Winona State welcomes new faculty


Nicole Girgen

George Micalone took over as the Director of Student Union and Activities after his predecessor Joe Reed retired in July 2019. Micalone will be overseeing Kryzsko Commons and student activities, before coming to Winona State he was the Assistant Director of the Memorial Union and Director of Student Activities at Iowa State University.

Rachel Hollcraft, News Reporter

Every new school year brings change for students and faculty alike, and the 2019 fall semester at Winona State has begun with faculty changes in both the Winona State Foundation and Student Life and Development.

After three-and-a-half years as Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director for the WSU Foundation, Ron Dempsey has resigned after accepting a position as President of Oakland City University in Oakland, Indiana.

Winona State introduced several endowment funds under Dempsey’s direction, including the College of Business endowment and the Larry Norton Center for Art and Design. Dempsey’s most notable achievement may be the Warrior Game Day Experience.

While the job as president of a university has been Dempsey’s career-long goal, Dempsey and his wife, Amanda, said they are sad to leave Winona.

“It’s a somewhat bitter-sweet experience where you’re looking forward to the new thing and excited about achieving a lifelong career goal, but at the same time leaving a place that you really have fallen in love with,” Dempsey said.

Winona State has not yet announced the new Vice President for University Advancement.

Student Life and Development has also faced a major change over the summer. Joe Reed, long time Director of Student Union and Activities, has retired after holding the position for just under thirty years.

While Reed was at Winona State, he introduced student activities such as the annual Spring concert as well as bringing hypnotist Jim Wand to perform during Welcome Week every year.

Tracy Rahim, Associate Director of Student Activities and Leadership, worked closely with Reed and their team and spoke of his contributions to Winona State.

In addition to activities, Reed oversaw many projects, including the building of the solarium in the Student Activities Center, the project of which he was most proud, according to Rahim.

Rahim spoke of the way Reed truly cared about student needs and their experience while at Winona State.

“With [Reed’s] reach of the people he worked with including student workers, club and organization leaders, and the general student body, he definitely left his mark here at Winona State,” Rahim said.

Ready to step into Reed’s shoes is the new Director of Student Union and Activities, George Micalone.

Micalone’s position will include overseeing Kryzsko Commons and operations within it, as well as student activities, including Student Senate, UPAC and Homecoming Committee.

Although new to Winona, Micalone is no stranger to managing student activities and organizations. His previous job position was the Assistant Director of the Memorial Union and Director of Student Activities for eleven years at Iowa State University.

While Micalone does have some ideas of things he would like to accomplish while at Winona State, he feels it is important to learn more about the people and facilities at Winona State before he can be completely sure of what can be improved or changed.

“In general, I’m here to serve students,” Micalone said. “If students have ideas of things they want to see happen, or how things can be done differently – as far as procedures related to student organizations, access to meeting space, or amenities – those are all things I’m looking into and would love to hear feedback on.