Community faculty

Sue Abderholden

Sue Abderholden
  • Courses taught: SW 8806: Health and Mental Health Policy
  • Education: BA in Political Science, Macalester College; Master’s in Public Health Administration University of Minnesota
  • Email: abder003@umn.edu
  • I have been the executive director at NAMI Minnesota since 2001. I have also held leadership positions at Arc of Minnesota, Minnesota office of US Senator Paul Wellstone, and PACER Center. For over 40 years I have developed and advocated for public policies to improve the lives of people with disabilities or mental illnesses and their families. My family had a foster care license for many years providing respite care for families of children with disabilities and youth aging out of foster care. I have served on several boards, (such as Goodwill Easter Seal, Hearth Connection and the MN Rural Health Association) and a number of state advisory committees and task forces.

    I have received numerous awards for my advocacy including the 2020 Esther Wattenberg Policy Award, being named one of the 100 most influential health care leaders by MN Physician, the 2018 Rona and Ken Purdy Award to End Discrimination from National NAMI, Excellence in Mental Health Advocacy and Policy Award from the International African Mental Health Providers, 2013 Gaylord Anderson Leadership Award from the U of M School of Public Health, the National Council for Behavioral Health 2013 Advocacy Leadership Award, Distinguished Community Partner Award from the U of M School of Social Work, Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies, Systems Advocacy Award from Arc of Minnesota, NASW Citizen of the Year, Paul Wellstone Advocacy Award from the Minnesota Psychiatric Society, Heroes for Children Award from the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, and many others.

Mark Costello

Mark Costello
  • Courses taught: SW 3701: Into to Child Maltreatment
  • Education: I have an MSW from the University St. Thomas/College of St. Catherine (back in the day when they were a combined MSW program)
  • Email: mcostell@umn.edu
  • I am currently a supervisor in Child Protection case management in Ramsey County Social Services.

    I like to workout, bike ride/walk around the lakes (I live near the Lake of the Isles), watch my kids play soccer, watch the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Twins play, hit up the local breweries and new restaurants, and go to karaoke bars in NE Minneapolis.

Malaika Eban

Malaika Eban
  • Courses taught: SW 8153: Social Work Practice Methods: Macro Practice, and SW 8551: Community Assessment and Intervention
  • Education: B.S., Biology Education, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; SW and MPP, University of Minnesota
  • Email: hanki035@umn.edu

I work at the Legal Rights Center, a non-profit public defense firm in Minneapolis. In my role as Director of Community Strategy, I lead our community engagement related to legal system transformation. I work with with youth, families, and community members to bring to life a new vision for Minnesota's justice system, through policy advocacy, restorative practices programming, and community legal education.

My general interests are in working towards justice in our communities, as well as cat motherhood and plant/star magic.

Rob Edwards

Rob Edwards
  • Courses taught: SW 8842–Advanced Social Work Practice Evaluation
  • Education: BA, Saint Mary's University; MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: eduar003@umn.edu

I am Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit Lee Carlson Center of Mental Health and Wellbeing. I have been serving the non-profit human-services sector for more than 20 years, including 15 years as Lee Carlson Center's CEO. I also serve as a member of the Board of Regents at Saint Mary's University.

In 2012, I was awarded the Early Career Excellence Award from NASW-MN and am currently the President of the National Association of Social Workers Minnesota Chapter. I am on the Board of Directors for AspireMN (formerly the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies) and on the Executive Committee of the Anoka County Children and Family Council (ACCFC). I also served as a committee member on the Minnesota Statewide Foster Care Workgroup.

My interests include distance running, renovations and construction.

Katie Erickson

Katie Erickson
  • Courses taught: SW 8030: MSW Field Seminar; SW 3701: Intro to Child Maltreatment
  • Education: BSW, Minnesota State University Moorhead; MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: eric1791@umn.edu

I am a child protection investigator at Hennepin County and a community trainer/curriculum developer with the Training Academy through CASCW/Dept. of Human Services.

I like to read, watch/attend sporting events (especially Gopher football!), travel, do pilates, and spend time with friends.

