Alumni Connections

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National TRIO Alumni Association

This website serves as a meeting place for TRIO Alumni across the country and the globe to gather ideas, share experiences, and fight for college opportunity. You are the best example that TRIO Works!!


Class of 2019

  • Nasriye Birmaji is attending law school.
  • Shaliciana Burrell is a Research Assistant with the National Institute of Health in Arizona.  She will be applying for graduate school to obtain an MPH followed by a Ph.D. in public health.
  • Teresa Calderon is a Pharmacy Technician at Walgreens.
  • Jose Campos is a US History teacher with the Chicago Public Schools.
  • Jenna Castillo is an Early Childhood Research Assistant with Child Trends.  Jenna plans to apply for graduate school in the near future.
  • Nadine Dogbe is an Office Assistant with St. Olaf TRIO McNair and Upward Bound programs.  In the Fall of 2019, Nadine will be pursuing a master of science in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
  • Tamira Fuentes will be a Spanish Literacy Promoter in both the primary and secondary school settings with the PeaceCorps starting in August of 2019.  Upon completion of her PeaceCorps service, Tamira plans to return to school to work on either obtaining a masters or Ph.D. in family studies/child life or youth leadership.
  • Meserete Hatte is a Medical Scribe at Abbot Northwestern Hospital.
  • Lidia Lopez is a middle school Math teacher with Teach for America in Las Vegas.
  • Kosey Mitchell is a Facilitator with Project Success in Minneapolis.
  • Karina Mojica is a Research Assistant at the University of Chicago.
  • Hannah Nordby is a Registered Nurse with Allina Health.
  • Sonam Palmo is a Pathologist Aide with Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
  • David Jesus Soto Reyes will be an Academic Advisor with the St. Olaf Educational Talent Search program starting in August of 2019.
  • Jessica Thao is a TRIO Upward Bound tutor/mentor.
  • Pachia Thao is a Project Success Facilitator with Project Success
  • MaiLa Yang is a Security Operation Service Specialist with Wells Fargo.
  • Jame See Yang is teaching English to Hmong youth in Thailand. She plans to teach abroad for a few years before returning to teach in the states.
  • Keen Onasis Zarate is a Data Engineer with Education Analytics.

Class of 2018

  • Laura Hurtado is a Microbiologist at Pace Life Sciences.
  • Krysta Wetzel is an Admissions Advisor with WEB WOC Nursing Education Program.  In the Fall of 2019, Krysta will be attending Metropolitan State University in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program.
  • Tracy Xiong is a Data and Outreach Coordinator for NYU Langone Center for Early Childhood Health and Development (CEHD). With her position, Tracy works closely with schools on logistics and outreach strategies to engage pre-K families.

Class of 2017

  • Jinhee Cha (JC) will be attending the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota in the Epidemiology and Community Health program.
  • Thomas Clarke is a Direct Serve Provider at Tadd’s Lighthouse. He will be attending the College of St. Scholastica as part of their Nursing program and will graduate with his RN in 2019.
  • Allison Gronli is a medical scribe with Emergency Care Consultants.
  • Jerlie Jensen is a Medical Device reporter and specialist at Medtronic.

Class of 2015

  • Lacey Etzkorn will be attending John Hopkins in the fall in the Biostatistics program and will graduate with her Ph.D. in 2020.
  • Sierra Napoli is a Virtual Advisor with College Possible.
  • Alex Thompson is a Mental Health Assistant at Touchstone Mental Health where he works with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Alex is a student in the Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology program at the University of Minnesota.

Class of 2014

  • Devin Culhane is an Environmental Specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in which he is responsible for implementing the Air Quality Stationary Source Program in the Industrial Division.
  • Hugh Kenety is a Volunteer Specialist with Public Allies – Twin Cities RISE! (Americorps).
  • Moses Kulee is an AmeriCorps Member for City Year (LA). City Year is a nonprofit, education-focused organization that brings together young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service in high need schools.  AmeriCorps members serve as tutors, mentors and role models.
  • Nhia Lee is a  Financial Systems Specialist with CBRE (Commerical Real Estate Company). Nhia assists with developing, testing, implementing and troubleshooting new workflow processes along with providing technical support for software applications for users.
  • Taryn Manthey-Logan is a Museum Assistant at Grand Portage Museum (MN).
  • Rebecca Strommen is a registered nurse with Allina Health.
  • Kabao Thao is a Clinical Business Analyst with the Native American Community Clinic.
  • Patrick Tinsley is a Minneapolis Police Cadet in the Minneapolis Police Department Academy. The program consists of 27 weeks of theory and hands on training.
  • Kia Vang is a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Thailand. She will be engaging in intensive Thai language studies, learning ESL teaching techniques, and studying cultural issues while teaching students from primary school through high school.
  • Nancy Vang is the Coordinator of Civic Engagement at Hamline University.
  • Thao Vang is a Research Assistant with Amherst H. Wilder Foundation which consists of implementing different components of research and evaluating projects.
  • Lou Lia Wang is an Academic Advisor with TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) at St. Olaf College.
  • Chaia Xiong is an Administrative Associate for College Possible.

