All posts by leogirl1975

Writing whatever strikes my fancy at the moment! Happy reading!

Metropolitan State graduate travels to Somalia to help provide famine relief

Somaila. Image credit: CIA Factbook
Somaila. Image credit: CIA Factbook

Metropolitan State alumnus Said Salah has raised over $10,000 to help provide famine relief to those in need in Somalia.

His interest in helping with famine relief began in 2014, when his uncle called from a rural area of Somalia.  He explained to Salah that there has been a long drought that has greatly impacted his family and others in his community as well.  There is an unfortunate massive food and water shortage.  The conversation made Salah consider what he could do to help others in need like his uncle.

Salah began to put together events for fundraising.  Among the many fundraising efforts, he organized a “Hoops for Hope” and a “Dollar for Dishes” event.  Part of his goal was not just to raise money for famine relief, but to create an awareness of the need for it as well.  Salah worked with the American Relief Agency for the Heart of Africa to connect his fundraising efforts with an agency who is working to help those in small African communities like the one Salah’s uncle lives in.  Salah also stated that there were four or five Somali-owned businesses in Minnesota that helped to raise funds for his cause.

Salah plans to travel to Somalia in July to see his fundraising in action and to help with distributing food and water supplies.  He is excited to make this journey and see all of his hard work come to fruition.

Salah graduated May 1 from Metropolitan State with an Elementary Education degree.  He hopes to start fundraising for relief in Ethiopia after his trip to Somalia.



School of Urban Education students featured in Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking Video

School of Urban Education students Vanessa Arboleda and Gretchen Henke are featured in this video that features the LinCT project (Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking) of which Urban Education is a partner with the Science Museum of Minnesota and St. Catherine’s University.

You can watch the video here:  LinCT Video

LinCT: Linking Educators, Youth, and Learners in Computational Thinking is a three-year ITEST Strategies project to build and grow a professional learning and teaching community to focus on engaging women educators with technology, building upon educational practice and preparing students for future STEM involvement.  It was first established in February 2016.


2017 Art Purchase Awards

art awards3

The Art Exhibition Committee is pleased to announce the results of the 2017 Art Purchase Awards.  This year, four purchases were made.

One of the purchases supported by the Student Senate was awarded to student Bryan Starry (Mpls.).  Starry’s work is a diminutive cast aluminum and bronze sculpture, titled Time 01 A.  The other purchase supported by the Student Senate was awarded to alumnae Halle O’Falvey (St. Paul).  Her work, entitled Abstract Log Cabin is a colorful free-style quilt, assembled with cotton fabrics and thread.

The purchase supported by Academic Affairs and the Alumni Association was awarded to alumnae Susan Solomon (St. Paul). Solomon’s work is a gouache and India ink painting, executed on a wood panel. The title of her nocturnal landscape is I’ll Name Her Summer.

This year’s competition also included a special purchase by the Library and Learning Center’s Endowment Fund. This award considered the artwork of Studio Arts faculty members, in addition to students and alumni.  The winning work was made by Community Faculty member Ursula Hargens (Mpls).  This piece is a colorful floral earthenware work called Tile Diptych (Falling Tulips).

Each award winner will receive $1,000.  Placement of the work is to be determined.

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May 17: Career Opportunities in Commercial Real Estate

real estate career fair3

The Commercial Real Estate Diversity Collaborative (CREDC) connects motivated students to prospective internships, networking events, informational interviews and job shadows. From 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, at Metropolitan State’s Student Center, Room 101, on the Saint Paul Campus, representatives from the CREDC will present great career opportunities and details about careers in development, capital markets, lending, management, brokerage, city planning, and economic development.  Learn more about CREDC services at:



Wear business casual attire.  Arrive early.  Bring your questions.

Register TODAY because space is limited.
To register, CLICK HERE or visit
and select “Yes” under “Will you be attending?” 
To learn more about career development resources for Metro students, click here for the Career Center website, or visit us in Founders Hall, room 110. Don’t forget to ask about connecting with employers on Handshake.
If you have questions about this event, contact the Career Center at 651.793.1528 or
real estate career fair2

June 24-25: Volunteer at Twin Cities Pride

Twin Cities Pride2

Join the Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center in representing Metropolitan State University and Lavender Bridge, the LGBTQ student organization, at this year’s Twin Cities Pride Festival. The festival will be Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25.
Volunteers are need to be present at the booth for  two-hour shifts. The resource center encourages first-time attendees to volunteer and experience the diversity, culture, information, festivities, and community that Twin Cities Pride engenders.  Past volunteers are also welcome to continue the tradition of representing Metropolitan State in the community. Be a part of a Twin Cities tradition of celebrating diversity, fostering inclusion, inspiring education, and creating awareness about issues that impact the LGBTQIA+ community.
Learn more about Twin Cities Pride, here:
Sign up for volunteer shifts using this link:
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June 3: Art in the Hollow

ArtInTheHollow2017FlyerFriends of Swede Hollow presents the annual Art in the Hollow 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, June 3,  at Swede Hollow Park, located just north of Metropolitan State’s Saint Paul Campus. 

