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Alumni

Once you join our community, you’re a Warrior forever. Though you may have left campus, we’re always here for you

More than 66,000 Winona State University alumni, powered by purple pride, carry on the experiences they had while students through their lives.

Our global network of alumni makes a difference everywhere they go—in their homes, their businesses, and their communities.

Warrior Spotlights
Rollingstone School Reopening
How 3 Alumni Helped Make it Happen
Students Intern with MN Twins
Read More
Athletics Records & Milestones
Tom Sawyer Says Farewell to WSU
Follow Us on Social

Keep in touch and build your network with fellow Warrior alumni by following WSU Alumni & Friends on social media.

Events

Alumni are welcome to gather and reconnect at many events throughout the year.

Return to campus to relive some college memories and make new memories at events held across the United States.

Join in campus traditions
Game Day Experience

Fun, food, and community are coming to Johnson Street prior to Winona State Football home games!

All are invited to the Game Day Experience to enjoy free food trucks, giveaways and contests, Warrior Kids Zone, and the all-time favorite Warrior Walk.

Join in for #WinonaGameDay!

Homecoming

There’s no better time to show your Warrior pride than at Homecoming, the biggest alumni gathering of the year.

Each Fall, thousands of alumni return to their alma mater for a special celebration of community and to join with fellow alumni, current WSU students, and the community to enjoy both planned and spontaneous festivities!

Sweetheart Weekend

On Sweetheart Weekend, all couples who met in Winona or at WSU are welcome to come “home” and rekindle their romance at the place where it all began.

You’re encouraged to attend, even if you didn’t meet at WSU, but discovered later that you both went to school in Winona.

Day Trips & Travel Programs

From trips and theatre productions to tours of California wine country and international travel, there’s a variety of opportunities to explore the world with day trips and travel programs organized through the WSU Retiree Center.

These experiences are open to everyone including alumni, faculty, and retirees.

Suggest an Event

Have an idea for an alumni event? Let us know!

The Alumni Engagement Office is always looking for new ways to help alumni stay connected with each other and the University.

Contact the Alumni Engagement Office at alumni@winona.edu. Please give us at least 6 weeks notice to properly plan and market events.

Stay Connected

Graduating doesn’t mean saying goodbye to Winona State University.

There are so many ways to stay connected to college friends, to faculty and staff who impacted your career, even to the campus and city in general.

Whether you’re a new grad or a long-time alum, here’s how you can get involved at WSU.

Road Warrior
Road Warriors is a new program that gives graduates the chance to promote WSU at local college fairs or college days.

You’ll be joining the Alumni Engagement and WSU Admissions teams and helping us cover promotional events we can’t personally attend.

Make a difference in new students’ college decision journeys by signing up as a Road Warrior today.

Students pose together for an event in the Baldwin Lounge on WSU campus.
Regional Warrior
Meet up with other WSU alumni in person by joining a chapter near you.

As a Regional Warrior, you’ll get to know your Warrior Neighbors, coordinate and attend events, get the latest campus news, and support current WSU students with scholarships and more.

Email the Alumni Engagement Office at alumni@winona.edu for more info.

WSU alumni pose together at an outdoor event.
Nominate a Distinguished Awardee

Each year at Homecoming, WSU recognizes individuals for their outstanding commitment to the University, to its mission, and to improving our world.

Do you know an alum who embodies the Warrior Spirit? Consider nominating them today!

Warrior Network
In the WSU Network, alumni professionals volunteer their time to motivate and mentor current students who are eager to prepare themselves for success.

You can mentor a student virtually or in person.

Become a Mentor
A student gives a speech to a crowd in the McCown Gym.
Warrior Neighbor
The Warrior Neighbor program is a way for WSU alumni to stay connected to fellow Warriors.

Through an interactive online map, more than 100 engaged alumni have volunteered to be a point of contact for fellow Warriors to help them make meaningful connections in their community and professional networks.

Learn More
A group of female alumni wearing WSU merch pose together at an event on WSU campus.

Support Scholarships & Initiatives

With the generous support of alumni like you, WSU is able to pursue initiatives that improve campus facilities and educational programs to meet the changing needs of our students, faculty, and staff.

