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UMD Update

UMD's New Alumni Director: Lisa Pratt | KUMD Student Marketing Director Honored | Planning for the Future | Taking a Stand | Education Strengthens Iron Range Industries | A Tale of Two Theatres | Connolly Skates Away With Honors

UMD's New Alumni Director: Lisa Pratt


If you've attended a UMD alumni event in the past eight years, then you've probably met Lisa Pratt. She joined the UMD alumni office in 2004 and recently, following the retirement of Patty DeLano and a national search, Pratt was named director of Alumni Relations.

Connecting and communicating with alumni is her primary focus. "Our alumni are amazing and doing such exciting things all over the world. It's a privilege to get to know them," Pratt said.

She also works to connect with UMD students, the University's future alumni. "It's important to let students know what the Alumni Association is all about so that when they become alumni, they can take advantage of the association's benefits and services and enjoy attending the many events taking place throughout the country."

Pratt is an alumna herself, graduating in 1977 with a major in business administration. She also is a native Duluthian. She spent her freshman year at Colorado College, but soon discovered, "I wanted to come home." Pratt met her future husband at UMD and together they raised three daughters in Duluth. "I am really fond of my community and my school," she said. "I want everyone to understand and appreciate how wonderful UMD is."

If you have event or programming ideas you would like to share, or information about ways in which you could be more involved in the UMD Alumni Association, contact Lisa Pratt at 218-726-8829. She'll be happy to hear from you.

Photo: Lisa Pratt, Alumni Director

KUMD Student Marketing Director Honored

Jean-Baptiste Quillien

Sam Ginsberg was named the 2012 Minnesota Student Employee of the Year by the Midwest Association of Student Employment Administrators. Ginsberg graduated from UMD in May 2012 with a degree in marketing. "Sam had been working with KUMD in our marketing department for over three years. This last October, we hired Sam to be in charge of the on-campus marketing campaign [as KUMD student marketing director] in an effort to increase our listener base with the UMD student body. It was one of the best investments we made that year," stated Vicki Jacoba, KUMD station manager. Ginsberg's work involved developing marketing campaigns, booking, organizing, and attending events. He created Bulldog Welcome Week events, student activity fairs, the new annual Winter Treasure hunt for UMD's "Out Cold Week," and two full-scale campus concerts. "Sam's legendary efforts creating new marketing practices will benefit KUMD and the UMD campus for years to come," said Ira "Mimmu" Salmela, KUMD development officer.

Photo: Sam Ginsberg, Minnesota Student Employee of the Year.

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Planning for the Future

Ameritrade Learning Lab

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) has the first Student Chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) in the state of Minnesota. The affiliation with FPA, the largest membership organization for personal financial planning experts in the U.S., will greatly enhance the experience for the LSBE financial planning students. "Through FPA, students will have opportunities to attend the same workshops as advisor members, improve their interview skills, and learn about internships," said Richard S. Brown, CEO of JNBA Financial Advisors and LSBE Senior Fellow. Students are given hands-on learning courses in a new space located at the TD Ameritrade Learning Lab in the JNBA offices in downtown Duluth. It combines training and technology to prepare the next generation of financial planning professionals.

Photo: JNBA advisor associate and UMD alumnus ('11) Brian Resch speaks to Center for Economic Development student interns and UMD students Mercede Winberg and Reece Zimm in the new TD Ameritrade Learning Lab located in the JNBA office in downtown Duluth.

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Taking a Stand

Tobin Stanley

Maureen Tobin Stanley's father was murdered. Her goal, after receiving monies from a legal action, was to channel that negative energy into a positive by creating a scholarship for UMD students. "I believe we should live life with a premise of kindness," Tobin Stanley said. The scholarship's goal is to help students in the College of Liberal Arts realize that understanding differences is the first step to halting inequality. Applicants of the scholarship are required to write an essay explaining the value of their major in promoting peace and non-violence. Tobin Stanley encourages others to take a stand and speak out against bias, prejudice, and injustice. Tobin Stanley is an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Language and Literature. Her research focuses on the persecution of women in European society, exile, and displacement.

Photo: Associate Professor Maureen Tobin Stanley (photo credit Jeff Frey)

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Education Strengthens Iron Range Industries

Tobin Stanley

The first cohort of the Iron Range/UMD Graduate Engineering Program was honored at a reception in April. The program was launched in 2010. The three honorees earned engineering degrees that directly relate to their current employment. April Ekholm works in the technical services department at Cliffs Natural Resources as a press engineer in the pelletizer; Erin Shea works at Silicon Energy with the inside sales and support department; and Rally Hess works at Cliffs Natural Resources as a senior manager in the operations procurement department. The director of the UMD program, Moe Benda, said, "The degree is tailored to the growing industry on the Iron Range and the busy schedules of those working here. I find that employers are very supportive."

Photo: Graduates of the first Iron Range/UMD Graduate Engineering Education Program class: Rally Hess, April Ekholm, and Erin Shea, along with Moe Benda, director of the program.

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A Tale of Two Theatres

Tobin Stanley

UMD's Department of Theater and Chanhassen Dinner Theaters (CDT) have created "The Chanhassen Dinner Theaters and the UMD Department of Theatre Educational and Professional Alliance." This joint effort will provide a professional training program for UMD theatre students. CDT's Resident Artistic Director and President Michael Brindisi stated, "We look at this alliance as a means to preserve musical theatre and to ensure its future in our state and our communities. In recent years, we've hired several graduates of the distinguished UMD theatre department, students who have since gone on to join the ranks of Actors' Equity, the esteemed professional actors' union to which we belong." CDT artistic professionals will add to UMD's theatre curriculum, serving as visiting artists to the UMD theatre department. CDT and UMD will enter into a joint scholarship agreement with the U of M Foundation to help fund and raise monies for an annual scholarship award.

Photo: UMD Theatre student Kasono Mwanza; Chanhassen Dinner Theatre's Resident Artistic Director and President Michael Brindisi; and alumnus Tom Rusterholz ('10).

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Connolly Skates Away With Honors


Jack Connolly became the fifth UMD player to receive the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in its 32 years of existence. The award, named for amateur hockey player and World War I flying star Hobey Baker, recognizes strength of character, integrity both on and off the ice, and outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Connolly had a remarkable hockey career, becoming the first Bulldog to be named a Hobey Baker Memorial Award top-ten finalist twice, and the first to earn All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association first team status three times. The decorated Connolly never missed a game as a collegian, skating in a school-record 166 consecutive outings since he joined the Bulldog program in 2008. Head Coach Scott Sandelin stated, "I think Jack epitomizes what the award is about. He has always represented our program in a first-class way, and I couldn't be happier for him." Connolly graduated in May 2012.

Photo: Jack Connolly ('12)

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