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Riverland Community College welcomes new staff members
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 14, 2008
Contact: James Douglass, Director of Communications, Riverland Community College: (507) 433-0611,

Riverland Community College has welcomed a number of employees to new roles over the past six months. Some of the employees are new to Riverland, while others have taken on new roles and responsibilities.

Ahmed Abdirahman, Academic Professional I, Financial Aid: Ahmed Abdirahman has worked with human services organizations, most recently as a human services technician for the Minnesota Department of Human Services in Hayfield. He has served as a youth counselor and community and family advocate in different communities. While he was a Riverland student, he worked as a minority student advisor through the work-study program.

Roberta Czaplewski, Customized Training Representative, Computer Software Training: Roberta Czaplewski was hired to this position after filling in as an interim employee. Czaplewski has taught personal computer classes Albert Lea Community Education. She has experience in public relations, business development, administrative and information technology support. Most recently she worked at Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services. Czaplewski has a bachelor of science degree in business administration Walden University. She has a PC maintenance and repair certificate from Riverland Community College and an associate in arts degree from Winona State University.

Eric Deters ? Farm Business Management Program Faculty Director: Deters has worked as a Riverland Farm Business Management Instructor out of the Kenyon office for the past five years. He has an associate in applied science in crop related technologies from University of Minnesota, Waseca. Deters has taught high school ag education for 19 years of which the last 14 were at Stewartville High School. Deters has a bachelor in science degree in ag education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and is working towards a master?s degree in education from Hamline University in St Paul. He also owns and operates a small farm in the Racine area.

Ulysses Izaola, Coordinator of Residential Life Activities: Ulysses Izaola has been hired to work in a new college position that blends the Foundation Housing Manager and the Activity Coordinator position in Albert Lea and Owatonna. Izaola has worked as a camp and dorm counselor and has experience participating and coordinating student activities. He has a bachelor of arts degree in music from Winona State University.

John Johnson, General Maintenance Worker, Albert Lea: John Johnson has more than 17 years of maintenance experience. Most recently he worked at the Lake Mills Nursing Home in Lake Mills Iowa.

Kendra Larson, Bookstore Coordinator: Kendra Larson has experience working at Waldenbooks, a specialty store of Borders Group, Inc. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth with a bachelor of business administration degree in organizational management

Shawn Martin, Office of Instructional Technology Coordinator: Shawn Martin was a former producer/director at KSMQ-TV (PBS). He received his bachelor's degree in communication from Washington State University in Pullman.

Terry Pelosky, Information Technology Specialist: Terry Pelosky has worked in various technical support roles in the Owatonna area including positions at Federated Insurance, Jostens and SPX. He is a graduate of the Riverland Community College business microcomputer program. Darwin Petersen, Facilities Services Supervisor: Through an internal promotion, Darwin Peterson will be responsible for the Albert Lea and Owatonna facilities departments. Peterson has worked in the Riverland maintenance department for seven years beginning as a student worker in 2000. He has a diploma from the Riverland Community College Industrial Maintenance and Mechanics program.

Juliana Sammon, Student Service Representative, Owatonna: Juliana Sammon is the Student Service Representative in Owatonna. Sammon brings experience in customer service from Wells Fargo Bank, financial aid experience from South Central College, and customer service, data entry/management, and HR compliance experience from Laboratory Services Limited in her home country of Columbia.

Tom Slack, General Maintenance Lead Worker, Austin Campus: Tom Slack has been promoted to the General Maintenance Lead Worker for the Austin Campus buildings. Slack has extensive experience in general maintenance work and has been with Riverland Community College since 1991. He was in the Navy for eight years where he worked on submarines.

Jennifer Smith, Farm Business Management Instructor, Kenyon: Jennifer Smith most recently worked as an agriscience instructor at Hutchinson High School. She has a bachelor of science degree in agricultural education from University of Wisconsin-River Falls, a master of arts degree in education from Saint Mary?s University of Minnesota and an educational administrational licensure for K-12 principals. She is also actively involved in the Hutchinson FFA program.

Wanda Staska, Customized Training Representative: Wanda Staska will focus on customized training options in the areas of health care and industrial safety. Staska has served Riverland for nine years in various roles including clerical support in student affairs and registration. For the past six years she has worked in the Riverland Training and Development unit. She recently completed a bachelor's degree in business management at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Peggy Young, Customized Training Representative: Peggy Young will fill a one-year interim role serve as a customized training representative. She will serve as the Regional Coordinator for the Southeastern Minnesota Training Consortium for 75 percent of her assignment. The remaining 25 percent will focus on three Riverland community extended learning initiatives: Community Leadership programs, Riverland's Generations program, Kid's College. Young has worked at Riverland for 18 years, most recently in financial aid department. She holds a degree in corrections from Mankato State University, Mankato.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served, annually, through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 4,800 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna, Minn. Riverland may be found on the Internet at

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 240,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 130,000 students in non-credit courses.