Executive Committee

Emma Olson
Emma OlsonPresident
Hello! My name is Emma Chi Olson and I am an MPP student concentrating in Social Policy and Public & Nonprofit Leadership & Management. My vision for PASA is one which is
responsive to the voices and needs of our diverse Humphrey community. As Humphrey students, we must build bridges and break down walls, taking actionable steps to be accountable to each other and our common goals. As part of my work as President, I will implement opportunities for feedback and evaluation of PASA programming and opportunities, evaluate our performance in the Humphrey student community and our student led groups, see where we can grow, and work with the board to do so. Additionally, I want to tailor our events to better meet the broad policy interests of our student community.

Do you have an idea or a concern? Let’s talk.

Matthew Berg
Matthew BergVice President
As someone who is actively involved in the community as well as the school, I have taken on leadership positions throughout my lifetime. I am the son of an ex-farmer and an ex-Army brat. I am also brother to a hard-working blue­ collar custodian. As someone with epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and struggles with addiction I am keenly aware of disabilities and the unique challenges they bring. Furthermore, coming from poor to middle class background, class has been an integral understanding in my development. Beyond this, the role of race has shaped the foundation of my world living in an ever more diverse climate within the Twin Cities. I am a strong and powerful advocate for my fellow community members as well as passionately dedicated to creating a more equitable climate for all as well as building the skills and leadership of myself and the people around me. I have worked as a lead community education supervisor, organizer, community partnership coordinator, diversity program specialist, vista leader, campaign representative, grants manager, and with the offices of U.S Senator Amy Klobuchar and State Senate Minority Leader (former majority leader) Tom Bakk. I have worked on numerous grassroots political campaigns as well as causes on the local, state, and national level. It is my calling to be a public servant. However, my favorite role is son, brother, friend, and
community member.

Nathaniel Dempsey
Nathaniel DempseySecretary
Hello Humphrey friends! My name is Nathaniel Dempsey! An MPP originally from Liberty, MO, in the Kansas City area, I earned my undergrad in business administration from Olin which is the business school at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to Humphrey, I was doing nonprofit administration at a St. Louis human services agency that promoted self-sufficiency among people with limited opportunities. We focused on the intersection of employment, housing, and mental health.

I happen to be experienced at doing those super fun things like taking meeting minutes and tracking down people to sign things [full disclosure in the interest of transparency because we are a school of public affairs: flied; these things are not actually much fun). When not in meetings, I like to go hiking, play baseball, throw a Frisbee around, or join a board game party. Two things I would like to emphasize while serving on the PASA executive committee are collaborations across the different degree programs and ways in which students can help catalyze further discussions around diversity and inclusion.

Alex Grill
Alex GrillTreasurer
Hello there! I am Alex Grill. I am originally from Omaha , Nebraska, though a Minnesotan at heart since at least 2004. I received a BS in Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and have worked in schools in Minneapolis, Omaha, and France. I’m also a minor booster for pub trivia. My cats Hubert and Walter are my closest confidants and keep me on the straight and narrow.

I look forward to the opportunity to get involved in expanding involvement in Humphrey community activities as well as keeping tabs on the funds.

Connor McPartland
Connor McPartlandSocial Chair
Hi! My name is Connor McPartland, your social chair! I’m a first year MPP focusing on Global Policy. I went to the University of Iowa for undergrad and am originally from Florissant, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. Like a lot of you I moved to the Twin Cities this past year without really knowing anybody. To be honest, I’m not the most outgoing person you’ll ever meet, but Humph Nights were a great way for me to connect with other Humphrey students I don’t normally see in class, and that’s something I want to keep going for next year. Most importantly though, I want to get more input from the Humphrey community on what kinds of social events you would want to see more or less of in the future. Sports? Happy hours? Trivia? Game nights? Museum visits? I’m already thinking of a series of events in first semester called “Touristy Things You Might Not Have Done Yet” like going to the Walker Art Center, the Como Park Zoo, Minnehaha Falls, etc. as a way to get recent transplants more familiar with the Cities.

I’m open to any and all suggestions! If you’ve got an event in mind or even just an activity you ‘d like to extend to everyone, don ‘t hesitate to email me and we could make it a Humph Night.

Inclusion and Community Life Committee

Academic and Professional Life Committee

Lydia Quint
Lydia QuintCurriculum Officer
My name is Lydia Quint and I’m a first year student in the Master of Public Policy Program. My background is in Sociology with a focus on Law, Crime, and Deviance; as well as Spanish Studies. I love meeting new people so I’m a pretty talkative person. I was born and raised in Minnesota and during my free time you can find me hanging out with Archer, who is my extremely lovable and goofy 70 pound Boxer.
I would like to create transparency between students and the Dean on program requirements so they don’t seem arbitrary. I think this would help foster a more united Humphrey. After all , we are going to school to get a job so everyone should see how their degree relates to their life goals.

Finally, Humphrey is a top ranked Public Affairs school and I want us to be proud to be top-ranked students, and have our curriculum reflect the advanced level we aspire to be.

Joe Polacek
Joe PolacekMURP Rep
I’m a first year student of urban and regional planning focusing on transportation and design. I have an interest in Minneapolis and making connections between the Humphrey School and its neighbors.

I’m proud of the work done by students of the MURP, MS-STEP, MPA, MDP, MHR, MPP and PhD programs. I’d like to serve as representative for the MURP program to strengthen the bonds between all programs within the Humphrey School.

And I won’t rest until we have vending machines in every classroom.

Maria lgnacia Terra Figueroa
Maria lgnacia Terra FigueroaMHR Rep
Maria lgnacia Terra Figueroa is an international student from Chile. Her undergraduate work was done at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile receiving a Political Scientist degree. After that she pursued a Master’s degree in Political Science focused on International Relations at the same university.

She worked in different projects related to the human rights field , especially in transitional justice focused on human rights violations of the Chilean dictatorship. She was recently awarded a Fulbright and U of M. Scholarship to pursue a Master of Human Rights.

Christopher Larson
Christopher LarsonMPA Rep
I’m second -year Masters in Public Affairs student focusing on research in the social sciences with an emphasis in educational policy. My main interest is in higher education although much of the policy study has focused on K-12 legislation and programs. This K-12 study has intersected nicely with my former career as I was once a teacher. While my teaching certification is in secondary English, I’ve also taught at the community college level.

The ongoing impact of the digital revolution on course materials (particularly in higher education) is something I spend a great deal of time thinking about as I have worked for the University of Minnesota Bookstores for over 15 years, where my oversight includes textbook developments and managerial operations of our branch stores.

What I hope to bring to PASA is a good understanding of committee work and the University climate. My former role as an educator may also be useful in looking at curriculum and program design issues.

Amal Warsame
Amal WarsameMDP Representative
My name is Amal Warsame, I’m currently a first year Masters of Development Practice student here at the Humphrey. I would like to run for MDP Representative for PASA. As an MDP student we are not seen that much in the Humphrey school because of how strict our program is in what classes to take and when to take them . We barely get to know our fellow Humphrey peers and this, I believe, is something that needs to change. As an MDP representative, I want to get our MDP cohort more involved in school sanctioned activities and to create activities with international ties in order to get more of our students involved within the larger Humphrey community.

When I was doing my undergraduate degree at Augsburg College, I was in the Bonner Leaders program which is a civic and community engagement program, I became the senior representative in my senior year and worked closely with the adviser of the program in order to create relevant events for the students as well as spearheaded the senior retreat where Bonner seniors held a full day workshop for the classes below us to pass the knowledge we have been provided through the years. My position as the senior representative was to advocate for all the students wants and needs to the director and vice versa. I’m running for this position in order for the MDP cohort to know that they are part of the Humphrey community and to showcase our program and the many
benefits to the larger community here at the Humphrey.