Class of 2013

  • Grace Barlett is a Utilization Review Specialist with South Country Health Alliance. Grace is getting married in June 2015.
  • Yelena Borichevska is a Staff Accountant with World Duty Free Group.
  • Marissa Burkey is a Reference Librarian at Sno-Isle Libraries where she provides reference/research services to the public and assists with technology in the library. Her future plans include studying at New York Steinhardt to get a masters in music therapy.
  • Monzong Cha is a Research Assistant with Wilder Research.
  • Cedrick De’Mico Davis is Graduate Assistant/Master’s Mentor for the ACE Scholars program (TRIO SSS) at Loyola University Chicago where he is also attending graduate school in the Public Policy program. De’Mico plans to graduate in May of 2015.
  • AnnMarie Silveira (Eliason) is an Associate Organizer for The DART Center. The DART Center recruits, tests, trains, and places faith-based community organizers in the DART Network. AnnMarie is married to SSS Alum, Marco Silveira ’13.
  • Christina Moua is a Plan Change Representative for United Health Care and assists with the eligibility and enrollment data entry. Christina is married and will welcome a baby into their home mid 2014.
  • Marco Silveira is a Wellness Coordinator for The Estates at Carpenters (Lakeland, FL). Marco is married to AnnMaire Silveira (Eliason) ’13.
  • Chang Dao Vang is an Education Liasion for Get Ready! program at the University of MN Twin Cities. Chang Dao is working on his masters degree, married and expecting his first child.
  • Chong Vang is an Executive Assistant in the Accident and Health Insurance Department at Secura Consultants.  Chong aspires to attend law school to pursue corporate law or international law.
  • Kong Vang is a contracted Lab Tech with Ecolab. Kong tests existing products and assists in addressing quality issues in this position.
  • Shoua Vang is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health in the Maternal & Child Public Health program. Shoua expects to graduate in 2015 with her Masters of Public Health degree. In addition to her graduate student status, Shoua is a graduate research assistant at the Minnesota Department of Health in the Maternal and Child Health section. She is currently working on the Minnesota Title V Maternal and Child Health Assessment.
  • Reggie Woods is an Academic Advisor with the TRIO Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at Century College. Reggie is a student in the School of Counseling at UW-River Falls.

Class of 2012

  • Eric Becklin is in the Fulbright Program at Fujian Normal University.
  • Kia Her is a Senior Laboratory Technician at the University of Minnesota Advanced Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ARDL) which serves as a central laboratory and conducts routine testings for various research studies and clinical trials. Kia is also taking classes as prerequisites for the nursing program.
  • Arielle Johnson is a College Access Coordinator with Neighborhood House, a non-profit community center in West St. Paul. Arielle is also the Community Outreach Intern for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, a volunteer for MPR and amateur photographer.
  • Novia Josiah is a Social/Case Worker at The Center for Victims of Torture.
  • Bao Lee is a Program Director for Minnesota Voice.  In this position, Bao oversees the Voter Registration and Fellowship programs to increase civic participation in historically underrepresented communities. In 2018, she received her Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership from Metropolitan State University.
  • Kia Lor is a medical student at Drexel University College of Medicine in the Doctor of Medicine Program.
  • Virginia Ma is an ESL teacher for Teaching English in Korea (EPIK).
  • Laura Moya is a Crisis and Home Sharing Counselor for CORA and HIP Housing.
  • Trevor Romsdahl is attending graduate school at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in the Biochemistry program.
  • Ian Peppel is an Academic Advisor with the St. Olaf College TRiO Educational Talent Search (ETS) program.
  • Casey Skeide is a Youth Entrepreneurship Manager and Community Organizer for Venture North Bike and Coffee Shop, Redeemer Lutheran Church, and the Northside Leadership Project. As a Youth Entrepreneurship Manager, Casey developed a program entitled, “The Art of Baristas”, which teaches the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and espresso beverage creation to help empower youth at the Venture North Bike & Coffee Shop.
  • Josalan Sullivan is attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Social Work program. She will graduate with her MSW in 2014.
  • Megan Sutton is a Reserve Teacher for the Minneapolis Public Schools.
  • Phuong Minh Tran earned her MS in the Integrated Biosciences program at University of Minnesota – Duluth.
  • Brittany Utzka is a Kindergarten through 3rd grade Literacy Tutor with MN Reading Corps. Brittany helps students improve their reading skills with the goal of them becoming proficient readers by the end of third grade.
  • Mai Yia Vang is a SNAP Specialist at Neighborhood House.
  • Vicente Vasquez works in the field of youth development as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow with Minnesota Alliance With Youth.
  • Pang Cha Vang is a College Coach with College Possible at the U of M – Twin Cities. Future plans include attending graduate school in social work with an emphasis in public health or business administration.
  • Tong Vang is a QC Lab Technician for the American Red Cross.
  • Chue Vue is a Contact Plus Youth Counselor for the YWCA in Minneapolis. In this position, Chue provides educational materials on sexual health for junior high students, teaches curriculum from Making Proud Choices!, which is a standardized curriculum used by the Minneapolis Public School system, and supports students by providing them with opportunities to enhance their skill sets. She graduated with her MBA in Counseling and Student Personnel Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
  • Tenzin Waleag is a Merchant Analyst with Best Buy on the Major Appliance team.
  • Phoua Xiong is attending graduate school at the University of Minnesota in the Family Social Science program. Phoua will receive her MA in 2014.  Phoua is engaged but no date set at this time.
  • Jackie Yang is a Cytotechnologist at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Class of 2011

