Mia holds an ME in Applied Kinesiology from the University of MN and a BS in Physical Education from the University of South Florida. She travelled extensively around the world as a professional athlete, having competed for eight years with the United States Women’s Bobsled National Team. She is also a two-time national champion in women's weightlifting. She currently works as a licensed financial advisor with Thrivent Financial.
Andy spent the first half of his life in India before emigrating to the U.S. He holds a Ph.D. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from Washington University. He currently works as Operations Manager for the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic. Andy is also the founder of Rochester Vidhyalaya, a nonprofit organization promoting the culture and arts of India. He is fluent in Tamil, Telugu, and Hindi.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Char received her BS in psychology from St. Cloud State University and her PhD in sociology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has been a diversity trainer and community activist for nearly twenty years. She is a professor of sociology at Luther College in Decorah, lA, where her teaching and research interests include gender, race and class stratifications as well as the intersections of these matrices with identity and immigration.
Margaret Gowan Mester
Margaret is a native Midwesterner with a BA in journalism and mass communications and an MA from Drake University in the same field, with an emphasis in integrated communications and the adult learner. She brings 25 years of business experience to the Diversity Council, including work for nonprofit, small, statewide, national, and international companies. Margaret also has the passion that comes from being a member of a transracial family.
Danny Solis has been writing, teaching and performing poetry for over 25 years. He is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and an International Poetry Slam Champion. He was selected by the U.S. State Department to travel to Nepal and Botswana to teach and perform poetry slam as a unique American art form. Danny has traveled all over the U.S. and Europe teaching and performing poetry. He now lives in Rochester where he is a co-founder of the Rochester Art Ensemble. Danny is fluent in Spanish.
Susanna is originally from Chicago, but also lived in Missouri and Spain before moving to Rochester about a year ago. She majored in history and Spanish at Knox College, attended law school at the University of Illinois, and earned an MA in Spanish from the University of Missouri. Her work history includes stints as a nonprofit attorney, an assistant for a study abroad program in Barcelona, and a college Spanish teacher. She currently referees soccer and volunteers around the community. Susanna is fluent in Spanish.
Dr. Ivonne Tjoefat
Ivonne was born in Surinam, South America and studied psychology in the Netherlands. She has taught psychology in Boston and worked as a counselor for the University of MN and currently teaches psychology here in Rochester. When not working, she loves to travel. She has travelled to over thirty countries and is passionate about sharing her cultural experiences in her teaching and training sessions. Ivonne is fluent in Haka Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, and German.