Principal Investigator

Dr. Robert C. Johnson

Phone: 320-308-2553

Fax: 320-308-2554


Dr. Robert C. Johnson is a Professor and the Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department and Pre-College Departments at SCSU.


His degrees are numerous and his experience is varied. B.A. 1967, Lincoln University; M.A.T. 1970, M.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1976, B.S. 1984, Washington University.has B.A in French, a Masters degree iin technology and social policies, a bachelor degree in mathematics, and a PH.D in educational research.


Dr. Johnson is passionate about showing students of any age that the path to higher education is an important step to take in their future successes.


Dr. Johnson is the 2012 recipient of the Robert L. Perry Memorial Mentorship Award by the National Association of Ethnic Studies for his work in promoting and nurturing the mentoring of the underrepresented youth in our communities.


Dr. Johnson founded Pipeline camps at SCSU more than 25 years ago. For more information see,



Management Analyst

Debbie Beumer


Fax: 320-308-2554







Research Analyst

Juan Zuluaga


Fax: 320-308-2554














Office Manager

Ann Chmielewski


Fax: 320-308-2554







District 742 School Coordinator

Henry Galloway

320-202-6841, ext. 1041


Henry was born in Waterloo, Iowa.

He is a graduate from Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

His favorite thing about the Access and Opportunity Program is seeing the students become focused on improving their grades



Academic Advisors    

Sal Cruz

Tech High School - 9th grade

320-252–2231, ext 3106

Sal Cruz

Sal is a SCSU alum with a BS in Psychology, minors in minority studies and human relations and a Masters degree in Cultural Studies and Family Counseling with a certification in marriage and family counseling. ... He brings valuable skills to our program.

He has served as a Cultural Liasion for K-12 and has personal life experiences that bring a unique perspective to share as an Academic Advisor.

Growing up in Texas, Sal didn't speak much English and at that time there was not much help in the way of English Language Learning as we know it now. He lived through many of the challenges that some of the AOP students are facing and wants to show them that they can empower themselves to make great accomplishments.

As Sal says, "they have the power". He wants to share his story, offer guidance and show them the many opportunities available out there today.


Ahmed Mohamed

Tech High School - 10th grade

320-252–2231, ext 3136


Ahmed has a Bachelor of Science in Math and Physics and his Master's Degree in Linguistics. He moved to the United States from Somali in 1997.

He has been with the Access and Opportunity Program since it's inception and is a veteran of the program. Ahmed has dedicated his entire professional career to the education field.





Chanmany Sysengchanh

Apollo High School - 11th -12th grades

320-253-1600, ext 2828

cs I Chanmany is from Minneapolis, MN (Northside).  He graduated from North Community High School and received  a Bachelor of Elective Studies from St. Cloud State University.


He says his favorite thing about the program is seeing the wonderful students everyday.



Mohamed Hassan

Apollo High School - 10th grade

320-253-1600, ext 2828


Mohamed was born in Somalia and grew up in three different countries Ethiopia, Kenya and United States.

He graduated from Washburn High School in south Minneapolis MN and he earned Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and affairs at St. Cloud State University. Emphasis: Global Political and Economic Development and minor: African Studies.


Currently he is finishing up his M.S at Saint Cloud State University.


His favorite thing about Access and Opportunity Program is working with the student population and being in academic environment every day.



Heather Thiesen

Apollo High School - 9th grade

320-253-1600, ext 2828


Heather attended Storden-Jeffers High School before heading off to higher education at Mankato State University where she earned a degree in Elementary Education K-6, and then Southwest Minnesota State University earning a degree in Educational Leadership.

She feels that the Access and Opportunity program is a way to make students aware that education is important; it is not easy, but responsibility and work ethic will help you survive.




Twyla Nielsen

North Jr. High School - 8th grade

320-251-2159, ext 4281


Twyla is from St. Paul, MN and earned her B.S. in Education right here at St. Cloud State University. She earned her M.ED & PhD at North Dakota State University

Twyla has 20 years in experience in Education as an Elementary Teacher and K12 School Counselor

Her favorite thing about the AOP Program is the daily interaction with students and the opportunity to work with a great staff at North Junior High School


Jenel Chang

South Jr. High School - 8th grade

320-251-1322, ext 1917


Jenel is from Tacoma, WA. She earned her B.A. in History from Grinnell College. and her MEd. in Secondary Education from Western Washington University

In the past 16 years she has lived in five states teaching Social Studies and Language Arts in grades 7-12

What she values most about being part of the Access and Opportunity Program are the relationships she is able to build with such interesting, passionate, and engaging students.



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