Meet Our Team

 

 

Staff

Carly

Carly Duran-Marrero

Teaching Specialist & LEAD 1961W Coordinator

Carly Duran Photo

Carly (she/they) is a graduate of the Leadership Minor and the Tom Burnett Leadership Program. She is passionate, driven, CRITICAL, on purpose, and student-centered. Born in St.Paul, Minnesota, built and cared for by many locations and communities. Carly is a critical, queer, transnational, decolonial [praxis]itioner. They are experienced in student affairs and retention. She is entrepreneurship focused for queer and BIPOC start-ups and is an ACTIVE artist. Carly is never surprised by the brilliance that comes into the classroom but is in awe of what the classroom curates. From the instructors, the space, the students and their curriculum, she is eager to co-curate and enhance.

David

David Hellstrom

Teaching Specialist & Recruitment & Retention Coordinator

David Hellstrom

David is currently a Teaching Specialist with the Leadership Minor who also coordinates recruitment & retention and works with student advising, alumni connections, and curriculum & instructional support. David’s history in the Minor has included collaboration with much of the original curriculum development of our courses, as well as co-founding the Intentional Emergence model alongside colleague Dr. Linnette Werner. Previous to working for the University of Minnesota David worked as a campus leadership trainer and has been lucky enough to have conducted workshops and presentations at more than 300 colleges and universities. David has a Master’s Degree in Human Development and also has been the recipient of the University of Minnesota Award for Staff Contribution to Honors Education and the Visionary Leadership Award from the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education. David believes that students are magical creatures that bring courage, innovation, and hope to a world in great need of those things. 

Evonne

Evonne Bilotta-Burke

Teaching Specialist & Development Coordinator

Evonne Bilotta-Burke

Evonne is a Development Coordinator and Teaching Specialist who teaches both LEAD 1961W & LEAD 3961. She has worked on campus since 2000 with a majority of those years as part of the Office for Equity and Diversity. She holds a Master of Liberal Studies, an interdisciplinary degree with a focus of video production, theatrical direction, and emphasis on marginalized cultural patterns of change. She is author of the semi-documentary script, Inside the Gate: Perspectives of a Protest; based on the 1988 and 2006 Gallaudet Presidential protests, a work chosen as the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Performing Arts Center 1007 Diverse Voices Project. She has been facilitating for the last 18 years on local, regional, and national platforms. She considers herself a cat and dog person, loves a good rainstorm, and is an avid watcher of sunsets. 

Jennifer

Jennifer Trost

Director

Jennifer Trost

Jennifer (she/her) brings years of organizational, teaching, and collaboration experience to the Leadership Minor. Most recently she taught at Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas where she used culturally sustaining pedagogy and universal design to create courses that made a difference to her students, she also used her sociology background to serve as a strong advocate and mentor for students. She loves connecting with others and rarely takes herself too seriously. Outside of her work life, you can find her running with Mile in My Shoes, hanging with her children, going to happy hours, and reading as many fiction books as possible.

Jenn

Jenn Baldwin

Academic Systems Coordinator

Jenn Baldwin

Jenn (she/her) manages administrative work for the Minor, including student advising, human resources, graduation events, front desk operations, purchasing and day-to-day operational tasks. Jenn graduated from the Leadership Minor in Spring 2016 and feels grateful to have returned to this community in a professional setting after working in other parts of the University of Minnesota. In her role, Jenn Outside of work, Jenn’s interests include weightlifting, nutrition, and coaching group fitness classes. 

JoJamba

JoJamba Matthews

Teaching Specialist & LEAD 1961W Coordinator

Laura

Laura Wiesner

Associate Director

Laura, a white woman with brown hair, is smiling at the camera with her head tilted to the side.  Blurred behind her gray stone ground, green trees and a dark blue sky.

