Civic Engagement Leadership: Nicole Bietz • Student Leadership: Annabelle Knowles • Community Partner: The Open Door
Minnesota Campus Compact has recognized Nicole Bietz, a counselor at Inver Hills Community College, Annabelle Knowles, an art student and TRIO Student Support Services mentor at the college, and The Open Door, a hunger-relief organization based in Dakota County, with 2021 Presidents’ Awards.
The 2021 Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact awards honor almost 90 individuals and organizations whose accomplishments exemplify and celebrate the public purpose at the heart of higher education, nominated by 27 of IAMNCC’s member campuses. Presidents’ Awards recognize outstanding contributions in civic and community engagement by students, faculty, staff, collaborative teams, and community organizations on individual member campuses.¹
Nicole Bietz, Inver Hills Counselor
Nicole received The Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Nicole said. “I feel so blessed to be able to work at Inver Hills and collaborate with so many amazing colleagues on campus and in our community in order to better meet our students’ needs. Any accomplishments that I have had could not be done alone, and I am so thankful to everyone else on campus who has worked alongside me to support our mission of changing lives through the power of education.”
More about Nicole…
Nicole is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) with 13 years of experience working in higher education, including community and technical colleges as well as university settings. She is a passionate student advocate focused on addressing the holistic needs of all students.
She has a Master of Science (M.S.) in College Counseling and Student Development and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Community Psychology, both degrees from St. Cloud State University (SCSU).
Nicole has worked as a counselor at Inver Hills since July 2008. She currently serves as president of the Association of Minnesota Community and Technical College Counselors (AMCTCC).
Annabelle Knowles, Inver Hills Student Mentor
Annabelle received The Presidents’ Student Leadership Award.
“As a TRIO SSS student mentor, I mostly help students with study and school skills like time management and organization,” Annabelle said. “I also help the TRIO advisors run events. This was the first time a mentor was in charge of creating a new scholarship. It was an intimidating and stressful experience, but it was all worth it to help my fellow students. I’m thrilled that I received this award, and I hope to continue to help my community.”
More about Annabelle…
Annabelle earned her Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) in Art from Inver Hills in May 2020. She is currently completing classes she needs for transferring this fall to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, to earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art History. Her career goals are centered on working as an art historian or museum curator.
You can learn more about Annabelle by reading “Artist Spotlight: Annabelle Knowles” on Inver Hills News.
The Open Door, Dakota County Hunger-Relief Organization
The Open Door received The Presidents’ Community Partner Award
“This is truly an honor,” said Jason Viana, The Open Door’s executive director. “The partnership with Inver Hills has truly been a shared effort to make student’s lives better. The commitment of campus leadership, and the creativity of campus staff have made this partnership a model of how higher education can work with community partners to make tangible impacts on campus hunger.”
More about the The Open Door…
A fresh approach to ending local hunger through access to healthy food.
The Open Door is a hunger-relief organization based in Dakota County making fresh and healthy food available to more than 14,000 people each month through its combination of a bricks-and-mortar food shelf and a collection of neighborhood-based programs. Since the onset of COVID-19 and its economic impact, the organization has scaled its operations to serve more than double the number of community members in an effort to meet increased demand using the flexibility of its Mobile Food Programs.
The Open Door has the only Mobile Food Pantry in Dakota County, serving sites in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville and Rosemount. Financial challenges, mobility issues, and a lack of transportation impact thousands of seniors and families across Dakota County and limit their access to vital nutrition. The Open Door designed their collection of Mobile Food Programs to take fresh and healthy food directly into the parts of the community where it is needed most.
Learn more about Inver Hills Community College by contacting: