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 over 40,000 graduates. We welcome your suggestions for improving and enhancing our service and communications with you.                                                  

President: Carmen Shields '15 received her MBA from Metropolitan State and has more than 25 years of progressive experience in marketing, communications, and development—including 17 years in higher education. She recently joined Collegis Education to help colleges and universities across the country reach their revenue goals. Previously, Shields held leadership roles at Bethel University, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and North Hennepin Community College.

Shields lives in Blaine, MN with her husband and has five children. She earned bachelor's degrees in advertising and marketing from the University of North Dakota, and is currently working on her doctorate in higher education (EdD) at Bethel University.

Vice President: Ronald Edlund ’04 received his bachelor's in business administration from Metropolitan State and also holds an International Business Certificate from Mankato State University. He has worked in the international marketplace in over thirty countries, including those in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, enjoying the challenges and joys of working in and with diverse cultures. He has more than 40 years of experience in customer problem-solving for technical products and services and has been a lecturer at both St. Thomas University’s Masters of International Management Program and at Anoka Technical College’s International Business Program. His volunteer activities are extensive, from 17 years as a volunteer fireman to various community board positions.

Most recently, he has been a docent with the Science Museum of Minnesota and has over 2000 hours of volunteer service with the National Park Service.

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 the unique non-traditional environment geared for diverse working adults at Metro State.

Best and her husband of 30+ years reside in the St. Croix River Valley.

Steve Campos '17 is a retired Chief Master Sgt. with a total of 35 years of service in the United States Air Force and the Minnesota Air National Guard. He also worked concurrently in the Federal Government for 27 years.

Steve is actively involved in helping service members both past and present and their families with Metro State's Beyond The Yellow Ribbon program, as well as Washington County and Cottage Grove's Beyond The Yellow Ribbon program. In 2015 he was awarded the Minnesota Humanities Veteran Voices Legacy Award that recognizes and honors Minnesotans who have honorably served and are making extraordinary contributions to their communities. These actively engaged, former military members go above and beyond to make significant, positive contributions that improve the lives of people across Minnesota.

He is currently a K-12 substitute teacher to include Spanish and a Junior ROTC program.

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.

Lyna M. Nyamwaya ’09 graduated as the Outstanding Student of the year 2009 from Metropolitan State University with her bachelor of science in nursing. She believes “If your presence does not create an impact, your absence will not make a difference” ~Unknown.

Throughout her 15+ years as a registered nurse, tireless mentor, career adviser, and sought-after keynote speaker, Lyna delivers impactfully engaging presentations, and applies cultural humility to serve, educate, and empower others. She currently serves as an administrative manager at North Memorial Hospital, president of The African Nurses Network Inc. and CEO for Bold Impact Group.

As a lifelong learner and doer, Lyna believes sharing acquired knowledge is an effortless way to change lives. Lyna serves on several committees, boards, and has organized many public health forums. For her work Lyna has been recognized with several awards both locally and nationally.

Lyna was born and raised in Kenya. She currently lives in New Hope, Minn., with her family.

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.

Nancy Uden ’88 has over 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.

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 St. 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