• 2015 Women in Public Service Rising Star Award

    The Hamline University Women in Public Service Conference planning committee is proud to present the “Public Service Rising Star” award. The Rising Star Award is designed to recognize women in public service with 10 or fewer years of service that are already making their mark in working toward the public good.

    Selected nominees will be highlighted at the 2015 conference and will receive a certificate of recognition.

    2015 Award Recipients 


    Xiong, Kari - WIPS Award 15

    Kari Xiong is passionate about equity, social justice, and multicultural studies. Her work is focused on embracing diversity, addressing underrepresented student issues, and advancing equity through student, teacher, and staff education, professional development (Culturally Responsive Teaching), and parent engagement. Xiong began working in 2005 as a student learning advocate at Anoka High School. In her current position with Anoka-Hennepin School District as English language cultural liaison, she works primarily with English Language Learners and immigrant/refugee populations. Since 2010, she has served on the Anoka County Immigrant/Refugee Asset Fund Committee. Xiong collaborates with various state and community agencies including the Minnesota Department of Health, Metro Refugee Health Taskforce, and Minnesota Education Equity Partnership. Xiong is a nationally trained Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity facilitator, White Privilege Conference participant, and National Association of Multicultural Education Conference presenter. Xiong is an advocate for youth voices to lead powerful conversations on equity and disparities, racial diversity, inclusion, and cultural identities. Xiong also volunteers and serves on the board of directors at Youth Performance Company, a nonprofit theater company focused on youth leadership, empowerment, and social justice issues.


    Kristi Fox

    Fox, Kristi - WIPS Award 15

    Kristi Fox has served as an attorney in district court cases throughout the state of Minnesota since establishing her solo-practice law firm in 2008. In 2003, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Hamline University, majoring in legal studies and women's studies. As a dual-degree graduate student, she received her Juris Doctorate in 2006 from Hamline School of Law and her Masters of Public Administration from Hamline School of Business in 2010. In addition, Kristi completed the Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution through Hamline’s Dispute Resolution Center in 2007. As an actively involved Hamline alumna, Fox continues to volunteer on campus for mock trial competitions and a variety of student mentorship opportunities. Fox shows her love for community work and public service by volunteering her time and services to individuals and families in crisis, dedicating hundreds of hours each year to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She has volunteered for a large variety of nonprofit agencies and programs across Minnesota, including: the Sexual Violence Center, Legal Assistance of Dakota County, Ltd., Volunteer Lawyers Network, Minnesota Justice Foundation, Minnesota Innocence Project, Project for Pride in Living, Children's Law Center, Families First, Wills for Heroes, and more than a dozen individual centers providing advocacy and shelter to victims of domestic violence. Since 2012, she has been recognized by the Minnesota Bar Association as a North Star Lawyer, due to the significant amount of pro-bono legal services she provides to low-income individuals. Fox was recently selected as a 2015 Woman of Outstanding Leadership by the International Women's Leadership Association.


    Alyssa Bryan

    Bryan, Alyssa - WIPS Award 15

    Alyssa Bryan is the executive director for the Minnesota Federal Executive Board (FEB), an organization which serves as a catalyst for government efficiencies and innovation. Having led the FEB through seven years of successful inter-agency initiatives, Bryan fosters communication and collaboration among federal, state, and local government agencies. In her position, she organizes the annual federal awards event, honoring up to 100 exceptional employees each year. She has designed, coordinated, and led the Federal Outreach and Leadership Development (FOLD) program, offering classroom sessions and outreach opportunities to more than 120 Federal employees representing more than 50 agencies. This program has fostered leadership development for the best and brightest Federal leaders and assists with the transition from supervisory role to upper management for many FOLD graduates. Bryan has a professional background in leadership, particularly in cultural exchange. Prior to her work at the FEB, she served for two years as an educator and development worker with the Peace Corps, living in rural West Africa and teaching secondary students. Bryan holds bachelor’s degrees in French and psychology and is completing a Masters in Organizational Leadership. 



