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Student-Ready Campus Summit

October 25, 2019

Join us on October 25, 2019 in the Twin Cities for a day of learning, sharing, and planning how to increasingly address students’ basic needs, especially by engaging students as agents and leaders in this work and community partners as key allies.

Registration has closed. See the Eventbrite Page

Center for Business & Technology (CBT)
Grand Hall, Room 195
North Hennepin Community College
7411 85th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
See campus map

Parking: You are welcome to park in any of the parking lots on campus. No parking pass is needed. The closest is the east entrance parking lot, indicated on the campus map. This is also the closest handicapped parking area.

Special thanks to our planning committee in helping create this event:

Erika Christensen; University of Iowa

Diane Haskins; Mercy College of Health Sciences

Emma Kiley; AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Hamline University

Azania Tripp; North Hennepin Community College

Crystal Watts; AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Southwest Minnesota State University

May Yang; LeadMN


9:30 am: Registration and networking time

10 am – 11 am: Opening Remarks and Plenary

Interim President Jeffery Williamson, North Hennepin Community College
Sinda Nichols, Director of Member Engagement & Minnesota Operations, Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact

Oballa Oballa, LeadMN

Oballa Oballa is extremely passionate about food insecurity at our two-year colleges and wants to make sure that all of our campuses can provide a food pantry and other services for students who are struggling. Oballa and his Riverland Student Senate created a food pantry on their campus, which has been a great resource for students.

Wanting to address food insecurity beyond his campus Oballa then joined LeadMN to tackle the issue statewide. As the former Vice President of LeadMN Oballa led an effort in Minnesota to pass the Hunger Free Campus Act. This bill creates a designation for campuses that meet certain criteria in efforts to reduce food insecurity. As part of this work Oballa helped organize students to send hundreds of letters to legislators in support of the legislation, testified at the legislature and spoke with the media about the challenges that students face with college affordability.

Oballa Oballa was born in Gambella, Ethiopia and grew up in a Kenyan Refugee Camp. He moved to America in December 2013, searching for a better education and a better life. Oballa served as SGA President at Boxelder Job Corps in South Dakota before attending college. Currently, Oballa is attending Riverland Community College in Austin, MN where he graduated in 2019 with Associate of Arts and Associate degree in Human Service. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work through Riverland and College of St. Scholastica.

At Riverland, Oballa was the former Student Senate Public Relations Coordinator and Student Senate President. He was also the former LeadMN Southeast Platform Representative. Oballa’s work doesn’t stop on campus – he works at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, MN in the psychiatric unit. He is also involved in his community as a member of the Austin Human Rights Commission. Outside of work, Oballa loves road trips and cooking. He also likes doing stand up comedy when he is in the mood to entertain people.

11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Breakout Session I

How to Develop Student-Engaged Projects to Address Students’ Non-Academic Needs Room: 171
Carol L. Glasser, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Minnesota State University, Mankato

This session will explore and explain both project-based and community-engaged teaching models. Project-based models center activities, assessments, and student growth around a developing project. Community-engaged learning, in this context, is focused on projects that can allow students to work on projects with implications for improving social justice in their own communities. Examples of successful classroom models utilizing these techniques will be presented to highlight various ways to implement them. Developing these models for a face-to-face classroom will be the focus, but this workshop will also address practical ways to utilize these methods in student service offices and in other student-centered settings to help directly address student needs.

Carol Glasser is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she also serves as the Director of the Kessel Peace Institute. She is a public sociologist who bridges her academic skillset with community needs. In her teaching, research, consulting and activism, she is committed to bridging research and academic support to social justice issues in order to make the work of campaigns, activists and organizations more effective.


