Gov. Dayton appoints six to MnSCU board

Gov. Mark Dayton has appointed six people to the 15-member board of trustees that oversees the state’s college and university system.

Two of the new MnSCU Board members are students appointed to two-year terms:

  • Kelly Carpentier-Berg, a student studying psychology at Anoka Technical College and Metro State University. She has served as President of the Minnesota State College Student Association, and as a member of Anoka Technical College’s student body.

  • Maleah Otterson, a student at Normandale Community College. Otterson currently serves as a Minnesota State College Student Association Representative on MnSCU’s Campus Service Cooperative. She has also served on the Normandale Student Life Budget Committee and Normandale Shared Governance Facilities Committee. Otterson has also been active in student government, serving as a member of the Normandale Community College Student Senate, and as the Student Senate’s Executive Legislative Director.

Appointed to six-year terms are:

  • Jay Cowles, managing director of Lawrence Creek, LLC, a private investment company, and as President of Unity Avenue Associates, LLC. He has served as chair of the Saint Paul foundation and the Minnesota Community Foundation, and was a founding member of the Itasca Project. Cowles currently serves as a member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, North Side Achievement Zone Board, and other civic organizations. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Harvard University Business School.

  • Robert Hoffman, recently retired Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships for Minnesota State University, Mankato. Hoffman previously served as Vice President at Brown Printing and as Vice President of Taylor Corporation. He was an English teacher and coach in Redwood Falls, and principal of Wanamingo High School. Hoffman was previously a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees, and served two years as chair. He currently serves on the Ecumen Board of Directors, the Greater Minnesota Partnership Board, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees, and the Greater Mankato Growth Board of Directors. Hoffman earned his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Doctorate in Education at Utah State University.

  • Louise Sundin, Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. She also serves on the Minnesota Board of School Administrators. A career ninth-grade English teacher in Minneapolis, Sundin served 25 years as a national Vice President of the American Federation of Teachers and 22 years as President of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59. She is a founding member of the Teacher Union Reform Network. Sundin earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of St. Thomas.

  • Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman of the White Earth Reservation. She has worked her entire career in education on the White Earth Reservation. She holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education; a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling; and a specialist degree in Education Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead. As a Bush Leadership Fellow, Chairwoman Vizenor earned a Master’s degree in Community Decision-Making and Lifelong Learning, and a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University.

Sundin was reappointed to the board; she’d first been appointed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2008. The other three with six-year terms replace Cheryl Dickson, Clarence Hightower and Alfredo Oliveira on the board.

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