Meet our Committee - Bemidji State University

Avery Franzen


Avery Franzen is an Issues Specialist for Students United at Bemidji State University. When he isn’t tackling our issue campaigns, you can most likely find him stocking Bunsen Burners in the chemistry lab. His nose is often in the books pursuing a biology and chemistry major due to his plans to be Dr. Franzen someday. If you thought he didn’t do enough, he also works in the ER as a scribe, tutors the young chem/bio students on how many bones the human body has, and he is the president of the Medical Professions Association and Chemistry Club, all while constantly doing class raps to help our GOTV efforts. He is out to solve any issues life has to throw at him. But don’t be surprised if you see him in magazines or on billboards someday, as he has a love for all colors of polos and dress slacks.

Galen Hlavsa




Galen Hlavsa is the Campus Organizing Intern for Bemidji State. When he isn’t suited up and bossing around his committee, Galen is in class working towards both a Business Administration and Political Science major. For four years, Galen has been helping people get better by filling prescriptions at a local pharmacy. He likes to leave Minnesota on a turtle's back (his favorite animal) to visit family in California, where he lived for 7 years.  Disclaimer*- Galen operates motor vehicles very well, doesn’t play the violin, and is sub par at math. He is often seen walking around campus, talking to everyone he passes in a button down and tie. He doesn’t own sweatpants or anything informal.


Melvin Byrd


Melvin Byrd is the Diversity Specialist for Students United at Bemidji State University. When he isn’t working on diversity issues, he is solving the Pythagorean Theorem for his math major. He has been to 14 countries, as well as 20 states, but his natural habitat is here in Minnesota. As an Army Combat Veteran, he can often be seen is US Army workout gear at the gym doing pull-ups and running 5-minute miles. If you ever need a favor from Melvin, or want to make his day, offer him some candy and you will be on his good side forever.

Connor Brown


Connor Brown makes up the other half of our Issue Specialists here at Bemidji State University. He is working on his 3rd year hoping to someday lead our country with his political science degree. Born and raised in Minnesota with his one-eyed cat Mittens. Growing up, Connor enjoyed spending the majority of his time with his cat over his older brother or younger sister. He loves the game of hockey and traipsing around in the outdoors.

Tia Hinz


Tia Hinz (the heir of the inventor of ketchup) is our Legislative Specialist at BSU. She studies liberal studies and mass communication, to hone in her world-changing skills. She is already the CEO of a non-profit. Tia was born and raised here in Minnesota. During her childhood and angsty teen years, Tia was able to collect over 500 Snapple caps. When she isn’t drinking iced tea, she enjoys being a peer educator or working on mental health initiatives, where over the past 8 years she has put in hundreds of hours. If you ever need a conversation starter, ask her how she swallowed her tongue piercing…

Carl Karpinski


The best committee member (says the author of this blog), Carl Karpinski, heads the public relations for Students United at our beloved Bemidji State University. Born and raised in Oregon, he is working on a political science and social studies double major and hopes to head to law school after graduating this spring. He has driven over 12,000 miles alone to and from Minnesota for school or summer vacations. He has visited over 35 states. Carl also has one brother in California. He enjoys taking pictures of his fellow committee members to post on social media, and working at TJ Maxx.