Minnesota’s Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students Grant Program Room: 178
Alania DeSalvo, Competitive Grant Manager, Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Beth Hamer, Social Worker, St. Catherine University

In this session, you will learn about Minnesota’s Emergency Assistance for Postsecondary Students Grant Program and learn about one such program at St. Catherine University. An increasing number of college students are experiencing food and housing insecurity. One way for institutions to address these needs is to provide small emergency grants for students experiencing a financial emergency. These grants not only provide help to the student but also aid in retention. Minnesota is the second state in the country to offer a state-funded Emergency Assistance grant program for post-secondary students. This session will provide an overview of the program, learnings and challenges, and basic outcomes of its first year of implementation. Beth Hamer (St. Catherine University) will talk about her experience working with the Emergency Assistance Grant Program and supporting low-income, first-generation students and student-parents on campus.

Alania DeSalvo is the Competitive Grants Manager at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, a cabinet-level state agency. They coordinate and develop all competitive grant programs for the agency. Their interests in higher education include: 1) access/retention of first-generation students, low-income students, and students of color in higher education, 2) transitions from high school to college/alignment between K-12 and post-secondary systems, 3) evaluation of education programs and their impact, 4) homelessness and food insecurity on post-secondary campuses, and 5) prison education reform.

Beth Hamer has been a Social Worker for 30 years working  primarily with parents in the higher ed setting as well as adoption and foster care.  She began her career working with adolescent refugees from Southeast Asia.  Beth has worked at St. Catherine University since 1998 serving students who are parenting as well as low-income students with basic needs challenges. While many of our students face complex barriers to seeking higher education, they also possess habits of persistence and discipline to reaching their dreams of a college degree.  I have continually been impressed and honored to walk with students who achieve their educational goals while faced with multiple challenges in their lives.


Campus Food Pantries and Beyond: The Search for Upstream Solutions to College Student Hunger Room: 179
Rebecca Leighton, Health Promotion Associate, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

At the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1 in 5 students experience food insecurity, meaning they lack reliable access to adequate food, often due to lack of financial resources. The Nutritious U Food Pantry and Swipe Out Hunger are two programs run by Boynton Health that aim to provide students with enough food to eat and reduce the stress associated with food insecurity. In an effort to develop longer-term solutions and address some of the underlying contributors to food insecurity, Boynton has also convened a broad array of campus partners that have been working to assess food- and housing-related needs on campus and develop a comprehensive plan to address student food and housing insecurity at the U of M.

This presentation will share some of the lessons learned through this process and our recommend strategies to address these issues using a preventive, population-level approach. This session will also provide a deep dive into SNAP (food stamps) enrollment for college students along with strategies to adapt to your campus. Our efforts can serve as a model for campuses considering how to respond to growing concerns about hunger and homelessness in higher education. This will be a PowerPoint presentation with interactive components.

Rebecca Leighton MPH, RD, LD is a Health Promotion Associate at Boynton Health at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities working on addressing food and housing insecurity among college students as well as nutrition health promotion. She oversees the Nutritious U Food Pantry which provides fresh produce and staple foods to an average of 800 students every month at the University of Minnesota. In addition to administering emergency food programs and advising a nutrition health promotion student group, she co-facilitates the Thrive: Basic Needs Coalition with the goal of addressing the root causes of food and housing insecurity at the University of Minnesota. Rebecca works to implement, manage, and evaluate policy, systems, and environmental changes on campus in order to help students meet their basic needs.


Partnerships and Percentages for Student Persistence Room: 181
Paige Wheeler, Lead Experiential Education Coordinator, Normandale Community College
Michael Kranz, AmeriCorps VISTA, Normandale Community College

This session will discuss how to build partnerships and leverage data to meet student basic needs and increase student persistence. The discussion will be based on Normandale Community College’s experience creating services to support students’ non-academic needs, including a food shelf and Student Resource Center.

Paige Wheeler serves as the Lead Coordinator at Normandale Community College’s Center for Experiential Education. In this role, she coordinates Normandale’s on-campus food shelf, service-learning, and a tutoring program with the Bloomington public schools. She has past experience working at local nonprofits. She has a Leadership in Student Affairs Master’s from the University of St. Thomas.


Michael Kranz is an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Normandale Community College as the Student Resource Center Coordinator to help students meet their basic needs. He graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and as a Community Engaged Scholar from the University of Minnesota.