Make a Gift

Starting a scholarship can make it possible for students to earn their degrees at Winona State. Every dollar makes a difference!

Contact Us

In the WSU Alumni Engagement Office, we like nothing better than to serve you and help you stay connected to the University and each other.

Along with the WSU Alumni Advisory Board, we plan events and programs to do just that.

So, if you have a great idea or would like to help, just get in touch. We’re here for you!

Alumni Relations Office

alumni@winona.edu
507.457.5027

Somsen Hall 206

Winona State University
PO Box 5838
Winona, MN 55987

Tracy Hale
Director of Alumni Engagement

thale@winona.edu
507.457.2846

Somsen 206

Machelle Carney
Office Coordinator for Alumni Engagement

mcarney@winona.edu
507.457.2773

Somsen 206

Alumni Advisory Board

The Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) consists of alumni volunteers who have a variety of occupational and economic backgrounds.

This tight-knit, generous, and passionate group of alumni volunteers does amazing work to build strong, lifelong relationships between the University and its alumni and friends. They provide general counsel and support for activities and programs to build alumni engagement.

AAB members meet virtually 6 times per year for one-hour meetings, along with one in-person gathering on campus each semester.

Email alumni@winona.edu to request the AAB goals, expectations, and membership responsibilities.

Aurea Osgood
President

BA Sociology, ’00

MA Leadership Education, ‘16

Aurea Osgood is a proud two-time WSU alum. Aurea has worked at WSU as a Professor of Sociology for the past 13 years.

Aurea teaches courses primarily in the areas of sociology of families, social research, and demography.

Aurea is on the board at Bluff Country Co-op and is a volunteer at the local food shelf. Aurea enjoys baking, gardening, and reading.

Email
Marla Burkhart
Board Member

BS Accounting, ‘92

Marla (Buhs) Burkhart is a 1992 magna cum laude graduate of WSU, holding a BSA degree in accounting with a business law minor.

After 15 years with her public accounting firm and the responsibilities of a general partner, she craved work/life balance and began her career at Mayo Clinic.

She has held several roles at the clinic in various areas and is currently an Investment Operations Manager in the clinic’s treasury services department.

She currently sits on a handful of not-for-profit boards; her ultimate career goal is to become a philanthropist.

Marla lives in Rochester, MN, with her husband, Chris, and son, Noah.

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Courtney Colton
Board Member

BA Mass Communication: Public Relations & Professional Studies, ’07

LinkedIn Profile

During her undergraduate career, Courtney worked as a Senior Public Relations Writer for the WSU Marketing & Communications Office and was part of multiple theatre and dance productions.

In 2012, Courtney earned her MA in Strategic Communication Management from Concordia University-St. Paul.

Passionate about giving back to students through scholarships and mentorship, Courtney and her husband started a recurring scholarship at WSU in 2013.

Currently, Courtney works as a Senior Communications Specialist at ECMC Group, a nonprofit headquartered in Minneapolis focused on helping students succeed.

She resides in Lake Elmo, MN, with her husband, 2 children, and 3 pets.

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Scott Ducke
Board Member

BS Business Administration, ’93

Linkedin Profile

With nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, Scott serves as the EVP-Chief Lending Officer at State Bank of Cross Plains helping clients to make informed financial decisions to best grow their businesses.

Scott received an MBA in Business Administration from Edgewood College in Madison, as well as a Graduate School of Banking degree from UW-Madison.

Scott enjoys sharing his experience to mentor future financial and banking leaders.

He is active in many organizations around Madison, including as a board member on:

  • Building our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT)
  • Gilda’s Club
  • Fitchburg Chamber of Commerce

Scott lives in Madison, WI with his wife Lisa (WSU class of 1992)and their 3 children.

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Nabih Elteir
Board Member

BA Economics & Political Science, ’14
MA Organizational Leadership, ‘18

LinkedIn Profile

Nabih Elteir is the Radiology Department business coordinator for MHealth Fairview. He has been working with MHealth Fairview since 2016.

Prior to this, Nabih worked as a Financial Analyst at IBM and a personal banker at Wells Fargo Bank.

