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Cristina Montañez

  • Assistant Director of Admissions
  • Data and System Operations
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Cristina Montañez

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Hometown/HighSchool

  • El Paso, TX
  • Horizon High School

Education/Interests

During my time at Morris I was able to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in Gender, Women and Sexuality studies. I also worked at the Admissions Office where I discovered how much I enjoy working with students and my passion for higher education! Among all the madness of classes, work and student organizations, I was also able to somehow work sports into my schedule. I've run Cross Country and Track for about half of my life, so it was a great opportunity to be able to continue here. Some of my best friends to this day are those I met on the team or through sports in general. In my free time, I also love doing crafts, reading and especially cooking!

Why Morris?

Having grown up in the city, I always thought I would be a big city girl all my life. Little did I know my small town roots would get me where I needed to be! Before I even visited, I could tell Morris was a great fit for me. Everyone I had spoken to was very helpful and friendly. In my case, character and kindness truly went a long way! I had the best undergrad experience I could have ever asked for, and now, I am delighted to be a Morris staff member.


Erin Nichols

  • Admissions Counselor
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Erin Nichols

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Hometown/HighSchool

  • Crystal, MN
  • Robbinsdale Armstrong High School

Education/Interests

I graduated from Morris with a double major in Political Science and Human Services with an emphasis in Social Justice, as well as a minor in Communication, Media, and Rhetoric. As a student I spent my time working in the admissions office as a telecounselor and an office assistant. I also did research with a professor, had an internship, and was a member of Voces Unidas. These days I like to spend my time hanging out with friends and family, in addition to kayaking/canoeing, going out to eat, and keeping up with current events.

Why Morris?

During my senior year in high school I found some information about Morris online and decided to apply. When I visited campus I had the opportunity to sit in on some classes where I was able to talk to current students and faculty. Everyone I met went out of their way to make me feel welcome and they even included me in class discussions, group activities, and conversations. It was during my visit that I realized that Morris was the right choice for me because I was looking for colleges with a deep sense of community that would allow me to build relationships with my peers as well as faculty and staff. My time at Morris was so positive that I decided to stay and become a staff member where I can help make sure that every prospective student can also have a great experience.


Randy Elenberger

  • Admissions Counselor
  • M.S., North Dakota State University
  • B.S., North Dakota State University

Randy Elenberger

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Hometown/HighSchool

  • Milnor, ND
  • Milnor Public School

Education/Interests

I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Recreation Leadership and earned my Master of Science in Leadership in Physical Education and Sport in 2012 from North Dakota State University. Sports and Athletics have always played a huge part in my life so I chased my dream of being a collegiate football coach. I coached football in the small college ranks for seven years and that really turned into a love and desire to work in higher education and to continuing working with young people. In my spare time I love spending time with my wife and two daughters on our lake. I love the outdoors, hunting and fishing, golfing, catching a football game or concert and spending time with family and friends.

Why Morris?

When my wife and I decided to move to Alexandria, I knew the University of Minnesota Morris was a place that I wanted to be. I love working at a small university where you really feel connected and part of something bigger than yourself. I think Morris does an outstanding job of that and offers a real opportunity for students to get to know their professors, take control of their education and get really hands on with some great resources that some other small schools may not have because of our amazing position in the University of Minnesota system. It's an amazing school with even better people and a really exciting future.


Andrew Kroska

  • Admissions Counselor
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Andew Kroska

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Education/Interests

I graduated from Morris in 2017 with a major in Communication, Media, and Rhetoric. During my undergraduate career, I filled my time up with the being a Co-chair for the Campus Activites Council, dancing in Dance Ensemble, and leading the Swing Club on campus. When I wasn't busy with my positions on campus, I spent a lot of my time with my best friends in our on-campus apartment. Nowadays I still enjoy dancing, staying active, and spending time with my family and friends (oh and let's not forget, playing video games) so if you see me around don't hesitate to stop me and ask questions!

Why Morris?

I come from a large family with seven older sisters, I also happen to be a triplet. So naturally when my triplet sisters applied I had to apply as well to see what all the excitement was about. As a senior in high school, I started the search process late but knew what I wanted from a school. I wanted to feel as if I could make a difference with my professors and peers. When I came to Morris for registration I knew that this place could offer that and much much more. This place helped me to discover my passion and how to pursue that passion. I couldn't be happier with the education I got here.


Kaiya Johnson

  • Senior Admissions Counselor
  • Transfer Coordinator
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Kaiya Johnson

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Hometown/HighSchool

  • Bismarck, ND
  • Century High School

Education/Interests

I graduated from Morris with a double major in Psychology and Liberal Arts for the Human Services, as well as a minor in Sociology. As a student, I enjoyed being involved on campus and have fond memories of being a Campus Ambassador as well as Dance Ensemble Co-chair. These days I enjoy staying active, traveling, reading, and spending time with my friends and family.

Why Morris?

When I was in high school, my mom convinced me to visit campus. Morris had never really been on my radar until then. Thank goodness for my mom, because I ended up loving it after the first visit. I initially thought I wanted to attend a large school, but I realized that everything I was really looking for was right here at UMM. As a student, I thrived in an active campus community where the professors really took the time to get to know me and listened to what I had to say. I guess moms really do know best!


Andrew Sletten

  • Admissions Counselor
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Andrew Sletten

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Education/Interests

I graduated from Morris in 2014 with a major in History. While a student I stayed busy with student government, playing drums in the jazz ensembles and leading the campus improv group, Breakfast for Dinner. I still keep busy playing music and improvising but have also come to love slowing things down by going out on the lake or sitting by a bonfire.

Why Morris?

The first time I came to Morris was attending the annual Jazz Fest as a high school student. I, with a little prodding from my dad, recognized Morris as a place that I could pursue my passion for music while receiving a world class education in a friendly, engaged community. Morris is a campus that cares for its students and sets them up not just to be successful but to find their passion and live full, rich lives.


Abby Bangasser

  • Admissions Counselor
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, Morris

Abby Bangasser

Contact


Hometown/HighSchool

  • Slayton, MN
  • Murray County Central

Education/Interests

I graduated from Morris in 2017 with B.A. degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts for the Human Services and a minor in Biology. As a student I really enjoyed being involved on campus in various clubs (Dance Ensemble was my favorite) and working as a telecounselor in the Admissions Office. I was also involved in the community working various jobs and volunteering at the Steven's Community Humane Society. My passions include travel, animals, science, human rights, and helping people. I fill my free time hanging out with my friends, cuddling with my cat, going to the lake, baking, or the occasional netflix binge.

Why Morris?

I figured out in high school that if I was going to succeed in college I was going to need a place that offered personal attention and professors that cared about their students. Morris offered the perfect combination of small school feel with big school perks. Those aspects combined with the kindness of everyone I met made UMM a perfect fit. To this day, it is a place that fosters a sense of community for everyone and that's what I love about being here and why I've stuck around.