  • Domonique Zink (DeWild) is an Elementary EL Teacher in the Rochester School District.
  • Aaron Harcus is a graduate student in the Music Theory program at CUNY Graduate Center. Aaron will graduate with his Ph.D. in 2016 with future plans to teach, do research and publish books/articles.
  • Zachary Hylton is Planning and Evaluation Analyst at Ramsey County Community Corrections. Zach has a Master of Development Practice from Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Molly Ladwig is a College Coach with Admission Possible.
  • Pa Ku Lee is a Program Education Liaison with Get Ready! (Minnesota Office of Higher Education). Pa Ku promotes and prepares sixth through tenth grade students at Brooklyn Community Schools for college awareness and readiness. She graduated with a Masters of Social Work from Augsburg College and received her Licensed Graduate Social Worker in November 2014. She is married and expecting their first child in April 2015.
  • Khoi Nguyen is a Registered Nurse at the Owatonna Hospital.
  • Fatima Omar is a Program Coordinator in the Student Success office at Inver Hills Community College.
  • Courtney Payne is a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology program at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
  • Kyla Riley is a Residential Advisor for Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps in St. Paul, MN.
  • Jesse Schultz is an Inside Sales and Service Representative for DJO Global.
  • Ean Ulrich will be working the grounds at Viracon (glass fabricating company) in his hometown of Owatonna after graduation. Ean will continue to teach violin lessons out of his home. He is contemplating attending graduate school in the fall of 2012 to study violin performance however he has given thought to joining the U.S. Army should graduate school not come about.
  • Chang Dao Vang is a GET READY! Education Liaison at Washington Middle School in St. Paul working with 7th graders.
  • Lue Vang is a Foundation Accountant at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
  • Ma Xiong-Nguyen is a TRIO Upward Bound Advisor at Century College.
  • Nou Yang is a Camp Recruiter for YouthCARE.
  • Vue Yang is an Access Team Specialist at Meridian Behavioral Health.
  • Yeng Yang is a Native English Teacher for Gyeonggi English Program in Korea (GEPIK) in Yeoju, South Korea. She teaches middle school students from 7th through 9th grade and volunteers on Sundays to teach English to North Korean students. Yeng likes to travel the world during her summer and winter vacations.

