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Photo of the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center Team

Meet the Team

brittany krull

Brittany Krull - Director of Student Success | (507) 537-7290

Contact me for questions on: Intervention Strategies, Last Date of Attendance (LDA) Grades, Early Alert Procedures, Care Team Referrals, Finish Strong Week Programming, and Exit Procedure Meetings

Originally from Wood Lake, MN, Brittany grew up in a close-knit family where respect, hard-work, and a humble demeanor were not only valued but an expectation. The youngest of three children, Brittany was fiercely competitive as she often tried to keep up with her older sisters. During her childhood, she could often be found working multiple part-time jobs in customer service, wearing out her athletic shoes playing volleyball or basketball, and showing horses at the local and state levels for 4-H and the Minnesota Pinto Horse Association (MPtHA).

After graduating from Lakeview High School, Brittany followed in her sisters’ footsteps and attended Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU). Brittany graduated from SMSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art: Graphic Design with a Marketing minor. During her undergraduate career, Brittany was a member of the SMSU women’s volleyball team, Graphic Design Club, and Art Club. She also worked part-time in the Office of Admission where she assisted with recruitment efforts and served as a tour guide to prospective students and their families.    

Upon graduation, Brittany continued sharing her passion for SMSU by becoming an Admission Counselor. In addition to recruiting new members of the Mustang family from the 19-county region, she gained additional experiences mentoring SMSU Student Ambassadors and Orientation Leaders, as well as planning campus visit days, new student registration programming, and Gold Rush Days’ activities. During this time, she sparked an interest in student success and returned to school to earn her Master of Science degree in Teaching, Learning, & Leadership from SMSU, focusing on student success and retention initiatives.  A few years later, she was offered the opportunity to lead efforts to improve the retention and persistence rates of the Mustangs by developing SMSU’s early alert procedures, new programming such as Mustang Success Night and Finish Strong Week, and many other initiatives to support student success. As a reward for her efforts, she was nominated by SMSU for the Minnesota Board of Trustees Professional Excellence in Service Award in 2017.

As the Director of Student Success, Brittany provides oversight of the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center including leadership to its staff in the following areas: education curriculum library (ECL), at-risk student intervention strategies, satisfactory academic progress (SAP), undeclared advising, interdisciplinary tutoring,, supplemental instruction (SI), the SUCCESS Program, annual programming efforts, and the exit procedure.

Brittany also serves as an active member of SMSU’s Early Alert Intervention Team; Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation Team (CARE); Family Weekend Committee; New Student Registration workgroup; Gold Rush Days workgroup; Homecoming committee; and the SMSU Alumni Association Board.

Outside of work, Brittany enjoys spending time gardening, finding treasures at local thrift stores, working on DIY craft projects, and spending valuable time with her family and friends. Brittany and her husband, David, reside in Marshall with their daughter, Bentley.

kaitlyn giles

Kaitlyn Giles - Assistant Director of Student Success | (507) 537-7273

Contact me for questions on: Academic Advising, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), Course Placement, and Test Proctoring

Kaitlyn attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she completed both her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Emphases in Business, Spanish, and Mathematics and her Master of Science in Educational Leadership. During her undergraduate career, she worked in Residential Life, New Student & Family Programs, Admissions, Student Support Services, Education Talent Search, and the Career Development Center. These roles created opportunities for her to be involved in tutoring support, major exploration, academic support for at-risk students, and intercampus programming. Kaitlyn also served as a graduate assistant for the Career Development Center and helped with Undecided Student Advising during summer new student orientation.

She began her professional career in higher education at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, MN where she worked as an Admission Representative for 2 years. Her work at NHCC included assisting with database management as well as recruitment of traditional, non-traditional, transfer, and non-degree seeking students. She also participated in the National SEED Project. Kaitlyn then began working at Southwest Minnesota State University as an Admission Counselor. She served the SMSU campus for over a year in this capacity, during which time she was involved in undergraduate recruitment, social media management, and assisting with communication planning.

