University of Minnesota
The UMN-TC Gopher Battalion Staff is comprised of a highly dedicated team of current and former US Army Officers and NCOs, both past and present, and could not run as effectively as it does without the strong dedication from its top-notch administrative and support staff members.

Gopher Battalion Faculty & Staff

The UMN-TC Gopher Battalion Staff is comprised of a highly dedicated team of current and former US Army Officers and NCOs, both past and present, and could not run as effectively as it does without the strong dedication from its top-notch administrative and support staff members.

LTC Collin Keenan

Professor of Military Science

LTC Collin K. Keenan enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1990 and served as a mechanic prior to commissioning as a 2nd LT in the Chemical Corps in 2000. LTC Keenan received a B.S. in Political Science in 2000, M.S. in Environmental Management in 2005 and a MPM in Public Policy Management in 2009. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and is recipient of a Bronze Star, and Purple Heart. LTC Keenan resides in Minneapolis, MN and is the proud father of three boys and one daughter.

MSG Pierre Berube

Commandant of Cadets

MSG Berube is originally from Cambridge, MA. He joined the Army in 1993 as a 19D Cavalry Scout. His assignments include FT Polk, Germany, FT Hood, Schofield Barracks Hawaii, and ACRC at Camp Shelby, MS. His deployments include Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. MSG Berube comes to the program from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he served as a 1SG in 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment.

CPT Steven Cole

Assistant Professor of Military Science/Military History Professor/Administrative & Logistics

CPT Steven Lawrence Cole enlisted in 1997 and served as a 14T patriot launcher crewmember in Germany before commissioning as a 2nd LT in the Army Quartermaster Corps in 2006. CPT Cole received a B.A. in Liberal Arts in 2005 and a MBA in 2012. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (08-10) and New Dawn (11-12). CPT Cole is the proud father of a son and resides in Minneapolis with his wife.

CPT Ursula Gardner

Assistant Professor of Military Science/Retention Officer

CPT Ursula Gardner enlisted in 1993 and served as a 71L, Administrative Specialist, for 14 years before commissioning as a 2LT in the Air Defense Artillery Corps in 2007. CPT Gardner received a B.S. in Business Administration in 2010 from Texas A & M – Central Texas. She completed three deployments in support of the Global War on Terror. CPT Gardner resides in Inver Grove Heights with her daughter, Courtney.

CPT Ryan Goltz

Assistant Professor of Military Science/Operations and Training Officer

CPT Ryan Goltz received his commission as a Military Police Officer from Marquette University in 2007, where he also earned a BS in Exercise Science. In 2012, he completed his MA in Security Management from Webster University. CPT Goltz has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and most recently served at Fort Belvoir, VA. He resides in Minneapolis with his wife, Jennifer.

SFC Jason Benjamin

Training and Operations NCO

SFC Benjamin joined active duty in 2000, trained at Ft Benning and was stationed at Ft Bragg NC with the 82ND ABN DIV. He has served with the Ranger Training Brigade in Fort Walton Beach Florida and 173RD IBCT Airborne out of Vicenza Italy. He recently served with the 4-9IN 1SBCT in Ft Carson CO for their transition to Light Infantry. SFC Benjamin has deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq, twice, in support of our nation. He currently resides in Burnsville with his wife and two children.

SSG Jace Thorn

Military Science Instructor

SSG Thorn enlisted into the military service in 2004. He is a 31B Military Police. Since his enlistment he has been assigned to the 561st MP CO, Ft. Campbell, KY. He also served as a Small Group Leader at the MSCoE NCO Academy at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. SSG Thorn has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of the global war on terror. He currently resides in Fridley with his daughter, Autumn.

Mr. Mitchell Ruedebusch

Executive Enrollment and Scholarship Officer

Mr. Mitchell Ruedebusch is a native of Huron, South Dakota. He accepted an ROTC Scholarship to attend the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he received his Army Commission in  Field Artillery and a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1995. He received a Master's of Art Degree in Management and Leadership through Webster University in 2009.

He has over 14 years of active service with a deployment to Iraq and is currently an Army Reservist with the 4-413th Regiment (SROTC). 

MAJ David Wagner

Minnesota National Guard Liaison Officer

MAJ Wagner grew up in Wayzata MN, and enlisted in the Air Force in 1997 as an F-15E crew chief. Following his enlistment he received his commission from Saint Cloud State ROTC in 2003, as an Aviation Branch Officer in the Minnesota National Guard. He was later appointed as a Medical Service Officer to serve as an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer. MAJ Wagner has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan.

Shanna Young

Human Resources Administrator

Shanna Young is a native of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.   She comes from a military background where both of her parents served in the Army. She applied for the civilian government Human Resources Assistant position at the University of Minnesota Army ROTC in the Spring of 2005 and left the Army in July 2005 when she was hired.  Shanna provides all of the personnel management for our assigned cadre, as well as numerous personnel actions for our cadets – most notably, she assists in the administrative tasks associated with contracting cadets and commissioning our newest graduates.

Mr. David Lykens

Supply Technician

Mr. Lykens is a native of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Mr. Lykens began his military career 29 days after his high school graduation in 1987.

Mr. Dave Leard

Senior Military Science Instructor

Mr. Leard is originally from Chicora, Pennsylvania and now resides in Lakeville. He began his military career as an ROTC cadet at the Pennsylvania State University. He was commissioned as an Active Duty Army Officer and assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers.  He holds a Bachelor Degree in Environmental Engineering from Penn State and a Masters Degree in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri - Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology).  He had over 10 years of Active Duty service and 11 years of service in the Army Reserve.  He did one tour of duty in Germany and deployed to Operation Desert Storm, Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). He retired from the Army Reserve in August, 2010.

John Joyner

Unit Supply Clerk

One thing is certain for every cadet in Army ROTC, they need stuff. Whether it's uniforms, rank, boots, or paper to print out a midterm, John is the man who meets everyone's needs. John Joyner, a native of St. Paul , Minnesota , entered the Minnesota Army National Guard in May of 1969. He retired from the Military after 30 Years of Service as SFC, effective 1 Sep 99.

Ms. Maggie Marchesani

Administrative Specialist

A native of Rochester, Minnesota, Maggie completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Business in 2009 and her Master's in Human Resource Development in 2013. She joined the AROTC team in 2013 as a University employee.