Class of 2010

  • Erica Berger is the Manager of Social Services at Sanford Worthington Medical Center. Erica graduated with her MSW in the Social Work program at the University of St. Thomas/St. Catherine University.
  • Polina Bugayev is Social Illusionist/Community Organizer for UNILCO Mexico. Social Illusionism is an approach to sustainable and self-sufficient community work around the world.
  • Christina Wheeler (Hodge) is a Science teacher at Lake County High School.  She received her MA in Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. She married in December 2014.
  • Eric Khuong is attending Saba University of Medicine and will graduate in 2014.
  • Youa Lee will be student teaching this fall (2010). After completing her student work, Youa hopes to find a full-time teaching position and also be a part-time student to receive a masters degree in either elementary education or counseling.
  • Tenzin Tsetan Lobsang is a Cardio Vascular Monitoring Tech with Aurora Specialty Care in Minneapolis which provides clinical services to hospitals and physicians to help drive, sustain and accelerate high performance in the operating room. Currently, the main hub for operations is at Abbott Northwestern Hospital but she also travels to many hospitals in MN including United, Mercy, St. Francis Medical, Douglas County Medical, North Memorial and HCMC. Tsetan is currently in the process of furthering her education in the medical field.
  • Ian Gacheru Mwangi is an Interim Program Manager in the Office of Diversity at the College of Medicine. He works with students who are interested in becoming physicians.
  • Daniel Plunkett is a Coordinator of Staff and Volunteer Development/Psychotherapist with YouthCARE/Brakins Consulting & Psychological Services. Daniel received his Master of Arts in the Counseling Psychology program from the University of St. Thomas.
  • Lee Thao is currently an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
  • Violet Lee (Thor) is an Executive Administrative Assistant with Storyworks OnDemand. Violet received her MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Choua Vang is a Project Coordinator at Humboldt High School in St. Paul. Choua is currently enrolled in the School Counseling graduate program at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls.
  • Tou Vang is an IT Field Support Technician within the Minneapolis School District.
  • Pa Houa Xiong is a Teacher’s Assistant in the Twin Cities area.
  • Zoua Xiong is a student teacher.
  • Betty Yang is a Project Coordinator in the St. Paul Public School District. She assists students with college applications, scholarships, FAFSA, ACT registration, post-secondary planning and works with parents to increase their involvement in the school. Betty is in the Non-Profit Management program at Hamline University and plans to graduate with her masters in 2014.
  • Mai See Yang is an Education Liaison for Minnesota Office of Higher Education.  Mai See currently works at Brooklyn Center IB World Arts School with 6-8th grade students.  Her primary role is to help students build persistence, resiliency and grit as a foundation towards a stronger academic background.  Mai See and John Vang ’09 have two children.
  • Hashim Yonis is a School Administrative Manager at Wellstone International High School. He is enrolled in the Educational Leadership program at St. Mary’s University and will graduate with his M.A. in Educational Leadership in 2012.

Class of 2009

  • Brenda Ascencio is the Director of Operations and Human Resources for Integrated Care Communities, Inc. in the Moreno Valley, CA area. Brenda is currently a graduate student at the University of Redlands in the Management program.
  • Caroline Bailey is a Resident Director of Minneapolis Business College in Roseville, MN.
  • Sara Baumel is an Epic Inpatient Training Instructor at SSM Health Care.  Sara is a graduate student at Concordia University- Wisconsin in the Master of Business Administration Program.
  • Dan Blackwell has been accepted into the Cell and Molecular Physiology program at Loyola University in Chicago. Dan will graduate with his Ph.D. in 2015.
  • Dustin Burgemeister is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Functional Fitness in Redwood Falls, MN.
  • Amber Gilbertson is staying on at St. Olaf for 2 years as she is adding a nursing major and will be pursuing a practice in maternal-fetal health and neonatology. She will graduate in 2011 with her BA in Nursing.
  • Paj Ntaub Lee is an Outreach Coordinator for Minnesota State University, Mankato. Paj Ntaub is currently a graduate student in the Educational Leadership program at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
  • Essa Mohamed is a pre-doctoral student at Mayo Graduate School in the Clinical and Translational Science track. Essa is conducting research on hepatitis and liver cancer. Part of his research is to incorporate community engagement and health education among immigrant populations as pertains to chronic liver disorders. Essa would like to add that even though he joined SSS as a sophomore, he believes, St. Olaf College, SSS and McNair helped him in many ways to be in the position he is in today.
  • Erica Naylor is a Kindergarten teacher. She is attending graduate school at John Hopkins in the Early Childhood Education program.
  • Jose Ramirez is an HIV Medical Case Manager for West Side Community Health Services in St. Paul.
  • Cheng Zeng Vang is a Personal Care Assistant with Right At Home Corporation. He is also a student at Century College in the Horticulture, Landscape Design and Solar Site Assessment program.
  • John Vang is a Dean of Students at New Millennium Academy.
  • Sue Xiong is an 8th grade Global Studies teacher within the St. Paul Public Schools.
  • Sandy Yang is a Mental Health Practitioner for Families, Adolescent & Children Therapy Services, Inc. She provides mental health services in the ISD 196 middle schools and also in-home services when necessary for these children and their families.  Sandy received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University.

