Tag Archives: College of Liberal Arts

Christopher Sugden selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minn.—A Saint Paul resident wasselected a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Christopher Sugden
Christopher Sugden, College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Student Spring 2018

Christopher Sugden graduated with a bachelor’s degree and was chosen as an outstanding graduate student representing the university’s College of Liberal Arts in History. He was one of 1,058 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 102nd commencement exercises on April 28, 2018 in at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“I chose Metropolitan State because I needed a school that would allow me to get a degree while I worked full-time,” Sugden said. “My goal was to earn a bachelors degree; something that would allow me to leave the world of call center work and allow me to find a career that was fulfilling and stimulating.”

Sugden is employed at Great Lakes Higher Education, where he works with schools and borrowers. He volunteers for the Great Lakes Gives foundation and participates in the Great Lakes Pen Pal Program, in which he corresponds with a 4th grader at a low-income school. Sugden also serves as a Parent Advisory Board member at his daughter’s school.

After graduation, Sugden plans to begin graduate school at Hamline University to obtain a Minnesota teaching license for secondary social studies education, grades 5-12 and for his master of arts in teaching.

In a nomination, Sugden was praised for his presence and active participation in the classroom. “He is an enthusiastic and reliable student in classes and raises the level of class discussions, thus improving the learning experience for everyone in the room… Chris has the ability to think about and integrate knowledge from a multitude of sources and experiences.”

April 5: College of Liberal Arts Welcome Night

Come find out how the liberal arts uniquely support life-long learning and professional development. Faculty, advisors, and College of Liberal Arts Dean Craig Hansen explain how the liberal arts develop core competencies that enhance your career and life path.

Click image to download flyer

Meet with faculty and advisors 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 5, Library and Learning Center, 645 East 7th St., Saint Paul, over delicious appetizers for great conversation, program information and class scheduling assistance.  Learn about your major program options, degree completion planning, and summer and fall 2018 class registration. Feel free to bring a laptop. All prospective and current students are welcome, regardless of degree.

RSVP and send questions to cla.advising@metrostate.edu. Early RSVPs receive a free parking voucher.

Robert Bresin, Fall 2017 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Student

Robert Bresin
Robert Bresin

A Maplewood resident has been selected a fall semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Robert Bresin, who graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science degree, was chosen outstanding graduate student in the university’s College of Liberal Arts. He was one of 1,368 students receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Metropolitan State’s 101st commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 in Minneapolis.

Almost four years ago, Bresin was working as a certified veterinary technician. He decided it was time for a change, and made a calculated move toward furthering his education.

“I love just having class one night a week, it really made working a lot easier,” Bresin said.

He decided he would attend Metropolitan State University, based on its flexible class schedules, which would allow him to continue working full-time. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, two classes at a time and progressed toward his degree.

Now, four years later, Bresin looks back on his college experience. “For me, graduation means that I can finally change careers and try to find something where I can continue to learn while finding meaningful work in the community,” Bresin said. Heartened by his accomplishment, he notes, “my family expected me to have a bachelor’s degree ten years ago.”

With his degree in hand, Bresin looks to the future. “I’m going to look for a job in advocacy, social services or public policy.  I need a year or two off from school, but then I plan to pursue a master’s degree, likely for [Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership] MAPL or public policy.”

Bresin hopes to spend more time reading, playing tennis, and just being outside. He will continue work as a veterinary technician while he seeks a new position in his field of study.

Yingfah Thao, Fall 2017 College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Student

A first-generation Minneapolis resident has been selected as a fall semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Yingfah Thao, who graduated with a Master of Science in Technical Communication, was chosen outstanding graduate student in the university’s College of Liberal Arts. She was one of 1,368 students receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Metropolitan State’s 101st commencement exercise on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 in Minneapolis.

About her accomplishment and the hard work it took to achieve it, Thao said, “My parents came to the United States as refugees of the Vietnam War in 1976. Like many Hmong families, they preached that ‘education and hard work’ was the only way out of poverty and that marriage and children can wait. As my parents have gotten older, a lot of my energy is dedicated towards managing their healthcare needs while finishing graduate school, working a full-time job and carving out my space in the world. I know I’m not alone. Many of my fellow graduate classmates are like me—balancing work, life and family expectations—and it’s emotionally stressful.”

