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Board of directors

The Alumni Association Board of Directors represents all alumni who are degree or certificate graduates of Metropolitan State University programs. Your board now represents more than 42,000 graduates. We welcome your suggestions for improving and enhancing our service and communications with you.                                 

President: Nancy Uden ’88 has more than 30 years of human resource experience; she retired in 2016 as Sr. Vice-President of Franchise Services and Human Resources for Great Clips, Inc. She also worked as Sr. Vice-President of Human Resources for Katun Corporation, President of Jackson Fuehrer & Associates, and Organizational Change Consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation.

Her career also includes nonprofit experience with Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, Children’s Home Society of South Dakota and Nexus. She was also a small business owner in the restaurant and consulting industry.

Nancy also currently volunteers for the Second Chance Coalition of Minnesota.

Treasurer: Sandra Best ’88 graduated with a BA in individualized studies emphasizing human resource management. Her post-graduate education includes an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, as well as advanced education in leadership, public affairs and military operations. Her career has included both public sector and military service, and in February 2016, Best became the first female Brigadier General in the Minnesota National Guard.

She is a strong advocate for equity and inclusion, and in April 2019, she was selected to help advance diversity and inclusion across the 54 States and Territories in the National Guard. She continues to promote the benefits of lifelong learning and specifically Metro’s unique non-traditional environment geared for diverse working adults.

Governor Walz selected Brigadier General Best to serve as the Temporary Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard effective August 2020 until a permanent selection is made. Best and her husband of 32 years reside in the St. Croix River Valley.

Fowsiya Dahir ’13

Sam Farrand ’17 currently works as a Senior Talent Management Specialist at Medtronic and has held roles across the Human Resources function within the real estate, higher education, and healthcare. In addition to serving on the Alumni Board for Metro State, he actively volunteers his time to several nonprofits primarily focused on inclusion, equity, and diversity within the Twin Cities. He graduated with distinction with an undergraduate degree in communications from Metropolitan State, holds a master’s in organization development and change, and is currently pursuing an MBA, both of which are from the University of St. Thomas.

Kjersten Jaeb ’11

Thulani Jwacu ’05 received his BA from Metropolitan State in 2005. Jwacu subsequently held multiple roles at Minneapolis Community and Technical College over a period of 11 years, before joining Greater Twin Cities United Way as a program manager for education grants. Most recently, he has been the director of Educational and Teen Programming at Big Brothers Big Cities Twin Cities. Jwacu will soon be transitioning from BBBS to a new role as director of College Access at College Possible.

Jolanta Kissoon Young ’16

Lucky Lee ’16 received his Bachelors of Science degree from Metropolitan State University in Chemistry, and is presently a Laboratory Analyst at Flint Hills Resources. In 2011, he obtained his Radiologic Technology degree from Century College. Lee performed X-rays and was a Student Facilitator at United Hospital, assisting in clinical education of radiology students. Lee is also the founder and owner of Learning About Mostly Everything (LAME Crate LLC), a company that promotes STEAM through decorative interactive décor.

Salman Mian ’01

Sam Mwangi ’01 is a community organizer, an elder, and respected fatherhood advocate. He is the executive director of the non-profit organization called Global Fatherhood Foundation (GFF). He leads a quarterly breakfast community gathering 'Men's and Community breakfast' co-branded in partnership with other immigrant organizations in empowering fathers to have a voice, counseling and change systems within areas of different systems. Mwangi’s organization does a lot of community outreach through social media, fatherhood gallery, close working relationships with Brooklyn Park Police in addressing domestic violence issues and engage Brooklyn Park City Hall in community engagement, advocacy, and education.

Mwangi also doubles as the chairman of a community group comprising of over 100 members draw from the Kenyan community here in Minnesota. As the chairman, he has been actively involved in medical fundraising, immigration workshops, holistic healing, counseling, and well-being for the community members and these has resulted into a thriving and a vibrate community.

In February 2018, Mwangi was nominated as “An Emerging Legend” by 2018 MLK/General Mills breakfast team local chapter. Through his leadership skills, his nonprofit is holding the first ever “Fatherhood Award” slated in August 2018, to honor fathers across multicultural society in Minnesota making a difference in the local community.

Fidelis Odozi ’16 received his BS in marketing from Metropolitan State University. He is a seasoned marketer at Bain and Company, whose work helps clients to spend their marketing budget in the most effective and efficient manner. In 2012, he created, marketed and managed a collaborative arts project called “New Age Art Salon” (hereafter, NaAs) that helped promote extraordinary artists (musicians, painters, dancers, etc.) in the twin cities and also helped established organizations like The Schubert Club in Saint Paul build awareness among younger audiences. One of the programs he put together under NaAs was presented at Metro State during the opening of the New Main building in Saint Paul to help showcase one of the ways in which the space can be utilized.

Scott Pilgram ’10 received his BS degree in business administration. He has been an accounting manager with CBRE for 8 of his 11 years and currently volunteer for CBRE Cares philanthropy committee to help with various fundraisers each year such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and Ronald McDonald House among many others.  

Pilgram has been recognized for various achievement’s during his time with CBRE, such as Five- and Ten-year service awards, Excellence in Team Audit achievement and various customer service awards in working with our clients. He is dedicated to providing leadership to his team while ensuring quality and delivering unmatched services to his clients.

Andrea Steen ’11 graduated Summa Cum Laude from Metropolitan State’s MPNA program and holds an undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Steen has served Century College as Alumni Director since 2017, and previously served the Minnesota State system office in various capacities including marketing, communications, advancement, and government relations.

Steen lives in White Bear Lake with her husband and two daughters.

Shanasha Whitson ’00 founded CPC 2.0 in 2017 after more than 15 years of committed service to the community. Whitson is every bit of home grown, being born and raised in Minnesota. She comes from a large family, grew up in South Minneapolis and attended high school in Brooklyn Center (Go Centaurs).

Whitson attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College where she received her two-year degree. After which time she transferred to Metropolitan State University to receive a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in criminal justice. After dedicating most of her time to community service, she decided to go back to school and receive her master’s degree in organizational management and communications from Concordia University in Saint Paul. Most recently, she attended St. Thomas University to receive her Mini MBA because she understands the importance cooperative economics has on the community.

Whitson has worked in the community more specifically North Minneapolis since 2000. She has worked with a lot of Minnesota’s organizations such as People Incorporated, The Minnesota Department of Health, Hennepin County, RS EDEN, DHS, HUD, Model Cities, Northside Funders Group, Harvest Preparatory, City of Minneapolis, City of Brooklyn Park, NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth, Brakins Psychological and Consulting Services LLC., African Women & Youth Resource Center and The Minneapolis Urban League, just to name a few.

Whitson is a researcher and has published research addressing the social determinants of health.

Kristine Hansen '07, director of alumni relations
651-793-1810