Class of 2008

  • James Barnett is a Teacher Leadership Development Manager for Teach for America. With this position, James manages Teach for America corps members to fundamentally transform the lives of students.
  • Krista Beier is a Therapy Assistant (MHP1)with Fraser Child and Family Center. Krista works in a therapeutic day treatment program for children who have emotional and behavioral disabilities. She assists the lead in planning interventions, writing treatment plans and leading the room. Krista also sees patients for outpatient therapy.
  • Amanda Bolland is an Electronic Resources and Reference Librarian at Bethany Lutheran College. Amanda received her MA in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010.
  • Tiffany Bratten is attending the College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical School at Des Moines University.
  • Stephanie Hegman is a Math Teacher at Spring Lake Park High School in the Twin Cities area. She currently is a graduate student in the Math program through Texas A & M and will graduate in 2016.
  • Vanessa (Sandra) Iiams is a Product Development Engineer at 3M. Sandra received her MS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois.
  • George Jimenez is a teacher and head wrestling coach in the Los Angeles school district.
  • Pao Lor is a Clinical Research Coordinator at Minnesota Gastroenterology, P.A. Pao manages and coordinates clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to ensure studies are in compliance with sponsor protocols and IRB regulations. He is also responsible for drug accountability and reconciliation, assisting with scheduling of study procedures and visits, and processing and shipping specimens according to study guidelines.
  • Heather Lynch is a 5th Grade Teacher at Littleton Elementary School which is a Title One school in the west suburbs of Phoenix. Heather is taking classes so she can receive her Arizona teaching license. Heather reports that things are very different in Arizona and has been working 12 hour days but all is going well and learning lots!
  • Sally McClintock is a Paraprofessional for North St. Paul School District #622. Sally assists 18-20 year old students, who have disabilities, gain independent living and job skills.
  • Michelle Morgan (Pease) is a teacher at Richfield Middle School. Michelle is married to Charlie Morgan ’07.
  • Katie Bucka (Stenseth) is a Registered Nursed at Gillette Children’s Hospital. Katie works on the Medical Trauma Unit caring for children.
  • Ellen Roth is an Associate College Recruiter for CBRE’s Real Estate Accounting Services division.
  • Mai Nhia Thao is a Mental Health Counselor for South Metro Human Services working closely with residents on their treatment goals and follow-up care. She is also a graduate student at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in the Marriage and Family Therapy program and will graduate this spring (2012).
  • Ying Thao is a Clinical Assistant at Minnesota Gastroenterology, P.A. Ying is responsible for electronically charting patient’s medical records, obtaining patient’s vital signs and medical history during the office visit, performs phlebotomy or medication injections per provider’s orders, and instructs patients on their care plan and discharge procedures.
  • Mariam Wahidi is currently attending Eastern Virginia Medical School and will graduate with an MD degree in 2014.
  • Alexander Walton is an Exhibit Fabricator for the Science Museum of Minnesota where he assists in creating science based interactive exhibits of all sizes for museums both locally and around the world. Alex is married and has a daughter. He loves working in a museum as he is surrounded by tons of cool people designing for kids and he is able to work behind the scene with his hands at one of his favorite places to visit when he was a kid.
  • Ka Zoua Xiong is teaching Hmong Language and Culture to native and non-native Hmong speakers at the St. Catherine’s University.

Class of 2007

  • Freida Bou is an Admissions Manager for Rasmussen College. Freida assists the Director/Associate Director of Admissions with the management of the program managers. She recruits and assists with the retention of new and current students with Rasmussen’s national online campus.
  • Jennifer Bynes is an Education Policy Researcher for the Georgia Student Finance Commission where she works on policy issues related to high school graduation and post-secondary achievement. Jennifer received her Master’s of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Colette Cave is currently an Analytical Chemist Researcher with Donaldson Company Inc. which involves the research of the company’s filter products.
  • Latravis Henry is a Financial Service Representative for MetLife in Orlando, FL.
  • Sophia McComb is an Academic Advisor with the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program at St. Olaf College.  Sophia provides academic support and mentoring to college students participating in the SSS program.
  • Mohamed Osman is a Behavioral Counselor/Lifestyle Coach at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
  • Branden Moriarity is an Assistant Professor within the Cancer and Gene Therapy Research program at the University of Minnesota. Branden received his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota. Branden and his wife, Erin, are proud parents of son, Xavier. Branden just recently started his own lab at the University of Minnesota.
  • Norma Reynolds was sworn in by the Colorado Supreme Court at the end of October 2010 and is currently looking for a job in the legal field.
  • Martha (Carolina) Rueda is a Customer Service Representative at Park National Bank in Chicago, IL.
  • Justin Smith is an Administrative Nursing Supervisor at the University of Minnesota Health. Justin is also enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Winona State University.
  • Thown Va Thor (formerly La Da) is a Social Studies Teacher at Long Tieng Academy.
  • Hoang Ton is a Management Analyst for Dakota County. Hoang received his MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the Humphrey Institute.
  • Leigh Xiong (Vang) is a Senior Human Resources Representative for the Child Care Assistance Program with Hennepin County. Leigh and her husband, Jeff, have a son, Link.
  • Mike Vang is a Funeral Director for First Hmong Shamanism in California- counseling families with loss and directing final rites and services for affected families. Mike is currently negotiating leases to open his own funeral home in Sacramento, CA.
  • Kham Vang is the International Student Advisor/Coordinator at St. Olaf College. Currently, St. Olaf College hosts 208 international students from over 70 countries around the world. Kham has made it a personal life goal to be a life-long learner by traveling once a year to continue her love for adventurous traveling, meeting new people, learning new cultures and travel photography.

