Staff

susan warfield

Susan Warfield, MSW, LICSW

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
warfi002@umn.edu

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
opayx002@umn.edu