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Chief of Staff
Mary Franz was born in Cannon Falls, MN with her three siblings. Mary attended Cannon Falls High School where she participated in Speech, Debate, was the Editor of her school newspaper, " The Lantern", theater, Business Professionals of America, Student Council, and an intern for local legislators, all before graduating in 2015. Mary is a transfer student from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She found herself wanting a change and three months later she was driving to Duluth for the very first time to start classes the next day. Mary fell in the love with the community of Duluth before she ever found her place at UMD. The activist culture in this region is one she resonates with heavily. On an average night, you are sure to find her somewhere engaging with the community, camping along the North Shore, or marking up a policy.
Mary joined UMDSA in the Spring of 2017, as the Senator for the College of Liberal Arts. Her main reason for joining was to serve as a voice to students that have economic barriers to receiving an education. With this mindset, she has passed the Homeless Person's Bill of Rights through the Student Association and worked to identify solutions to resolve this crisis on college campuses across the state of Minnesota. In 2018, Mary was appointed the Chief of Staff of Student Association. In this role, she serves on the Universities Coordinating Council, External Affairs Committee, works on her own initiatives, as well as overseeing the progress of others and being the president's right-hand person. Alongside Student Association, Mary also serves as the Directing organizer for MPIRG on campus. In this position, she gets the honor of working with over 200+ organizations monthly to uplift the voices of youth advocates across the state of Minnesota working on economic, environmental, and social justice.
Mary will be graduating in May with a B.A. in Communications and a Minor in American Indian Studies. She plans to stay in Duluth for the foreseeable future working on eliminating financial barriers individuals face while attempting to receiving a well-rounded education. This includes, but is not limited to, access to food, affordable housing, after-school programs, Diversity & Inclusion, Mental health resources, and more! Education is the most powerful tool an individual can have. She believes there should be no reason people are limited by socio-economic status. Long term, Mary would like to go for a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.
Fun Fact: Her Dream is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro by 25 and See all Continents by 30!