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Irv Aslakson

Irving L. Aslakson
Traffic Management Officer
Federal Aviation Administration
,
Minneapolis/St. Paul Air Traffic Control Tower

  • Master's in Public and Nonprofit Administration - Metropolitan State 2003
  • Outstanding graduate student in College of Management Spring 2003
  • BA with emphasis in aviation management - Metropolitan State 1999
  • Worked with the Federal Aviation Administration for past 23 years
  • Currently Traffic Management Officer at Minneapolis/St. Paul Air Traffic Control Tower
  • Have worked in various capacities for the FAA including controller, training specialist, and operations supervisor
  • Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor since 1975
  • Happily married to my wife Beverly for 25 years
  • Avid jogger and bowler
  • Greatly enjoyed all my time at Metropolitan State. The classes, present-day subject matter, and learning could always be immediately applied in my work as a supervisor or manager
  • Hope to use my MPNA to teach at the college level someday
Karin M. Ehlert

Karin M. Ehlert
Director of Training and Communications
Minnesota Office of Justice Programs

My experience in the Master's of Nonprofit Management and Public Administration program at Metropolitan State University was incredible from an academic perspective, but more importantly it was an amazing opportunity to work with fellow students with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The students at Metropolitan crossed economical, cultural, and educational lines that greatly enhanced the classroom experience. I was also impressed with the talent and skill of the teaching staff at Metropolitan University and the Adjunct Instructors from the community. The instruction offered a balance of experience in various professions and academia that I believe was a great benefit to my overall graduate school journey.

I currently serve as the Director of Training and Communications with the MN Office of Justice Programs and my degree is a perfect fit for the career path I have chosen. The degree I received is invaluable in achieving my career goals and developing a skill set that is an asset in state government. I believe Metro State has developed a comprehensive program that works with returning students and provides an atmosphere filled with challenges and support systems that move students towards success. Academically I was very impressed, but the personal attention I received and my advisor's guidance and commitment to my achievement were imperative to my satisfaction with the program. Metropolitan State University was more than I expected and I am proud to be a graduate from the MPNA Program.

Patrick Flahavan

Patrick Flahavan
Secretary of the Minnesota State Senate

I chose Metropolitan State University's MPNA Program because it offered contemporary courses for the professional working adult. The flexibility of the program fit my professional and personal schedule, and my skills were sharpened by the interaction with other students who brought their work and life experiences to the classroom discussions.

Bart Fischer

Bart Fischer
Economic Development Director
,
City of Newport

"After obtaining my undergraduate degree in 1997, I swore to myself that I would never go back to school. Little did I know that 6 years later, after much prodding from my wife, I would be the proud holder of a Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University.

When looking into graduate programs throughout the Twin City Area, there really was no choice in my mind as to which program offered the most. Metro definitely fit my lifestyle and budget while providing me with what I feel was the most enriching program in the area. Metro's graduate program is a true testament to the dedication of the high-caliber, real-world experienced instructors. More specifically, the success of the Public Administration Graduate Program is the direct result of the hard work and devotion Roger Israel has provided the institution and his students.

In addition, I cannot discuss my experience at Metro without mentioning and thanking my fellow classmates! Without a doubt, I would not be holding a Masters Degree if not for the help and encouragement of such a diverse and talented group of friends.

On a personal level, after 5 years working for the Minnesota State Senate and 2 years at the City of Oakdale, I was recently named the Economic Development Director for the City of Newport, Minnesota, and will begin my duties in this position shortly. My experience at Metro has and will be a vital asset as I further my career in local government."

Gerlicher, Scott

Scott Gerlicher
Minneapolis Police Officer
,
Minneapolis, MN

Scott has been a Minneapolis Police Officer for 14 years. He is currently a Lieutenant in the 1st precinct and has also served as the MPD's Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness Coordinator since 1999. Scott is responsible for planning the MPD's response to potential acts of terrorism and other emergencies, coordinating state and federal grants, planning training relating to emergency preparedness, and writing policies on how the MPD is to respond to emergency situations. Scott received his bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement from Metropolitan State in 1998 and his Masters in Public and Non-Profit Administration in May 2003.

Here is what Scott says about the program:

"The MPNA program at Metropolitan State has helped me greatly with my current position. It has taught me to be a better manager and I have been able to apply what I have learned to my work. I often recommend Metropolitan State graduate program to other police officers or anyone who is considering going back to college for a master's degree. There are several things about Metropolitan State's graduate program in the College of Management which I really liked:

The high caliber of instructors that have real world experience. The diversity of students in the courses was great. The differences in culture and careers made the classroom discussions very dynamic. The flexibility of classes and scheduling. The instructors understood that students had busy schedules and careers above and beyond their
commitment to graduate school.

I have been fortunate that I have made lasting contacts and relationships with other students."

Tiffany Halligan

Tiffany Halligan
Program Director of School Readiness Program
, Minneapolis, MN

"I received my Masters of Public and Nonprofit Administration in May 2003 from Metropolitan State University. Completing graduate school has been both a personal and professional accomplishment. I truly enjoyed the experience I had at Metro. I got more out of school this time around than I did during my undergraduate. I believe it is the atmosphere at Metro that makes it easier to go back to school after so many years and this allows for a positive learning environment.

I have worked in the nonprofit sector for over 12 years, and hold a B. A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology. I currently am a program director of a school readiness program in Minneapolis. Some personal accomplishments have been buying my first house and being able to travel with my friends.