Laura has been teaching with the Leadership Minor since 2012 and now oversees departmental operations. She holds a master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration & Higher Education and a certificate in College & University Teaching. She previously worked with students in residence life, financial aid, and veteran services. Laura excels at resolving technical problems to make more space to tackle adaptive challenges and have some fun in the process. She is committed to teaching that advances equity and honors the unique identities, experiences, and talents of individuals.  She has always loved cooking, has recently enjoyed swimming, and consistently calls her sister (& her dogs).

Maggie

Maggie Harris

Teaching Specialist & LEAD 4961W Coordinator

Maggie Harris

Maggie joined the Leadership Minor in 2010. She holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership and teaches all core courses across the Minor, as well as a study abroad course. Maggie worked for over a decade as the founder and executive director of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and, prior to that, with Houghton Mifflin and Yale University supporting funding and research for public schools. She has served as a board member for multiple organizations and has dedicated her time as a leadership consultant to over one hundred universities, schools, corporations, and nonprofit groups across the United States and Canada. Maggie has been honored as a Girl Scouts Centennial Woman of Promise, is the recipient of the B. Warren Hart Award for Public Service, and was one of the Ten Outstanding Minnesotans of 2011. She infuses her experience with and dedication to leadership development into dynamic, engrossing curriculum development and classroom instruction. When not adoring her time with her partner and children, Maggie travels extensively and has lived and worked in 5 different countries. Her international experiences drive her passion and practice in developing global leaders.

Melanie

Melanie Buford

Teaching Specialist & Field Experience Coordinator

Melanie Buford

Melanie is a Teaching Specialist and level lead for the Field Experience course in the Leadership Minor. Melanie has worked for a range of universities and mission-driven organizations as an instructor, career coach, and data analyst. She has focused on conducting research and developing curriculum to support students in designing authentic postgraduate lives. Her work exploring equity and innovation in career education has been featured in both academic and practitioner journals, and she is the lead editor of the 2022 Routledge volume Mapping the Future of Undergraduate Career Education. Melanie has received the Ralph W. Tyler Award for outstanding research and the Kenneth B. Hoyt Career Education Practitioner Award for innovative practice. Beyond her work in higher education, she explores themes of identity and meaning-making through novel-length, character-driven fiction.

Shaun

Shaun Walsh

Teaching Specialist & LEAD 3961 Coordinator

Shaun Walsh Photo

Shaun's career and life have been centered on inclusivity, systems improvement (or justice when possible) and collaborative leadership. She has worked toward these things as a mother, community member, educator, youth worker, and supervisor of community-based programs. She describes herself as a white, cishet, woman, mom, and St. Paul West Sider (even though she now lives in Minneapolis). She has an undergraduate and master's degree in Women & Gender Studies and PhD in Education with a focus on student voices in educational systems change.  Her core values are discovery, empathy, and authenticity.
 

Yuth

Vongrathayuth (Yuth) Hingphith

Teaching Graduate Assistant

Vongrathayuth Hingphith Photo

Vongrathayuth (aka Yuth) (He/Him/His) believes each journey of leadership development is as unique as it can be. A great facilitator and instructor first shall aim to empathize with those they intend to inspire. Therefore, empathy should be at the forefront. He has worked in non-profits since 2014 and has been teaching since 2015. He has come to term with the importance of the mutual learning relationship that exist in the conversation about leadership and inspires to create a space where growth is a common discussion. He holds an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and MA in Comparative and International Development Education. He is excited to be pursuing his PhD in Comparative and International Development Education this upcoming fall in the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota.

Student Associates

Aidan

Aidan

Operations Student Associate

Close up photo of Aidan smiling while wearing a green sweater and resting his arm on a wooden bridge in front of a river

Aidan's first experience with the Leadership Minor was being a part of the First Year Leadership Institute or FYLI, his freshman year. As soon as he began that program he knew that the passion and energy brought by the leadership team was something that I wanted to be a part of.  He is studying a Psychology major with Biology and Leadership Minors, focused on a Pre-med path. In his free time, he likes to go on hikes, teach yoga, or curl up on a couch and read a new book!

