Mission OpEx

The University of Minnesota is a top-notch establishment, no doubt about it. That being said, if you ask anyone working for the U, I can almost guarantee they’ll say there is always room for improvement. That’s a good thing! After all, Forbes did not rank us #1 rising school in the nation because we are satisfied with where we are at. On the contrary, history has always rewarded those with an uncompromising dedication to seeking improvement. For this reason, Co-Lab is sponsoring an event this year which ensures the forward progress of this fine institution.

Enter: Mission OpEx. This campus wide initiative encourages students of all backgrounds and interest to participate in improving our University by implementing a campaign which will save the U some big dollars. Anything come to mind? I sure hope so, because there is a $1,500 reward for the winning campaign!

To find out more or about OpEx or to submit an idea, visit: umncolab.com/opex

2015 Orientation Leaders!

Dear Student,

Are you looking for a growth opportunity that will set you apart in terms of leadership and interpersonal skills? Do you want to develop as a leader and get paid for it? Orientation & First-Year Programs is now recruiting students to be 2015 Orientation Leaders!

As a part of this valuable internship experience, you will:
• Lead and facilitate groups of 15-25 students during Orientation
• Train and supervise a group of 12-20 Welcome Week Leaders
• Develop your leadership style through collaboration, flexibility and real life experiences
• Work in a dynamic, fast paced, engaging environment
• Make $3,500 compensation along with room and board during Freshman Orientation

“I worked with such an amazing group of people and had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the first-year students. I couldn’t have asked for anything more and it was honestly one of the best summer’s of my life.” Keighly—former Orientation Leader

Time Commitments:
• Spring Semester meetings every Wednesday from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
• Freshman Orientation: May 26-July 17, August 26-September 1 (subject to change)
• Welcome Week: September 2-7

To apply:
• Apply online at: http://www.ofyp.umn.edu/ol and due Monday, November 10
• Learn more about the position by attending an Info Session and grab a snack! Presentations run every 15 minutes!
o Monday, October 20th
 3:00-5:00pm CMU 323
o Wednesday, October 22nd
 11:00-1:00pm St. Paul Student Center 108
o Friday, October 24th
 12:00-2:00pm CMU 324
o Monday, October 27th
 10:00am-12:00pm CMU 323
o Wednesday, October 29th
 5:00-7:00pm Appleby Hall 127

Don’t pass up this opportunity – apply today. For more information about the position please give us a call at (612) 624-1979 or at http://www.ofyp.umn.edu/ol


Amy Bartos (barto283@umn.edu)
Michael Dixon (dixon266@umn.edu)
Kelsey Neigebauer (neige007@umn.edu)
Drew Wandschneider (wands004@umn.edu)

Student Program Coordinators
Orientation & First-Year Programs

First Year Leadership Institute

Welcome back reader! It has been a while since we have last chatted, so I will spare you the usual wordy rhetoric and jump right into this weeks featured engagement opportunity. The First Year Leadership Institute (otherwise known as FYLI) is now accepting applications for another year of superb leadership development!

“What is FYLI?” you may ask. Well, as its name suggests, FYLI is a leadership program tailored specifically for first year students. To directly quote their website, FYLI is “designed to enhance leadership skills, foster intrapersonal, interpersonal, ethical and moral development, and connect first-year students to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding communities.” Hurray first year students! This 8 week program kicks off with a weekend retreat at a YMCA camp, then transitions into weekly meetings, projects, and a mentorship program.

Earlier this week I sat down with Ryan Nugent, a co-coordinator in the program, in order to gain a better understanding of what FYLI has to offer. Ryan’s message was simple. He wants everyone involved to “have fun, and create a safe place to for discussions you wouldn’t usually have in a classroom.” He went on to explain what a great influence the program had in shaping him to be the leader he is today, and even noted that he is still close friends with several people from his group.

