Leadership and Administration
Dr. Kristen Raney, President
Dr. Kristen Raney serves as the president of NWTC, an appointment that began on July 1, 2023. A champion of the transformative power of technical education, Dr. Raney manages the College’s three campuses, five regional learning centers, and additional specialty locations with a focus on student success.
Dr. Raney has advanced student success and equity in technical and community colleges for more than twenty years. She is the first female and eighth president in NWTC’s 111-year history. She previously served as the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), in Davenport, IA, where she led the academic division and institutional accreditation for the multi-college district.
Dr. Raney has significant experience in both academic and student affairs. She previously worked at Saint Paul College in St. Paul, MN, where she served as dean of students and interim vice president of student affairs before becoming the vice president of academic affairs. Highlights of her work include leading a multi-year effort to redesign assessment of student learning and program review processes; establishing a department of faculty development and innovation; implementing a guided pathway advising model; and strengthening shared governance practices.
Her career began as a part-time instructional assistant at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire, WI. She held a range of positions in her twelve years at CVTC, from faculty to dean of academic development and services. As dean, Dr. Raney implemented new models of integrated academic support, introduced culturally responsive teaching practices, established a new model for adult basic education, and expanded support and outreach services across the CVTC district.
Dr. Raney is driven by her belief that education transforms lives and strengthens communities. She is widely recognized as a visionary leader who approaches her work with transparency, integrity, and empathy. Dr. Raney has been a Peer Reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission since 2019. She participated in the Aspen Fellowship for the Rising Future Presidents institute in 2021-2022.
Dr. Raney earned a doctorate of education in higher education and leadership studies from Edgewood College; a master of science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout; and a bachelor of arts in English from St. Cloud State University.
Dr. Kathryn Rogalski, Vice President of Learning
Dr. Rogalski is responsible for NWTC’s approximately 200 degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs, plus corporate training and economic development. She came to NWTC with over 18 years of experience supporting student success at community colleges, most recently as the Dean of the Business and Social Sciences at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. Her areas of achievement and expertise include leadership and management, curriculum development, and fostering collaboration with external partners, including K-12 systems, universities and business partners.
Dr. Rogalski has presented at local and national conferences on online student success, entrepreneurship and non-verbal communication. She earned her Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University, M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and B.A. in Psychology from Northeastern Illinois University.
Dr. Sara Lam, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
In her executive leadership role, Dr. Lam leads efforts to strengthen NWTC as a culturally sustaining college where all students feel they belong, achieve success, and are empowered to take action for positive change, with specific attention to students from marginalized groups.
Prior to joining the College, Dr. Lam has been an instrumental part of the DEI efforts of University of Minnesota Morris and its community, where she held various roles within teaching, research, and service since 2015. She is a co-founder of the Rural China Education Foundation, a published author, and holds national accolades for her work around educational equality.
Dr. Lam earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Wisconsin-Madison, an Ed.M. in International Education Policy from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota Morris.
Dr. Jennifer Flatt, Vice President of Student Services
In divisions that guide students from enrollment through credential completion, Dr. Flatt oversees enrollment, recruitment & admissions, student development, student support & success, special projects, and regional learning.
Joining the College in 2019, she previously served as NWTC’s Dean of Learning Effectiveness and Early College as well as Dean of the Marinette Campus. Today, she leads NWTC’s Dream Core team and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team.
Dr. Flatt is an educational leader with over 22 years of experience in teaching and higher education administration. She is a published author and has presented at various conferences nationwide.
Dr. Flatt earned her Ph.D. in English from Loyola University in Chicago, M.A. in English with a related field of Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and B.A. in English and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has also pursued postdoctoral course work in Spanish literature and culture at the Universidad de San José in Costa Rica.
Meridith Jaeger, Vice President of College Advancement
Meridith Jaeger drives strategic initiatives that strengthen institutional advancement, development, and community relations. As part of that role, she will oversee marketing, communications, legislative relations, institutional research, grants, alumni relations, and NWTC’s Educational Foundation.
Jaeger has been with NWTC since 2018 as the Dean for Corporate Training and Economic Development. She brings over 25 years of distinguished industry experience, holding numerous leadership roles in higher education and external organizations.
She is an active leader within the community and as chair of the New North Talent Hub and member of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board of Directors, National Maritime Workforce Alliance, and the Water Cities Soccer Club Board of Directors.
Jaeger has an M.A. in Educational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and B.A. in Corporate/Organizational Communication from Northern Illinois University.
Daniel Mincheff, Vice President of Business & Technology
Mincheff is responsible for the operations of the college which include the development and innovation of technology software and systems as well as strategic business initiatives. Areas that he oversees includes finance, information and instructional technology, facilities, safety and security, purchasing and the college’s bookstore.
Joining the College as chief information officer in 2017, Mincheff brings over 25 years of leadership experience where he worked with a number of colleges and universities as an employee of Ellucian. Mincheff has a M.A. in organizational development from Silver Lake College and B.A. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Mincheff has served as a keynote speaker at industry conferences nationwide and is a strategic leader of innovation to support the next generation of learning.
Valarie Wunderlich, Vice President of Talent & Culture
In her executive leadership role, Valarie Wunderlich is responsible for the organizational development necessary to achieve the mission, vision, and values of the College.
Wunderlich has been with NWTC since 2011, when she joined the College as Director within Talent & Culture. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in the strategic direction and management of the benefit, wellness, and compensation programs.
Prior to joining the College, she brings over 20 years of leadership and employee relations experience where she worked with a number of large-scale companies such as EAA, Shopko Stores, Georgia-Pacific, and more.
Wunderlich is a Jackie Nitschke Center Board Member and District Mutual Insurance (DMI) Board of Directors. She is experienced as a chairperson of the Wisconsin Technical College System HR Committee and is an active member of the community.
She earned a B.A. in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration from Lakeland University.