Office of the President: Welcome to New Board of Trustees | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Office of the President: Welcome to New Board of Trustees

By Sanjit Sethi on May 13, 2022
New Board of Trustees

I would like to welcome our three new Board of Trustees—Laura, Elliot, and Rosemary—who are excited to join the MCAD community as volunteers in this important advisory capacity. As stated in our strategic plan, we want to align the college’s strategic needs with a board who brings a range of experiences and expertise. 

Laura Austrian

Laura Austrian (she/her/hers)

Laura is in her second year as cochair of the MCAD Auction and has served on MCAD’s Auction Committee for three years. 

Since 2019, Laura has worked as a freelance grant writer. Her clients include the Twin Cities Film Fest and other arts organizations. From 2003 to 2019, she was a grant writer for Bard College, where she worked on grant applications in a variety of disciplines. Before 2003, Laura worked at Bloomingdale’s in its Executive Training Program and as a buyer at J. Crew and Tiffany & Co. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in English and earned an MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Laura studied dance at Minnesota Dance Theater. Two years ago, she obtained her Master Gardener Certification through the University of Minnesota Extension. 

Elliot Felix (he/him/his)

Elliot Felix is an author, speaker, teacher, father, and consultant to more than a hundred colleges and universities. He uses his background in design to make college work for all students by improving the spaces they’re in, the support services they rely on, and the technology they use. Over the last 20 years, he has spoken at SxSW Edu, taught courses on innovation, and worked with top universities like Carnegie Mellon, MIT, NYU, NC State, and the University of Virginia. brightspot strategy, the education consulting company he founded in 2011, has improved the experience of more than 1,000,000 students. You can find his work in Fast Company, Forbes, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His book, How to Get the Most Out of College, was published by Alinea Learning in February 2022. 

Elliot Felix
Rosemary Ugboajah

Rosemary Ugboajah (she/her/hers)

Rosemary Ugboajah is the founder and president of Neka Creative, a brand development agency committed to bringing the power of inclusion to organizations through their proprietary process, Inclusivity Marketing. She currently serves on the board of the Minneapolis Downtown Council/Downtown Improvement District. She is also cofounder of ArtWest, a nonprofit organization with a mission of advancing equity in art education. Rosemary studied art and design at West Kensington College of Arts in London and has a BA in Advertising from the University of Minnesota. 

After four years of leadership on the Board of Trustees, Greg Heinemann will be stepping down as chair at the end of the academic year. The Board will be welcoming Hunter Wright and Mark Pihlstrom as the new co-chairs of the board beginning on June 1, 2022. 

All my best,