Category Archives: Notes

Corey Bulman (M.Ed ’06)

Corey Bulman (M. Ed ’06), was named the 2017 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.  Bulman teaches high school language arts at Mound Westonka High school. Bulman is the 53rd recipient of the prestigious award, and the first from the Westonka district. In his teacher of the year portfolio, Bulman said he struggled as a young student, but then he met a group of dedicated teachers who saw his potential. “This educational experience has taught me an important lesson: education is a gift that is renewed every time it is shared” Bulman said. Bulman has taught at Mound Westonka High school since 2000 and he holds a master’s degree in education for the University of Minnesota.

Mitchell Pearlstein (Ph.D ’80)

Mitchell Pearlstein (Ph.D ’80),  delivered his talk, “Great Jobs Without A Four-Year Degree- What it Means for Students, Parents, and Employers”. This discussion was to address the mistake that many students make when choosing to pursue a degree. He stated that many students make the mistake in believing that a four-year degree will be their only way to good jobs and a solid middle class career. In his talk he discusses how when students drop out of school it results in unemployment or underemployment along with a lot of debt. He states how this problem is bad for the person, but also for society.

Over the years, Pearlstein has been involved in Education Administration both locally and nationally.  He was founder and senior fellow at the Center of American Experiment. In the 1990s, he served for two years in the U.S. Department of Education. He spent  four years writing about foreign and national affairs as an editorial writer and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  He is also the author of “Broken Bonds: What Family Fragmentation Means for America’s Future”, “From Family Collapse to America’s Decline: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation”, and “Riding into the Sunrise: Al Quie and a Life of Faith, Service, and Civility”.

Pearlstein earned his doctorate in educational administration with an emphasis on higher education policy from the University of Minnesota. He was named one of the 100 of CEHD’s 2006 Distinguished Alumni.

Daniel Persons (B.S. ’84)

Daniel (Dan) Persons (B.S. ’84), has been hired as the first vice president of customer experience at Sisu Healthcare IT solutions.  Sisu Healthcare IT Solutions is a company that “specializes in delivering the IT solutions and services community healthcare facilities need to survive”.  Dan has over 25 years of experience in senior level positions in healthcare and financial services.  His senior level positions were held positions at many different companies such as UnitedHealth group, GlaxoSmithKline, Express Scripts, NovoLogix, and Thrivent Financial.

Duane J Hannan (B.S. ’85)

Duane J Hannan (B.S. ’85), retires after 32 years of teaching. Duane grew up in St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English after returning home from serving overseas in Germany. Hannan started teaching at Westbrook High school in Westbrook, MN. There he taught English, German, speech, and English social projects. Over the years, Hannan has become the technology person at the school and has built and developed both hardwire and wireless networks in the High school and tech campus. As well as doing administrative and development of new networks, Hannan has also set up several portable computer labs. Hannan still wants to help out with the tech department and the High school. He is grateful for his career at Westbrook, and wants to give back to the community that gave him everything he could have asked for. Reflecting on his retirement, Hannan plans on traveling to visit his kids in Utah and South Dakota and enjoying the outdoors.

Jill Watson (Ph.D ’10)

Jill Watson (Ph.D ’10), has been recognized at St. Olaf College as an extraordinary faculty member. At St. Olaf College, Jill serves as an advisor for English Secondary Language Club, a teacher for the ESL Licensure, and an educator for Principles of Education. As she serves in these multiple roles she also is co-authoring a book that will help raise awareness, on St. Olaf’s campus, of students who have limited or interrupted formal education. Her passion for connecting people across languages and cultures have made her a person to remember.

Laura Bloomberg (Ph.D ’97)

Laura Bloomberg (Ph.D ’97), has been appointed as the dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs for a two-year term. Since the winter of 2013, Laura has served as the associate dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.  During her tenure as associate dean, Laura helped advance the school’s mission through her involvement in multiple programs and school initiatives. Just to name a few, Bloomberg led in the efforts in developing a Master of Human Rights degree program, helped develop a new certificate in election administration, and the developing the Humphrey summer institute for underrepresented college students who have interest in public affairs. Congratulations again, on the new position as the dean of Humphrey School of Public Affairs!

Steven Massey (Ed.D’99)

Steven Massey (Ed.D ’99), has been offered Forest Lake’s superintendent position. Dr. Steve Massey has served as a principal for many years. Dr. Massey served as the assistant principal of Century Junior High School in 1991 to 2001. From 2001 to 2003 Massey was the principal at Central Learning Center and Montessori Elementary. Dr. Massey served as Forest Lake Area High School’s principal for the past 14 years. As the principal of Forest Lake Area High School, Massey became an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota in 2008. Massey received his Ed.D degree of Educational Policy and Administration from University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 1999.

Kathleen Ridder (B.S. ’60)

Kathleen Ridder (B.S. ’60), passed away at 94. Kathleen Ridder was an advocate for women in education, sports, and politics. She volunteered on multiple boards of both nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. As a member of multiple U of MN boards she advocated for the women’s athletic program. Her financial contributions and being the prime supporter of the U of MN’s Ridder arena. The Ridder Arena is the first women hockey arena in the nation  She established the U of MN’s, Kathleen C. Ridder Scholarship. A scholarship for women in sports who a pursing a degree in wither medicine, science, or math. She wanted all women to be successful in sports, but most importantly in the business world.

