As for me, I love traveling and I have a very long bucket list but I often settle for a good book and a nap with the dog.
 
Angelique attended St. Cloud State University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health and went on to the University of Minnesota to receive her Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications. While studying at the U of M, she interned at the Minnesota House of Representatives. She then furthered her education by pursing her Master’s Degree in Public Policy while beginning her career as a lobbyist for the Realtor’s Association. She has been involved in local and state politics for over 10 years. In addition to her work with association nonprofits, Angelique has worked inside the capitol in the Sargent of Arms office. She also has experience working on a number of congressional races: both inside the state of Minnesota and outlying states.
 
As a mother to a freshman in college, she is very familiar with what challenge’s student’s face. She spends her free moments generally driving her remaining 3 children all over the metro in a sub-par vehicle. She volunteers her time as the hockey manager to two travel teams, is an active member of her local Lion’s Club, organizes multiple team shifts at Feed My Starving Children, and is a long time volunteer with Special Olympics Minnesota. She enjoys international travel, extreme sports, naps with her dog, and a good book.

Meet Vice President
Brett Underdahl!

Q: Tell us about your work experience and educational background.
A: This is my second attempt at higher education since graduating high school in 2002. I attended Minnesota State University-Mankato right out of high school but it was not a good fit for me. For the next ten years, I worked various entry-level jobs and was just getting by, when I realized that I needed more education to achieve what I wanted. I started at South Central College in fall of 2013 and will graduate this spring with an accounting AAS degree.
 
Q: What interested you in working for MSCSA?
A: From the beginning of my time at SCC, I was drawn to the Student Senate and attended my first MSCSA conference in December of 2013. After that first conference, I started to realize all the issues that face students when it comes to achieving their degree. As I got more involved in student government, I looked for ways to grow myself to become a better advocate for students. MSCSA welcomed me with opportunities that I could have never dreamed of.
 
Q: What are some of the things that you have been working on and are excited to work on in the future?
A: Tuition is something that affects all students. I am proud of all the work that myself and all the student leaders have done to try and reign in tuition costs but there is still more to do. Students can no longer afford to pay the 3rd highest tuition in the country. I also want to work really hard on developmental education reform. I had to take a developmental education math course, and while it was helpful and sparked some interests I didn't know I had, it still meant that I had to take an additional class for no credit. Too many students get stuck with their first year filled with developmental education classes that discourage them to continue and complete their degree.
 
Q: What interests do you have outside of work?
A: When I am not in class, studying or advocating for students, I enjoy camping with family, hiking, and watching technology podcasts.
 
Brett Underdahl is an accounting major at South Central College. He plans to work with a nonprofit after graduation. He has grown in his leadership during his college career from serving as Student Senate Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President along with serving on various college committees. Through MSCSA, he serves on the Academic and Student Affairs Technology Council at Minnesota State and also served as the Metro South Region Platform Committee Alternate and Representative.
 
When he is not in class, studying or advocating for students, he enjoys camping with his family, hiking, and watching technology podcasts.

Take the next step in your student leadership journey!

Do you want to run for a position on the MSCSA Cabinet (President, Vice President, Public Relations Coordinator, and Treasurer) or the Student-At-Large Platform Representative or Governing Council Representative?
According to the MSCSA Bylaws, in order to run for an officer or Student-at-Large position, you will need to submit the following items to the MSCSA office by March 24 at 5:00 p.m.:
  • The online application form; which includes submitting a photo, a candidate bio, and completing the questionnaire.
  • The MSCSA eligibility authorization form; which verifies that the candidate has a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and is currently registered for no less than six (6) credits at a Minnesota State 2-year institution. (If you are mailing it in, the form must be postmarked by March 21).
Apply here!

MSCSA Leadership Scholarships Awarded

MSCSA is proud to announce the seven recipients for the 2017 spring semester scholarships.
 
McCormick Leadership Scholarship:
Julie Baker, Minnesota State College Southeast
 
MSCSA Leadership Scholarships:
Andrew J. Hjelle, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Kassandra A. Klasen, St. Cloud State University
Yawa E. Komlanvi, Normandale Community College
Rebecca L. Larson, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
 
Morrie Anderson Endowed Scholarship:
Kusum Joshi, Dakota County Technical College
 
John Kenneth Niemi Memorial Tool Fund Scholarship:
Sumaiya Khan, Dakota County Technical College
 
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR RECIPIENTS!

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