Community Manager and AVID Liaison = Michelle Squared

Posted by on April 29, 2014

The Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus (MSB) has several faculty with similar names, specifically Michelles and Michaels. It has certainly confused our students before when they see more than one of these individuals on their class schedule! Who are the Michelles, otherwise known as Michelle Squared?

Michelle Barsness, Community Manager

Michelle Barsness is the campus community manager and applied learning coordinator. She attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus after high school and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History. Knowing that she wanted to teach, she went back to school immediately after graduation to earn a Master’s of Education. With the degree, Barsness also earned a Minnesota teaching license; she is licensed to teach social studies in grades five through twelve.

After college, Barsness taught both middle school and high school for three years. One year later, in April 2008, she began her time with Minnesota School of Business. Her first role was as a general education adjunct instructor at the Blaine campus. When service learning and applied learning was introduced to the college in 2009, she took on the role as service-learning coordinator at the Brooklyn Center campus, where she has been ever since.

Barsness’s primary role on campus is that of community manager. She said, “I love this position because it gives me the opportunity to be more involved with the community. I am actively involved as a board member of the Brooklyn Center Business Association, and I am the current president of the North Hennepin Business Women’s group.” Barsness also writes the campus blog, manages the campus Facebook account, assists with events on campus, and teaches a class or two every quarter.

When asked what her favorite memory is from work, she said, “I have a lot of favorite memories from work! Some of my favorites have been visiting the State Fair with a group of students and faculty, completing several really cool service learning projects with my classes, holding our annual Day of Peace celebration here on campus, and going to the Capitol for Hill Day. I also enjoy going to graduation ceremonies.”

In Barsness’s spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, playing volleyball, camping and running. Her favorite quote is from the late Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Michelle Rivard is the AVID liaison at MSB-BC. She attended Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Graphic Design.

Michelle Rivard, Avid Liaison

She later attended Bethel University and earned a Master’s of Arts in Communication as well as a Post-Graduate Teaching Certificate in Post-Secondary Education.

After her first degree from Saint Mary’s, Rivard worked in marketing communications. She was responsible for writing brochures and web content. She also worked on branding initiatives and art direction. While in graduate school, Rivard realized that she was being called into higher education, so she pursued a teaching certificate. In 2010, Rivard began working for MSB-Richfield as an adjunct instructor teaching intercultural communication. She also taught at MSB-Blaine, MSB-Elk River, and MSB-Brooklyn Center.

In 2012, she accepted a position with the MSB-BC campus as the AVID liaison. Rivard said, “AVID changes lives, which is why I really enjoy this position. I am lucky to be a part of this phenomenal system of learning.” Rivard can also be found in the classroom every quarter teaching general education classes and communication classes.

In regard to Rivard’s favorite memories from work, she said, “Having students in my class during their very first quarters and then being there when they graduate is a wonderful feeling. I also enjoy spending time with my colleagues whom I respect, admire, and hold great affection. We laugh a lot!”

During her spare time, Rivard enjoys attending concerts and theater productions. Her favorite quote comes from Robert Bly: “Think as hard as you can, love as hard as you can, pray as hard as you can, and if that doesn’t work out, laugh as hard as you can.”

For more information about Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center campus, please call 763-566-7777.


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