Employee Information

Rhonda Besel

Rhonda Besel

Rhonda Besel

About Rhonda

I am an alumnus of Riverland Cosmetology. In fact, all the teachers in Riverland's Cosmetology program are alumni of Riverland's program. I started my Cosmetology career in the very same facility that I now teach in. I worked for several years at Regis Hairstylists in Austin. I eventually started working as a substitute teacher and a? lab assistant in the Cosmetology Department at Riverland. The part time work eventually opened the door for a full-time faculty position. I always wanted to be a teacher, I just never imagined I would be a Cosmetology teacher.

I love the Cosmetology industry and I love being able to teach students the skills they will need to grow in an exciting career! I always keep one thing in mind when teaching students; what is best for the student and that can look very different for each student. I love seeing students grow both professionally and personally while they are in Riverland's Cosmetology program.

I also believe that all students can learn, and they should feel safe and valued while doing so. Every student has the potential to do well. It is my job as an educator to figure out how each of my students will best learn in the Cosmetology program. I work very hard to meet students where they are and help them move forward from there. Each student brings something unique to my classroom and for that, I feel honored to be given the opportunity to lead them on their educational journey.

Phone: 507-433-0649
E-mail: Rhonda.Besel@riverland.edu
Department: Cosmetology
Job Title: Faculty

External Professional Activities/Organizations

  • Minnesota Board of Cosmetology
    I hold a Cosmetologist Board seat on the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology and am the current Board chair. I am serving my second term on the Board. It is a privilege for me to hold a Governor appointed seat on the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology and be able to have a voice in representing the 43,000 licensees in the St?ate of Minnesota. As part of my Board work, I also serve on the Rules Committee and the Complaint Committee.

Volunteer and Community Service Activities

  • Community Connect
    A community service event that I participate in along with our Cosmetology students is Community Connect in both Austin and Owatonna. Our students do free haircuts and manicures for individuals who might be having challenges with housing.

  • Ecumenical Bells
    I play in a community handbell group that performs for many local events, at senior living facilities and nursing homes year-round.

Awards and Honors

  • Minnesota State Board of Trustees Educator of the Year, 2018
    The Board of Trustees Awards for Excellence acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement of college and university teaching faculty. This award is given to acknowledge and reward exceptional professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence in teaching. ?Six faculty in the whole Minnesota State System were awarded as Educators of the Year in 2018.

More about Rhonda Besel

I am married and have two grown children who are both married. Something unique about my family is that we are all involved in the field of education. My husband is a Superintendent. My son is a high school physics and chemistry teacher and my daughter is a middle school science teacher. 

I love outdoor activities like road biking, water skiing, gardening, camping, boating and cross-country skiing. I like many crafty things like sewing, quilting, crocheting, knitting and cross stitching. I love taking pictures as an amateur photographer. I live on an acreage in the country. We have two dogs, an Australian Shepherd and a Chesador (Chesapeke/Labrador), an indoor cat, several outdoor cats, some laying hens and a pond full of goldfish. 

Something about me that not many people know is that I play in a community handbell group called Ecumenical Bells. We perform at many different places like nursing homes, senior living facilities, community events and area church functions. I also serve as a substitute for many of the area church handbell groups.

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