Jessie Everts

Jessie Everts
  • Courses taught: SW 5051–Human Behavior and the Social Environment; SW 8842: Advanced Social Work Evaluation
  • Education: PhD, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota
  • Email: ever0128@umn.edu

I wear many hats: I practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with Wild Tree Psychotherapy in St. Paul, I am a Clinical Consultant with Happify Health; I have my own consulting/training and coaching agency (Empower Mental Health), and I authored a book that will come out in March 2021 called Brave New Mom: A survival guide to mindfully navigating postpartum motherhood.

My interests include reading, writing, running, traveling, and getting my kids outside!

Alex Fink

Alex Fink
  • Courses taught: Instructor: YOST 3032–Adolescent and Youth Development for Youthworkers
  • Education: MSW, University of Minnesota; PhD, Social Work, University of Minnesota
  • Email: finkx082@umn.edu

I am a "Researcher" at the University of Minnesota, but I prefer the title "Learning Partner," which I hope communicates that in the evaluation, research, training, and teaching work I do I aim to work as a colleague/partner with youth workers and young people. The focus of my work is on supporting and developing youth leadership for social change.

Outside of work, I spend time with my family—especially outside, run, bike, hike, and climb. I'm always trying to learn something new—right now I'm learning to identify all the amazing birds and plants that surround me in the midwestern outdoors.

Elizabeth Franklin

Elizabeth Franklin
  • Courses taught: SW 8462–Advanced Clinical Practice with Children and Adolescents
  • Education: MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: frank404@umn.edu

I'm the Senior Manager of Community Based Mental Health Services at Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES). I also chair El Consorcio, a nonprofit professional organization for Spanish-speaking mental health and social service providers in the Twin Cities.

I love to read, cook, knit, and grow things. I have two school-aged kids, and we like to go on bike rides. We have a family goal to make it to as many state parks and Minnesota Historical Society sites as possible in 2021.

Kai Gunty

Kai Gunty
  • Courses taught: SW 8841–Research Methods
  • Education: BA Psychology, University of Minnesota; MA, Psychology, University of Minnesota; PhD candidate, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota
  • Email: gunty004@umn.edu

I am a full-time researcher in the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota. I do research around autism spectrum disorders and community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Outside of academics (which takes up a lot of my life), I love anything outdoors: hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and camping. I have a 6-year-old mutt (lab/blue heeler/shar pei/golden retriever/husky mix) who joins me on many of those adventures. I am also passionate about different mindfulness and mind-body practice—espeically Zen Buddhism and Iyengar yoga.

Ann Hackel

Ann Hackel
  • Courses taught: SW8363 - Social Work in Child Welfare
  • Education: BSW, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire; MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: hack0124@umn.edu

The entirety of my 20+ year career in social work has been dedicated to child welfare with 15 of those years working as a Child Protection Investigator. I enjoy forensic interviewing, injury identification, collaborating with community partners, and having the child "centered" in the work that is being done on their behalf. I am passionate about guiding the work forward with an equity lens and starting first with my own personal bias.

I recently completed a 3 year term as a representative on the Minnesota Supreme Court Rules of Juvenile Protection Advisory Committee. I enjoy training especially on topics related to mandated reporting, injury identification, maltreatment, and interviewing (caregiver, forensic, child). The Sleep On It Campaign I collaborated on was recognized by the National Association of Counties (NACO) in the category of Civic Education and Public Information. I am also working with an amazing non-profit, Vivienne's Joy. The non-profit raises awareness about SUDC-Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood.

My most favorite title is that of mom. My partner and I have two children and a pandemic puppy. We love glamping at various campgrounds across Minnesota and Wisconsin. I am an avid football fan and love spending Sundays cheering for the Packers. I am originally from Wisconsin and never thought I would call St. Paul home... now I can't imagine it any other way.

I am thrilled to be teaching in the school of social work and look forward to many more semesters here.

Danielle Hegseth

Danielle Hegseth
  • Courses taught: SW 8153–Social Work Practice Methods: Macro Practice; SW 8843: Social Work Program Evaluation
  • Education: MSW and MPP, University of Minnesota
  • Email: diett001@umn.edu

I work for Child Trends as a Research Scientist. I work with states and the federal government to conduct research and evaluation on policies and programs impacting the early childhood education field.

I love to travel to places where I can hike in the mountains (when there isn't a pandemic), watch movies, tend to my plants, and eat.

