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MSC Southeast News and Events

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News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

Mary Johnson named Winona campus 2017 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year

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Minnesota State College Southeast names Mary Johnson as Winona's Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for 2017

Mary Johnson and Dr. Dorothy Duran (small file) For 44 years, Mary Johnson has been employed at Minnesota State College Southeast, beginning her career in 1973 after graduating with a diploma from the secretarial science program. She began as a front desk receptionist and admissions secretary, and has served as the College's Registrar since 1993.

On Tuesday, May 9, she was honored as "Outstanding Alumnus of the Year" at the Winona campus graduation ceremony. She was recognized for her years of service to the college and long-time support of MSC Southeast Foundation.

"I was very young when I started working at the college. I had just graduated and I started my first job here on June 11," says Mary. "All I can say is, I had wonderful mentors who have helped me along the way."

Over the years, Mary has witnessed and been involved with many changes at MSC Southeast, including a multitude of name changes, the evolution from a local school district to a statewide college system, the merger with the Red Wing campus, and an entire new mission in 2016 as the college became a comprehensive technical and community college. 

"Mary Johnson is highly respected by the College community," says MSC Southeast President Dr. Dorothy Duran. "She works tirelessly to ensure that students' applications, transcripts, and other documents are complete and accurate. As the Registrar, she ensures the integrity of the institution and the value of our students' education."

In the 24 years since she became the college's Registrar, Mary has adapted from the days of paper records to computerized systems, including the complex statewide systems that link the colleges and universities of Minnesota State. She continued her education by earning a certificate in Basic Supervision in 1999.

"Mary is a great source of long-term institutional knowledge. At the same time, she is constantly learning and adapting to change," says President Duran.

Mary Johnson has been constant supporter of Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, donating to the annual faculty/staff giving campaign as well as contributing to other Foundation fundraisers.  She has also volunteered for many college and Foundation events over the years.

"She's always a friendly face to those she comes in contact with and advocates for the college whenever she possibly can," Dr. Duran concludes. "We are proud to call Mary Johnson one of our own and recognize her with this award!"

Brenda and Brian Stewart named Red Wing's 2017 Outstanding Alumni of the Year

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MSC Southeast names Brenda Stewart and Brian Stewart Red Wing's 2017 Outstanding Alumni of the Year

 Brenda and Brian StewartIn 1993, Brian Stewart came to Red Wing from a small town north of the Twin Cities to study electronic music technology and learn how to build guitars at Minnesota State College Southeast, then known as Red Wing/Winona Technical College. He earned an Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Music Technology in 1995 and a Diploma in String Instrument Repair in 1996.

Brenda Zill came from Reed, Michigan to study Band Instrument Repair in Red Wing, earning her diploma in 1998. Although they weren't in college at the same time, they met through mutual friends, got married, and have made their home in Red Wing ever since, where they are raising two daughters.

This year, Brenda and Brian Stewart were jointly named 2017 Outstanding Alumni of the Year at the Minnesota State College Southeast commencement ceremony on May 10 in Red Wing. The award recognizes personal accomplishment, service to the community, and support of the college.

Brenda has a successful career in Property Management at Target; she earned her second degree from the college in Supervisory Management in 2014. Brian worked for many years at Hobgoblin/Stoney End Harps. In 2015 he opened his own shop. He and Brenda now own Tree Strings in Red Wing. More than a musical instrument storefront, the business is becoming a regional destination for high quality repair work on guitars and amplifiers. 

Brenda volunteers as a Red Coat Ambassador for the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, and serves as the president of the Red Wing Band Boosters. Brian's success in the field is an inspiration to the college's students, many of whom hope to start their own music businesses someday.

"Between them Brian and Brenda have four degrees from MSC Southeast! They are constant advocates for the college's musical instrument repair programs," said Katryn Conlin, the college's communications director, in nominating them for the award. "As proud alumni, Brian and Brenda can truly say that Minnesota State College Southeast brought them to Red Wing, and how glad they are that they have become part of the community."


© 2018 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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