Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts Faculty Bios 

Carrie Renee Allen

B.A., English/Psychology, University of South Dakota
M.A., English/Creative Writing, University of South Dakota
M.A., Sociology, University of South Dakota
M.A., Theological Studies/Pastoral Care, Bethel Seminary

Carrie Allen joined Southeast Technical in the fall of 2006. She has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Marriage and Family, Moral Problems, English Essentials I & II, and College English. In addition, she has team-taught Introduction to Literature and Creative Writing with Professor Peter Beurskens. She has also served as a professional tutor in the Southeast Technical Learning Resource Center, focusing on numerous subjects including English, sociology, psychology, and moral problems, along with helping students build resumes and application essays for scholarships. Carrie is also a published poet who loves to create one-of-a-kind natural gemstone earrings and necklaces in her spare time. Most of all, Carrie enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and their three cats: Sam, Sophie, and Sasha. 

G. Bradley Alsop

B.S., Cell Biology, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oregon State University

Bradley Alsop has been a biology instructor at the college since 2004. Prior to that, he was a graduate student and later research assistant studying cytokinesis at Oregon State University. He currently lives in Red Wing with his wife and son where he enjoys camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Deanne Becker

B.S., Mathematics, Winona State University
M.S., Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina

Deanne previously taught math at Dakota County Technical College and Clemson University and also has experience in statistical analysis, software engineering, and as a medical language specialist. While these experiences and degrees define some of her professional life, her true professional title is "Mom of 4", and she can often be found cheering them on at some sort of sporting event or activity.

Pete Beurskens

B.A., English, University of Northern Iowa
M.A., English, University of Northern Colorado

Pete Beurskens has taught college writing and literature for nearly 20 years (in Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, and Minnesota) and recently published a number of articles in and served as a contributing editor for Big River Magazine. He has also served as newsletter editor for the Minnesota Association of Scholars and has worked as a salesman, non-profit director, grant writer, and forest fire fighter. In addition, he teaches writing and great books courses to homeschool students. Mr. Beurskens enjoys doing activities with his family, including paddling rivers, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding.  They live on a hobby farm in western Wisconsin.

Don Blahnik

A.A., Rochester Community College
B.S., Speech, English, Social Studies, Winona State University
M.S., Reading Education, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, WI

Don Blahnik has taught Speech for Southeast Technical for the last three years. He also teaches College Reading for Rochester Community and Technical College. Don's speech background includes coaching and judging contests. He is married to Brenda, and the father of two sons, Kyle and Bryant.

Greg Cady

B.E.S., Sociology/Criminal Justice, St. Cloud State University
M.S., Criminal Justice, St. Cloud State University

Greg Cady began his teaching career in 2004 as an adjunct instructor at the college with acceptance of a full-time position in 2007. He has dedicated nearly eighteen years to the criminal justice profession, serving in various positions. Additionally, he is a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve with over seventeen years of service. He currently lives in Red Wing with his two children and enjoys skiing, boating, camping, fishing, and other outdoor activities. 

LeAnn Cady 

B.S., Business Education, University of North Dakota
M.S., Business Education, Southern New Hampshire University 

LeAnn Cady joined Southeast Technical College in 2008 as a Computer Applications Instructor for the Department of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Prior to that time, her experience included teaching business and computer courses in three NW Minnesota school districts. In addition to her twenty years of experience in the classroom and online, LeAnn has written numerous supplements in her role as a contributing textbook author.  She relocated to SE Minnesota in 2008 and is currently living in Red Wing with her husband, son, and two stepchildren.  She enjoys running in road races, fitness, technology, and time spent with her family.

Cindy Ciszewski

B.A. English, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
M.A. English Language and Literature, Winona State University

Cindy came to Southeast Technical College in 2010 as a member of the English faculty.  Before that, she taught College Reading and Writing at Winona State University and worked in their Writing Center.   She has also taught Film and American History at Western Technical College in LaCrosse.   When not immersed in her teaching schedule, Cindy studies the works of female African American authors, and is currently working on a paper about Harriet Jacobs.  In her free time, Cindy enjoys reading (of course, she’s an English major), running, cooking, antiquing, and flower gardening.  Her favorite time of all, though, is that spent “up-north” with her husband and two daughters.

Tim Doherty

B.A. Chemistry, University of Minnesota, Morris
Ph.D. Analytical Chemistry, Iowa State University 

Tim Doherty has been a chemistry instructor at Southeast Tech since 2010. He has previously worked as a lab chemist at 3M, and he received his doctorate from Iowa State University in 2009. When not involved with chemistry related tasks, he enjoys fishing, camping and being outside, especially with his family.

