Staff Directory

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association's staff serves a community of almost half a million alumni worldwide. Below is our full staff directory. Please feel free to contact us.


Lisa Lewis
President and Chief Executive Officer
(612) 624-6142

Job Description: It's my honor to lead our efforts to serve and engage the 466,000 alumni around the world. We are committed to connecting alumni, supporting students and strengthening our world-class research University.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Northrop Mall is my favorite spot on campus. It's always full of student life and beautiful through every season.


Ruth Isaak
Senior Director, Office of the CEO
(612) 625-9150

Job Description: I work with talented, dedicated board members in my role as staff to the board of directors and CEO Lisa Lewis.
Favorite Spot on Campus: I always enjoy Scholars Walk and the Wall of Discovery - both are great reminders of all the amazing things that have been accomplished at this University.



Adam Yust
Director of Alumni Advocacy
(612) 625-7526

Job Description: I help advocate for the University of Minnesota by using grassroots organizing to connect alumni to their lawmakers.
Favorite Spot on Campus: The Department of Food Science and Nutrition meat and dairy salesroom, because I LOVE ICE CREAM!



Samantha Massaglia
Director of Communications
(612) 626-1457

Job Description: As the Director of Communications, my job is to help articulate all aspects of the Alumni Association ranging from our mission and values to our services, programs and events.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Sitting on the steps of Northrop. It's a beautiful view and a great vantage point from which to see a diverse cross-section of the U of M community.


Cynthia Scott
Editor, Minnesota Alumni Magazine
(612) 624-8490

Job Description: I strive to create a magazine ‚Äčthat helps readers know they are an essential part of this University community through storytelling and information sharing.
Favorite Spot on Campus: The McNamara Alumni Center plaza because it's a beautiful place where people gather and relax together.


Sarah Huerta
Senior Director of Digital Communications
(612) 301-1199

Job Description: I help connect alumni with the University through social media, email, and this website. Through these channels, alumni can learn how to get involved, stay informed of events, programs & University news, and just plain spread the University love around the world. Be sure to follow us on Twitter & Facebook (shameless plug)!
Favorite Spot on Campus: Section 212 at TCF Bank Stadium on a sunny day! Being surrounded by Gopher fans decked out in maroon & gold, hearing the amazing marching band, and catching some football with family and friends... The campus is electric.


Chris Smith
Director of Digital Communications
(612) 626-0474

Job Description: I help engage alumni by putting together ways for us to interact digitally. I bring you email messages, web pages and help set up our digital engagement events.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite place on campus is the U Rec Center, because I work out almost every day. A close second is the River Flats behind Coffman because I just plain like being outside by the river.

Marketing & Membership


Lisa Huber
Senior Director of Marketing
(612) 626-1417

Job Description: I work hard to grow revenue streams so that we (the staff at the UMAA) can continue to deliver world class programming and services to our alumni and friends. I am always eager to meet new partners that can help us reach new heights as an alumni association.
Favorite Spot on Campus: A bench. I love sitting on campus and watching the energy unfold in front of my eyes. This campus is so electric and every area brings it to life.


Jennifer Benson
Director of Membership
(612) 625-9146

Job Description: I connect alumni with our Membership program and services, including access to campus partner offers, University resources and member-exclusive benefits like Minnesota Alumni (magazine subscription with membership).
Favorite Spot on Campus: One of my favorite campus spots is the Campus Club's outdoor terrace on the 4th floor of Coffman Union. It has beautiful views of Northrop Mall and the Minneapolis skyline.


Laura Daugherty
Director of Membership Marketing
(612) 626-4864

Job Description: I help alumni by growing the University of Minnesota Alumni Association membership base, which increases our ability to create connections and programming for alumni!
Favorite Spot on Campus: I have a soft spot for the Carlson atrium - you can feel business "getting done" in the air.


Shannon Juen
Development Specialist
(612) 626-4874

Job Description: I work with colleagues to promote internal and external programs and services that provide value to alumni. I also communicate with alumni to show the impact of their philanthropic support of the Alumni Association.
Favorite Spot on Campus: The Washington Avenue bridge. I have many memories of walking across the bridge to class and enjoying views of the Minneapolis skyline and the banks of campus.


Mark Mattner
Database Manager
(612) 626-4843

Job Description: As Data Manager, I keep personal information and preferences as current as possible. I also tailor email lists and mailing lists to target just the people that will want the information we have to share with our alumni.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Taking a Nice-Ride bicycle trip along the river. It is beautiful; especially near St. Anthony Falls.

