The Leadership and Talent Development Team

Leadership Team

Brandon Sullivan, Ph.D., Director
Brandon Sullivan, PhD, Director

Brandon directs Leadership and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources at the University of Minnesota. He leads a team of expert consultants dedicated to providing strategic consulting services, tailored leadership development programs, and research-supported survey and assessment tools to help campuses, colleges, and units to advance important goals and priorities.

In addition to directing LTD, Brandon teaches graduate courses on leadership, organizational behavior, and wellbeing in the workplace. He is a senior lecturer in the Carlson School of Management and is on the graduate faculty at the Center for Spirituality and Healing. Brandon is also an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Prior to joining the University, Brandon led a global talent assessment and employee engagement team at Target Corporation and was a partner in a talent management consultancy specializing in executive leadership assessment and selection. Brandon earned a PhD in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Olga Alepova
Olga Alepova, MIS, Manager

Olga manages online learning offerings and supervisory development. She works to provide instructional design and technology expertise in developing online learning materials, scaling up LTD offerings across the University, and increasing learner engagement. She earned a master's degree in management of information systems from Metropolitan State University and a bachelor's degree in computer science and linguistics (TESOL) from Stavropol State University in Russia.

Rosie Barry
Rosie Barry, MA, Manager 

Rosie Barry is the manager of leadership and assessment at the University of Minnesota. In her role, she is responsible for developing competency-based assessment systems and programming to develop leaders at all levels of the University. She holds master's degrees in human resources/industrial relations from the University of Minnesota and counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas. Rosie has over 20 years of human resource experience as both an internal and external consultant in a variety of organizations.

Jennifer Engler, PsyD, Manager
Jennifer Engler, PsyD, Director

Jennifer is the Director of the Consulting Services team of six consultants in organizational and leadership development. Before joining the Leadership and Talent Development team, Jennifer served as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Services in the College of Education and Human Development since 2010 and has held positions at the University since 1999. Jennifer earned a PhD Clinical Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her BA in psychology from Macalester College.      
 

Martrice Reyes, BA, Project/Process Specialist
Martrice Reyes, BA, Process Improvement 

Martrice supports the Leadership and Talent Development team on implementing and managing general operations across all of LTD's workstreams, including leadership assessment and development, employee engagement, supervisory development, and talent management. 

Donna Saathoff, M.A., Senior Consultant
Donna Saathoff, MA, Senior Consultant

Donna Saathoff is a senior consultant for human resources development and strategy at the University of Minnesota. In her role, she is responsible for overseeing enterprise-wide development programming for HR Leads and their teams. The purpose of these efforts is to create an institution-wide supportive learning community of human resource leaders and professionals so they can best support and provide guidance to their senior leaders, managers, and supervisors. Donna has over 20 years of human resources experience at the University of Minnesota, including seven years in the Office of the President. She has also has completed doctoral-level coursework and training in clinical psychology at Argosy University (all but dissertation).

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Consultants

Amy Barton
Amy Barton, MA

Amy is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She brings 13 years of experience in coaching, leadership development, and social justice. She also leads assessment and evaluation for staff leadership development programs. Before joining OHR, Amy worked in student services at the U of M and in the nonprofit sector. Amy earned her bachelor's degree in family social science and master’s degree in multicultural college teaching and learning both from the University of Minnesota.

Marisa de la Rosa, MEd
Marisa de la Rosa, MEd

Marisa is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She manages the employee engagement survey process, supports leaders in taking action on the survey data, coaches supervisors in their skill development, and facilitates staff and faculty cohorts to help them hone their leadership competencies. Her experience includes consulting, organizational development, and training in both the public and private sector. Marisa earned a master’s degree in human resource development through the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota.

Jenny McDaniel, M.S.
Jenny McDaniel, MS

Jenny is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She supports leaders in taking action on the employee engagement survey, coaching supervisors in their skill development, and facilitating staff and faculty cohorts to hone their leadership competencies. Jenny worked in the Medical School at the U of M and also in the private sector as a global relocation counselor. Jenny earned a master’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration on industrial and organizational psychology from Sacred Heart University. She graduated with a BA in business communication from the University of St. Thomas.