Class of 2006

  • Lesly Gamez is a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade Spanish Immersion Science and Math teacher at Adams Spanish Immersion School, St. Paul Public Schools. Lesly is attending classes to receive her MA in English from the University of St. Thomas. She is married and has a daughter.
  • Wendy Gonzalez is an Academic Advisor for the St. Olaf College TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program.
  • Mustafa Dualeh is a graduate student at Brandeis University studying Sustainable International Development and Conflict Resolution.
  • Salah Mohamed is the Director of the Business Administration and Economics at East Africa University. He received his MBA in Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University. He is married and has two boys.
  • Lily Moua is a part-time Human Resource Specialist for Target Corporation and attending the University of Minnesota: Humphrey Institute/Carlson School of Management in the Masters of Public Policy in Human Resource Management and Leadership program. Lily will receive her degree in the Spring of 2009.
  • Youa Moua is a TRiO/Educational Talent Search Project Advisor for Century College. Youa works in the St. Paul Arlington and Johnson High Schools advising students about college and assisting them with ACT registration, financial aid and college application process. During the summer months, she works as a Youth Counselor for Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) at Dunwoody College of Technology. In this position, she assists students in their college summer courses and the application process for college.
  • Kirsten McDermott (Paulson) is a Senior Talent Care Coordinator with Randstad. Kirsten and her husband welcomed their first child in December 2013.
  • Kia Thao is an Academic Advisor in the Upward Bound Program at St. Olaf College.
  • Jonathan Tischler earned his MA from the University of St. Thomas in the Leadership in Student Affairs program.
  • Mang Ko (formerly Vang) is Graphics Designer/SR Designer with Trane.
  • Pa Vang is a Career Counselor/Employment Specialist with Resource, Inc. within the dislocated worker’s program.
  • Trey Williams is an Academic Advisor for the St. Olaf College TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program.
  • Neenah Yang works in the Minneapolis Public School District as a Check and Connect Monitor/Associate Educator. Neenah provides intense monitoring, intervention, and support to students in the Minneapolis School District. She consults daily with teachers and parents regarding attendance, behavior and academic performance.

Class of 2005

  • Sandra Aldana is an Area Supervisor at Ecolab. Sandra received her Master of Arts in International Business in 2008 from St. Mary’s University. She is married and has one child.
  • Melissa Audette is a Circulation Assistant at William Mitchell College of Law. She is preparing and applying for the Master of Library Science Program and looking forward to becoming a librarian.
  • Patrick Bass is employed by the Northwest Suburban Integration School District. Patrick is working at the Osseo Area Learning Center as a Career Specialist for the Jobs for Americas Graduates Program (JAG-MN) which is a class geared to equip students with employability and life skills. Along with this position, Patrick is working at Brooklyn Center High School as a Hip-hop Specialist training students in Audio Engineering as well as song writing. Patrick is enjoying the “real world” and his position at JAG-MN. With this position, Patrick has been able to fly around the nation and network with many educators. He continues to have a little free time to do music and is working on a new album entitled Pat Devon/Bad Habits which he hopes to release in the near future. Patrick is enrolled at St. Mary’s working on his MA in Educational Leadership.
  • Maria Carballo (Viqui) is a Bilingual Associate Educator for the Minneapolis Public Schools. She is currently a graduate student at St. Thomas University in the Master of Arts in Education program.
  • Jared Cooper is a Sales Representative for General Mills and adds he is enjoying his work for a world class food company.
  • James Dawalo is a LD teacher in the St. Paul Public Schools where he works with students with learning disabilities and team teaches an ELA workshop class. James is in the process of receiving his MA in Education from St. Mary’s University/Concordia St. Paul.
  • Griselda Orzoco is a Senior Employment Specialist within the Human Resources department at Resource Inc.
  • Nguyen-Ngoc Pham is attending the University of South Dakota in the Physician Assistant program. Nguyen-Ngoc hopes to one day open her own naturopathic clinic and relaxation center.
  • Devlin Shaughnessy is currently employed as a Store Manager for Rosetta Stone Ltd. in Eden Prairie. Rosetta Stone sells language learning software.
  • Angelica Torralba-Olague is currently employed as a Youth Development Coordinator within the Community Education for Independent School District #622 in North St. Paul. In this position, she develops and manages the youth enrichment, leadership and service learning programs which consists of nine elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools. Angelica received her MA in International Business and Management from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2009. She is married to St. Olaf TRiO alumni, Martin Olague. Angelica and Martin have two pugs, Carina and Osito.
  • Johnny Xiaaj is a Stay-At-Home Father.
  • Bin Xue is Logistic Coordinator with NewAge Products, Inc. in Shanghai, China.