So, if you are looking to become a better leader, or simply looking to get more engaged on campus, I urge you to apply. Oh, and sorry about the last minute heads up, but the deadline is THIS FRIDAY! No worries though, you still have plenty of time to submit a rock-star of an application and become one of the special few admitted to this great program. Bueno suerte!

Student Engagement?…I told you it was great!

Hey there readers! You know how I’m always rambling on about how great it is to immerse yourself in engagement activities and opportunities while you are a student? Well, this week you are in for a real treat! Instead of me babbling on like usual, today I am turning the floor over to Amanda, a UMN student who participated in the HECUA program last year, and wanted to assure all of you that this whole “student engagement thing” really is worth the time and energy. Here is what she had to say:

HECUA was where I learned my place in our Twin Cities community.

In spring 2013 I participated in the HECUA: Arts & Social Change semester program. We were a wonderfully small group of only six students, led by Bill Reichard, HECUA instructor and poet. Through our meetings twice a week, we developed a close and trusting circle. Together we were creative artists, interested citizens, and talented students.

The HECUA classroom was different than anything we had ever experienced before. It served us with a base to ask questions that had no single, right answer. There we formulated opinions about how art can be used to transform a community. We learned tools in combating the injustices of stereotypes, inequity, and marginalized voices. Beyond this, we created and realized a set of identities–who our community was, who we were within it, and who we were as an artist.


The program was split into three, simultaneous sections: Reading Seminar, Field Seminar, and Internship.


Within the reading seminar, we focused our attention to books written by controversial and community-focused artists, activist authors of nonfiction, introspective poets, stereotype-combating playwrights, and thought-probing writers of fiction. For each class session, we prepared a set of three “framing questions” based upon our readings. These questions were meant to be open-ended and not prepared to find one answer. They were used to guide conversation and help us to think in-depth on other perspectives and opinions.


In the field seminar, we had a chance to move beyond our books and see what was happening in our community. We visited ground-level, Twin City native, community organizations like Wing Young Huie’s Third Place Gallery, Springboard for the Arts, Works Progress, Lowertown’s Bedlam Theatre, among others. In these places, we met and spoke with the directors and learnt how they established themselves and their ways of actively participating in their community. We also visited renowned museums like the Walker Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Minnesota History Museum, and discussed their thought-stimulating exhibits. Local theatre performances were attended by us often as well.


The internship was where we had the opportunity to apply all of our theoretical knowledge we had learned, and gain practical experience. I interned at Central Touring Theatre–a social justice, high school theatre company from Central High School, Saint Paul, that performs original works each year to an audience of over 10,000. It was there that I witnessed the impact young students can have on their community when they gather their voices and speak-out together. I visited CTT two to three times a week throughout the semester, helping to facilitate theatre activities, providing photo documentation, and developing a book that outlined the entirety of their season’s work.



The lesson within my HECUA experience that I most appreciate learning was how I can engage my community with art and how to use that engagement to make an impact.


To be a HECUA student, you must be ready to open yourself up to new ideas and beliefs, have the ability to break down buried stereotypes, and expect to uncover the power in your voice. I recommend the HECUA experience to any student desiring to find their identity within themselves, and within their larger community.

For info, visit: https://www.hecua.org/




That was the message from this past Tuesday night. With an evening featuring A Capella group Urban Sound, and high levels of fanciness and fine dining, the Tony Diggs Excellence Awards ceremony really was…excellent.

For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, the Tony Diggs Excellence Awards are given out each year by SUA to student groups which contribute to the campus and community throughout the past calendar year.  The awards also seek to celebrate the legacy of Tony Diggs, a former university community leader dedicated to intentional involvement and appreciation of diversity.

At the ceremony, we heard from Vice Provost Danita Brown Young as well as Mrs. Karen Kaler, whose homage to the diversity of campus student groups was most humorous and enjoyable. Among her list of creative ideas for group collaboration, was the suggestion to combine our ballroom dancing club with our unicyclist club to form a dancing unicyclist group.