Anita Beaton (Ph.D ’91)

Anita Beaton (Ph.D ’91), passed away at the age of 75 on March 11. . Anita earned her Master of Education in Early Childhood Education and Ph.D in Education from the University of Minnesota. She devoted her life to the advocacy of women and children. She was the director of the Montessori Lab School, professor at both the College of St. Catherine and Hamline University. During her teaching career she developed the Urban Teacher Program at Metro State University.  When she retired from teaching in 2007 she continues to work part-time at Metro State University. Also while volunteer at multiple schools.

Jean Ann Robertson (M.S.W. ’96)

Jean Ann Robertson (M.S.W. ’96), passed away on March 9, 2017, at the age of 66. Jean received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 1996.  Jean had a 36 year career in social work. She dedicated her life to being the voice for the underrepresented.

Nancy Hohn (M.A. ’69)

Nancy Hohn (M.A. ’69), peacefully passed at age 91. Nancy  served in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (W.A.V.E.S) in World World II. After WWII, Nancy obtained her Master’s of Art Degree in Early Childhood from the University in 1969. She taught in Columbus City Schools during her teaching career. She was loving wife, friend, and grandmother who loved to travel around the world.

Sybel Haugen (M.Ed ’85)

Sybel Haugen (M.Ed ’85), passed away at age 93, on March 4, 2017.  She was one of the first teachers of Kasson-Mantorville region to obtain additional training in special.  In 1980, Sybel was recognized as the Teacher of the Year at Kasson-Mantorville. She always was recognized for Minnesota Teacher of Excellence and became semi-finalist for the Minnesota Teacher of the Year. She was a person who loved to travel. She traveled to many continents such as South America, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Australia, and more. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Minnesota in 1985.

Julie A. Critz (M.Ed ’93)

Julie A. Critz (M.Ed ’93), is the current Superintendent of the Alexandria Public Schools. Julie was recently awarded with the 2017 Kay E. Jacobs Memorial Award.  This award recognizes “excellent leadership and involvement in MASA and other educational organizations by an administrator who is a woman with ten or less years of school district central office experience”. Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) is a professional organization of Minnesota’s school leaders and educators that are dedicated to educational leadership for students. MASA recognizes members for their contribution and hard work to public education. Julie Critz  earned her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University in 1993.

John L. Hoffman (Ph.D ’00)

John L. Hoffman (Ph.D ’00) is being inducted by NASPA as a Pillar of the Profession on March 13, 2017. NASPA Foundation recognizes outstanding members of the student affairs and higher education community through the Pillars of Profession. The Pillars of Profession award honors individuals who have served as teachers, leaders, and scholars in the field and who have kept professional distinction in the higher education field, served leadership roles in NASPA, are recognized by colleagues, friends, staff, or student organizations for outstanding service, and have a significant lifetime contributions to the higher education field. Dr. Hoffman earned both his master’s degree in 1997 and Ph.D in Educational Policy and Administration 2000 from the University.

Laura Hageman (M.Ed. ’14)

Laura Hageman (M.Ed. ’14),  is one of the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District’s Teachers of the Year for 2016-2017 school year. This is Laura’s fourth year teaching at Five Hawks. Laura is highly active in several activities and committees at Five Hawks. She is currently on the BILT Leadership Team, Junior Naturalist Team, and E-STEM Team. Along with her participation with several activities and committees, she is currently planning a garden at Five Hawks to provide students with a hands-on learning experience.

Jeanne d’Arc Gomis (M.A. ’05)

Jeanne d’Arc Gomis (M.A. ’05), is the new Director of the Study Abroad Programs at Arkansas State University.  Jeanne d’Arc Gomis’s previous experience greatly prepared her for her new position. She has worked four years as the regional director of International Member Relations for International Student Exchange Programs,  also known as ISEP in Arlington, Virginia. In 2006, she worked six years as the study aboard adviser at Appalachian State University. At Appalachian State University she served four years as the assistant director of the International Student Exchange and Study Abroad department. In 2010, she became the interim director of the International Student Exchange and Study Abroad department.

Marsha Wilson (M.Ed ’11)

Marsha Wilson (M.Ed ’11), is a master teacher who wears all the hats — parent, social worker, teacher, nurse and she wears them all so effortlessly,’ said Principal Jeff Roland, Banfield Elementary School. Marsha Wilson is Austin’s top choice for 2017 Minnesota State teacher of the Year. She currently a fourth grade teacher at Banfield Elementary School. She has been teaching at Banfield since 1986.

Heidi Haugen (M.Ed ’97)

Heidi Haugen (M.Ed ’97), is a 2016 nominee for Minnesota Teacher of the Year. She currently a kindergarten teacher at Kenyon Wanamingo School. She has been working in Kenyon Public Schools since 1986. She is an advocate for reading. Through her passion for reading she created a book program that “has secured funding for a monthly book donation to students receiving food backpacks” (, 2016).

Lisa M. Bolt (M.Ed. ’95)

Lisa M. Bolt (M.Ed. ’95) has published three middle grade “choose your path” sports novels (hockey, baseball, and soccer), over 20 nonfiction children’s titles, and an adult history book. She also teaches ESL to adults part time.