Nabih currently resides in the Twin Cities area and has 2 children: Zeyad and Zain.

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Claire Exley
Board Member

BA Criminal Justice & Spanish, ’16
MA Leadership Education, ’20

LinkedIn Profile

During her undergraduate career, Claire was named as Outstanding Student of the Criminal Justice program.

Claire currently works at the Winona County Attorney’s Office as the Victim Services Coordinator. In her role, Claire assists victims of crime in navigating the criminal justice system.

Claire also serves as the leader of the Winona County Sexual Assault Interagency Council, a multidisciplinary team focused on improving the community and system response to sexual assault.

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DeAnna Goddard
Board Member

BA Psychology & English, ’03

LinkedIn Profile

DeAnna Goddard is currently the Associate Director for Career Services in the Warrior Success Center at WSU and holds a Master of Counseling and Student Personnel degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

She’s proud to be a first-generation WSU alumnus and alumni society board member.

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Jerad Green
Board Member

BS Social Work, ’13

While at WSU, Jerad was highly involved on campus with roles including:

  • President of the Black Student Union
  • Resident Assistant
  • Orientation Leader
  • WSU Ambassador
  • Student Senator
  • Co-founder of the KEAP Center

After leaving Winona, he went on to earn his Masters in Higher Education Administration and is currently a PhD student studying Educational Leadership – Higher Education through Clemson University.

Jerad currently works for the Hennepin County District Court and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Courtney, and 2 kids: Iggy and Ollie.

He’s a proud member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and is excited to join the board.

Hayley Joyce
Board Member

BA Communication Studies, ‘16

LinkedIn Profile

As a Warrior, Haley was:

  • part of the Alumni Annual Fund-Phonathon,
  • a WSU Ambassador
  • a member of Delta Phi Epsilon
  • a member of TRIO
  • a talk show host for KQAL

She went on to earn her master’s degree in College Counseling and Student Development at St. Cloud State University.

She has worked in the higher education field and recently started working for Salesforce, a CRM tech company.

Haley is still involved in her sorority as an advisor for the University of Illinois Chapter.

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Chantelle Kraemer
Board Member

BS Elementary Education & Early Childhood Education ’04

During her time on campus, Chantelle was involved in:

  • Education Minnesota
  • campus ministry
  • residence life leadership

Her best memories from WSU are living down the hall from friends and the amazing community among res lifers.

Chantelle now lives in the Twin Cities area with her husband and two children, and is a Principal Employee Relations Partner at Medtronic.

Nick Lobejko
Board Member

BS Marketing & Business Education, ’02 & ’04

Nick Lobejko is a first-generation college graduate.

After WSU, Nick fell in love with Colorado, where he received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Northern Colorado and has lived in Colorado ever since.

Currently, Nick serves as the Executive Director of Advancement in the College of Business at Colorado State University, which recently successfully completed a $1 billion comprehensive capital campaign.

Nick and his wife Jillian own Sole Mates, a retail store in Fort Collins, CO.

Nick enjoys spending time with his son Logan, running, and trying to stay upright on his mountain bike on all the local trails in Fort Collins.

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Luke Merchlewitz
Board Member

MA Education, ‘01

Luke is the 2009 Winona Teacher of the Year, 2010 Minnesota’s Teacher of Excellence, and is a NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow.

A past adjunct faculty member, Luke received the WSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.

He currently teaches second grade at Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School in the Winona Area Public Schools.

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Michelle Mertes
Board Member

BA Paralegal, ‘95

Michelle Mertes is from Princeton, MN, and currently lives in Midland, MI, with her husband Scott ‘94 and their daughter Emma.

Since 2002, Michelle has worked as a paralegal at Dow in Midland.

Michelle enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, biking, and scrapbooking.

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Malorie Olson
Student Senate President

BS Social Science & History Teaching, ’23

Malorie Olson plans to graduate in Fall 2023 with a major in social science, history teaching and minors in political science and geography.

Malorie has been part of WSU Student Senate her entire college career, previously serving as:

  •  College of Education Senator
  • Chair of Student Services Committee
  • Vice President

She has been involved in numerous other student organizations such as College Democrats, Education Minnesota Aspiring Educators, and History Association.