Meet the Dragon Mentors

  • Start building individual relationships with your Dragon Mentor.

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    Ronni Kurtzhals
    STEM Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi there! My name is Ronni Kurtzhals, and I'm the Dragon Mentor for the STEM Learning Community! I'm currently of junior class standing here at MSUM with a major in Computer Science and two minors in Mathematics and East Asian Studies, respectively. My dream is to use that degree to work in video game development in Japan someday *fingers crossed!* and next year I plan to study abroad there. In my free time, I love playing video games on a variety of consoles and doing homework--yes, you read that right. I'm also a certified tutor for several STEM classes, so feel free to ask me questions; I love to help people! I can't wait to spend an entire year helping you out with your calculus homework and getting to know you all. I'm excited to make this year one we will all remember fondly.
    ronni.kurtzhals@go.minnstate.edu


    Chris Ngo
    Chris Ngo
    Biosciences Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    If I was a bird I would fly into a building because I need glasses, hi I'm Chris the dragon mentor for stem and a third year in the double majors of Biochemistry and Computer Science.​ I Play tons of Magic the Gathering so if you can't find me I'm probably at the local card shop.
    ngoch@mnstate.edu


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    Jennessa Ballard
    Health and Wellness Learning Community

    Hi! My name is Jennessa Ballard (no relation to Ballard Hall), and I'm the DM for the Health and Wellness LC this year! I'm a 2nd year majoring in Exercise Science Pre-AT, with a minor in Strength and Conditioning. My hobbies include nerding out over MARVEL, watching kid's shows and nature documentaries on Netflix, napping, crafting, and eating- not necessarily in that order. A few fun facts about me are that I have Silly Songs with Larry on my Spotify playlists, I put ketchup on my tacos, and I have a dog who's taller than me. I can't wait to get to know all of you- let's make this year a great one!


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    Emma Carlson
    Theatre, Music & Entertainment Industry Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    My name is Emma Carlson and I am the Dragon Mentor for the Music/Theater/EIT learning community. This is my junior year at MSUM. I am an Elementary Special Education major but have been involved in music and theater from a young age. I have been in a few theater productions and have played the saxophone since 5th grade. I really enjoy being active and involved in the community as well as staying active physically. Something I am really looking forward to this year is getting to know all the members of my learning community and working with them individually to help them succeed! As the year goes on I am excited to see my LC grow in confidence and community involvement. Let's have a great year!


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    Addie Ritter
    Education Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi! My name is Addie Ritter and I am the Dragon Mentor for the Education LC! I am a junior here at MSUM and I am double-majoring in Elementary Inclusive Education and Teaching English as a Second Language with a minor in Leadership Studies. Some of my favorite things include; crafting, music, dance, movie nights, hanging with friends and family, and going on adventures. I am involved in Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Colleges Against Cancer, National Residence Hall Honorary, Residence Hall Association and I love going to events and activities both on and off campus. I had such an amazing experience in the Education Learning Community and I strive to extend that excitement to you. I am super excited to pass on my love for MSUM to my mentees and to make this year the best it can be!


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    Tucker Kuhn
    Education Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello, my name is Tucker Kuhn and I am one of the two Dragon Mentors for the Education Learning Community. I am a sophomore here at MSUM with a major of English Education and a minor of Theater Arts. I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Blue Earth where I performed in all of the high school plays, speech, and music. You can just find me on Facebook if you want to contact me or I will more than likely be in my room in East Snarr. I became a Dragon Mentor because I was in the Ed. LC last year and I had the best time. Because of the LC I made a ton of friends that I still have to this day and the experiences I would not take back for anything. I am so ready to make this year a great one!
    kuhntu@mnstate.edu


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    Evan Girtz
    Film Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi, my name is Evan Girtz and I am one of the Dragon Mentors for the Film and Animation Learning Community. I like films (obviously) but I can't possibly choose a favorite. I enjoy books, my favorite series being Mortal Engines and John Dies at the End. I also play plenty of video games on my PC.


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    Hannah Moller
    Art Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello! My name is Hannah Moller and I'm a sophomore here at MSUM. I am the Dragon Mentor for the Exploration Learning Community. My major is Art Education and during my freshman year I was in the Art LC, loved it so much I decided to become a Dragon Mentor. I'm from Little Falls MN and in my free time I enjoy long boarding, watching Netflix or Hulu, and creating art. I simply can not wait to meet all of my mentees and plan some awesome events for them!


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    Adele Bestland
    Speech Language Hearing Sciences Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello! My name is Adele Bestland and this will be my second year here at MSUM. I plan to graduate this spring with my bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Hearing Sciences (SLHS). I am so excited to be Dragon Mentor for the SLHS Learning Community. On campus I am involved in Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) and NSSLHA. I also enjoy cooking, dancing, music, hanging out with friends and volunteering. I look forward to getting to know you all and hope we have a great year!