"I have spent the last 9 years being an undergraduate student, graduate student, and employee within the Minnesota State system, and the opportunities that we are able to provide are truly life-changing. Each campus is so unique, and having seen how 3 different campuses function has given me a great background and frame of reference. My time at MNSU Mankato really helped me to discover my passion for working in higher education and student affairs. NHCC allowed me to truly flourish and shaped me as a professional. SMSU and my Mustang Family have challenged me to take my skills to the next level and step out of my comfort zone. I am very excited to continue working at SMSU in this new role and strengthen relationships with faculty, staff, the community, and of course, the SMSU students. I have already seen how resilient and passionate our students are, and I look forward to supporting them as they strive to achieve their goals. I hope to bring a lot of creativity and energy to this position, and motivate students to be successful both in and out of the classroom."

hannah kuno

Hannah Kuno - Coordinator of Academic Support Services | (507) 537-6820

Contact me for questions on: Interdisciplinary Tutoring, Supplemental Instruction (SI),, Mustang Success Night Programming, and Undeclared Advising

After graduating from Montevideo High School, Hannah attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology, minoring in Justice Administration. She began her undergraduate time as a shy, introverted individual. As soon as she began her student employment in the Admission Office as a tour guide, she blossomed. SMSU provided her with amazing experiences during her time as a student getting involved with the ambassador program and becoming an orientation leader which really helped her to break out of her shell. “SMSU and the experiences that I had really made me who I am today.”

She began her professional career at SMSU in the College Now Department as the College Now Education Coordinator. Her work consisted of recruitment of high schools to offer Introduction to Education for their students in order to receive college credit. This was a grant funded position, so after her time was up, she began in the Admission Office as the Campus Visit Coordinator, where she was able to provide positive experiences for all of the visiting students and their families.

In 2021, Hannah completed her Master’s Degree in Education: Teaching, Learning and Leadership from SMSU and in June of 2022, she began her role as the Coordinator of Academic Support services. In this position, Hannah is in charge of Interdisciplinary Tutoring, Supplemental Instruction and the planning of Mustang Success Night. She also assists with Academic Advising, Academic Appeals and Early Alert Meetings.

“I would not be where I am today without SMSU and all of the services that they offer. I am truly lucky to have found a university that I have been able to call home both as a student and employee. I am excited to get to share my love and passion for the Mustang Family with the current students of SMSU.”

Outside of work, Hannah enjoys spending time with her two labs, Max (chocolate) and Stanley (yellow), friends and family. Her hobbies include traveling, fishing, hunting and camping. Hannah lives in Marshall with her significant other, Seth.    

jeet sausen

Jeet Sausen - SUCCESS Program Coordinator | (507) 537-6257

Contact me for questions on: Joining SUCCESS, Data Requests for SUCCESS, and Partnering with SUCCESS

Jeet is a native of Richfield, Minnesota who grew up learning how to engage with others by selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door in the cold Minnesota winters each January and February - and attending Girl Scout camp annually in the summertime!  She is a 2005 graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, with undergraduate degrees in Political Science and 5-12 Social Studies Education.  While an undergraduate student, she joined Alpha Sigma Alpha, and was an active alumna volunteer for many years.  After graduation, she worked in the non-profit sector in the Twin Cities focusing on outdoor programs and education.

Upon completion of her Master's degree in 2014 from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Jeet accepted a position with The Pennsylvania State University in Residence Life, and, for five years, perfected the art of Saturday tailgates and football games at the University Park campus. In fall 2017, she joined Penn State's Office of Conference Services and Commons Desk Operations as its Conference Services Coordinator.  In this role, she planned, organized, and supervised all non-summer school-related food and housing logistics at University Park and supported summer operations for nearly 60,000 conference and camp attendees.  In July 2019, Jeet began as Penn State Altoona's Assistant Director of Student Affairs and was directly responsible for supervising Residence Life operations, as well as professional and student staff at Penn State's Commonwealth Campus in Altoona, PA.

Jeet returned to Minnesota in August 2021 to begin as the Program Coordinator for Southwest Minnesota State University's SUCCESS Program in the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center.  As the Coordinator, Jeet is responsible for managing all operations, data reporting, and staff supervision related to the program.  She also leads efforts to strategically plan for the program's recruitment, retention, and growth over the next three-to-five years.