Prior to joining Metropolitan State, Thao earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Ethnic Studies from Mankato State University in 2005. Along with her master’s degree, Thao also earned a certification in User Experience Design from Metropolitan State University.

Thao, who has worked in non-profit organizations and higher education for the majority of her career, currently works as a communications and web manager. She said what she enjoys most about her work is helping create access and opportunity to higher education for everyone from the unique perspective of a user experience designer.

“A lot of people in the design community are working on something that benefits the world and I want to be a part of that in any way that I can,” she says.

She also enjoys exploring Minneapolis on her bike, participating in local community engagement events, and roller-skating.

Professor Tori Sadler from School of Communication, Writing and Arts said, “What impresses me most about Yingfah is that she is an active, not passive, learner. That is, she doesn’t just absorb new learning; she “pokes” at the information, asks lots of questions, and comes up with her own applications of the information. That to me is the hallmark of an excellent graduate student: she can take the new information and shape it into something meaningful for her, and then she shares it with others. Yingfah shares her learning with her colleagues at work and with professionals in her field as she improves processes, procedures, and usefulness of the communications she creates and disseminates.”

Interim Dean sees opportunity in CAS split

Craig Hansen
Craig Hansen

Craig Hansen has been a faculty member at Metropolitan State University for 24 years, during which time he was the chair of the Department of Communication, Writing and the Arts, and a Union Vice President (IFO). With these experiences and the encouragement of colleagues, Hansen took the offer of interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) on May 9.

Hansen’s appointment began after the College of Arts and Sciences was split into CLA and the College of Sciences (COS). This was part of a larger reorganization of Academic Affairs at the University. The former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), Tom Nelson, became the dean of COS.

CLA consists of the School of Communication, Writing, and the Arts (SCWA), The Department of Literature and Language, The Department of Ethnic and Religious Studies, The Department of History, The Department of Social Sciences, and The Department of Philosophy. Other CLA programs include Gender Studies, The Liberal Arts Major, and 2 Graduate programs, Master of Technical Communication and Master of Liberal Studies.

“When they divided colleges I saw this as a real opportunity to bring attention to the humanities, social sciences, and arts,” Hansen said.

The job of interim dean came with a demanding workload and many challenges in creating a new college. Hansen is now responsible for the new college’s budget, strategic planning, and personnel. Hansen helps resolve issues that arise in the college, and helps support faculty, advisors, and students in teaching and learning. He is also a member of the President’s cabinet, Academic and Student Affairs council, and other groups that deal with University policy and procedure.

“I really view myself as a link to information from the president and provost level,” Hansen said, “ and bring it to the faculty, advisors, and staff who really need it and use it daily.”

Higher education in Minnesota faces many challenges, but Hansen keeps an honest and positive outlook. “Even though the university is growing,” Hansen said, “it doesn’t seem to be adequately funded through the state. In fact, we are the only institution in MNSCU that has been consistently growing out of all of them. But we’ve got great faculty, great classes, and great students. CLA, like the rest of the University, has a bright future, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

Craig Hansen named College of Liberal Arts dean

Craig Hansen

Craig Hansen, professor and chair, Communication, Writing and the Arts (CWA) Department, has accepted a two-year interim appointment as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, effective July 1. Hansen has been a faculty member at Metropolitan State for 23 years.

Since coming to Metro, he has served two terms as chair of CWA and a term as co-chair of the Writing Department. Hansen has also been the director of the MS in Technical Communication since 1999. He received his undergraduate and M.A. degrees from the University of Illinois–Urbana and his PhD from the University of Minnesota.

“Dr. Hansen commands the respect of his peers and colleagues and I am impressed with his strategic thinking and interpersonal skills,” said Ginny Arthur, executive vice president and provost. “The academic deans, AVP of enrollment management, the dean of students and I are excited to welcome Dr. Hansen to the Academic and Student Affairs leadership team.”