12:30 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm: Breakout Session II

Expanding Student Support at South Central College and Student Advocacy for Food Access at Hamline University Room: 178
Brian Yingst, Director of Student Engagement, South Central College
Maggie Bruns and Najma Omar, Student Leaders of Feed Your Brain, Hamline University

This session will overview the process South Central College implemented in order to institute a Student Fee for Mental Health Support and will discuss how Hamline University implemented a student fee that helped to fund food access initiatives on campus. Feed Your Brain is a student-founded and run organization at Hamline University that focuses on food insecurity and food access efforts on their campus as well as how these issues face college students in general. Najma Omar and Maggie Bruns are student leaders of the organization who in the spring of 2019 helped to implement a student fee that helped to fund food access initiatives on campus for the 2019-2020 school year, specifically a food resource center. Feed Your Brain leaders will be focusing on the history of the organization in advocating for food resources, research conducted, and how they worked with student congress to implement the fee. They will focus on food access work that the student fee has supported while emphasizing the importance of making a more sustainable plan for funding that relieves the burden from students and calls for faculty and staff support in advocating for this.

Brian Yingst is the Director of Student Engagement at South Central College and focuses on relationship building and developing students to be successful community members.





Najma Omar (she/her/hers) is a senior studying Public Health and Sociology at Hamline University. She is one of the core members of the student organization Feed your Brain which focuses on issues surrounding food access for college students. This year she serves in the organizations advertising and budgeting position helping promote events and managing expenses.


Maggie Bruns (she/her/hers) is a junior studying Sociology and Criminal Justice at Hamline University. She is a student leader of the organization, Feed Your Brain, which focuses on issues surrounding food access for college students. This year, she serves in the organization’s communication position, helping to facilitate and plan events and collaborations with other student organizations, departments, and outside organizations that focus on creating space for conversations about food insecurity.


Together We Go Further: Exploring College Possible’s College Partnerships Room: 171
La Tasha Shevlin, Director of College Success, College Possible
Julia Kreger, Program Coordinator, College Possible

Take an in-depth look at how College Possible utilizes a multi-layered approach to college partnerships to help enhance student access and success. Explore college partnerships from four different aspects: College Admissions, College Coaching, Community Leaders (student leaders), and fellow college success peers TRIO. We will walk through each of these areas discussing tools and techniques that have contributed to helping students develop a greater sense of belonging and ultimately persisting.

La Tasha Shevlin holds a Master’s of Family Education and a B.S. in Human Resource Development from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. La Tasha has extensive experience in education, workforce development, and non-profit leadership. Presently, she holds the role of Director of College Success at College Possible, Minnesota which she took on in 2017. In her career, she has held positions with a number of leading organizations including the University of Minnesota Extension, Project for Pride in Living, AchieveMpls, and Normandale Community College, and East Side Neighborhood Services. She is a sitting board member of the Alumni Society Board for the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Julia first fell in love with student affairs whilst working as an International Student Ambassador during her graduate studies. Since completing her MA in Public Policy at the University of Sheffield in January 2018, she has been working at College Possible. First, as a College Coach and more recently as a Program Coordinator. She loves having the opportunity to be part of an organization that shares her values and passion for education equity. She is particularly interested in collaborative efforts to increase sense of belonging on campus for students who identify as first generation and come from low income backgrounds. This past year, Julia contributed to a project to develop college readiness curriculum for students who have experienced foster care. The material, which uses positive psychology exercises and character strengths to empower students with a growth based mindset, was presented at the 2019 American Psychological Association Convention. In her spare time, she enjoys runs around Lake Nokomis and bike rides along the River Parkway. The other seven months of the year, she can be found on the couch with her husband, two dogs, and a good book.        


