Brett Buckner, managing director of OneMn.org, is a 2016 graduate of Metropolitan State’s Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership, and earned his bachelor’s in 2012 also from Metropolitan State. Buckner spoke recently on KFAI’s Truth To Tell radio show, hosted by Tom O’Connell, professor emeritus.
Student Angela Edwards was recently awarded a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits award for unsung heroes for her work with the nonprofit Education Explosion.
As founder of Education Explosion, Edwards works with students in North Minneapolis to achieve educational and career goals through test preparation, counseling and on-site computer training. Because of her work and encouragement, many in her community are moving away from poverty. Edwards is a student in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metropolitan State.
“Angela brings a sense of hope to her community and to everyone she works with, and, according to her nominator, has brought many from poverty to self-sufficiency. The combination of the incredible work she’s doing plus her determination and heart made her stand out. That, in addition to the fact that she has never received recognition for her amazing work, really won her the award,” said Sarah Crumrine, communications coordinator for the
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
Edwards was recognized at a luncheon at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and will be honored at its annual conference in October. Each awardee in 2017 will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from the McKnight Foundation and MCN and were honored at a private luncheon in Minneapolis on Sept. 26. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2017 MCN Annual Conference on Oct. 12 in Saint Paul.
According to Edwards, this recognition will allow her to devote more monetary resources to her nonprofit, Education Explosion. Winning grants has been difficult and Edwards has been funding the organization through businesses that she has started. The recognition from this award will help with future grant applications and as she seeks money to fund the organization.
Since 1985, the McKnight Foundation has recognized Minnesotans who have improved the quality of life for current and future generations with the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. In 2015, MCN partnered with McKnight Foundation to coordinate and present the inaugural Unsung Hero Awards, honoring individuals performing life-changing work in communities across Minnesota, with little or no recognition.
Metropolitan State University today announces new leadership for its Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) graduate program. Matthew Musel will be the new director of Advocacy and Public Leadership. Adrienne Falcón will be the academic director of the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program.
Musel, senior program manager for major gifts at the Minnesota Historical Society, comes to Metropolitan State University as an experienced nonprofit leader, political organizer and grassroots advocate with skills in management, organizational development, training and strategy development. He is a skilled fund development officer with 11 years of experience in institutional fundraising, and co-founder of two nonprofit organizations to provide aid and assistance for immigrants. He is also a 2010 graduate of the MAPL program.
Falcón comes to Metropolitan State from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where she is director of its nationally lauded Academic Civic Engagement program. She has extensive community organizing experience in Minnesota and Illinois. She also taught previously in the MAPL program, and holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Musel and Falcón will start at Metropolitan State on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The announcement was made to the university faculty, staff and student body earlier today. As program directors, Musel and Falcón will be responsible for strategic direction, resource development, and academic leadership for the Advocacy and Political Leadership graduate degree program. Musel and Falcón succeed Wy Spano, who founded the MAPL program and directed it since its inception until his retirement in August 2017.
“I feel honored to follow Wy’s pathbreaking footsteps and am very excited to join the MAPL program at Metropolitan State for the opportunity that it provides for all involved—the dynamic and committed students, the experienced faculty, and the dedicated community partners—to develop ethical leadership, effective organizing practices, and thoughtful policy making skills in order to bring about systemic change,” Falcón says.
“Together, Matt and Adrienne will be assuming leadership of our Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership and, indeed, a leadership role in the college’s engagement in public affairs,” says Frank Schweigert, dean of the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs. “As MAPL’s new academic director, Adrienne brings a rich background in civic and political engagement, research, grants management, and teaching. As the new director of advocacy and public leadership for our Public and Nonprofit Leadership Department, Matt will lead our efforts in connecting MAPL students and our other programs with public leaders, external partners and supporters, and critical learning opportunities, drawing upon his extensive background in fundraising, electoral campaigns, and nonprofit leadership.”
The MAPL program was launched at the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2004, with Spano as director. The program was relocated to Metropolitan State University in fall 2015 and it is now housed in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Leadership, in the College of Community Studies and Public Affairs.
The MAPL program teaches its students how to ethically and effectively influence public policy. It is for leaders who have experience with or interest in influencing public policy. Graduates from the program are a professional group of ethically grounded advocates and organizers, and generally go on to positions as local community leaders, labor leaders, government relations specialists in businesses, nonprofit sector policy advocates, inter-governmental relations specialists, political and campaign operatives, lobbyists, elected and appointed officials, and staff to policy makers. Many students who come to program are already working in one of those interest areas.
With the completion of the 21st cohort in May 2017, the total number of MAPL graduates comes to 215 students, more than 80 percent of whom work in the advocacy field. Approximately two-thirds continue to work in Minnesota.
“We are absolutely delighted to have the MAPL program at Metropolitan State,” Schweigert says. “It is a wonderful complement to our college’s long-standing and successful graduate programs in public administration, nonprofit leadership and management, criminal justice studies, alcohol and drug counseling, and psychology. While these programs prepare people for leadership in administration, services, and research, MAPL will prepare people to take leadership in changing the systems that shape administration and services.”
Metropolitan State’s first cohort of MAPL graduates were conferred at a ceremony Dec. 10, 2016. Fifteen students graduated, and Gov. Mark Dayton delivered the keynote speech in the graduation exercise. Dayton had previously addressed the MAPL’s inaugural graduating cohort of 13 students in 2006. Dayton and Julian Andersen, president of the Elmer L. and Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation, were conferred honorary degrees in December 2016. The foundation has been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of MAPL, and Andersen an invaluable advisor to the program.
