SOPA Fall Colloquia

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota secretary of state


St. Cloud State University alumna and Back on My Feet (BoMF) founder and CEO Anne Mahlum '02 will speak 2 p.m. Oct. 2 in the Atwood Memorial Center Theatre.

The free public event kicks off the speaker series for the University’s School of Public Affairs—Fall Colloquia 2012. View a poster for the Mahlum presentation (PDF).

In 2007, Mahlum founded Back on My Feet in Philadelphia, Pa. BoMF is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Mahlum began running at 16 as a way to deal with her father’s gambling, drug and alcohol addictions. Later she applied life lessons learned as a teenager to her advocacy model for the homeless.

The comprehensive program provides connections to job training and offers assistance with education and housing expenses. Mahlum, a 2002 St. Cloud State graduate with degrees in political science and mass communication, has built the organization to a $4.8 million nonprofit with chapters in nine major metropolitan areas with the support of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of members. 

She has been honored as ABC World News Person of the Week, CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of the Year in 2008 and was among the Washington Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2011. In 2012, Mahlum hosted MTV’s “The Break,” a documentary spotlighting the realities of daily life faced by homeless young people.

The colloquia started Sept. 17 with a celebration of Constitution Day, a federal day of observance that commemorates the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. 

Other upcoming colloquia events:

  • Freedom Rider Presentation by Ernest “Rip” Patten, Jr., at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Voyageurs Room at Atwood Memorial Center. Patten will discuss the Jim Crow system of institutionalized racism and explore how nonviolent action inspired social change.
  • Mark Ritchie, Minnesota secretary of state, will speak about civic engagement and assist with a voter registration drive on campus on Oct. 10 in the Voyageurs Room at Atwood Memorial Center. The voter registration drive runs from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. with Ritchie speaking from 11 a.m.-noon. Ritchie’s responsibilities include partnering with township, city and county officials to organize elections on behalf of Minnesota’s 3.7 million eligible voters.
  • A Voter Registration Drive will be held from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Oct. 16 on Atwood Mall.
  • John T.  Dalton, assistant professor of economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C., will present “Why is polygyny more prevalent in Western Africa? An African slave trade prospective” at 2 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Alumni Room in Atwood Memorial Center. Dalton has taught at the University of Minnesota and served as a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Nancy Johnson, executive vice president of midscale development, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, will speak at 3-4:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the Glacier South Room at Atwood Memorial Center. Johnson oversees business development efforts for Carlson hotel brands including Country Inns & Suites by Carlson and Park Inn by Radisson. Johnson was named one of the 200 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Travel Agent magazine.

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