If it wasn't for the classmates who could relate to what one goes through when returning to school full time along with working full time and for Roger Israel's and other instructors supportive and nurturing styles as educators I would not have made it to the end."

Jeffery Jorgenson

Jeff Jorgenson
Budget Program Manager, Community Health & Environmental Services, Anoka County
Class of 2004.

In my current position, some of my major responsibilities include the following: develop and monitor a multi layered department budget, conduct community health needs assessment, grant development and evaluation, strategic planning, and program development and evaluation.

I truly enjoyed everything about my experience at Metro State. I would highly recommend (and often do) Metro State to any person thinking of going back to school. Metro offered programs and schedules that fit my busy lifestyle. The diversity of students enhanced the classroom experience and I feel has helped me to become a better manager. All of my instructors were of high quality and brought real world experience that I could immediately use. I felt everyone involved in the MPNA program was committed to making sure my experience at Metro State was a positive one. The personal attention I received from everyone involved with the program was great. Lastly, I can not say enough nice things about Dr. Roger Israel Professor & Director of Public Administration and Nonprofit Management Programs.

Beth Louden

Beth Louden
Director of Facilities at William Mitchell College of Law,
St. Paul, MN

Beth successfully completed her Masters Degree in Non-Profit Administration at Metropolitan State University. She is employed as the Director of Facilities at William Mitchell College of Law. Her personal goal was to earn her Masters Degree and she believes that the experience and educational value from Metropolitan State University will enable her to remain competitive in the job market. She credits the excellent instructors and insightful interaction with fellow students for enhancing her learning experience.

Ibrahim Noor

Ibrahim Noor
Minnesota Department of Employee and Economic Development

"My family and I immigrated from Somalia to USA in 1997. When I came to this country, I did not know what the future would look like. My sole asset was my previous education in this country about a decade ago and the English language.
It was sort of starting from scratch. I accepted different employments which I believe were under my level of academic achievement, because, because most of the companies I applied couldn't or didn't want to give me credit for my studies or, they had no way of verifying my background experience in my country. This had encouraged me to go back to academic studies and luckily Metropolitan State University was there for me. I was exceptionally lucky to have met professor Roger Israel, because without his encouragement and guidance, I would never have had the privilege of becoming a Metropolitan State Alumni. After one year of wonderful experience, I was able to achieve my dream; a Master's degree. It was a very busy time-- especially when you are full-time employee with 6 children
to raise. Without the flexibility of Metropolitan State University's schedule, faculty and convenient locations, I would never have finished my degree.

Now, not only I am respected for my Master's Degree but my employer-- Minnesota Department of Employee and Economic Development (Formerly Economic Security) has recently
promoted me and gave me more responsibilities.
With this experience in mind, I urge anybody who has a full-time job and wishes to receive higher education, to bear in mind that Metropolitan State University is out there for you. Take that from an eyewitness.
Thank you."

Steve Piekarski

Steve Piekarski
Planning Specialist
Ramsey County Community Social Services
St. Paul, Minnesota

"I am really proud of my MPNA degree and what I accomplished as I pursued it. The things I learned from the experience (both in class and from my peers) I was able to grow both professionally and personally. The MPNA program provided me with knowledge to grow in my career and in my understanding of how government works. I am proud to have had the opportunity to attend Metropolitan State University and I look forward to the challenges a career in public administration will provide me."

Dave Weber Dave Weber
Director of College Relations and Effectiveness
Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) at the University Center Rochester

Dave is the Director of College Relations and Effectiveness for Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) at the University Center Rochester where he is a senior administrator responsible for strategic planning, continuous quality improvement, marketing, communications, college relations and marketing research functions. He has served on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of
Examiners in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. He has also served as a senior evaluator and team leader in the Minnesota Quality Award Program from 1996 to 1999. Currently he serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Area Quality Council (RAQC). Dave has served on the RAQC Board of Directors since 1995.

"My experience in the Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration was wonderful. I returned school in 2000 to pursue a Master's Degree after having finished my undergraduate studies 15 years earlier. I cannot speak more highly of Professor Roger Israel, the Director of the MPNA program and my advisor. Roger was creative, flexible and open to hearing new ideas and perspectives. Roger made the transition back to graduate studies easy and he helped design a learning experience which met my needs and reflected my background. The faculty was wonderful and the diversity of students made for a rich experience. I will always look back fondly on my Metro State experience."

Dorothy Zenner

Dorothy J. Zenner
Office Manager for the Office of General Counsel, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Dorothy's career has been in office administration, the last decade as a legal office administrator. She is currently Office Manager for the Office of General Counsel, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

"The Masters in Public and Nonprofit Administration program was of tremendous value as I transitioned from the private to the public sector. Most of the instructors I had were experienced in public service, and they exhibited this knowledge in their classroom. This helped me to understand, not only the theory and substantive information, but also the political and the service aspects of working in the public and nonprofit world. I learned valuable lessons in all my classes; I can fit the concepts into my internal and external work environment. I was able to immediately apply some specific skills I learned in management communication, public finance, and strategic management of information to my job. I will continue to use what I learned in the MPNA program in future endeavors.

The instructors and students in this program at Metropolitan State University made me feel welcome. Since I am a very nontraditional student, this meant everything. I enjoy the mental stimulation of a classroom; I believe engaging in higher education is rewarding and healthy for senior citizens as we live in this information age. I need to put in a plug for Professor Israel, the Director of the MPNA program. Whenever I think of public servant, I think of him."



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