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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.    

nicole schwing

Nicole Lewis - SUCCESS Program Coordinator | (507) 537-6360

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

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.


Mary Haberman - SUCCESS Program Coach | (507) 537-6690

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

Mary grew up, the oldest of five children, on a small farm outside of Waterville MN where she learned the value of lifelong learning from her mother and a sense of adventure from her father. While attending Waseca High School, she was active in the school’s band programs, playing trombone, clarinet, and participating in both flag and rifle line.  Outside of school, Mary showed pigs in 4-H and held a full-time job in a bakery.   

While in high school, Mary took Post Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) courses through a partnership between the high school and Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU).  Upon receiving her diploma, she transitioned into MNSU and received a Bachelor of Science in Earth Science, with minors in Chemistry and Geography.  During her undergraduate career, Mary worked full-time at the post office. 

Following graduation, Mary worked at Brown Printing Company in Waseca. She worked her way up to Assistant Stitcher Operator while participating in an online program in Master of Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall (SMSU). This program was offered through and paid for by Brown Printing. Mary's final project was a case study of Wiste’s Meat Market in Janesville.  

Mary took a 3-year sabbatical from working full-time and enrolled in MNSU’s Master of Science in Geography program, specifically completing field studies in Germany, Italy, and the Rocky Mountains. While in the Rocky Mountains, Mary decided to go back to her science roots and obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching from MNSU, with an emphasis in Chemistry and Earth Science teaching.  Mary’s final project was a literature review of the use of technology in an alternative classroom setting. Mary student-taught at New Ulm Public School and substitute taught at Yellow Medicine East, Lakeview, Marshall, and Minnesota Valley Area Learning Center, before accepting a science teaching position at Minnesota Valley Area Learning Center.  After 11 years in alternative education, Mary taught for 1 year in a traditional setting at Cedar Mountain Schools. Mary obtained additional licensure in Biology and taught a variety of classes, including Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Medical Biology, Entrepreneurship, Robotics, Physics, and Environmental Science. 

Along with her teaching responsibilities, Mary served on the Minnesota Science Teachers Association (MnSTA) in as a Regional Representative, helped to create the position of and served as the Alternative Education and Charter Schools Director, and most recently was the Conference Coordinator for the annual MnSTA Conference on Science Education. Mary is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Leadership through the online program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead.  Mary’s research focuses on using the Big Five Aspects Survey as a potential tool to develop CTE programs in high schools. 

Mary currently co-owns an apartment building in Lucan with her husband, John, of 8 years.  She owns The Follaine Center in Lucan, offering nutrition and lifestyle coaching. Mary is an active member at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Milroy and serves on the Wabasso School board. 

When not keeping busy with work and community commitments, Mary enjoys painting, photography, hiking/backpacking, snowshoeing, and visiting nieces, nephews, and godchildren. 


Emily Vos - SUCCESS Program Coach | (507)-537-6478

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

Emily Vos, a RTR High School graduate and proud SMSU alumni, completed her Bachelor of the Arts degree in Psychology, with a minor in Sociology, in May of 2023. During her time at SMSU, she conducted a 2-year research study throughout her junior and senior years and authored a research article where she published her findings in the 2023-2024 edition of the SMSU campus journal Discovery.

Now a SUCCESS Program Coach in the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center, Emily works with students in the SUCCESS Program, offering all-encompassing advice and helping lead the next generation of SMSU graduates toward success.

In her free time, Emily enjoys gardening during the warmer months and spending days indoors watching movies, playing video games, and spending time with family during the cold Minnesota months. Emily also loves animals and will gladly tell you all about her pets; you only need to ask!


Vickie Abel - Coordinator of Accessibility Services | (507) 537-7318

Contact me for questions on: Academic accommodations due to a documented learning, physical or behavioral disability, information about emotional support or service animals, and basic needs support (Mustang Market).

Vickie was born and raised in Marshall, MN. Vickie has an older sister living in St. Louis, a brother and sister in the Mpls area, a brother in Sioux Falls and one in Marshall. After graduating from Marshall High School – claim to fame;  the largest class to ever graduate from MHS – Vickie attended the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN.  Vickie graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and began a long career in the field.  Initially, Vickie worked at a group home for adolescents with behavioral disorders.  A few years later, her passion for helping children came to fruition as she directed a treatment foster care program in Southwest Minnesota.  She also had the unique opportunity to find “forever” homes for children through the adoption process. 

After decades of working in the social work field, Vickie was at a pivot point in her career.  Ultimately, she made the decision to pursue a Master’s Degree at Southwest Minnesota State University. Vickie’s Master’s Degree in Education:  Teaching, Learning and Leadership opened the door to her next career opportunity.  Vickie was hired as the Director of Education at Avera Marshall.  She spent the next 15 years working at Avera Marshall with her final role being Vice-President of Organizational Excellence.  When her role was eliminated at Avera Marshall, Vickie was at yet another pivot point in her career.  The opportunity to join the SMSU family as the Coordinator of Accessibility Services was available and when offered the position, Vickie was beyond excited to accept the role. 

“I feel so fortunate to be part of the SMSU family and to once again, be in a helping role.  The idea I have the chance to positively influence the likelihood of success for our SMSU students makes coming to work a joy. I look forward to making a difference in the lives of many students in the years ahead.”

Outside of work Vickie enjoys spending time with her family.  She and her husband, Steve, have three grown children.  Matthew, and his wife Megan, live in Sioux Falls with Vickie’s two most precious treasures; grandsons Jonathan and Landon. Laura has a successful career at Target Corp and lives in Minneapolis.  Seth and his significant other, Hannah, live in Marshall with Vickie’s two other treasures; grand dogs Max and Stanley.  Vickie enjoys traveling, especially to warm climates, and she is an avid MN sports fan. When not on an adventure, you will often find Vickie in her perennial garden; her peaceful place. 


Halle Jansen - Graduate Assistant | (507) 537-6477

Contact me for questions on: Social media promotion, newsletter content, early alert interventions, and Finish Strong Week programming.

Halle was born and raised alongside her siblings by her parents just outside of Mannanah, MN, a small town of about 50 people. Living out in the country her whole life, hard work and dedication were things that were expected of her and her siblings. She has an older brother, a twin brother and a younger sister. While going to high school in Eden Valley, MN, Halle maintained a high GPA in the classroom, played volleyball, basketball, and softball as well as club volleyball and AAU basketball all while trying to work and make money. Halle graduated with honors from Eden Valley Watkins High School in 2020. Growing up in a small town really shaped her into who she is today. It allowed Halle to make close connections with so many people as well as allowing for a very close-knit community. “Everyone knew each other, making it very fun to see people at sporting events or other things around town and being able to build so many relationships with people in my community.” It reminds her of the community here in Marshall and all the support athletics receives here.

After graduating from high school, Halle committed to Southwest Minnesota State University to play volleyball for the legendary head coach at the time, Terry Culhane. While pursuing a business management degree, working in the fitness center and playing volleyball for one of the best Division II teams in the country, Halle completed her undergrad in three years, graduating with honors a year early with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources and a minor in Marketing. Halle is now working on completing her master’s degree in Business Administration.

Halle joined the team in the Deeann Griebel Student Success Center as the graduate assistant in August of 2023. In this position, Halle stays busy with working on Mustangs Connect, Social Media, Finish Strong Week, and Early Alert Meetings. Outside of playing volleyball and working in the DGSSC, Halle loves the be outside, go for walks, read, wake surf, and spending time with my family and friends.

Last Modified: 9/26/23 2:08 PM | Website Feedback