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Nate Whittaker

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TRIO Student Support Services adviser

40 Education Sciences Building
For appointments, call 612-625-0772
Direct: 612-625-3337

Advises for:

About Nate

Nate Whittaker began his college career in 1996 as a student in the General College (University of Minnesota). In 2001, Nate obtained a bachelor’s degree in the Inter-College Program (multicultural education and youth studies thematic) with a Leadership Minor. In 2005, he completed his Master’s of Education degree in Youth Development Leadership with an emphasis in social justice from the College of Education and Human Development.

Nate is a social justice and reconciliation educator, youth worker, white abolitionist, and activist. His passion for this work has led him to conflicted areas of Belfast, Northern Ireland and Cape Town, South Africa (his second home) where he continues to contribute to democracy projects with young people. Nate is highly involved in national policy activism for college students who are low-income, first-generation, underrepresented, immigrant, and students with disabilities. Since 2010, Nate has led a yearly university course to Cape Town, South Africa focusing on social justice, healing, and reconciliation. He has also taught numerous courses on social justice, social change, community development, and self-authorship.

Currently, Nate is an adviser at the University of Minnesota with the Civil Rights legacy program, TRIO Student Support Services, and a Community Adjunct Faculty member in the Social Justice Minor, both in CEHD. In addition, Nate is the Director of International Programs & Initiatives for Building Bridges, South Africa.

In 2013, Nate was the recipient of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award (Office for Equity and Diversity); 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Award for Global Engagement (Global Programs and Strategy Alliance); recognized as a learning abroad “game changer” by International Studies Abroad; and, honored by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild in 2005 for his leadership of the General College Truth Movement.

Outside of academia, Nate is a professional dance music producer and deejay/turntablist signed with multiple independent record labels worldwide and holds a residency at First Avenue. In 2015, he started Pluralistic Records, a philanthropic dance music label. Nate is an avid writer, often focusing on the more spiritual realms of social justice work. He lives in South Minneapolis with his rescue pup named “Dezzie” (Black Lab/ChowChow mix) and his loyal partner, Kristin.

We are committed to providing a comfortable, inclusive, and respectful environment for all members of our communities. If there is information you feel would be helpful for us to know, including disability or other accommodation needs, I invite you to share it with me directly or let the front desk know when you schedule an appointment.

Drop-in advising

Mondays, 10:00-11:00 a.m. and Thursdays, 11:00-1:00 p.m. (40 Education Sciences Building)
Note:  At times during the semester these hours do fluctuate. It is always best to call ahead to ensure the drop-in hours are still available.

Drop-in hours will be different for every adviser

  • Drop-in advising is usually limited to a 10 to 15 minute session. Students needing more time should schedule a 30 minute appointment by calling Student Services at 612-625-0772.
  • During the summer months, drop-in advising hours are not regularly held. Please call CEHD Student Services at 612-625-0772 to schedule an appointment.

Examples of issues for drop-in advising

  • Review of classes and class schedules
  • APAS review and updates
  • Petition discussions
  • Signatures for academic forms
  • Short Q & A
  • General discussion
  • Non-academic topics (such as time management, connecting on campus, etc.)
  • Referral to resources


Individual distinctions

  • CEHD Rising Alumni Award | University of Minnesota | 2016
  • Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award, University of Minnesota, 2013
  • Distinguished Award for Global Engagement | University of Minnesota Global Programs and Strategy Alliance | 2013
  • Recognized as learning abroad ‘Game Changer’ | International Studies Abroad | 2013
  • Personal achievement profile featured on College of Education and Human Development website | 2013
  • Featured in College of Education and Human Development Connect Magazine, “Global Learners: How Study Abroad Experiences Impact Students” | University of Minnesota | 2011.
  • Community Honorary | Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild | 2005
  • Program Winner | Living with a Disability 3 | University of Minnesota Housing and Residential Life | 2003
  • National Residence Hall Honorary National Bronze Pin Recipient | National Association of College and University Residence Halls | 2000
  • 4-Year Achievement Award | National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) | 2000
  • Best University Program Award | Midwest Affiliates of College and University Residence Halls (MACURH) | 1999
  • Top Ten Program Award | Midwest Affiliates of College and University Residence Halls (MACURH) | 1999
  • Program Winner | “Living With A Disability” | University of Minnesota Housing and Residential Life | 1998

Group distinctions

  • Lillian H. Williams Award in conjunction with University of Minnesota TRIO Programs | University of Minnesota Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action | 2014
  • Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education honorable mention in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center | Institute of International Education | 2014


  • Nominated for the MacJannet Prize for Community Engagement | Talloires Network and the MacJannet Foundation | 2013
  • Nominated for the College of Education and Human Development Multicultural Recognition Award | University of Minnesota | 2013

Professional development

Select highlights and interests

Equity and diversity related development:

  • Dismantling Racism and White Privilege in Student Affairs: from Recruitment to Graduation
  • Nobel Peace Prize Forum
  • Annual White Privilege Conference
  • South African National Association of Child Care Workers
  • Office of Multicultural and Academic Affairs: Diversity Connections Intern
  • Underground Railroad Experience Team and African American Youth Leadership Training Initiative, 1994 – 1997

Leadership related development:

  • Council for Opportunity in Education Federal TRIO Policy Seminars
  • Digital Storytelling Community of Practice
  • University of Minnesota Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference
  • Rainbow Families Conference
  • General College Truth Movement Founder