This annual performing and visual arts festival will feature acts such as Mariachi Estrella, American Indian Magnet School Dances, Marilyn McGriff on Swedish Nicckelharpa and many more culturally-diverse performances as well as displays and sales of local artists’ work, arts activities, and a sculpture contest with cash prizes.  Art in the Hollow is a free, family-friendly event and a great way to enjoy a spring day in a beautiful urban park.

Artists and performers: There’s still time for artists to sign-up to participate ($15 fee) and for all kinds of musicians and performers to take the stage. Volunteers will help with set-up between 8am-10am.  To sign up or for more information, go to

Major support for this event is provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council through the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment, the McNeely Foundation, and private donors. To donate or pursue sponsorships, contact Karin DuPaul at or call 651-776-0550

Dr. Meghan Coleman appointed to the Minnesota Board on Aging

meghan coleman

Dr. Meghan Coleman of Metropolitan State’s College of Community Studies and Public Affairs Human Services, Aging Studies/Gerontology, has been reappointed by Gov. Mark Dayton to the Minnesota Board on Aging.

The mission of the Minnesota Board on Aging is “To ensure that older Minnesotans and their families are effectively served by state and local policies and programs in order to age well and live well.”

This is a four-year appointment. Coleman currently serves as co-chair of the MBA’s policy committee.

Metropolitan State takes First Place in Datagon competition

Metro State U Datagon

Metropolitan State University’s “Team Data Fury” took first place at the Datagon competition.

Advance IT Minnesota launched the 2017 Data Derby Minnesota, an annual multi-disciplinary competition open to all Minnesota State institutions that allows student teams to compete and present data-driven answers to defined problems and societal issues.

Team Data Fury includes James Furey, Solan Tolessa, Tosin Omidiora.  They are from MIS380 (Business Intelligence and Analytics) taught by Simon Sung Jin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems, College of Management.

The Data Derby challenge event provided opportunities to showcase student’s ability to address data challenges.  Eighteen student teams participated as well as over 20 faculty and industry guests.

Birtukan Abebe honored with nomination for Minnesota State Board of Trustees Professional Excellence in Service Award

Birkutan Abebe

Birtukan Abebe was recently recognized for her years of dedication and service as an academic advisor in the Information and Computer Sciences department by being chosen as Metropolitan State’s representative nominee for the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Professional Excellence in Service Award.  Although she was not chosen at the awards ceremony, Abebe feels it was an honor to be recognized.

“It was an honor to be nominated among six outstanding Metropolitan State University staff for the work we do.  Being recognized at the state level was truly amazing.  It made me feel that my contribution has made an impact to our students’ growth and to help them achieve their goals.  It is always a pleasure working with students and see them accomplish so many things,” Abebe said.

Abebe has been with Metropolitan State for 17 years, and has established herself as a prolific, and influential academic advisor with both students and faculty.  Her life experiences have also helped her to be the dynamic employee she has come to be known for at Metropolitan State.

Supporting Post-Traditional Students in the Digital Age

Metropolitan State University’s Center for Accessibility Resources has created a presentation, “Supporting Post-Traditional Students in the Digital Age,” that will be presented at the National AHEAD conference in Orlando, Florida, the week of July 17, 2017.

The presentation, says Kristin Jorenby, director of Accessibility Resources at Metropolitan State, explores opportunities and strategies to support students with disabilities using a multi-focal lens that incorporates viewpoints related to post-traditional age, highly diverse, urban students at a four-year university. Conference attendees will examine ways to connect with internal and external resources, create balance between compliance and advocacy, and find similarities with traditional age students.

Through their shared experiences, conference participants will highlight strategies for outreach to both internal and external resources that can support students with a wide array of disability types and experiences. Maximizing access to resources is not only critical for student success and retention but it also helps to build a common awareness and ownership of shared responsibility as an institution and society to create environments that are accessible to all.

Jorenby says they will explore how building relationships with internal offices such as TRIO, Veterans Services, Student Counseling Services, and Academic Excellence can help students be successful and build retention rates. Other topics for discussion are on building relationships with external partners such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Veterans Administration, partner two-year institutions, and other community resources contributes to student success and retention.

“We will also discuss similarities between traditional and post-traditional students and how we as professionals can create synergies in our service delivery to all types of students we encounter,” Jorenby says. “Metropolitan State University is an urban university and our students often have challenges with resources such as transportation, food and housing security, and access to technology. These challenges combined with disabilities are often experienced by our students no matter their age. We will share how we have worked to be a bridge for student access through provision of loaned technology, our food bank and other student services.

“Lastly, we will review the importance of maintaining the delicate balance between compliance with existing laws and developing the self-advocacy skills of our students. Working in one arena or the other fails to provide the best service to our institutions and our students. We will be discussing steps we have taken to help create this balance within our institution and ask for input from attendees regarding strategies they have found helpful as well.”

For more information on this conference, please see the link below or you may contact Kristin Jorenby at 651-793-1540 or

AHEAD 2017 Registration Info