Driving Change in Higher Education.

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


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