David Lee Echelard

B.A., College of Saint Teresa, Independent study in Performing Arts
M.F.A., Early Music Performance, Sarah Lawrence College

David Lee Echelard has performed as a soloist in major cities across in the U.S. and has appeared at the Holland Early Music Festival, London South Bank Festival, and Bang on a Can Marathon New Music Festival in Hamburg, Germany. He lives in Winona and is an active freelance vocalist and performer of new music and early music, composing and performing on the human voice, hurdy-gurdy, French bagpipes, accordion, recorder, blues harp and multi-track digital recording looper. He served as an adjunct professor at Saint Mary’s University of Winona for nine years, and has taught at Southeast Tech since 2000.

Jean Egbert

B.A., Anthropology and East Asian Studies, Macalester College
M.S., Education – Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Jean Egbert joined the college in 2008 after having taught mathematics at Red Wing High School for five years. Before becoming licensed to teach, she worked for non-profits serving refugees in the Twin Cities for twelve years. She lives on a hobby farm with her husband, 2 dogs, chickens and bees. Her 2 sons are in college. She enjoys spening time with her family, running, reading and cooking Indian food.

Eric Graham

B.A., Music, University of Alaska-Anchorage
M.A., Music, Peabody Conservatory

Eric Graham is active as a musician, composer and music educator. He has performed in music venues from New York to California and played on the album Beyond Blues, listed on various top 10 jazz charts around the nation. He has won awards for his music compositions, and one of his pieces was recently featured on the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Chamber Music Series. He has appeared on the Today Show. He and his wife were raised in Barrow, Alaska (an Eskimo village 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle), and have a son born in Ethiopia.

Tamra Graham

B.A., Music, University of Alaska-Anchorage
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law

Tamra Graham was a President's Scholar at William Mitchell College of Law. She has worked in both the public and private legal sectors. Currently, she teaches political science, philosophy, and criminal justice courses here at the college. She was raised in Alaska and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, reading, and many outdoor activities, including geocaching.

Erin Holey

B.S., Environmental Biology and Mathematics, Saint Mary's University
M.A., Instruction, Saint Mary's University

Erin taught math and science for the past five years in area middle schools including Bluffview Montessori School in Winona and Minnesota Virtual Academy based in Houston, MN. She enjoys spending time outside hiking or camping with her two children, Peter and Emelia, her husband and their dog. She also enjoys running and knitting.

Michael Larson

B.A., Speech-Communication, Bethel College
M.A., English, St. Cloud State University
M.F.A., Creative Writing, University of Arkansas

Michael Larson is the recipient of major poetry fellowships from the McKnight Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His full-length collection of poetry, What We Wish We Knew, was published in 2005; and his short story, "The Woods," appeared recently in The Malahat Review (2011). He has been teaching writing, literature, and speech courses at the college level since the late 1980s, at Southeast Tech exclusively since 2003. In addition to his teaching and literary endeavors, he is the faculty advisor for the Southeast Tech Chess Club. In his free time, he likes to fly fish in the area's many trout streams.

Erik Sigurd Lee

B.A., French, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.A., English, Minnesota State University-Mankato

Erik Sigurd Lee has taught a combination of French, English, English as a Second Language, and Communications courses since 1996 in France, Taiwan, and the U.S., and most recently Brazil. He continues to study Western literature and to travel to Europe and South America for his personal and professional development.

Elizabeth(Liz) Micheel

B.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
M.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Liz has been with Southeast Tech since Fall of 2010 teaching Physiology, Nutrition, Fundamental Biology, and other Natural Science courses.  In 2009, Liz left her seasonal position as a wildland firefighter in Idaho to begin a career as a teacher.  Now as a permanent faculty member for Southeast Tech, Liz continues to do some wildland firefighting in the summers and prescribed burning locally in the spring.  She is involved in the area equine community as a member of the Sheriff's Mounted Posse and an instructor for HorseSense for Special Riders. 

Angel Mytas

B.S., Psychology and Human Development, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
M.A.E., Educational Psychology, University of Northern Iowa

Angel Mytas has been teaching psychology since August of 2004. She loves all areas of psychology, but has a special fondness for Developmental, Social and Health Psychology. She was involved in a poster presentation on “Why Looking Good Can Be Bad—Impressions of Tight, Revealing Clothes” at the American Psychological Association’s national convention in Toronto, Canada, in 2001. Her most recent (and most loved) study of human development is her son, Quinn, who was born in July of 2007.

Lynne Rabuse

B.A., Spanish, Religion, Augustana College
M.A.T., School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont

After serving two and a half years in Latin America with the Peace Corps, Lynne Rabuse returned to Minnesota and has been teaching high school and college level Spanish courses for over thirty years. She has travelled extensively, led five student trips to Mexico, presented pedagogical techniques at numerous conferences, both local and national, and published a collection of chants and rhymes for use in the Spanish classroom.

Judith Royer

B.S., Child Development, South Dakota State University
Certificate, Band Instrument Repair, Southeast Technical
M.A., Intercultural Relations, Lesley University

Judith Royer is an editor for Asian academics and international Ph.D. students as well as a grant-writer, grant reviewer and teacher. She previously taught for University of Phoenix and Drury University. Some of her intercultural experiences include a Peace Corps stint in Samoa and travel in England, Europe, Slovenia, Croatia, and New Zealand. She has worked with the international non-profits International Institute for Global Leadership and Africa Unbound for many years. She enjoys hiking, gardening, crafts, and reading.