“In welcoming these two leaders to Metropolitan State University, we mark a transition in MAPL’s leadership,” Schweigert said. “Their high standards and keen insights regarding public and political leadership inspire every part of this program and will guide its path forward. The program’s new leadership will build on this solid foundation and extend its reach locally and nationally.”
MAPL founder Wy Spano is a long-time Minnesota political analyst and a former DFL lobbyist at the Minnesota State Capitol. He founded and published the “Politics in Minnesota” newsletter and continues to speak and write about Minnesota politics in state and national media. He often pens guest columns for MinnPost and The Star Tribune, and is a regular panelist on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Almanac.”
“Matt and Adrienne are perfectly suited to run the MAPL program into the future,” Spano says. “Matt has been a great fundraiser for the University of Minnesota’s Extension Division and now for the Minnesota Historical Society. He’s also been heavily involved encouraging and working for people of color who decide to seek elected office in Minnesota. Adrienne has a Ph.D. in sociology, extensive community organizing experience in Minnesota and Illinois, taught previously in the MAPL program, and has led Carlton College’s lauded academic civic engagement.”
Gov. Mark Dayton, shown in this photo taken Dec. 10, 2016 at Metropolitan State University, announced details of a bonding bill that includes his recommendations for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Renovation (HEAPR) and bonding projects.
Minnesota’s longtime political analyst and professor Wy Spano is retiring as director of the Masters in Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State University. Spano spoke to MPR News host Tom Weber about his career and experience in politics over the years.
The student-led Advocacy, Political Leadership and Service Club (APLS) and Metro State Votes Campaign invite the campus and greater community:
5:30 p.m., Thursday Nov. 10, 2016
Great Hall (New Main)
Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Campus
Join a discussion inclusive to diverse perspectives on this historic election with this seasoned panel:
Moderator Laura Mortensen, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Panelists Kendal Killian—Coordinated Campaign Director, MN-DFL Philip Fuehrer—Chair, Minnesota Independence Party Matt Filner—Professor of Political Science, Metropolitan State Anika Robbins—Founder and Director, Black Votes Matter Campaign Anastacia Belladonna Cerrera—Executive Director, Minnesota Common Cause Jake Spano—Chief of Staff, Office of Minnesota Secretary of State
Free food will be provided by Alimama. Festivities to follow at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul.
Dr. Rose Wan-Mui Chu and Wy Spano are both recognized in the community building category. Chu is associate professor in the School of Urban Education, and Spano is director of the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership ( MAPL) Program, College of Management.
The list recognizes and celebrates individuals over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in their communities.
There will be a celebration event on Thursday, Oct. 13, at Machine Shop in Minneapolis, with a brief recognition ceremony for the honorees and a musical performance by Sonny Knight of Sonny Knight and the Lakers and a keynote address from AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins.
Tickets are $35 and include breakfast. Register at 50Over50MN.eventbrite.com. Organizations can also purchase tables of eight.
Tadd M. Johnson speaks at an event open to the public and presented in the master’s level Topics in Advocacy (MAPL 668) course. The event begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Saint Paul Campus library, room 306. Johnson directs the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program at University of Minnesota Duluth and is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Bois Forte Band.
Johnson plans to discuss the equity status of the Native American community, particularly as seen though the lens of tribal sovereignty. Changes in sovereignty practices have complicated the discussion of which government has primary responsibility for encouraging equity.
A 1985 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Johnson is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, federal court and tribal court. In his career, he has served as a tribal administrator, a tribal attorney, a tribal court judge and has taught numerous courses on Federal Indian Law and American Indian History.
From 1990–1995 he served as counsel and staff director to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in the Office of Indian Affairs and the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs. During the Clinton Administration, Johnson was appointed by the president to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission.
This is the fourth event in a speaker series presented in the course taught by Wy Spano, program director for the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) Program in the College of Management. MAPL 668, Topics in Advocacy is an elective in the MAPL program, offered every other semester with the subject matter and focus selected by vote of MAPL students. This semester the focus is equity, with leaders from various communities addressing the subject for their group.
Lori Sturdevant, editorial writer and columnist at the Star Tribune, and Phil Duran, legal director of OutFront Minnesota, are the guest speakers in a series of talks open to the public and presented in the master’s level Topics in Advocacy (MAPL 668) course.
Lori will begin the discussion at 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, in the Saint Paul Campus library, room 306 with a talk about the history of the search for equity by Minnesota women and will be framed around her recent book, Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement, about Minnesota’s first female Supreme Court Justice.
At 10:30 a.m., Phil will discuss equity as it pertains to the LBGTQ community.
The event is the third in the speaker series presented in the course taught by Wy Spano, program director for the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership Program in the College of Management. MAPL 668, Topics in Advocacy is an elective in the MAPL program, offered every other semester with the subject matter and focus selected by vote of MAPL students. For this semester the focus is Equity with leaders from various communities addressing the subject for their group.
Equity as it pertains to the developmentally disabled community will be the subject of a class discussion that will feature Dr. Colleen Wieck, executive director of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, 9 a.m. Jan. 23, in the Saint Paul Campus library, room 306.
The event is the second in a speaker series open to the public and presented in the master’s level Topics in Advocacy (MAPL 668) course taught by Wy Spano, program director for the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership Program in the College of Management.
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