Don Riley

Riley photo

Coordinator of Student Progress and Retention

360 Education Sciences Building
For appointments, call 612-625-3339 or schedule online.
Direct: 612-626-4866

About me

Hello Students!

Although I started my education at the University of Minnesota, Morris, it took me over ten years to return to the state. I grew up primarily in North Dakota, but have lived in California, Montana, Nebraska, Louisiana, Iowa, and Kansas as well. I hold an undergraduate degree in Spanish and English education and pursued graduate work at the University of Iowa for Spanish Linguistics. Most of my experiences have been linked to training and education in some way, but I am very happy to have found my home in academic advising.

I was most recently the advisor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, where I had the opportunity to work closely with students interested in studying abroad. As an undergraduate I studied in Spain, and as an advisor I was fortunate enough to travel to Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela to learn more about the student experience off campus. I hope to continue encouraging students in CEHD to step outside themselves and experience life in another culture, whether they are completing an internship, business courses, liberal education requirements, or simply taking advantage of the opportunity to observe student life in another part of the world.

The five programs for which I will advise are very exciting. Although they may seem different, working with people and improving their lives are two themes at their core. Because I love working with people, I’m thrilled to be working with students who hold that interest as well. For the undecided students with whom I’ll work, I look forward to helping you navigate the University of Minnesota while finding a program that best fits your interests and skills. The U is a big place, and I encourage you to explore it and take full advantage of it.

When I’m not in the office, I enjoy being active outside walking around the lakes, spending time with friends, going to concerts, and exploring Twin Cities’ restaurants. I also enjoy traveling, reading, and am working on fixing up my 1936 house in St. Paul.

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

Drop-in advising is available over Zoom. Check with your advisor for their weekly availability.

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 612-625-3339.

Example of issues for drop-in advising

  • Review of classes and class schedule
  • 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.)

Professional development

Select highlights and interests

Equity and diversity related development:

  • University of Minnesota Equity and Diversity Certificate
  • Dismantling Racism and White Privilege in Student Affairs: From Recruitment to Graduation
  • GLBTA Ally Training

Working with Student-Athletes

International and learning abroad related development:

  • Internationalizing the Curriculum
  • Site visits to Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela