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Our Team

Kirsten Michalke
Phone: 218-683-8647
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Kirsten Michalke

Director of Workforce Development

After receiving degrees in Psychology and Business Administration at Jamestown College, Kirsten continued her education at Minnesota State University, Mankato and earned a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Kirsten worked at Data Recognition Corporation in Maple Grove, MN for several years as a statistical analyst and project manager where she developed and analyzed standardized assessments in conjunction with several state departments of education. In December of 2004, Kirsten became the Director of Workforce Development at Northland Community & Technical College. She enjoys working with companies to develop and implement customized educational programs. Kirsten serves on the Director's Council for 360°, a MnSCU Center of Excellence in Manufacturing and Applied Engineering; Thief River Falls Community Education advisory board; several community Project Lead the Way boards at area schools; and coordinates NCTC's annual ROBO Storm summer camp for youth in northwest Minnesota.

Fun Fact: Kirsten and her husband eloped at a bed and breakfast - the innkeepers were their witnesses.

Top Strengths: Input, Learner, Arranger, Responsibility, Analytical
Brad Eriksen
Phone: 218-683-8642
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Brad Eriksen

MSHA Coordinator

Brad received a B.S. in Education from Bemidji State University; spent 23 years as a Distribution Manager with Bridgeman/Land O' Lakes, was a Restaurant Owner, a Semi-Truck Driver, and a manager of local fraternal club. His position at the College is to train employees of mining operations on safety, on and off the job site, as well as forklift safety, and ergonomic back lifting.

Fun Fact: Brad has 5 children (all daughters), 11 grandchildren and in his children's mind is getting smarter as they grow older. He hears quite often the question: "How did Mom and you stand it when all five of us kids were home; I can't handle the 2 I have." He just smiles and tells them I'm glad your kids are behaving the way you did. Payback can indeed be sweet!

Top Strengths: Arranger, Developer, Empathy, Learner, Context
Phone: 218-793-2484
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Melanie Oakes

Administrative Assistant

Phone: 218-683-8649
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Lisa Gunderson

Outreach Services Specialist

Chris Hofmann
Phone: 218-686-1697
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Chris Hofmann

Fire Coordinator

Chris has been in the Fire service for over 15 years, currently serving as Assistant Fire Chief for Cold Spring Fire/ Rescue. Chris has been an Adjunct Instructor for 9 years. He currently serves as the President of the Fire Instructors and Training Officers Association of Minnesota.

Fun Fact: Chris has 3 Daughters: Alexis, Kaitlyn and Sarah.

Top Strengths: Responsibility, Arranger, Developer, Belief, Significance
Susan Snedker
Phone: 218-793-2487
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Susan Snedker

Training Services Specialist

Susan came to Northland College directly after finishing her Bachelor's degree in 2001. Starting out in student services, she later joined the Center for Outreach and Innovation in December of 2003. Since then, she has also worked to obtain her Master's in Business Administration, graduating in 2007.

Her responsibilities include coordinating open enrollment courses for the East Grand Forks campus as well as some specialized courses that are contracted with area companies. CNA classes and testing are her busiest projects. Her educational background includes:

M.B.A. - Management, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND (2007)
B.S. - Information Networking Management, University of Minnesota, Crookston (2001)
A.A.S. - Marketing/Management, University of Minnesota, Crookston (2001)

Fun Fact: Susan is left handed and enjoys learning about unique trivia/facts.

Top Strengths: Relator, Strategic, Individualization, Maximizer, Belief
Connie Troska
Phone: 218-686-8738
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Connie Troska

Continuous Improvement Specialist/Lean Healthcare; Computer

Connie received a Bachelors degree in Communications from Bemidji State University. She also holds a Lean Healthcare Certification from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, MA; and a Lean Healthcare Certification from Belmont University, Nashville, TN. As An EMT for more than 20 years, it was Connie's experience with emergency rooms that began her journey with Lean Healthcare. Her recent projects include Lean facilitation at First Care Medical, Fosston, MN; Lakeview Medical, Baudette, MN; LifeCare Medical, Roseau, MN; Villa St. Vincent, Crookston, MN; and Fair Meadow Nursing Home, Fertile, MN. In November 2008, Connie was named the Coordinator for the Coalition for Continuous Improvement in Healthcare.

Certified through the American Heart Association as an instructor in First Aid/CPR, her background in pre-hospital emergency care offers a learning environment rich in experience that is brought to the classroom. She also has the great opportunity to teach computers to business and industry and have assisted many adults from Introduction to Computers, to Expert Excel.

Fun Fact: Connie writes poetry and children's books. And loves to mow lawn!

Top Strengths: Individualization; Self-Assurance; Deliberative; Maximizer; Adaptability