Boysen

Boysen

Administrative Coordinator Student Associate

Boysen Olson

Boysen (he/him) first got a taste of the Leadership Minor when he took both 1961W and FYLI in the Spring of his freshman year and has been hooked ever since. He studies Biology, Society, and the Environment.  As the previous FYLI coordinator, he was thrilled to grow and dig deep with a new group of first-year students as they learned more about how they show up as leaders and how their great gifts fit the world’s great needs, just as he did when he was a freshman. In his free time, Boysen loves to run and explore around campus, watch the latest Marvel or Star Wars movie/tv show, cross country ski and hunt with his family in Northern Minnesota, and is a die-hard Twins fan.
 

Carly

Carly 

Programming & Events Coordinator Student Associate 

Carly Gladieux stands on a dock in front of a body of water

Carly got her first taste of the Leadership Minor her freshman year and knew right away that she wanted to become more involved. Fast forward, Carly has taken on the role of Programming and Events Coordinator within the Leadership Minor. In her role, she helps the Leadership Minor in planning and managing programs and events. Originally hailing from Maryland, Carly has a profound love for activities on the water. Whether it's an early morning spent fishing & crabbing or a sunset boat ride, she takes any chance she can get to be near the water. In the winters you'll find her snowboarding out west or crocheting at home with a good movie on. 

Delaney

Delaney

Recruitment and Retention Coordinator Student Associate

Delaney

Delaney (she/her) began her journey with us during her first semester of her freshman year and has been involved with the Minor ever since. From taking leadership classes, acting as a teaching assistant, and now working in our office, she has been involved with us throughout her whole college experience. She acts as the student associate Recruitment and Retention Coordinator and she is dedicated to helping more students find the community that has been so important to her throughout her time here at the U. She is currently a senior double-majoring in Psychology and Communications; but in her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her wonderful friends.

Ellery

Ellery

Leadership Minor Intern (LMI) Coordinator Student Associate

Julius

Julius

Co-Marketing & Communications Coordinator Student Associate

Julius wears a tan suit and smiles while standing in front of the city at night

Julius Mims (he/him) knew that he wanted to be a part of the Leadership Minor the moment he stepped foot on the University of Minnesota campus. Participating in the Leadership Minor changed his world outlook, by giving him the opportunity to meet people of diverse backgrounds with unique perspectives and ideas. Within his role as the Co-Marketing and Communications Director, he plans to share and spread the vision that's allowed him to become the leader he is today and strives to create better change in his community.

Pratiksha

Pratiksha

Co-Marketing & Communications Coordinator Student Associate

Pratiksha smiles while standing in front of water at sunset

Pratiksha was lucky enough to take the Leadership class over the summer as a part of her Liberal Education requirements but then fell in love with the concept of the course and decided to pursue the Leadership Minor. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Psychology with the Leadership Minor. She enjoys reading and spending time with friends as well as traveling and exploring new things. 

Sean

Sean

Technology Coordinator Student Associate

Sean

Sean started his leadership minor journey in 2022 after taking the first course with Evonne Bilotta-Burke. Since then, he has never stopped looking for ways to become more involved in the minor. Outside of the leadership minor, Sean runs his own cookie shop where he utilizes class concepts on a daily basis. In Between his leadership roles you can find Sean with his nose in a sci-fi book or in the Walter library toaster, coding his homework. 
 

Tarran

Tarran

Academic Experience Coordinator Student Associate

Tarran holds the camera in a wide-angle selfie picture. She is smiling while sitting on a couch with sunlight on her face.

Tarran Austin is an English major who's double minoring in Leadership and Communication Studies. She chose to be involved in the Minor because of its impact on her freshman year in college. As a new student, she wanted to take advantage of this Minor offering courses that develop community. Tarran says she believes it’s important for us college students to make connections during our time in undergrad, as it has so many amazing benefits as we continue to pave our way in life!