Class of 2004

  • Kristin Florek (formerly Brodhun) is currently working for Caribou Coffee in Duluth.
  • Shawntel Carter is currently working for Medtronic as a Clinical Studies Coordinator.
  • Lauretta Dawalo Towns is a Community Coordinator for the Banyan Community in East Phillips – South Minneapolis.
  • Melissa Hinderscheit is an Assistant Director for the St. Olaf College TRiO McNair Scholars Program which is a graduate school preparatory program for first generation and underrepresented students. Melissa received her Master’s of Education from Concordia University – St. Paul.
  • Martin Olague is the Assistant Director in the Office of Intercultural and International Life at Carleton College. He oversees the peer leader program, cultural planning board and the planning of the Martin Luther King dinner along with many other responsibilities as assigned. Martin graduated from the Educational Leadership program at St. Mary’s University. He is married to Angelica Torralba-Olague ’05 and they have two sons, Martin Emanuel and Angel Javier.
  • Lisa Passus is working in downtown Minneapolis with Wells Fargo Bank Corporation. She works in the Trust Operations, within the CD/Savings Bonds Department.
  • Mike Rischmiller is a Principal Chemist for Ecolab. Mike received his Masters in Chemistry and Bio Organic Chemistry in 2011 from Lehigh University.
  • Lindsay Schafer is currently attending Yonsei University’s Korean Language Institute while working as an English teacher for Chungdahm Institute in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Mee Yang is working at Jane Adams School for Democracy and the Youth Farm Market Project with Americorps VISTA. She is enjoying working with children and youth, but most importantly she loves the opportunity to work in a very unique environment.

Class of 2003

  • John Chapman is a School Administrator for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia working as an After School Specialist. John recently announced he is running for City Council in his hometown of Alexandria, VA. In April of 2007, John was awarded the Virginia Democrat of the Year Award.
  • Tung Do is a small business owner of USA Nails and Spa.
  • Saroeun Earm is a student at John Hopkins University School of Advance International Studies in the International Relations and Economics program with her focus on Southeast Asia.
  • Sandra Forsyth is currently the Assistant Director of Admissions, Full-time UST MBA Programs at University of St. Thomas. Sandra received her M.A. Management, M.A. Non-Profit Management degree from Hamline University in the Spring of 2006.
  • Reggie Fuller is currently pursuing a Doctorate in chiropractic at Northwestern Health Science University.
  • Linda Her is a Hmong Interpreter/Case Manager for Kaukauna Area School District and the Hmong American Partnership.
  • Pajnhiag Nengchu is a pharmacist at the Emergency Department Clinical Pharmacy at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii. Pajnhiag received her Pharmacy Doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
  • William Palmieri is the Study Abroad Coordinator at the University of Missouri. Will received his masters in International Management Education at SIT Graduate School. Will is married to Elizabeth Braaten ’04.
  • Marcelino Pena is an Assistant Logistics Director in the International Logistics Department of Morgan Fabrics. Marcelino has been with Morgan Fabrics for over 2 years and has been studying independently on various subjects including accounting, statistics, business model development, USA International Policy, USA Imperialism and auto maintenance. He was married in October 2004 and welcomed their first child in October 2006. Marcelino plans to continue his formal education by pursuing a MA in Political Economics with a concentration in Sustainable Development.
  • Jade Soik Reed is a School Social Worker in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Jade completed her Masters of Clinical Social Work in 2007 from the University of St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine.
  • Kia Vang is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry.  Throughout her fellowship, Kia works as a clinician child psychologist at PrairieCare and is the lead clinician for their adolescent intensive outpatient program.
  • Hoang Ton is a Management Analyst for Dakota County (MN). Hoang graduated from the Urban and Regional Planning program from Hubert H. Humphrey Institute, the University of Minnesota in 2009.
  • Yesenia Velazquez is a Clinical Social Worker at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Yesenia graduated with her MSW from the College of St. Catherine’s/University of St. Thomas in the Clinical Social Work program.
  • Raymond Walker is an Auditor/Finance Assistant at The State Bank of Faribault.