Christina McGuire
Christina McGuire, MA

Christina McGuire is a consultant in Leadership and Talent Development. She works with leaders in colleges and units to assess leadership development needs and she also designs, delivers, and develops programs for leaders as well as coaching leaders and their teams. Before joining the University, Christina worked for the National Science Foundation in the Washington, D.C. area as an industrial-organizational psychologist. Christina holds an M.A. degree in industrial-organizational psychology from Minnesota State University-Mankato and earned a degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has also earned the PHR and SHRM-CP designations.  She is a certified MBTI® and Hogan Assessments practitioner. 

Lovey Peissig, PhD
Lovey Peissig, PhD

Lovey is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She supports leaders in taking action on the employee engagement survey, coaching supervisors in their skill development, and facilitating staff and faculty cohorts to hone their leadership competencies. Lovey completed her PhD in counseling psychology with a concentration in occupational health psychology at the University of Minnesota. She has worked as a counselor providing psychological assessment and counseling services in the Twin Cities region. She earned a BA in psychology with a concentration in Asian studies from Kenyon College.

Teri Spillers, M.A.
Teri Spillers, MA

Teri Spillers is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She supports leaders in taking action on the employee engagement survey, coaching supervisors in their skill development, and facilitating staff and faculty cohorts to hone their leadership competencies. She has over 20 years of experience in leadership assessment, leadership coaching, and organizational development. Teri has worked across public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, including a decade in management in the private sector. She earned her master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of St. Thomas and received her undergraduate degree in business administration.

amanda wolford
Amanda Wolford, BS, PHR, SHRM-CP

Amanda Wolford is a consultant in organizational and leadership development. She supports leaders in taking action on the employee engagement survey, coaching supervisors in their skill development, and facilitating staff and faculty cohorts to hone their leadership competencies. Amanda holds a bachelor's degree in human resource development and a minor in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.  In addition to her role at UMN, Amanda is the Minnesota College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (MnCUPA-HR) board 2020-2021 President.

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Supervisory Development

John Barnett
John Barnett, BA

John is an instructional designer on the supervisory development team. He works to design effective online learning experiences for working adult learners, as well as producing educational videos, designing materials, and assessing learning. John earned his bachelor's degree in art and design at the University of Minnesota and is currently earning his master's degree in learning technologies from the College of Education and Human Development.

Cristaly Mercado
Cristaly Mercado, BA, Educational Technologist

Cristaly creates and deploys training-related content for LTD. She has worked as a special education teacher and contributed to research labs in the Educational Psychology Department of the College of Education and Human Development. Cristaly earned her bachelor's degree in special education with a minor in learning technologies. These experiences, combined with ten years of graphic design experience, influence her approach to creating accessible learning materials for LTD.

Mackenzie Merrill
Mackenzie Merrill, MEd, Instructional Designer

Mackenzie is a former graphic designer, educator, and instructional coach who is interested in how technology, design, and education can improve user experience and inspire new ways of learning. Before joining the LTD team, she was an art and design instructor in the US and abroad and worked at the University of Texas creating and supporting online college courses for campuses across the state. Her background in customer service, user experience, and education helps her solve problems and create meaningful experiences using research and empathic design.

Emily

Emily Tichich, MA, Instructional Designer

Emily is an instructional designer in Leadership and Talent Development supporting the supervisory development program. With more than 10 years of teaching experience, she is most interested in making learning relevant by helping learners connect their learning to their real-life experiences. Her main role is to design effective learning experiences and support the course community. Before coming to LTD, she was an ESL instructor in high school and college settings. This unique perspective reminds her of the importance of effective course design and of meeting learners where they are.

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Administrative

Ashley Dzuik
Ashley Dzuik

Ashley Dzuik provides administrative support to the Leadership and Talent Development team and serves as executive assistant to Brandon Sullivan. Before joining the Office of Human Resources, Ashley worked at the Carlson School of Management and brings her experience in communications and event planning to her role with LTD. Ashley earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and women's studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and completed the Equity and Diversity advanced certificate.