The El Colegio Board of Directors are responsible for the well-being of the school, ensuring that the mission and vision is reflected in every facet of the organization.
The schedule of board meetings for the 2019-2020 school year can be viewed here, as well as the school’s Google Calendar (viewable on the right-hand sidebar). Other important documents such as meeting minutes and annual reports can be viewed on the Board Documents & Accountability page.
Are you an El Colegio parent, friend, or just passionate about education? Consider joining the Board of Directors! Check out our board member application, or reach out to any of our current board members!
Jennifer Godinez (Chair)
Jennifer Godinez is Associate Director at Minnesota Education Equity Partnership (MnEEP) and Project Director of the Race Equity and Excellence in Education Network (REEEN). Jennifer holds a B.A. in Sociology from Drake University and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Jennifer has led key initiatives in the intersection of equity-centered collective action, research, public policy and the nonprofit sector for over 17 years. Her focus is race equity in education action planning and school-community leadership development. She writes and has spoken to local and national groups around school leadership, immigrant communities, and race equity. She has published writings on education equity and has been featured on MPR, Star Tribune and other media outlets discussing the importance of education equity and regional prosperity.
Ann Zukoski leads the Evaluation and Surveillance Unit for the Office of Statewide Health Improvement Initiatives at the Minnesota Department of Health. Ann has over 20 years of experience evaluating community based public health initiatives and grounds her work in participatory
approaches. She has her doctorate in public health from U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health and her master’s in public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In her spare time, Ann loves walking her dogs and travelling with her family.
Kent Fordyce is a degreed accountant with over 35 years experience providing accounting services for small businesses and the non-profit community. He began his career climbing the corporate ladder in the 70’s and early 80’s and found this direction was not personally rewarding. This lead him to establish an accounting service focusing initially in the social justice community. This has since expanded to include for profit small businesses as well. He takes a pro-active approach attempting to anticipate issues rather than being in the react mode. Kent has been a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor since 2005.
Pete Dahlquist has been an El Colegio board member since April 2019. He currently serves on the Governance and Policy committees as well as being the Chair of the El Colegio Building Company. Professionally, Pete is an attorney and the owner of Dahlquist Law, LLC a law practice with a focus on criminal defense, probate and mental health. Pete has worked as a public defender and is frequently appointed by the Courts to represent mentally Ill clients, and clients who are petitioned for guardianship. Pete, his wife and three kids live in Minneapolis.
Bianet Castellanos is an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota and is affiliated with the departments of American Indian Studies and Chicano & Latino Studies, teaching courses on indigenous studies, politics and popular culture, immigration, tourism, urbanism, and the US-Mexico border. She is a member of Mexico’s Sistema Nacional de Investigadores. She has served on the board of El Colegio since December 2016.
“My name is Tamara Ramirez-Torres. I teach Spanish and Reading here at El Colegio. I have been teaching for 39 years. I started my teaching career in Puerto Rico where I taught for 24 years. When I moved to Minnesota I taught for 3 years in St. Paul, 10 years in Minneapolis, and this is my 4th year here at El Colegio. Throughout my teaching career I have taught from preschool through high school. Here at El Colegio I get very excited when my students excel in their reading.”
Ms Tamara has been a board member since September 2016.
Dr Oscar Garza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota and Founding Director of the PRAXIS Institute for Community Health and Education. Dr Garza’s teaching also reflects his broader interests in addressing health equity among rural and urban medically underserved populations by preparing future health care practitioners through the integration of culturally resonant pedagogies.
Dr Garza has been a board member since June 2019.