Michael Sass

B.S., Physics, Winona State University
M.S., Educational Leadership, Winona State University

Michael Sass has taught post-secondary education for over twenty years. Along with teaching in a college setting, he has also taught for industries in the Winona area, tutored college students, and created and implemented mathematics courses for the college. He has also applied his math skills doing building and remodeling projects in and around his home.

Leah Schnaith

B.A., Chemistry, St. Olaf College
Ph.D., Bio-Inorganic Chemistry, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Leah Schnaith has been a chemistry instructor and previously a math instructor at the college for the past several years. She has also worked as a chemistry and math tutor in the Learning Resource Center. Prior to that, she worked in collaboration with the Red Wing School District in math and science enrichment. She lives in Red Wing with her husband and two children. Enjoying their children’s activities consumes much of her free time, but when time allows, she enjoys cooking, reading and long walks with her family. 

Roger Skugrud

B.S., Biology, Moorhead State University
Masters of Chemical Education, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

National Sicence Teachers Association certification in Biology and Chemistry

Roger Skugrud has been Biology instructor at the college for the past nine years. Prior to this position, he taught high school chemistry and biology for over thirty years. During that time he was awarded grants to attend numerous National Science Foundation funded workshops, coached junior high football, and been a presenter at several state science teacher conventions. He enjoys hunting, fishing, water skiing, snow skiing, and is currently an active member of the National Ski Patrol.

Christopher Stout

B.S., Theology, Crossroads College
M.A., History, Minnesota State University-Mankato

Chris has been teaching a wide range of history classes at Southeast Technical College for the past five years on both campuses and online.  Before teaching at Southeast Technical College, Chris taught middle school, high school, and college in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota region for four years. His graduate research focused on Southeast Minnesota and the history of mental illness, he adds a great local perspective to his history classes. Chris now has two boys and an adorable wife and have lived in the Southeast Minnesota for the past 20 years.

Robert Stuber

B.A., English, Winona State University
M.A., English, Winona State University

Robert Stuber has taught English and Communication courses at Western Wisconsin Technical College, Winona State University, and St. Mary’s University of Minnesota; tutored at Winona State University’s Writing Center; and served as the communications manager for a Winona company. His graduate studies focused on the plays of August Wilson, whose cycle of ten plays attempts to chronicle the lives of African Americans through the Twentieth Century. He is the author of the blog “Minnesota Theatre,” which offers a critical look at professional theater in Southeast Minnesota. Additionally, he is a free-lance sound engineer and plays guitar and mandolin-family instruments for fun and occasionally performing in the Winona area.

Rich Swanson

B.S. Geology, Winona State University
M.A. Geography, Hunter College of the City University of New York

Rich began teaching part time at Southeast Tech in the fall of 2010. He currently teaches Physical Geography and World Regional Geography. Rich has spent time working for the U.S. Military, the Oil Industry, the Department of Agriculture’s Soil Survey Program, and currently works as a Research Analyst for a demographic consulting company based in the Twin Cities. He was raised in Wabasha but has lived all across the U.S. including, California, Illinois, Alaska, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Colorado and Washington. In his spare time Rich enjoys building wooden boats, running, and pretending like he can play his guitar.

Amy Whitcomb

A.A., Southeastern Community College, West Burlington, Iowa
B.A., Psychology, Iowa Wesleyan College
M.S., Psychology, Western Illinois University

An Iowa native, Amy Whitcomb has been teaching psychology since 1999, and came to Southeast Tech’s Red Wing campus in the fall of 2010. In the past, she has done counseling and social work, but decided she loved teaching far more than trying to save the world. While she is interested in most areas of her teaching field, social and forensic psychology are her favorites. In her spare time, she likes reading, listening to music, watching true crime shows, and spending time with her husband and children. She despises cooking, and is very grateful that her husband loves it. You will rarely see her without a Mountain Dew nearby.

Cindy Ziegler

Cindy Ziegler joined the college in 2011 after having taught business education and computer science classes and serving as technology director at Cochrane-Fountain City High School for nineteen years. She also taught at GET and Gilmanton High Schools. She enjoys reading, biking, walking, sewing, and baking cookies.

Alice Zimmer

B.A., Mathematics, Winona State University
M.A., Mathematics, Winona State University

Alice Zimmer teaches mathematics and computer classes at the college and has done extensive industry-specific curriculum development as well as taught mathematics and computer applications onsite at local industries. She is an active community volunteer and a strong advocate for the development of career opportunities for rural students, especially in the areas of mathematics and science. She has written successful college and community grants and is one of the founding board members of the Rushford Institute for Nanotechnology. Her favorite way to spend time is with her two sons and daughter-in-law. She enjoys reading, planting flowers, professional boxing, and spending time with friends.