Outside of work, Jeet enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.  She and her husband, Adam, also a Minnesota native and Minnesota State Mankato alumni, are parents to a spirited, strong-willed toddler who will, someday, make a difference in the world.

nicole schwing

Nicole Schwing - SUCCESS Program Coach | (507) 537-6360

Contact me for questions on: The SUCCESS Program (eligibility criteria, expectations of participants, coaching session objectives, general program information) and campus resources

Originally from Lake Benton, MN, Nicole is the fifth of six children and spent her early years quietly observing the world around her. From an early age, Nicole had a curious mind that contributed to her love of learning and her need to know how the world works. Beginning in junior high, Nicole spent much of her time working at her parents’ restaurant The Country House, and can still occasionally be found helping out with various events.

After graduating from high school, Nicole attended Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN, where she will proudly tell you she spent her first three semesters undeclared. After receiving guidance from a number of her professors and exploring her different interests by completing her general education credits, she declared not one but two majors. In 2017, Nicole graduated with a BA in Literature and a BS in Management (General). She actively applied what she learned in the classroom from these two areas of study as the Editor in Chief of SMSU’s student newspaper The Spur her junior and senior years of college. Nicole was honored to be awarded Core Co-Curricular President of the Year for her work with the student newspaper.

After graduating from SMSU, Nicole attended South Dakota State University to receive her master of education degree in Student Affairs Administration. During her graduate program, Nicole held several different graduate assistant positions. As a GA for Strengthening the Heartland, she provided outreach to educators and community leaders throughout South Dakota to offer free informational programming for youth and adults about the dangers of opioid overuse and abuse.  In her work as a GA over the summer for SDSU’s School of Design, she welcomed first-year and transfer students and helped them register for the fall semester.  Nicole worked in the First Year Advising Center as a graduate intern during her last year of her program, and provided outreach and support to students who received early alerts, interpreted FOCUS 2 results for first-year students, and acted as a mentor and success coach to students on academic probation. Similar to the experience of many of the students she was working with at the time, Nicole’s work and studies moved primarily online during the spring of 2020 because of the global pandemic.

After graduating with her M.Ed. in spring 2020, Nicole worked as a Program Assistant I at the SDSU Testing Center, where she was a certified test proctor for Pearson, Scantron, Accuplacer, the ACT, CLEP, and Praxis. Although she loved her job and all that it entailed, Nicole jumped at the opportunity to work as a SUCCESS Coach in SMSU’s Deeann Griebel Student Success Center. Nicole says being back at SMSU is like being home again. As the SUCCESS Coach, Nicole meets regularly with students to provide academic and personal guidance, refers students to appropriate campus services, and advises students in all areas of life.

kaisa siipola

Kaisa Siipola - SUCCESS Program Coach | (507) 537-7460

Contact me for questions on: SUCCESS Program, Campus Resources, Involvement, Time Management, Procrastination, and Motivation Skills

Kaisa is from Kalama, WA, which is located in between Seattle, WA and Portland, OR. She has two older sisters and no brothers. Kaisa graduated during the pandemic in the class of 2020 from Eastern Washington University (EWU) with majors in Africana Studies and Communication Studies and a minor/certificate in Disability Studies.

After graduation, Kaisa decided to transition from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest to complete her Master's degree in Higher Education at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, ND. During her time in graduate school, she worked as a House Director for the Delta Gamma Sorority and was a Graduate Assistant for UND Learning Services.

Kaisa has worked as an Orientation Advisor, Peer Mentor, and Academic Coach at EWU where she discovered that working with students and helping them through college was something that she wanted to do. In her free time, she likes to read, watch/attend soccer games, bike riding, and going on long walks. Kaisa is looking forward to getting to know the students, faculty, and staff here at SMSU.

portrait of sujan

Sujan Shahi - Graduate Assistant | (507) 537-6477

Sujan Shahi is a 2020 graduate from SMSU with a degree in Computer Science. He is currently pursuing his MS in Education at SMSU. Sujan is passionate about helping people and holds great pride in being a team player.

Sujan loves playing guitar, creating rap beats and making Youtube videos for the channel “Anubhav”.

Last Modified: 9/7/22 9:06 AM | Website Feedback