Susan Warfield, MSW, LICSW

susan warfield

HELP Center Program Director
Brief background
I began my professional career working in group homes with abused, neglected and later autistic children and adolescents.  Upon completing my MSW I worked for 7 years in the Denver Public Schools, serving inner city schools with highly diverse populations. Prior to entering higher education I owned my own private practice as a clinical therapist, also in Denver, Colorado.  It was the work I did with college students as a therapist that led me to do a national search for higher education positions, a search that led me first to North Carolina and eventually to my position with the SPHC at the U.

What do you like about working with student parents?
This is by far the most rewarding work I have ever done and that is saying a great deal considering I have spent my entire twenty plus year career working with children and families in various settings.  I admire our parents more than any group of individuals I have ever worked with.  Their resiliency, courage to sacrifice their own needs and desires for their children and dedication to their academic careers inspire me every day.  It is also a great deal of fun to have a job where, even though we serve the adult parents, we still get to play with the little ones and hold a few babies now and then.  I love my job and never have a day when I am not excited to get to work.

Contact Susan at:
120 Appleby Hall
(612) 625-0825

Melanie Soland, MSW, LISW

Student Parent Counselor
Brief background
I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Augsburg College and my master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. My professional career began with an internship with the Campus Kitchens Project at Augsburg College, a program that utilized donated food to create nutritious meals which volunteers delivered and shared with members of the community. I’ve also worked with isolated elders through Little Brothers- Friends of the Elderly, as an MFIP job counselor in Ramsey County, and at a K-8 school in North Minneapolis. I was fortunate enough to join the SPHC team during the 2008-2009 academic year as the graduate social work intern/graduate teaching assistant, which is when I discovered my love of working with student parents and working in a higher education setting. I am thrilled to be rejoining the SPHC team!

What do you like about working with student parents?
Student parents are such an amazing group of people. Their drive, dedication, humor, and love of their children inspire me every day. I am lucky enough to be the product of a student parent. As I was growing up, my mother pursued her bachelor’s degree while working full-time and parenting two children. It took her 10 years to complete, but her dedication ensured that my sister and I valued education, evidenced by the fact that we have both earned advanced degrees. It’s beautiful to work with a group of people who are not only bettering their own lives, but bettering the lives of the next generation, and I love being a part of an organization that can help provide a little support, encouragement, and the occasional free meal during that process. The fact that we get to play with the little ones on occasion is an added bonus!

Contact Melanie at:
24A Appleby Hall
(612) 626-0824

Karyn Cave

Graduate Social Work Intern
Brief background
My passion for social justice and youth / family work began by working with The McVay Youth Partnership, an after school program for at risk youth.  During the summers I taught English literature to highly motivated, under resourced middle school students with Breakthrough Saint Paul.  After graduating from Hamline University with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in Sociology, I became a Program Coordinator for non-profit called Playworks. Most recently I was a Special Education Assistant for 2nd and 3rd graders with Emotional Behavioral Disorder.  I am excited to be pursuing my Masters of Social Work at the University of Minnesota and I am thrilled to be interning at the Student Parent Help Center!

What do you like about working with student parents?
I deeply admire the drive and dedication our student parents have.  The love they have for their children is evident and it shines through every day.  I love getting to know the student parents and hearing cute anecdotes about their kids.  I am so fortunate that I get to help provide support, community and a safe space for our student parents.  I love how the SPHC not only benefits our students but also has a positive impact on the lives of their children.

Contact Karyn at:
20 Appleby Hall
(612) 625-1330

Mim Buckland

Undergraduate Student Employee
Brief background
I am currently a junior at the University of Minnesota majoring in Child Psychology and pursuing minors in Family Social Science and French. In the future, I plan on getting my master's degree in Social Work so I can continue working with children and families.

Contact Mim at:
24 Appleby Hall
(612) 626-1762