    2014 Award recipients

    Gülgün Kayim

    WIPSAward_KayimGülgün Kayim, joined the City of Minneapolis in 2011 in the newly created role of Director of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, previously she was the Assistant Director of the Bush Foundation’s Artist Fellowship Program. Before joining Bush she served as the Public Art on Campus Coordinator at the Weisman Art Museum and has consulted extensively on site-specific performance, public art and artist professional development in the Twin Cities. Gülgün is also a practicing interdisciplinary artist, and co-founder of the Minneapolis based performance collective, Skewed Visions and a core member of the international artist network Mapping Spectral Traces and Theatre Without Borders. Her work has been recognized through a number of local, national and international grants, fellowships and awards including: a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, a James Shannon Leadership fellowship and grants from the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Kayim’s work has been presented in the US, London, Cyprus and Russia, she trained in the US and London and holds an MA in Intercultural Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Minnesota and BA (Hons) in Theatre and Film from the University of Middlesex, London.

    Kathie Battle Sayles

     WIPSAward_SaylesKathie L. Battle Sayles is the Director of Development for the Campaign for Legal Aid, the private fundraising arm of Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS). Kathie received her B.A. from Hamline University in 1991 and her law degree in 1999 from the University of Minnesota Law School. She joined SMRLS in 2007 and under her leadership the firm initiated a Senior Law Project that has grown to an annual event involving over 500 low-income seniors. In 2008 she assumed the position of Director of Development. Through her extensive network within the corporate sector and private bar, Kathie has increased the dollars raised for the Campaign for Legal Aid by 40% and brought greater visibility to the critical work and mission of SMRLS. Her passion for social justice serves as the foundation for her "fearless" approach and her unique, creative fundraising style. Kathie is a member of SMRLS Senior Leadership Team, Co-Chairs the firm's Racial Justice Committee, and sits on the Ramsey County Bar Association Board of Directors.

    Lori Saroya

     WIPSAward_SaroyaLori Saroya is the co-founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota (CAIR-MN), the state’s leading Muslim civil rights and legal advocacy organization. She received her undergraduate degree from St. Catherine University and her Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law. While a law student at Hamline, she served as an Editorial Assistant for the Journal of Law and Religion, was selected for the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court international competition, and received the prestigious John Wesley Leadership and Service Award. Lori currently serves on the Hamline Law Alumni Board. She is a board member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and a member of the Minnesota Judicial Branch's Committee for Equality and Justice. She was named one of the 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans by the Minnesota Jaycees and received the St. Catherine University Alumni Award. She is a 2014 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow.


    Mindy Manninen

     WIPSAward_ManninenMindy Manninen has been with Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCCR) for 10 years. She started with Hennepin County as a Sentencing to Service crew leader, working with directly with court ordered clients on community restoration projects. She then moved into supervision in the Community Offender Management Division working with juvenile justice partners and staff to create a positive work environment for youth. Most recently she has taken on a role as manager of the Train, Coach, and Practice Unit for the DOCCR. In this role, Mindy is working on training efforts to support Evidence Based Practices and safety training for all DOCCR staff. In 2012, she completed her Master of Arts in Public Administration from Hamline University. Mindy serves as a member of the Hamline University Center for Public Administration and Leadership Advisory Board.

    Mary Van Milligen

     WIPSAward_Van MilligenMary Van Milligen serves as Assistant to the City Administrator in the City of Woodbury. Mary has demonstrated a love of community work and public service stretching far back into her youth. She has always been an active volunteer, served two terms with AmeriCorps and worked for LeadAmerica, a leadership camp for accomplished high school students. Mary currently serves on the International City/County Managers Association Taskforce for Women in the Profession. Mary began working in local government as an intern to the Village Manager in the Village of Downers Grove, IL while completing her Master’s in Public Administration at Northern Illinois University. In her current role, Mary manages the City of Woodbury’s performance measurement program, assists with budgeting and works with the city administrator to provide departments assistance with priority special projects.

    Amanda Varley

     WIPSAward_VarleyAmanda Varley is an Early Childhood Education Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education. Her duties include co-leading the School Readiness Study, Minnesota’s snapshot of readiness at kindergarten entrance, and supporting the state’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge Grant. Amanda has worked as an educational assistant in a middle school with students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders and as a program evaluation consultant for various nonprofits and organizations. She’s passionate about civic engagement, consensus building and cross-sector collaboration. Amanda serves on the board of Young Education Professionals-Twin Cities and committees of Citizens League and YWCA Minneapolis. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and has a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Amanda also enjoys cooking, sewing, embroidery and exploring Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

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