Center for Continuing Studies

Course Instructors

Mary C. Bodvarsson, Ph.D.

Mary C. Bodvarsson, Ph.D.

An experienced educator, leader, consultant, and leadership coach, Mary is passionate about adding value to people's lives through education and coaching. A former university professor and corporate trainer, Mary utilizes years of experience in sales, consulting, training, and education along with various assessment tools to help people and organizations in the following areas: leadership development, employee development, team building, communication skills, succession planning, and conflict resolution.

Mary received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus on Adult Cognition, Learning and Development from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2005. From 2006 through 2013, Mary was in the Psychology department at St. Cloud State University in Central Minnesota. During her tenure, she received numerous accolades for her teaching and engagement with the students. In 2010, Mary initiated the development of the St. Cloud State chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She served as Faculty Advisor to the chapter until her departure in 2013. Mary was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from The National Society of Leadership and Success in 2011.

Both before and after her academic career, Mary worked in the private sector. Her prior work was as a Trainer, Team Lead, and Manager of an in house training organization for a large software organization. The wide range of experiences that Mary had in the corporate education world resulted in her asking many questions concerning adult learning and development, ultimately leading Mary down the path of pursing an advanced degree in that area. After leaving academia in 2013, Mary started her own consulting business – Ascension Leadership. She is a certified MPO (Management and Performance in Organizations) Assessment Consultant and Coach. Mary regularly leads both individual and team sessions assisting people to learn how to communicate, collaborate, and work together more efficiently and effectively towards common goals.  An accomplished facilitator, Mary’s engaging leadership style in the classroom naturally lends itself towards a positive and fruitful learning environment.
Bob Bruce

Bob Bruce

Bob Bruce is a Twin Cities-based Information Architect who has expert level skills in the Microsoft Office suite of products. He’s an Excel 2013 Microsoft Certified Expert. Bob has logged thousands of hours as a software trainer, and is energized by the prospect of improving student skills and knowledge.

Many of the solutions he has developed and implemented have been for his own teams in IT, engineering, marketing, sales, and operations. He solves business problems at all levels of an organization from the board and executive team to work groups on the factory floor. His experience span from business analyst/information architect to developer and trainer.

John Eller, Ph.D.

John Eller, Ph.D. has worked with a variety of organizations over the last 25 years including major corporations, small businesses, non-profits, federal agencies, and educational institutions. His client list includes, Stanley Tools, The Medtronic Corporation, Agribank, Performance in Motion, The Federal Aviation Administration, The Department of Homeland Security, The US Army, The Michigan Department of Education, and many other organizations. Eller currently serves as a professor in Educational Leadership and works with doctoral students at St. Cloud State University.   

Dr. Eller has his Ph.D. in educational leadership and organization development from Loyola University-Chicago. John has written numerous books and articles related to organizational effectiveness and team operations including Working with Difficult and Resistant Staff, Working with and Evaluating Difficult School Employees, Creative Strategies to Improve School Culture, Effective Group Facilitation in Education, and the best selling, Energizing Staff Meetings.

Dave Harris, J.D.

Dave Harris is Dean of the Herberger Business School in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Dave has over 29 years of experience in higher education, having served as college president, business dean and tenured professor.  He has been recognized for both teaching and research excellence and has actively participated on numerous boards.

Dave also has senior-level corporate experience having served as national manager of new business development for Itochu Corporation in Tokyo, Japan and Dallas, Texas.  He has completed consulting projects for a number of clients including the United States Postal Service and Oklahoma Highway Safety Department.

Dave earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence and Masters of Management from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington. 

Donelle Hintermeister

Donelle Hintermeister

As a professional trainer and consultant since 1996, Donelle currently operates her own company, Signature Training Solutions, specializing in training and human performance improvement.  With her passion and energy, Donelle facilitates conversations regarding interpersonal relationship skills at the employee and leadership levels.  She helps participants gain knowledge and improve behaviors in customer service, train the trainer, front-line leadership, DiSC as well as a variety of vital communication skills necessary to succeed in today’s world.  Additionally, with a Masters Degree in Education focusing on Training and Human Performance Improvement, she assists organizations though consultation on strategic planning, identifying performance gaps, and designing interventions to close those gaps. Through implementation and evaluation, Donelle helps organizations realize the benefits of continual improvement.

Melissa Kron

Melissa Kron

Melissa Kron began her career in human resources over 15 years ago after obtaining her Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.
After spending over 10 years in progressively more challenging human resources roles, Melissa discovered her true passion was to support individuals in developing to their full potential. Melissa pursued a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy to support this passion.
Today, Melissa works with families, couples, and individuals to address life problems, in addition to consulting with businesses to create and deploy training and organizational development initiatives.
Susan Lorenz

Susan Lorenz

Since 1997, Susan Lorenz has been director of community programs at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, in St. Cloud, Minn., since 1997. She has secured more than $6.2 million in grants for programs and institutions. Her duties include grant and scholarship programs and community initiatives for the foundation, which has more than 120 million dollars in assets in its four affiliate foundations. Earlier, she was a grants writer for cities, counties and nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Loren has a bachelor's degree in public administration with a local and urban affairs minor from St. Cloud State University. She has been an adjunct professor at the university, teaching grant writing to senior and graduate students.

Rebecca Pierskalla

Rebecca Pierskalla

My Personal Fitness Trainer journey began in 1998 when asked to become a group exercise instructor. When I said 'yes', I didn't realize the life-changing experience that was ahead of me. Looking back, it was a great decision and one that I have never regretted. I hold certifications in group ex through ACE, personal training through NETA, health coaching through ACE, corrective exercise through NASM, and my 200 hour YT through YogaFit. I am currenlty working on my 500 hour Holy Yoga Masters certification. I love to help people become healthy and more aware of their bodies. Helping clients lose weight, train for a race, or simply maintain a level of fitness is very rewarding. Teaching the personal training course through WITS has allowed me to help others who want to begin their journey in this industry. 

Collette Rubel, SHRM - SCP

Collette Rubel, SHRM - SCP

Collette Rubel specializes in strategic human resource management with expertise in organizational development, instructional design, communication training, consulting and conflict resolution facilitation. She has 20 years of experience in private, public and nonprofit human resources work. Rubel is a Qualified Neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice and is a rostered civil facilitative mediator with the State of Minnesota.  She also teaches as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University.
Karl Samp

Karl Samp

Karl Samp has provided consulting services in strategic planning, group facilitation, mediation, training, grant work and asset mapping since 2006 to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Previously, he lead the community development staff at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls and taught at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minn., Specialty areas include human service program coordination, curriculum development, service-learning coordination, community organizing and partnering with nonprofits. At Kaposia Inc. lead efforts to convert their services for adults with severe disabilities to a community and asset-based employment service.

Hiral Shah

Hiral Shah

Dr. Hiral Shah is an associate professor and teaches engineering management at St. Cloud State University. Her undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering with master's and doctorate in engineering management. She has been teaching online and face-to-face classes for more than 10 years. She has more than 10 years of experience in project management and conducts training for industry professionals in areas that include:  project planning and scheduling, risk management, project management body of knowledge, MS Project, 5S and lean. She is a Certified Enterprise Integrator, Professional Engineering Manager and a Project Management Professional. She has been actively involved with the Project Management Institute  as a subject matter expert and with the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) for developing the certification exams in Engineering Management.  She is also an editor of the book - A Guide to the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge - published by ASEM.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society for Engineering Management as the Publications Director.