As the ceremony progressed, tension began to build as people waited anxiously to hear the winners. Fortunately for you, I was there to take it all down, so you don’t have to bear the suspense!

And the winners are:

Outstanding Service/Philanthropic Project – American Medical Student Association-Pre Med

Innovation Award – University YMCA

Rookie Student Group – Black Men’s Forum

Outstanding Undergrad Registered Student Organization – Al-Madinah Cultural Center

Outstanding Undergrad Campus Life Program – College of Biological Sciences Student Board

Outstanding Grad/Professional Student Group – Phillips Neighborhood Clinic

Outstanding Co-Sponsored Program or Event – Al-Madinah Cultural Center; Muslim Student Association

Outstanding Program or Event – GOFIRST

Outstanding Undergrad Student Group Advisor – CBS Student Board: Meaghan Stein

Congratulations to all of the winners, and good luck to all of the groups next year as they too pursue excellence!


OK, let’s be honest, it probably wasn’t the BEST idea in the world to wait until now to search for a summer internship. But hey, life can get crazy, I understand. In fact, I REALLY understand. I too am in need of some more summer work, and have recently taken to the web in a last minute scramble to find an open position.

But, where on earth does one even begin?! Sure, the internet makes job searching easier in theory, but now that we can access thousands upon thousands of these postings with just a few clicks of the mouse, the task of sifting through them all seems more daunting than the application process itself.

Enter GoldPASS, the U’s very own job and internship aggregator. This fantastic online tool gathers hundreds of local and national listings for job and internships, and provides an easy to use filter which allows you to sift through the postings by major, location, keywords, or degree.

In addition to the job search aspect of the website, GoldPASS also functions somewhat like a LinkedIn profile; in that, you are able craft your personal page, complete with info about your academic interests and pursuits, so employers can quickly recognize and seek out interested candidates for positions.

So, do YOU have a GoldPASS? If not, I highly recommend getting one. It is a great tool for accessing all sorts of opportunities, and if you are anything like me, it is a necessary device for the last minute spring scramble.

Set up your own GoldPASS account today! https://goldpass.umn.edu/

and the nominees are…

You know that one event that happens every year, where hundreds of people dressed to the nines gather in a big fancy room to celebrate the hard work and dedication of an industry’s top performers? Here’s a hint: It’s not the Emmy’s, it’s not the Grammy’s, and it’s not even the Tony’s…it’s the SELPies!

Now, before you start feverishly scratching your head in confusion, let me explain. The SELPies event is an annual celebration put on by the Office for Student Engagement, which serves to commend the hardworking undergraduate student employees of this fine university. After all, there are about 10,000 of us that work here on campus, and without our dedication, things would not run nearly as well as they do.

I digress. Let me return once more to the matter at hand. The celebration of celebrations, the crème de la crème of university gatherings – The SELPies. With the accompaniment of the wonderful staff and facilities of the McNamara Alumni Center, the SELPies were able to play host to around 330 students and faculty, with a special appearance by Goldy Gopher.

In an hour of great food and cheerful conversation, we saw two staff members crowned “Student Supervisors of the Year,” along with two teams of student workers who received the equivalent award in their category. To top it all off, our very own Brandon Clayton had the pleasure of announcing this year’s 40+ SELP (Student Employment Leadership Program) graduates. He doesn’t like bragging, so I will do it for him – this is the largest number of graduates we have ever had!!

Unfortunately, we know that not all of you were able to join us yesterday for this incredible event, but all hope is not lost! In fact, if you would like to join next year’s SELPies event, all you have to do is complete the SELP program (and be employed on campus of course). So, if you are tired of hearing about student employment and are ready to join the team, follow the links below to get started!!

Student Jobs: http://ow.ly/w8Adv

SELP: http://ow.ly/w8A90

Photos from the event (posted on 4/28/14): http://ow.ly/w8AbD