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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Meet the Leadership Team

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/reslife/employment/meet_the_leadership_team.html

 

Torin Akey

Associate Director

Email: torin.akey@mnsu.edu


Education:  MS: College Student Personnel, Miami University; BBA: Business, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Previous Positions:  Complex Director  (Mankato); Hall Director (Iowa State University); Assistant First-Year Advisor (Miami University)
What I like about being a Maverick:  The opportunities to be intentional when creating systems (from an idea through implementation) to better meet the changing developmental needs of our students and the evolving needs of our staff team.  Also, I value the opportunities to have a "seat at the table" in campus decision making.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am currently involved in UMR-ACUHO and serve as the Association Treasurer and also participate in the City of Mankato Leadership Institute throughout the 15-16 academic year.  I have an interest in gaining further knowledge about "First Generation" students and utilizing the framework "This I Believe" in our work. I look forward to my conversations with parents each summer during orientation.
Hobbies:  Running, playing with my dogs, watching my kids in a variety of their athletic pursuits, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams!

Liz Steinborn-Gourley

Student Success Coordinator & Conduct Hearing Officer

Email: elizabeth.steinborn-gourley@mnsu.edu      


Education:  MEd in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a Certificate in Social Justice from Iowa State University; BA in Marine Biology from Alaska Pacific University.                                                                                                   Previous Positions:  Resident Director, University of Illinois Springfield; Assistant Director of Campus Life, Alaska Pacific University; Admissions Counselor, Alaska Pacific University.
What I like about being a Maverick:  I am happy to be a member of a team focused on caring for our residents and providing them with opportunities to learn outside the classroom.  I also think campus is a terrific size - there are a lot of things for our students to do, and it still feels like a close-knit community.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am very interested in learning about the role of identity development theory in our daily practice, substance abuse among college students, and campus sexual assault.  I consider those topics through a social justice and feminist lens.
Hobbies:  I love spending time with my family.  I often bake and usually have two or three knitting projects going on at a time.  I really enjoy participating in all of the seasons that Minnesota has to offer.

Kirsten Andrews

Program Advisor & Summer Operations Coordinator

Email: kirsten.andrews@mnsu.edu 

Education:  MS in Counsling and Student Development & Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising from Kansas State University, BSBA in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University.
Previous Positions:  Residence Hall Director, University of Wisconsin - LaCrosse; Assistant Residence Life Coordinator, Kansas State University.
What I like about being a Maverick:  I appreciate the intentionality that students and colleagues put into relationships and initiatives at Minnesota State Mankato. There is a drive to continue improving our efforts in order to truly serve students, and I am pushed every day to be the best professional I can be. Personally, the connection between MSU, Mankato and the city make it a great place to live, and there is always something to engage in year-round.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am actively involved in UMR-ACUHO and ACUHO-I, and serve the region through committee involvement as well as participation in the Regional Entry Level Institute. My interests include leadership development for students and professionals, academic advising, incorporating authenticity and vulnerability into Student Affairs, and equity & inclusion efforts. I have a passion for working with first year students, as well as creating an environment where people can share their stories.
Hobbies:  I enjoy reading for pleasure, yoga & dancing, volleyball, and staying connected with family and friends. I love to explore Mankato and the surrounding communities with my partner, and take in as many theatre productions, sporting events, and thrift/antique shops as possible! I am an avid sports fan (especially hockey!), and cheer for my teams from Chicago and Detroit.

 

Matt Burns

Area Director

Email: matthew.burns@mnsu.edu


Education:  MEd: Higher Education, Iowa State University; BS: Industrial Engineering, Iowa State University
Previous Positions:  Residential Program Manager (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
What I like about being a Maverick:  The students at Minnesota State Mankato continue to bring new ideas and passions to our community.  I enjoy working with students as they develop their academic and career goals while learning to be leaders in the world around them.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am the UMR-ACUHO Programming Committee Program Chair-Elect for 2015-2016 and I am a member of ACUHO-I.  I also serve as the advisor for a Greek organization on campus.  I am interested in first-generation student success, student leader development, and first-generation college students.
Hobbies: Running, youth lacrosse, music, and art.

Brice Matthews

Area Director

Email: brice.matthews@mnsu.edu


Education:  MS: Educational Leadership, Minnesota State Mankato; BS: Secondary Education Social Studies, Northern Michigan University
Previous Positions:  Hall Director (Minnesota State University, Mankato); Residence Director (Fort Lewis College)
What I like about being a Maverick:  I love the many opportunities we have to interact with students in a one-on-one setting. I also enjoy the amount of opportunities we have to collaborate with other folks around campus.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am very interested in social justice work, financial responsibility, and the utilization of technology in the workplace.
Hobbies:  Snowboarding, video games, volunteering, fishing, and spending time with family.

Jamie Van Boxel

Area Director

Email:
jamie.van-boxel@mnsu.edu


Education:  Current Doctoral Student: Higher Education Administration, Ed.D., St. Cloud State University; MS: College Student Personnel Administration, University of Central Missouri; BS: Criminal Justice, University of Wisconsin-Platteville
Previous Positions:   Transitional Learning Community Program Coordinator (Minnesota State University, Mankato); Area Coordinator (UW-Green Bay); Graduate Hall Director (University of Central Missouri); Hall Director (Lawrence University)
What I like about being a Maverick:  I feel connected to MSU and the City of Mankato because of the talented and hard-working colleagues I have met in my time as a Maverick.  Colleagues I have interacted with in Residential Life and beyond in the greater MSU community are committed to performance.  I have made many friends and connected with many in the city of Mankato because most are friendly, compassionate, accepting, and fun.  I couldn't ask for a better community to make a home!
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests:  I am currently serving in a leadership position for our bargaining unit/union (MSUAASF) that represents many Student Affairs positions on our campus. I am learning a lot about various campus offices through this experience. I am also a doctoral student in a Higher Education program, which is a constant investment in my growth as a Student Affairs professional. I have attended a StrengthsQuest Conference in the Twin Cities and various ACUHO-I Conferences during my time here.  I have also taken advantage of professional development opportunities right here on campus, including the annual "Professional Development Day" for faculty and staff held each January.
Hobbies:  As a homeowner, I can often be found cutting the lawn, gardening, fixing things around the house, and shoveling snow!  My partner and I spend time with our hairless dog Harriet, a Chinese Crested, walking around our neighborhood.  We enjoy attending festivals and activities both in Mankato and in the Twin Cities throughout the summer.  Movies, Packer football games, reading, camping, downhill skiing, and traveling to visit my family are all activities my partner and I look forward to throughout the year.

 

Steph Knoppa

Area Director

Email: stephanie.knoppa@mnsu.edu


Education: MEd: Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah; BS: Psychology, History, Human Development, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Previous Positions:  Residence Hall Director (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point); Assistant Residential Education Coordinator (University of Utah)
What I like about being a Maverick: I enjoy our continual and intentional focus on our students.  Our staff across campus are committed to student success and are a joy to work with on a daily basis.
Professional Development/Involvement/Interests: Currently I serve as the Division of Student Affairs representative for the University Policy Consultation and Approval Committee. I enjoy being involved in professional organizations (NASPA, ASCA, UMR-ACUHO, NACADA) and have strong interests in social justice/diversity work, student mental health, sexual violence issues, academic advising, and student conduct.
Hobbies: I am a proud dog mom and love spending time with my dogs (whether that is hiking, trips to lakes, training classes, etc.) I have also found a home and support in the yoga community in Mankato. Additionally, I love working with animal rescue organizations, crafting in all forms, reading, and traveling.