SMSU President 




Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya - SMSU President

Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya became the 10th permanent president of Southwest Minnesota State University on July 1, 2019. A Sri Lanka native, he came to SMSU from West Virginia State University, Institute, West Virginia, where he was Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and a Professor of Mathematics since 2014. At WVSU, he was successful in implementing student success initiatives that contributed to an increase in retention while forging international partnerships, which increased overall enrollment...

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SMSU Foundation 



Stacy Frost '93 - Interim Co-Executive Director


Stacy Frost earned a master's degree in Leadership from Augsburg University, Minneapolis, in 1999, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education Administration program at St. Cloud State University. Stacy and her husband, Neil, graduated from SMSU in 1993...

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Nathan Polfliet '00 '11 - Interim Co-Executive Director



Daniel Podoll - Director of Development

Daniel leads donor outreach and engagement for SMSU in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Prior to joining the SMSU staff, he worked for more than ten years at the University of Minnesota, most recently serving as a Development Officer for the Masonic Cancer Center. 

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Meredith Hyatt '18 '20 - Director of Annual Giving

Meredith Hyatt joined the SMSU Foundation Annual Giving Office as a Graduate Assistant in the Summer of 2018 and became the Director of Annual Giving in December of 2019. She is a 2018 Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Chemistry...

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Michael VanDrehle '08 '10 - Director of Alumni Relations

Michael (Mike) joined the Alumni Association as director in January 2012. He is a 2008 Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with business management & marketing degrees.  He returned as a graduate assistant (GA) and worked in the Alumni office while he completed his MBA with concentrations in leadership and team management...

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Jessica Anderson '07 - Director of Stewardship & Advancement Services

Jessica Anderson, Director of Stewardship & Advancement Services, joined the Foundation team in February of 2016.  She is a 2007 Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with a degree in Marketing.  After graduation, Jessica worked in the finance industry, holding roles in marketing, sales and system security...

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Olga Reuvekamp '18 - Executive Director of MARL

Originally from the Netherlands, Olga has been the Executive Director of the Minnesota Agriculture and Rural Leadership (MARL) organization since April 2015. MARL's purpose is to develop the skills of Minnesota's agricultural and rural leaders so they may maximize their impact and effectivenes...

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Karen Kaas '94 - Finance Officer

Karen has held the position of Financial Officer for the Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation for the past 15 years.  Prior to coming to the SMSU Foundation, Karen was an auditor with the State of Minnesota, auditing government agencies in southwestern Minnesota.  Karen started work in the banking field...

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 Barb Berkenpas - Accounting Assistant



Kassi Tietz '14 - Advancement Assistant

Kassi joined the Advancement team in July of 2018. She is a 2014 Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with a degree in Marketing. After graduation, Kassi worked at US Bank Corp before returning to SMSU when she joined the Admission team in May 2017... 

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Emily Hofmann '19 - Graduate Assistant - Alumni Relations

Emily Hofmann joined the Alumni Association as a Graduate Assistant in August 2019. She is a 2019 Southwest Minnesota State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science - Sport Managment...

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University Staff 


Chris Hmielewski - Director of Athletics

Chris is in his eighth year as the Director of Athletics at Southwest Minnesota State University. A graduate of SMSU with a degree in English, he earned his master’s degree in education leadership from Minnesota State University in 2003.  Chris was the Associate Director of Enrollment at SMSU prior to being named to his current position...

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Tim Steinbach - Director of Athletic Development

Tim is in his fifth year as athletic development director at SMSU in 2013-14.  His responsibilities include organization and implementation of athletic department fundraising, corporate sponsorships and the athletic department scholarship endowment program...

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Jenn Graven - Director of Athletic Marketing and Promotions

Jenn is in her first year as the Director of Athletic Marketing and Promotions at SMSU. She began her position in October.  Graven is responsible for coordinating marketing efforts on behalf of SMSU athletics, organizing event promotions and fundraising events...

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