Hopp On Board: Managing Addiction in Higher Education Room: 179
Rachel V. Fraser, Accommodation Specialist, North Hennepin Community College
Azania Tripp, Social Worker, North Hennepin Community College

Many students are affected by addiction. We lose students on campus because of this. What do we do as a campus?
We can take steps to build community by creating access to resources for individuals that are impacted. We know addiction is layered, and it affects students in negative ways which creates barriers to complete classes. Through Hopp On Board, students will learn strategies and discover support systems that will help students at North Hennepin Community College.

Azania Tripp is transitioning from Diversity & Equity Specialist to the College’s Social Worker. She will be located in the Counseling & Career Service office. Azania received her Masters in Social Work in Community Organization, Youth in Families and Society and minored in Interpersonal practice at the University of Michigan. Before working at NHCC. She was a Site Director for Henry Street Settlement Cornerstone youth program in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (Jacob Riis Development Housing). She supported children, youth, caregivers with their social/ emotional learning. Azania has also been making college earrings for the past 3 years. You can follow her on Instagram/ facebook at @ObsidianPause.

How to Fill Your Cupboard: Running a Campus Food Pantry with Minimal Institutional Resources Room: 181
Jessica Ellingson, Director of Campus Ministry, College of St. Scholastica
Julie Zaruba Fountaine, Wellness Coordinator, College of St. Scholastica 

Having minimal institutional support for an on-campus food pantry has not held us back from having food available for our students in need. Since the early 1990s, the College of St Scholastica has had a food pantry. Utilizing our experiences on our campus we will guide participants through the development of our food pantry and the lessons we have learned along the way.

Jessica Ellingson is the Director of Campus Ministry at the College of St. Scholastica. Jessica received her B.A. in Pastoral Ministry from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, her M.A. in Pastoral Ministry from St. John’s University School of Theology. In addition to engaging college students in service-learning, leadership development, ecumenical ministry, and service and social justice activities through Campus Ministry, Jessica also oversees an on-campus food pantry and administers a Swipe Out Hunger program at the College of St. Scholastica.

Julie Zaruba Fountaine is the Wellness Coordinator at the College of St. Scholastica. Julie received her B.A. in Exercise Science with a Spanish Minor from the University of Mary, her M.S. in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science from North Dakota State University, and her MBA in Change and Leadership from the College of St. Scholastica. Her leadership philosophy is to be data-driven, deliberately collaborative, and strategically results-oriented so that she can deliver superior health and wellness initiatives that result in improved morale, well-being, and a positive financial outcome. Julie consistently finds inspiration while living in Northern Minnesota surrounded by the north woods and the shores of Lake Superior.


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm: Round Tables

This is a chance to talk more in-depth about certain topics surrounding students’ non-academic needs. This is the time to share ideas, create new connections, and learn from one another. The tables will have additional information.

3:45pm: Adjourn

Agenda is subject to change.

Registration: Registration is available at studentreadycampus.eventbrite.com until October 18, 2019. Complimentary tickets for AmeriCorps VISTA members serving in the Campus Compact AmeriCorps program. Campuses who bring a team of 4 or more will enjoy a $50 discount. Attendees can receive refunds up to 7 days before the event start date.

Register as a team: We encourage campuses to send a team who together will bring tools, strategies, and ideas back to campus and share them with others. To register as a team, please identify a staff/faculty team captain to manage registration for your group. When the captain purchases a team ticket for the number of individuals you’d like to bring, we’ll send you a separate registration sheet to name your team members later. Campuses who bring a team of 4 or more will enjoy a $50 discount. If you are bringing more than 4 on a team, please contact Jaquelyn at jchagnon {at} compact(.)org before you register. Register at studentcampusevent.eventbrite.com now until October 18, 2019 at 5:00pm.

AmeriCorps VISTA Members: If you are serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in our Campus Compact AmeriCorps program you may enjoy a complimentary ticket. Contact Jaquelyn for your discount code at jchagnon {at} compact(.)org

With Questions: Contact Jaquelyn Chagnon at jchagnon {at} compact(.)org or 612-359-6464.


October 25, 2019
Event Category:


Minnesota Campus Compact


North Hennepin Community College
7411 85th Ave N
Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 United States
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