Class of 2002

  • Adam Bad Wound is currently a student at Stanford University in the Department of Social Sciences, Policy and Educational Practice (SSPEP) and in the Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies (POLS) Program. He will graduate with his Ph.D. in 2009. As a research assistant in the Behavior Research Cluster of Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency, Adam Bad Wound ’02 developed a searchable bibliographic database of relevant literature on behavior, energy and climate change. Adam’s research was recently cited in congressional testimony.
  • Stacy Ellefson is a 7th grade Communications teacher at Owatonna Junior High School in Owatonna, MN. Stacy completed the post-baccalaureate teaching license program at Winona State University-Rochester in June of 2010.
  • Lupita Forsyth is a National Testing Center Coordinator and ESL Specialist at St. Catherine University.  She received her masters from Hamline University, St. Paul.
  • Dennika Maly (formerly Masters) is living in St. Michael and has been working as field service coordinator for CRS/Lawrence Service. She will be promoted to Operations Management at the end of this year. In her position, she manages over 300 employees (service representatives/merchandisers) in the states of CA, NY, MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, and ME, and is in charge of making a 98% completion rate or higher on 15-20 accounts.
  • John Thomas is currently working for US Airways as a First Officer Airline Pilot. John graduated in 2004 with his B.S. from the University of North Dakota Aeronautical Science Program.
  • Nick Wallace currently holds the title of Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Minnesota Law School. Nick graduated in 2005 from the University of Minnesota Law School with his law degree and graduated in 2006 from Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs with a Public Policy degree.
  • Tong Xiong is a Registered Nurse at Highline Medical Center providing post-operation nursing care. Tong was married in September 2008 and excited for the birth of their first child mid-summer 2009. Tong completed the Teaching English as a Foreign Language program at Hamline University in 2005.
  • Joy Yang is currently a Physician Assistant at MinuteClinic in the Twin Cities area. Joy graduated with her Masters in the Physician Assistant program in 2005 from Augsburg College. She is married to husband, Jackson, and has a daughter, Lona and a son, Isaac.

Class of 2001

  • Mario Paez is currently employed as a Business Development Officer for Wells Fargo Insurance Services. Mario received his MA in Politics, Economics and Business in 2004 from Claremont Graduate University.

Class of 2000

  • Mee Vang is a business analyst for US Bank. Mee received her Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership/Dispute Resolution from St. Catherine’s University.

Class of 1999

  • Brennan Gau is currently employed as a Regional Sales Consultant for Ameriprise Financial Corporation. Brennan and his wife, Jenny, have one daughter (Hailey).
  • Gabriel Mungia is an Artist & Fashion Entrepreneur for R&G International Trading Co. ltd in Shanghai. Gabriel has been living in Shanghai for 8 years. After being away from art exhibition the last couple years, Gabriel is making a come back with an exciting series of paintings and drawings ~”Urban Dreams”.
  • Hua Yang (May Thao Yang) is a Program Coordinator for Hmong Youth Education Services. Hua graduated in 2008 with a Master’s in Acupuncture from MN College of Acupuncture.

Class of 1998

  • Genevieve Fabiola Genis is currently working in the field of social work with the Minneapolis Public Schools in the Check & Connect Program.
  • Sarah Knox-Nguyen is a Food Service Assistant Instructor for Intermediate District 287. Her job focuses on teaching high school and transition age special needs students cooking skills along with the interpersonal and job skills needed for the food service industry. Sarah and her husband, Hoa (see below), have 3 children: John, Kenna and Henry.
  • Hoa Nguyen is currently employed as a high school math teacher for the Minneapolis Public school system. He teaches different levels of math classes for high school students in grades 9-12.

Class of 1997

  • Joy Quaidoo is a Product Owner (Group Retiree Exchange) with UnitedHealthCare where she oversees product development, services, operational capabilities for single carrier retiree health care exchange to provide employer groups with intelligent choice options for Medicare plans for their retirees. Joy has a daughter, Sjournee, who is a sophomore in high school.

Class of 1996

  • Xuan Hue Quach is the Director of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Summer Institute at the University of California Berkeley. In this position, Xuan directs the UC PPIA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley which is designed to prepare undergraduate juniors for graduate studies in public policy and international affairs. In 2000, Xuan received an MA of Education from the University of Minnesota, University of Melbourne, Australia in the Comparative and International Development Education Policy and Administrative Program.