Meet the Administration

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Dr. Carrie Brimhall, President

Dr. Carrie L. Brimhall was named president of Minnesota State Community and Technical College in July 2018. A first-generation student and graduate of M State, Brimhall is focused on helping all students achieve. She has a reputation as a leader with a vision for the future of higher education and community colleges, and as a champion for the missions of community and technical colleges.

She previously served M State continuously for approximately 20 years as director(s) of housing, admissions, recruitment, and retention from 1998 until 2008; as dean of enrollment from 2008 until 2011; as interim provost from 2011 until 2012; as associate vice president of Academic and Student Affairs from 2012 to 2014; and most recently as chief academic officer and vice president of academic affairs since 2014.

Brimhall earned her doctoral degree in organization and management with a specialization in leadership at Capella University, a master's degree in organization and management at Capella University, a bachelor's degree in communications at Concordia College and her associate of arts degree at M State.

Dr. Carrie Brimhall
Title: President
Office phone: 218.736.1503


Mary Johnson, Interim VP of Academic Affairs, CAO

Mary A. Johnson joined Minnesota State Community and Technical College in July 2018 as the interim vice president of academic affairs/chief academic officer.

Johnson has extensive experience in the areas of faculty development, budgeting, new program development, academic technology, assessment, accreditation, academic support and grant management. She has built partnerships with high schools, other educational institutions and community organizations.

Her previous positions include chief academic officer, director of development and library director at Nebraska Indian Community College, and planner/grant administrator for Santee Sioux Nation. Johnson has also taught English at two universities and a community college.

Most recently, she served as the dean of academic affairs for STEM education at Anoka-Ramsey Community College until she resigned to pursue leadership positions more closely aligned with her goals of community development and collaboration, executive level oversight of strategic initiatives and multi-campus leadership experience within the Minnesota State system.

Johnson holds an MA and a BA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is pursuing an Ed.D. in Educational Administration in Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with an anticipated 2019 graduation date.

Mary Johnson
Title: Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Office phone: 218-736-1508


Dr. Jill Abbott, Associate Vice President of Academics

Dr. Jill Abbott is the associate vice president of academics at the College, where she has also served as executive dean of eCampus and k12 collaboration, academic dean, associate dean of student services and director of learning services. She has previous experience at a state university, in the private sector and in secondary education.

Abbott earned her doctoral degree in educational administration: adult and higher education leadership at the University of South Dakota, a master's degree in counseling and human resource development at South Dakota State University and a bachelor's degree in literature/language arts education at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Dr. Jill Abbott
Associate Vice President of Academics
Office Phone:


Pat Nordick, Chief Financial Officer

Pat Nordick joined Minnesota State Community and Technical College in 1992 as business manager for the Moorhead campus and was named chief financial officer for the college in 1997. As CFO, he is responsible for management and oversight of financial services for the college, including budgeting, purchasing, accounting, payroll, risk management, accounts receivable and payable, financial statements, audit and asset management. He also provides fiscal guidance to the college president.

Nordick also oversees operation of college facilities, including oversight of capital projects, facility maintenance and repair, and college safety and security programs.

Nordick previously served as business manager at Shanley High School in Fargo and executive director for the Fargo Catholic Schools Network. He is chairman of the Finance Committee for St. Henry Church in Perham, vice president of the Perham Backcourt Club, president of the Perham Scholarship Committee, a board member for Kinship of Perham and a Rotary Club member. Nordick attended Bemidji State University, where he earned a degree in finance administration.

Pat Nordick
Chief Financial Officer
Office Phone
: 218.631.7920


Dr. Peter Wielinski, Interim Chief Strategic Growth Officer

Peter Wielinski joined Minnesota State Community and Technical College in May 2011 as chief student services officer for the college's four campuses and its online program. In 2019, he accepted the opportunity to pilot the position of Interim Strategic Growth officer to build the external positioning the college needs in support of the Vision 2025 plan. Wielinski will further develop M State's relationships with regional organizations, civic groups, and governmental agencies, legislators, and representatives. He will also work toward identification, documentation and communication of key processes associated with web governance, content management, legislative outreach, external stakeholder engagement, social media and marketing.

Wielinski previously served in administration at Lake Superior College in Duluth, where he was vice president of quality and strategic development, dean of students, associate dean of students and learning support, and director of counseling, advising and career services. Over the previous 19 years, he also served two other campuses within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and in the system's office of the chancellor.

He earned his doctorate in educational administration from Capella University's School of Education, his master's degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and his bachelor's degree in theatre arts from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.

Dr. Peter Wielinski
Title: Interim Chief Strategic Growth Officer
Office Phone:


Dacia Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer

Dacia Johnson provides leadership and direction for all Minnesota State Community and Technical College human resource activities, including both recruiting and hiring a qualified and diverse workforce and management of employee compensation and benefit programs.

Prior to joining M State in 1998, she worked for 10 years in management and human resources in private industry. She earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Minnesota State University Moorhead and an MBA from Southwest State University in Marshall.

She is active in a number of community organizations, including Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, Friends of the Orchestra , Agassiz Agri-Women and her church.

Dacia Johnson, MBA, SHRM Senior Certified Professional
: Chief Human Resources Officer
Office Phone:


Dan Knudson, Chief Information Officer

As chief information officer at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Dan Knudson is responsible for all college technology including computer services, Web services and technical services (networking, telecommunications and programming).

Knudson joined the staff of the M State help desk in 1996 and has since worked in the Information Technology Department, as an IT specialist and manager and in positions including director of technology, director of network services and chief information officer for the Fergus Falls campus.

Before joining the college, Knudson was a computer technician/network administrator at The Computer Place in Fergus Falls. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Dan Knudson
: Chief Information Officer
Office Phone
: 218.736.1657


Denise A. Laymon, Chief Development Alumni Officer

Denise A. Laymon was hired in 2013 as M State's first collegewide chief development and alumni officer.

Laymon was previously a development associate for the Lake Region Helathcare Foundation in Fergus Falls and was executive director of the Thief River Falls Education Foundation for 11 years.

Her previous experience also includes five years as the executive director of the Association of Fundraising Professionals serving North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. She has several years of newspaper advertising and marketing experience working for the Thief River Falls Times and the Devils Lake (N.D.) Daily Journal.

Laymon earned an MBA, a master's degree in strategic leadership and a degree in business management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D., and completed a degree in sales and marketing at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.

Denise Laymon
Chief Development and Alumni Officer
Office Phone:


G.L. Tucker, Workforce Development Solutions Executive Director

G.L. Tucker is the executive director of Workforce Development Solutions. He has been with M State for the past six years, three of them in his current role. Prior to joining, M State, Tucker spent more than 30 years in business and industry in a variety of engineering and management roles.

G.L. Tucker
Executive Director, Workforce Development Solutions
Office Phone:

Last modified: July 2nd, 2018 at 07:19am