Alumni Engagement


Gretchen Ambrosier
Vice President of Alumni Engagement
(612) 624-6825

Job Description: As the VP of Engagement, I lead a team of 7 amazing individuals that create and manage UMAA engagement opportunities. We engage alumni across the world both in person and virtually through a variety of services, programming and partnerships.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is Northrop Auditorium. Although very different, it reminds me of my marching band days when our lockers were located in the lower level.....long before TCF Stadium!


Audra Gerlach Ferrall
Director of International Alumni and Travel
(612) 626-4707

Job Description: As Director of International Alumni Relations, I help alumni living outside the U.S. to form networks and stay in touch with the University. I also manage the Alumni Travel Program to help alumni connect while exploring the world together on fun and educational group tours. Fun fact; I have visited 68 countries and counting.
Favorite Spot on Campus: I love the mall in the early morning and at dusk - it's so peaceful and stately.


Erin Strong Elliot
Senior Director of Campus Engagement
(612) 625-9187

Job Description: In my role, I work with each of the University’s schools and colleges to partner on alumni programming, virtual engagement, geographic outreach, and alumni education.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite place on campus is Northrop. It was the first place I visited when I was a first-year student for convocation and the last place for graduation.


Jan Whitbeck
Director of Events
(612) 625-9180

Job Description: I'm the party planner! I plan UMAA's signature events; Annual Celebration, Distinguished Teaching Awards, Alumni Awards, Ski-U-Mania. and our Alumni events for Athletics post-season games.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Williams Arena, because how can you not like "The Barn" or Gopher basketball!!


Marissa Smith
Director of Student and Recent Alumni Relations
(612) 626-4836

Job Description: I support student and recent alumni engagement through strategies and programs that enhance personal and career development, professional networks, and sense of pride for the University!
Favorite Spot on Campus: Northrop Mall. It's the heart of this beautiful campus. I love that you can get a sense of the U's history and the hustle and bustle of modern student life.


Ashley Harville
Director of Regional Engagement
(612) 625-5156

Job Description: My role focuses on outreach and engagement for Minnesota and affinity networks. I’m also the manager for Greater MN programming UMN Sparks and Behind the Scenes.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is the campus club balcony on the 4th floor of Coffman. You can see the life of the Northrop Mall area and the richness of Downtown Minneapolis.


Kablia Thao
Director of National Engagement
(612) 624-5419

Job Description: I have an incredible job that allows me to connect with alumni all over the United States through creative programming and events. I listen, collaborate, create and connect to bring the maroon and gold spirit to all areas of the United States where our amazing alumni reside.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is McNamara Alumni Center. Not only is McNamara a beautiful building, but it reminds me everyday that I am part of an alumni network that is almost half-a-million strong around the world.

Staff Directory_Jon Ruzek

Jon Ruzek
Senior Director of Alumni Networks
(612) 301-1477

Job Description: I support alumni and student career programming, virtual networking opportunities, and engagement with recruiters and corporate alumni networks.
Favorite Spot on Campus: The bridges spanning the Mississippi River.

Finance & Operations


Daniel Garry
Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer
(612) 626-9083

Job Description: My job ensures the available resources are effectively used to best meet the needs as defined by the alumni. This includes overseeing the financial operations, serving as a liaison for human resource, technology, and facility areas and generally ensuring the "trains run on time."
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is the McNamara Alumni Center. It is a beautiful building that hosts a vast array of wonderful activity.


Diane Steinhoff
Accounting Manager
(612) 625-9162

Job Description: As Accounting Manager, I am responsible for the UMAA’s financial accounting and reporting.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Williams Arena - I am a former college basketball player and I love to watch college hoops.

Staff Directory_Shelby Forslund

Shelby Forslund
Finance and Alumni Engagement Specialist
(612) 625-9167

Job Description: I provide operations support to the finance and engagement teams. I also process all of the alumni memberships and payments and record them into our database.
Favorite Spot on Campus: Either Starbucks or Sencha Tea because I love enjoying a cup of coffee or tea!


Beth Beck
Metric Specialist
(612) 624-1107

Job Description: I deliver analysis and business intelligence to the organization in effort to provide a customized experience for alumni.
Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is the backyard of the McNamara Alumni Center. It's a great place to relax on a warm sunny day!


Nancy Johnson
Alumni Services Representative
(612) 625-0970

Job Description: As the first point of contact between the public and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, I strive to make everyone feel welcome and connect them with Alumni Association staff and information. I want them to feel part of the Alumni Association community.
Favorite Spot on Campus: It is a real toss-up between the Northrop Auditorium and the Weisman Museum. They both are wonderful places to visit, and showcase some of the best in the arts in the Twin Cities.


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