Connect with CFANS Diversity & Inclusion Office

Professional Staff

Coming Soon

Director of Diversity Programs

Our director of diversity programs, Karl Lorenz, recently retired. We will be hiring a new director in the near future.

Mark Bellcourt

Mark BellcourtCFANS Academic Advisor

President's Emerging Scholars Program

190 Coffey Hall
+1 612 625 3915
Schedule an advising appointment

Pronouns: he/him/his

Many Indigenous people have certain protocols for introductions. In keeping with the protocols of my Ojibwe ancestors, please allow me to introduce myself first Ojibwemong:

Boozhoo, Mark Bellcourt niin indizhinikaaz zhaanaashiimong. Bimose Inini idash nindigo Ojibwemong. Gaawiin ningikenimaasii indoodem. Gaa-Waabaabiganikaag niin indoojibaa. Ashkibugziibing nindayendaa noongom.

Greetings, my English name is Mark Bellcourt. However, I am called Walking Man in Ojibwe. I do not know my clan. I come from White Earth, but now I live in St. Paul.

I earned my Ed.D. from the University of Minnesota in 2005 in higher education policy and administration. My research interests are in Indigenous worldviews of math and science and how they can be better integrated into the mainstream curriculum. My master’s degree is in counseling and psychological services and bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and communications. I am currently the Coordinator for the President's Emerging Scholars (PES) program in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences (CFANS) and senior academic adviser in the College of Education and Human Development. I teach a freshman seminar spring semester called "Native American Ways of Knowing the Environment" (CFAN 1902), lead a Global Seminar called "From Minnesota to Ecuador: Indigenous Environmental Knowledge," and co-teach a seminar for the "Dean's Engaged Leaders Program" and a new integrated course with an international component. Also, I am a part of a team working in the CFANS Office of Diversity and Inclusion to deliver a host of diversity and inclusion initatives in the college and greater campus community. In my spare time, I serve on the national board of directors for the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and on the executive council of the North Star AISES Alliance and Professional Chapter.

Joseph Ballard II, M.Ed.


Coordinator for Diversity Retention and Recruitment

190 Coffey Hall
+ 1 612-626-3397

Pronouns: he/him/his

Joseph has been in the field of Higher Education/Student Affairs; specifically within Multicultural/Minority Student Affairs for over six years. Joseph is a proud native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Management from Oklahoma State University in May 2010. During his time at Oklahoma State University, while serving as a student leader for several multicultural student organizations, mentoring first year underrepresented and first generation students, and working in the University’s minority recruitment and retention programs office, Joseph realized his passion for higher education, social justice, and multiculturalism.  He decided to pursue his Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education Administration at the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a dual emphasis is Student Affairs and Social Justice and graduated with that degree in May 2012.

After graduation from OU, he began his professional career at Purdue University where he created and lead the minority recruitment and retention programs and initiatives in addition to serving as an Academic Advisor for the College of Health and Human Sciences. He returned to his Alma Mater; Oklahoma State University where he was over African American Student Life. Most recently, Joseph worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the Office of Minority Student Affairs working on mentoring and retention programs/initiatives for students of color for the entire campus including managing the Students Targeted for Academic Resources and Success (STARS) initiative for the University.  Joseph is also an active and engaged member of several higher education organizations; including NASPA where he has served on a variety of committees and boards; most recently serving on the NASPA IV-East Regional Board as the Illinois Membership Coordinator and currently serves as the Minnesota African American Knowledge Community (AAKC) State Representative. 

In Joseph's role as the inaugural Coordinator for Diversity Retention and Recruitment, Joseph is responsible for creating and leading CFANS' student diversity (retention, recruitment, community engagement and outreach) efforts for students of color and those from other marginalized communities; both undergraduate and graduate students.  Joseph also serves as the Chapter Advisor for the University of Minnesota chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resource and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

Joseph is grateful for the opportunity each day to "pay it forward" by being an advocate, mentor, resource, ally, and support to the students here at the University of Minnesota and those served within CFANS and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. He believes it is his purpose in life to provide access, support, and community for students; especially those from underrepresented communities. He is equally more excited about the opportunity to be a mentor to students from underrepresented and marginalized communities/backgrounds.

You can connect with Joseph if you have any questions or need more information about the Office's and CFANS' student diversity programs (retention, recruitment, community engagement/outreach efforts) for both undergraduate and graduate students, collaborations and community building opportunities for underrepresented students, MANRRS, The Institute™ by Leadershape, ODI's Marketing and Communications, and the St. Paul LGBT Advisory Group.  

Sandra Mitchell

Sandra Mitchell

Intercultural Education Program Specialist

190 Coffey Hall
+ 1 612-624-7953

Pronouns: she/her/hers

She is so pleased to serve as the Intercultural Education Programs Specialist in CFANS within the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. In this role, she is responsible for the facilitation of training and education programs primarily for faculty and staff in addition to overseeing the Inclusive CFANS initiative and events such as the Dialogue with the Deans series. She also serves as co-advisor to MANRRS and do other duties as assigned.

She more than 20 years of experience in higher education. Most recently, she served as the first Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Dakota. Prior to that, she served as the first Chief Diversity Officer at Regis University in Denver, CO where she had also been the Coordinator of Service Learning in the College for Professional Studies.

A native of University City, MO (St. Louis County), she received both my Masters and Undergraduate degrees from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. She recently earned her Education Specialist degree for the University of Colorado.

In her spare time she enjoys music, travel and spending time with family which includes her 20 year old son who she talks about all the time.

You can connect with Sandra if you have any questions or need more information in regards to the diversity education and trainings available in CFANS for faculty and staff, the CFANS Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the Inclusive CFANS initiative including the Dialogue with the Deans series.  

Student Staff/Ambassadors

  • Kiara Joseph
  • Dania Marin-Gavilan

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