ABOUT

Board

Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light

Board Member

I am the Environmental Justice Youth Program Coordinator at MN Interfaith Power & Light and Director of Youth N’Power, a community organizing program that operates through the lens of environmental justice. I am excited and honored to be joining the HECUA board of directors, especially as a HECUA Environmental Sustainability alum. My experience in HECUA has changed my life, introduced me to the work that I’m currently doing, and has ushered me in to a movement that uplifts me, so that I may in turn uplift my community.

I am a proud Aries, am trilingual and am working on another two languages. I love seeing the world and intercultural exchange, and I have 21 tattoos (and counting).

pronouns: they/them/theirs

Dave Anderson, All Parks Alliance

Board Member

I joined All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC) as executive director in 2004. In 2016, I also became executive director of the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA). Over 17 million people live in manufactured homes throughout the United States, and I have organized in manufactured home park communities around the country and lobbied for change at the state and federal levels. In 2020, I was named a Bush Fellow. The two-year fellowship provides a flexible grant to pursue learning experiences to become a more effective and agile leader. I want to replace the stereotype of parks as places of poverty and danger with a true picture of them as communities of resilience, diversity, pride, and self-sufficiency. I bring 25 years of experience working with non-profits.

I live in Minnesota with my partner, Amanda, and daughter, Zara. I enjoy watching all kinds of movies, reading books and comics, biking, and deep conversations proving critical reflection can be applied (enjoyably) to absolutely any topic.

pronouns: he/him/his

David Schuettler,* The College of Saint Scholastica

Board Member, *Secretary

I am an Assistant Professor of Global, Cultural and Language Studies at The College of Saint Scholastica. Although I was originally interested in HECUA because of its focus on experiential learning and social justice issues, I think the holistic learning is what really makes HECUA programs unique and exciting for students. Students come back to campus energized by this approach and transformed by the experience, which in turn energizes me and makes me wish something like HECUA had existed when I was an undergraduate student. Among my many non-academic interests are wilderness travel, homebrewing, and baking bread.

pronouns: he/him/his

Jabri Whirl,* Framework Homeownership

Board Member, *At-Large

Hello! I’m Jabri Whirl and I’m a UX Design Researcher at Framework Homeownership, a social enterprise with a mission to democratize homeownership. I’m a proud HECUA Inequality in America alum (Fall 2017) and am truly excited to be reconnected to HECUA. My time during the Inequality in America program was truly transformative, in which I was challenged academically and learned so much from the opportunity to intern at The Alliance. I was able to find my voice and recognize my role in actualizing equity. I’m most excited to connect with HECUA students, engage with prospective students, and really dream about how HECUA can continue to achieve our mission even if that means thinking critically about what might need to change in order to achieve the mission. Outside of work you can catch me hanging with my pup, tending to my garden with my partner, or enjoying a picnic in Powderhorn Park.

pronouns: they/them/theirs

Kate Bjork,* Hamline University

Board Member, *Treasurer

I am a Professor of History at Hamline University where I teach Latin American history, environmental history, as well as comparative history of empires. My 2019 book, Prairie Imperialists: The Indian Country Origins of American Empire, examines continuities between the expansion of American empire from the U.S. West overseas to the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. I am also the author of a memoir about living in a village in Nepal. As someone who has experienced the transformative impact of cross-cultural and experiential learning in my own life, I am committed to HECUA’s mission of providing such opportunities to current and future generations of students. I enjoy biking, especially as a way to explore and connect with the natural environment and urban geography of the Twin Cities.

pronouns: she/her/hers

Laurel Hirt,* University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Board Member, *Past President

As the Director of the Center for Community-Engaged Learning at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, I have been working with faculty and community partners on community-engaged learning course development and support since July 1997. I am passionate about experiential, community and place-based learning efforts. I led the effort to create and implement the Community Engagement Scholars Program, which provides undergraduates recognition on their academic transcript for thoughtfully connecting to community work throughout their undergraduate career while providing valuable contributions to communities.

I am dedicated to HECUA’s mission and values and am always excited to hear what students learn from participating in HECUA’s transformative programs. I served as HECUA’s Board Chair from 2019-21 and have served on the board since 2010. I earned my MA from Ohio State University in Higher Education Administration and Student Development and am a graduate of Luther College. In my free time, I enjoy gardening at my home in north Minneapolis, spending time with friends and family, thrifting, reading, crafting, cooking and spending time with shih tzus.

pronouns: she/her/hers

Molly Olsen, Macalester College

Board Member

Hello! My name is Molly Olsen and I have represented Macalester College on the HECUA Board since 2014. I also served as the Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee from 2018-2021. I feel very fortunate to have found enormous inspiration and solidarity among the staff, community partners, students and faculty of the HECUA family over the years. The community-based, social justice programs that HECUA offers both domestically and abroad speak directly to the liberatory pedagogy of my own courses. I am a Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies whose research focuses on early modern transatlantic studies, as well as Caribbean literature and culture of the colonial and contemporary periods. More specifically, I explore the encounters between Spain, Africa and the Americas and how the conflicts of empire, colonialism, materialism and culture play out discursively in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am particularly interested in how Afro-Latino communities make strategic use of writing as well as other modes of expression –including orality and performance—to resist colonialism. Essential to my work is our ongoing struggle to decolonize society, our institutions and our individual and shared behaviors.

pronouns: she/her/hers

 

Sinda Nichols,* Carleton College

Board Member, *At-Large


I am the Director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Carleton College.
Before Carleton, I worked with Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact where I supported colleges and universities in living out their distinctive public purposes. I am a collaborative and facilitative leader with a commitment to fostering civic agency and healthy communities that work for all people. I turned her focus to higher education’s role in democracy when I became the project manager for the Speak Up! Speak Out! youth action civics initiative at Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin. As a HECUA alum, I know what HECUA can mean to students and is committed to our mission. At home, I’m a playful cook who likes to use what I have on hand and rarely sticks to the recipe. 

pronouns: she/her/hers

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