Angie Hirsch

Angie Hirsch
  • Courses taught: SW 8806: Health and Mental Health Policy
  • Education: MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: strat015@umn.edu

I'm currently splitting my time between the Department of Human Services and the Governor's Office. At the DHS, I work in the Behavioral Health Division as the American Indian Mental Health Clinical Coordinator. At the Governor's Office, I'm helping to coordinate the tribal COVID-19 response.

In my down time, I enjoy hanging out with our 4 children and long distance running.

Hilal Isler

Hilal Isler
  • Courses taught: SW 1501–Intro to Peace Studies
  • Education: BS/MS, Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Maryland; PhD, Education, University of Pennsylvania
  • Email: isler010@umn.edu

Hilal Isler has been with the Social Justice Minor Program since 2013. She teaches Introduction to Peace Studies and Introduction to Social Justice. She is also a writer, with work in the Paris Review, the LA Review of Books, the Brooklyn Review online, and elsewhere. She currently serves as Editor of the literary arts journal, the Hennepin Review. Her doctorate is from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bryan Karban

Bryan Karban
  • Courses taught: YOST 4201: Facilitating Outdoor Experiences, and YOST 4202: Facilitating Outdoor Experiences - Winter
  • Education: BA, History, University of Minnesota; MEd, HR Development, University of Minnesota
  • Email: bkarban@umn.edu

I am the Program Manager for the University of Minnesota Outdoor Program. I have also served in a volunteer capacity on the Board of Directors for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education as well as the Minnesota Climbers Association

I have a passion for all forms of human powered outdoor recreation with an emphasis on rock and ice climbing and distance running, but also love canoeing, skiing, hiking, bird watching, and anything that gets me closer to nature. I have a deep interest in the narratives and stories we create around outdoor recreation, who is and is not included in these stories, and finding ways to embrace different understandings of what outdoor recreation means.

Carol LaBine

Carol LaBine
  • Courses taught: SWK 8806 Health/Mental Health Policy
  • Education: BSW, University of North Dakota; MSW, St. Catherine's/St. Thomas
  • Email: cmlabine@umn.edu

I am currently at DHS, working with benefits policies for Medicaid services. I have been at DHS for 13 years and spent 11 in Behavioral health. I have over 20 years of experience that includes direct practice and a specialty in mental health/behavioral health care.

Mary Lennick

Mary Lennick
  • Courses taught: HBSE, and Child Welfare Policy
  • Education: BA, Sociology, University of Minnesota; MSW, Augsburg University
  • Email: lenn0074@umn.edu

I am the Executive Director at Family Alternatives (a private, child foster care agency located in Minneapolis).

I LOVE sports. I am a huge Minnesota sports fan - the Lynx, Wolves and Vikings are my favorite teams. I am also obsessed with my dog, Vincent, who most of my students will "meet" either remotely or via lots of pictures! :)

Angela Lewis-Dmello

Angela Lewis-DeMello
  • Courses taught: SW 8452–Core Concepts and Trauma Treatment; SW 8901–Social Work Supervision, Consultation and Leadership
  • Education: MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: lewi0463@umn.edu

I am the Executive Director at Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic.

I love reading, the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and listening to music.

Anna Lifson

Anna Lifson
  • Courses taught: SW 8251 - Advanced Social Work Practice with Health, Disability and Aging; SW 8821 - Social Work Practice and Difference, Diversity and Privilege; SW 5051: Human Behavior in the Social Environment; SW 8821: Social Work Practice and Difference, Diversity and Privilege
  • Education: BA, Macalester College; MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: alifson@umn.edu

Anna Lifson, LICSW (she/they) currently serves as the Women's Center Assistant Director in UMN's Office for Equity and Diversity, and engages students, staff/faculty, alums and community partners in intersectional gender equity work. Anna's past professional experience includes work as a therapist, case manager, educator, advocate, community organizer, volunteer coordinator, program director, and wedding officiant. Anna has also been a graduate research assistant and admissions ambassador at SSW, and served on CEHD's Alumni Society Board from 2017-2020. Anna welcomes your feedback, accountability, connection and collaboration as we collectively strive for justice, healing and liberation.

