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About Us: Meet the Student Affairs Team

Student Affairs reports to Walden’s Chief Academic Officer and is organized to support an equitable and positive learning environment and experience for all students.  We provide direct and indirect assistance in processing student appeals, complaints, and grievances; or, assist students with connecting to individuals within the University who can help with specific issues.

We directly partner with key individuals and units within the university to support students and ensure their concerns are addressed including: the Ombudsperson, Registrar, Bursar, Financial Aid, Enrollment, Admissions, Academic Advising, Student Success Team, Center for Academic Excellence, Center for Research Quality, Residencies, and Disability Services.

Finally, the Student Affairs office is proud to assume support for the diverse array of Walden student groups that serve as ambassadors of positive social change within their professional and local communities.

 

 

Student Affairs Staff

Dean & Executive Director: Walter R. McCollum, PhD

Walter McCollum, Fulbright Scholar and Executive Director/Dean Student Affairs, has worked for Walden over 10 years as faculty lead, dissertation chair, and URR in the College of Management and Technology.  He has mentored doctoral students at many universities in the colleges of business, psychology and education.  Prior to working for Walden, he spent 14 years as a corporate executive for top Fortune 500 companies leading teams in the areas of organizational development, quality management, process improvement, change management and human capital.  Prior to his corporate experience, he spent 13 years in the United States Air Force (Desert Storm Veteran).  Walter is the founder of the Walter McCollum Education Foundation with a mission to decrease poverty and improve literacy in Haiti.  He has written and published six books.  Walter earned a PhD in Applied Management Decision Sciences with a specialization in Leadership and Organizational Change from Walden University.

Walter McCollum

Director & Title IX Coordinator: Gina Dyson, JD

Gina Dyson, Director of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator, has worked for Walden for over 13 years. Prior to Student Affairs, Gina served as a manager in Student Support with responsibilities that included New Student Orientation. Gina earned her Masters’ in Education Technology from Georgetown University and her JD from the University of Baltimore.

Gina Dyson

Associate Director & Deputy Title IX Coordinator: Julie Ogren, MA

Julie Ogren joined the Office of Student Affairs in May 2015 as Associate Director of Student Affairs.  Prior to Student Affairs, Ms. Ogren spent 3 years an academic advisor for Walden University. Ms. Ogren earned a master’s degree in counseling and psychotherapy and has over nine years of experience in higher education.  Prior to higher education, she taught 9th-12th grade Creative Writing in Sydney, Australia. 

Julie Ogren

Associate Director: Joe Underwood

Joe Underwood, the Associate Director of Student Affairs, has proudly worked at Walden for eight years.  Prior to Student Affairs, he served as an Associate Director for Student Support, an HR Manager, and an Academic Advisor.  Prior to Walden, he worked in the Human Resources industry for 10 years and focused on employee relations.  He graduated from Claremont Graduate School with a MS in Human Resource Management and a MS in Cognitive Psychology.  

Joe Underwood

Student Affairs Generalist​: Joseph Kvamme, MA

Joseph Kvamme, Student Affairs Generalist, has worked for Walden University since 2013 first in Academic Advising and now in Student Affairs.  Prior to working for Walden University, Joe spent over 10 years working with individuals with disabilities helping them to be as independent in their communities as possible.  Joe earned his BA in Psychology from Hamline University and a Master’s degree in School Counseling in 2010 from The Adler Graduate School.

 

Joseph Kvamme

The Student Affairs team can be contacted at studentaffairs@mail.waldenu.edu

Office of Disability Services

The Disability Services Office:

  • Reviews your explanation of how disability or health issues impact you at Walden.
  • Determines appropriate accommodations based on your explanation and the medical documentation you provide.
  • Communicates with faculty and other university offices on your behalf in a confidential manner.
  • Arranges for accommodations online and at residencies or other face-to-face events.
  • Manages medical documentation submitted by students for any purpose in a confidential manner.
  • Collaborates with other university offices to optimize accessibility of all program and course components.
  • Advises members of the university community about assistive technology and other resources to support the needs of people with disabilities in the academic environment.

 

 

Office of Disability Services Staff

Director: Carolyn Roney

Carolyn Roney, Sr. Director of Disability Services, has worked in the field of disability and higher education for 30 years. She’s been in her current role at Walden University since August 2005 and held a similar role at a Minnesota state university for 12 years prior to that.  She has worked as a sign language interpreter in college settings, as well.  Her Master’s degree is in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota.  Ms. Roney is active in Disability Studies and still teaches a college course in the History of the Disability Rights Movement.  

Carolyn Roney

Manager: Amy Zafinandro

Amy Zafinandro, Manager of Disability Services, has worked for Walden since 2010. Initially she was hired as an Academic Advisor; later joining Disability Services in 2011. Amy manages the classroom accommodations. She has a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Georgia Southern University. 

Amy Zafinandro

Manager: Carl Schlesser

Carl Schlesser, Manager of Disability Services, has worked for Walden University for over 11 years and has worked in Higher Education for 14 years including roles as academic advisor, advising manager, and career counselor.  Prior to working for Walden, Carl worked as a school counselor and directed a gifted and talented student program.  He also coached a variety of high school sports and was a personal trainer along with teaching courses such as Kinesiology and Anatomy.  Carl earned his Master’s degree in School Counseling in 2003 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is currently writing his Dissertation in the  Health Psychology doctoral program here at Walden University.      

Carl Schlesser

Administrative Support: Gao-Jai Yang

Gao-Jai Yang, Documentation Specialist Student Affairs and Disability Services Specialist, has worked in the field of higher education at Walden University for 7 years.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Crown College.  She is currently involved in a community outreach program for at-risk children and mentors high school and college girls.  

Gao-Jai Yang

Mailing Address:

Attn: Director of Walden University’s Disability Services
100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55401

 

Telephone:

800-925-3368 ext. 3121205
612-312-1205

Fax: 612-312-1313

Email: disability@mail.waldenu.edu