MINN Volunteer Spotlight: Julie Warner
*To learn more about how you can volunteer with MINN, click HERE.*
MINN is thrilled to feature Julie Warner as our volunteer in the spotlight. Julie has been a tireless advocate for creating the MINNspire series, a 4-part class for Minnesotans aged 50+ who have experience, or are looking to gain experience, in the international sector through volunteer or consulting opportunities abroad. Julie was an early champion of this idea and conducted market research to help support proof of concept to the MINN Education Committee. She attended countless meetings and helped forge important relationships between Global Horizons for Women, St Catherine University and MINN. She is also serving as one of the class facilitators and will lead MINNspire’s January class. Julie’s background in international consulting and project management shines through her volunteer involvement with MINN. She is disciplined about identifying next steps and ensuring rigorous work planning, which helps ensure quality programming for the MINNspire series.
A few fun facts from Julie about her involvement with MINN, her background and her career:
- I joined the MINN Education Committee almost two years ago and began to assist with events. I enjoyed the friendliness at meetings and the practice of recognizing committee members for the tasks that they take on.
- Currently, I am a program associate for Partnership for Change, an international NGO that began several years ago in Norway, and now has a small office at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Currently, we have development programming in Myanmar, and more recently in South Sudan and Ethiopia. Partnership is also organizing an international conference, Minnesota 2015, Democracy in a Sustainable Future, to be held in Minneapolis in October 2015. In addition to my work, I am a part-time graduate student at the University of Minnesota where I pursue a Professional Certificate in Program Evaluation, and I conduct periodic evaluations for local nonprofit organizations through the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute, University of Minnesota.
- I look forward to assisting the Minnesota office of Partnership for Change to build capacity, provide support to and visit our international programs, and to build relations with the diaspora communities in Minnesota for purposes of potential partnering on projects that would benefit the local and international communities. I have also, quite unexpectedly in the last few years, come to know and feel passionate for several countries – India, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal – because of personal connections with each. As a host family to Humphrey International Fellows, University of Minnesota, over the last four years, I have hosted a mid-career student from each country. As a recent graduate student at the Humphrey School, I had opportunities to work on several projects in India. Through my faith community, I led two small group tours to Myanmar. I have visited several Fellows in India and Myanmar, and hope to visit my Fellows in Pakistan and Nepal in the near future.
- I am participating on the planning and implementation of MINNspire, a series of four classes geared towards the mid-career professional adult who wishes to pursue short term work abroad either as a volunteer, paid consultant, or somewhere in between. MINNSpire is a work in progress as I, along with my planning committee team-mates, stretch ourselves to facilitate effective classes full of information about how to seek opportunities abroad, critically examine each for a potential good fit, and be effective once in the field.
- Through MINN, I have enjoyed meeting others who are engaged in international work and networking with them to learn more about specifics of their work. It has also been helpful and interesting to learn more about the community of organizations in Minnesota that do international work and to learn from those who have presented at MINN events.