Anna enjoys swimming, cycling, learning acupressure points, jamming out to 80s/90s pop songs, reading novels & short stories, laughing at memes & puns, and snuggling with the world's bestest doggo.

John Marboe

John Marboe
  • Courses taught: YOST 4401–Young People and Spirituality
  • Education: MDiv, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN; PhD, Mythological Studies, Pacifica Graduate Institute (near Santa Barbara, CA)
  • Email: jcmarboe@umn.edu

I am Pastor of a small, vibrant church in the Midway area of St. Paul, Zion Lutheran Church.

I'm a proud dad of an amazing 17-year-old young woman, married to an (also amazing) person I've known since high school, love philosophy, psychology and mythology, great books, and writing. I am a motorcycle enthusiast, love tennis and golf, like to cook, have been known to make o.k. beer, and, oh... I forgot one thing. From 2011 to 2018 I also worked as a trash hauler here in this city. At first I did it because I needed work and money. Later I did it as an unusual form of "spiritual practice." If you are curious, I share the link to my blog, Reverend Doctor Garbageman.

Chiara Mesia Doig

Chiara Mesia Doig
  • Courses taught: SW 8821–Social Work and Difference, Diversity and Privilege
  • Education: MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: mesma001@umn.edu

I am a Psychotherapist at Boynton Health, University of Minnesota.

I enjoy cooking and running. I also like camping, traveling and getting to know people from different cultures and backgrounds. By far though, my passion is reading. Currently reading: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, and Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall.

Rajean Moone

Rajean Moone
  • Courses taught: SW 8805 - Aging and Disability Policy
  • Education: BA, Psychology, College of Saint Scholastica (Duluth); MS, Gerontology, St. Cloud State University; PhD, Social Work, University of Minnesota
  • Email: moon0060@umn.edu

Currently I serve as the Faculty Director for Long Term Care Administration in College of Continuing and Professional Studies as well as the Associate Director for Education in the Center for Healthy Aging & Innovation in the School of Public Health. I serve as CCAPS' Faculty Senator and member of the Campus Curriculum Committee.

In general I love traveling and take an international vacation each year. I've seen Russia, Sweden, Norway, England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Canada and Mexico. My upcoming trip plans are to Argentina, France and Italy.

Ed Morales

Ed Morales
  • Courses taught: SW 8152–Social Work Practice Methods with Families and Groups; co-facilitated an SW 8010 seminar
  • Education: MSW and MPP, University of Minnesota
  • Email: moral149@umn.edu

I currently am working as a trainer with the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy; as a social worker with Children's Minnesota, and as the owner of Socorro Consulting.

My hobbies include cooking, running, flying airplanes.

Jessi Oliver-Tebben

Jessi Oliver-Tebben
  • Courses taught: YOST 4196: Youth Work Internship; YOST 4322 /5322: Work with Youth - Families; YOST 4301/5301: Communicating with Adolescents about Sexuality; YOST 3101: Youth Work- Orientations and Approaches
  • Education: from University of Minnesota: Masters of Education - Youth Development Leadership - 2007 B.S. - Youth Studies, Ed. Psych., & Child Psych. - 1999
  • Email: tebb0004@umn.edu

Family Services Director at Ampersand Families

I am a dedicated and enthusiastic educator and human services professional with over 24 years of combined experience in training and education, equity and inclusion, sexual health education, positive youth development, and community organizing. I have four teen/young adult children, and lives with her wife, children, three dogs and a cat in Maplewood, MN.

Joan Riebel

Joan Riebel
  • Courses taught: SW 5051–Human Behavior and the Social Environment; SW 8804–Child Welfare Policy
  • Education: BA, College of St. Benedict; MSW, University of Minnesota
  • Email: riebe016@umn.edu

I have worked as a social worker since 1966, in a variety of public and private settings. I ended my direct service career in 2017, following 34 years as Executive Director of a non-profit agency. My career has been primarily focused on child welfare.

I am single, live in St. Paul and have two sons and two grandchildren. I love gardening, reading and traveling.

Jenna Sethi

Jenna Sethi
  • Courses taught: YOST 1001– Seeing Youth, Thinking Youth: Media, Popular Media, and Scholarship
  • Education: M.Ed., University of Minnesota; PhD, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Minnesota
  • Email: sethi007@umn.edu

Everyone has a story. Stories are data. Data informs change. My experience as a youthworker, educator, and qualitative research scientist have led me to the new adventure of independent consulting. I named my organization Informed Change because I believe powerful change is rooted in learning from and understanding young people and their communities. Young people are the experts of their experiences.

