I grew up in a family that valued public education. My grandparents, parents, and many of my aunts and uncles were dedicated public school teachers for their entire careers. I’ve been an educator for over 20 years, focusing on post-secondary education at St. Paul Technical College, Dunwoody College, and the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. My focus has been on delivering practical education to a variety of technical and engineering industries, and I managed a degree program for over 15 years that was focused on providing continuing education opportunities for construction workers.
Education is a cornerstone of our society, and our public school teachers bring commitment and passion to their work. I support increased funding of our public education system, from pre-K through high school. I also support increased funding of our public colleges and universities, and will work to make quality education accessible to all.
As the Director of the Construction Management program at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities for 15 years, I managed a curriculum that addressed the needs of working adults and helped them earn degrees and certificates that moved them into better jobs. I will continue to look for ways to create similar programs, and create funding that enhances a path to construction jobs and other skilled labor forces.
I’ve met with students at the University of Minnesota to hear their concerns: in addition to addressing rising tuition costs, they’re justifiably worried about student loan debt, personal safety, gun violence, access to fresh and affordable groceries, and climate change. I hope to continue teaching at the University of MN after being elected to the Senate, where I will continue to hear firsthand from students about their concerns and needs.