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    John Hayes
    Communication and Journalism Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello! My name is John Hayes and I am the Dragon Mentor for the Communication and Journalism Learning Community. I am majoring in Photojournalism with a minor in Sports Communications and I am currently in my second year at MSUM, this will be my first year as a leader in the Learning Community. Some of my interests in my free time are, photography, watching movies, and going fishing. I hope my first year as a dragon mentor will allow me to connect with my mentees, make sure that they are happy on campus, and help them expand their ideas on the major they are seeking for.


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    Carly Waggoner
    Exploration Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi! My name is Carly Waggoner, I'm a senior here at MSUM. I’m majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in Special Education. I’m so excited to be Dragon Mentor for the Exploration Learning Community! Around campus I am involved in Chi Alpha and the Dragon Leadership program. Some other fun things I enjoy are hanging out with my family & friends, running, and reading. I look forward to a great year!
    carly.waggoner@go.minnstate.edu


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    Sarah Hendrickson
    Psychology and Social Work Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi, my name is Sarah, and I am the Dragon mentor for the Psychology and Social Work Learning Community. I am a Sophomore at MSUM majoring in Social Work and planning on getting a minor in equine therapy. My dream is to become an equine therapist. I believe horses are very therapeutic to people with mental illness. Other than being with horses, I also enjoy listening to music, playing the drums, and teaching swimming lessons. This academic year, I look forward to meeting new people and making connections with my coworkers and mentees!
    hendricsa@mnstate.edu


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    Chelsey Niemeyer
    Honors Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello, my name is Chelsey and I am a first-generation college student in my second year of college. I grew up in a small town called Granite Falls (MN), with my parents and my younger sister. I’ve been an avid basketball fanatic since I could walk and a dog lover before that. I am majoring in psychology with a minor in coaching basketball. I am currently on the MSUM Club Tennis team and apart of the Honors Program. My hobbies consist of playing tennis, basketball, and if I get the chance, I enjoy playing softball as well. I also enjoy writing, video games, cross-stitching, cards, and exploring/being outdoors (particularly during the summer when I get to be out on the lake).
    chelsey.niemeyer@go.minnstate.edu


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    William Hagen
    Global Connections Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    My name is William Hagen! I am the Dragon Mentor for the Global Connections Learning Community. I am a senior majoring in Social Studies Education and Political Science. In addition to my role as Dragon Mentor, I’m excited to serve as Student Body President for the 2019-2020 school year. I can’t wait to use the skills and connections I’ve gained at MSUM to provide the most successful year possible for incoming students My mission in my LC is to help my mentees to improve their connection and cultural competency in and outside of the community. I hope my mentees, my fellow mentors, and myself have a great year. Go Dragons!


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    Djene Kaba
    Business Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    My name is Djene Kaba, I am the mentor for the Business learning community. I am a sophomore majoring in Business Analytics. As a child I looked up to my aunt who is an accountant, I loved seeing her leave the house dressed up professionally. So, I decided when I grow up I’d be just like her working in the business world and dressing up fancy. I interned for a fortune 500 company in the twin cities, my senior year of high school and fell love with what I was doing as a business analyst. I am a people person, I love to interact with people and help them in anyway I can. So, I knew business analytics, would be a good career to explore. Besides, being involved in the business world I love to cook, eat, and hangout with my friends. When I’m not busy studying or working, I’m usually watching criminal shows. My favorite shows at the time include, The Blacklist, Quantico, Law and order Special Victims Unit, and Power.
    kabadj@mnstate.edu


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    Elizabeth Holcomb
    Rainbow Dragon Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi! My name is Elizabeth Holcomb and I'm the Dragon Mentor for the Rainbow Dragon LC! I'm a sophomore at MSUM and I'm majoring in Social Studies Education with emphasis in history and geography. My dream is to teach high school human geography and modern US history. I'm also hoping to finish my ASL courses so I can get my proficiency license. I grew up in Minneapolis and went to high school there as well. During my freshman year, I was apart of both the Ed LC and Rainbow LC. Being in both helped me so much in my transition to college so I decided to become a Dragon Mentor. Most of my free time is spent watching true crime, making art, and watching Minnesota United and USWNT soccer matches. Here at MSUM, I'm involved in Spectrum and I'm hoping to get involved in more campus clubs. I'm excited to connect with my mentees, collaborate with other LCs, and make new friends. Let's have a great year and go Dragons!


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    Joshua Nieters
    Econ Law and Politics Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hello! My name is Josh Nieters and I am the Dragon Mentor for the Economics, Law and Politics Learning Community. I am majoring in Paralegal and am currently in my third year at MSUM, with this being my second year in charge of the Learning Community. I am originally from the Twin Cities. In my free time, I enjoy biking, video games and the study of history. I hope this year that I will be able to connect with my mentees, make sure that they are happy on campus and help them expand their knowledge and interest in their major.


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    Lynn Gajewski
    Film Learning Community Dragon Mentor

    Hi, my name is Lynn Gajewski and I'm one of two of your Film and Animation Learning Community leaders this year! I love to create artwork and draw, I love cats, and my favorite pasttimes are probably gaming on my PC and PS4, and reading sci-fy fantasy books!