I have an awesome partner and two amazing kids who like to play cards and go on walks together. I love reading and playing my cello when I get the opportunity. Also, I love Prince.

Jennifer Skuza

Jennifer Skuza
  • Courses taught: YOST 5956: Organizational Approaches to Youth Development
  • Education: PhD, University of Minnesota, Work, Community and Family Education and International Education, minor
  • Email: skuza@umn.edu

UMN Extension Center for Youth Development, Associate Dean

I enjoy long distance running, Nordic skiing, and traveling.

Natalie Taber

Natalie Taber
  • Courses taught: SW 8452: Core Clinical Concepts in Social Work Practice
  • Education: I've earned an MSW from the University of Minnesota (School of Social Work); BA and MA degrees in Philosophy from Hendrix College and the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee, respectively; and I also have a BA in Religion from Hendrix. My theses have explored the nature of the self, experiences of gender based oppression in religious systems and institutions, and the power and effectiveness of culturally focused healing relationships.
  • Email: taber019@umn.edu
  • Academically and personally I’ve spent time working to understand the fabric of the western dominant culture and how it impacts the people in it. I work currently as a psychotherapist at Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic with a gender/sexuality and multicultural diversity focus. I have also worked as a researcher for UROC at the University of Minnesota on projects investigating the systems of power and demand that fuel markets and conditions for sex trafficking and sex work and how those systems amplify intersectional violence.

    When I'm not teaching or practicing therapy, I love spending time outdoors. I like to cook, bake, and travel and have secret skills of the pastry variety. I see my work as active critical engagement with systems of power, resistance in persistence, and healing through relationships.

Julie Tilsen

Julie Tilsen
  • Courses taught: YOST 4321/5321: Work with Youth - Individual, and YOST 4196: Youthwork Internship
  • Education: PhD In Social Construction, Queer Studies emphasis from Tilburg University
  • Email: jbtilsen@umn.edu

Private practice therapy & consultant to youth-serving agencies; core faculty for Fairfield University’s certificate program in counseling queer and trans people

Julie Tilsen, Ph.D. is the author of Queering Your Therapy Practice: Queer Theory, Narrative Therapy, and Imagining New Identities (2021, Routledge); Narrative Approaches to Youth Work: Conversational Skills for a Critical Practice (2018, Routledge), and Therapeutic Conversations with Queer Youth: Transcending Homonormativity & Constructing Preferred Identities (2013, Rowman & Littlefield) as well as a variety of professional articles and book chapters on narrative practice and the application of queer theory, and cultural studies methodologies. She is an associate of the Taos Institute and recipient of the Minnesota Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Distinguished Service Award. Her work is featured in several counselor training videos produced by Alexander Street Press and Sage/UPG Media. Julie is a hard-core fan of the University of Minnesota Gophers Women’s Hockey team and likes drinking cold press. She has a greyhound named Feet and a cat Presto, who actually is a wizard, not a cat. The sorting hat has decidedly placed Julie in the House of Ravenclaw.

Young Ji Yoon

Young Ji Yoon
  • Courses taught: SW 8841–Social Work Research Methods; SW 5913–Working with Immigrant Populations (co-instructor)
  • Education: BA, Child Welfare Studies and BEc, Economics, Sookmyung Women's University; MSW, Yonsei University; PhD candidate, Social Work, University of Minnesota
  • Email: yoonx381@umn.edu

Since 2016, I have worked on research projects that investigated cancer screening among Korean immigrants and informed the development of culturally relevant community interventions. I also volunteered at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Minneapolis. Through these experiences, I was trained to navigate cultural differences, address health disparities, and advocate for members of underserved minority groups. My dissertation will investigate the depression trajectories and health behaviors of people with chronic diseases, especially people of color, using national data from the Health and Retirement Study in the United States. I am also a research assistant for a study on educational disparities in Minnesota public schools that uses statewide data from Minn-LInK, which is housed at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare.

I enjoy doing yoga, playing the piano, and traveling.