Team Member Biographies: Andriel Dees & Marilyn Leifgren, Ed.S.

Andriel Dees

Andriel Dees serves as Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. As Chief Diversity Officer, Dees serves as a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and provides leadership in advancing the university’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusiveness. The Chief Diversity Officer collaborates with constituencies across campus and in the community to increase access, equity, diversity and inclusion, and provides leadership in the area of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action and compliance.

 Previously, Ms. Dees was the Associate Dean for Multicultural Affairs at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn. In that position, Dees served as the college’s senior diversity officer and worked collaboratively with campus constituencies to develop and implement a strategic plan for multiculturalism. For the past six years, Dees also served as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell teaching the course Race and the Law, and as part of the Summer Partnership in Law  (SPIL) Program for Undergraduate Students, Introduction to Legal Writing, and Introduction  to the American Legal System.

Prior to joining William Mitchell, Dees served as an Operations Managing Attorney for the Office of the Monitor in St. Paul and as an Employee Relations Consultant for U.S. Bancorp in Minneapolis. Dees earned her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell and a bachelor’s degree in English from Hampton University. She is an accomplished presenter, former co-chair of the civic education committee of the Minnesota Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in Minnesota and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit.

Marilyn Leifgren, Ed.S.

Ms. Leifgren is an experienced teacher, counselor, and Minnesota school psychologist. Currently, she serves as an Adjunct Professor in Special Education at Concordia University – St. Paul, with emphasis in research based intervention and assessment for culturally and linguistically diverse students.  Ms. Leifgren collaborates with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) on various initiatives such as: the MDE Diversity Task Force, Trainer of Trainers on the African American and Native American Project, the Disproportionate Representation Team, and Specific Learning Disabilities.  Ms. Leifgren has made many presentations on diversity, including topics on the use of problem solving strategies and assessment issues with diverse populations. Ms. Leifgren served as a peer monitor for MDE’s monitoring and compliance, specializing in diversity and cultural issues. Currently, she is earning her EDD in Educational Leadership.  Ms. Leifgren was a participant in the workgroup that developed the first Reducing Bias Manual.

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