Advocacy Conference | Student Presenters

written by | Taylor Eck


We have incredible student advocates on each of our campuses across the Minnesota State system. To showcase the impressive advocacy work these students have done in their own lives and campuses, we are excited to introduce you to our students presenters for the Advocacy Conference. We have three student-led sessions at this conference. Get to know Kayla Shelley, Maddie McLeod, Brianna Daniela and Doria Drost.


Learn Your Passions and how to Articulate Them to Advocate

Kayla Shelley

Kayla Shelley is a junior at Saint Cloud State University majoring in Communication Studies. They are currently serving as the State Chair at Students United, working to advocate for Minnesota State's four-year university students. While in college, Shelley has been working to organize students and community members to leverage their collective power in governance.


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Maddie McLeod and Brianna Daniels

Madeline (Madie) McLeod is a a second year graduate student in the College Counseling and Student Development program at St. Cloud State University.  McLeod is currently serving as the President of Student Government Association and is also the Students United Board Director for St. Cloud State University.  While she wants to pursue her Doctorate (whether it be a Ph.D or Ed.D) in Higher Education, she wants to first begin working in academic advising predominantly with students that are on academic warning, suspension and probation.  Further along in her career, McLeod hopes to become a Vice President of Student Affairs and potentially one day even a University President.


Brianna Daniels is in her second year of her masters program, graduating in May. She is studying Rehabilitation and Addiction Counseling at St. Cloud State University. She is a graduate assistant at the LGBT Resource Center at St. Cloud. She hopes to eventually open up her own rehab center with therapy dogs for her clients. In her free time she likes to read, go to concerts, and watch way too much Netflix.


Doria Drost

Strategizing Advocacy with SWOT

Originally from the east coast, Doria Drost is a senior Marketing and Business Administration major with a minor in Political Science at Southwest Minnesota State University, working towards achieving a more inclusive campus climate. Involved in Students United as a Public Relations Specialist, Executive Board Member for Student Association, national competitor for Forensics, Resident Assistant, and student representative on two all-campus committees — she has seen it all. A strong advocate for diversity and women's rights, Drost plans to continue her education with an MBA and Master's in Addiction Counseling along with a Ph.D. in Nonprofit Leadership to start her own nonprofit focused on underprivileged youth and sexual assault in the Midwest. Balancing eight jobs, a full course load, and a puppy, Drost's session on Adapting Advocacy is sure to be a delight with a hint of southern flair.

The Students United Advocacy Conference '19 will consist of multiple breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and trainings. Students will have an opportunity to hear from elected officials, higher education experts from Washington D.C., speakers who are experts in their field and student leaders who are doing amazing advocacy work. The sessions will focus on key aspects of advocacy including — leadership, higher education policy issue, effective advocacy, and developing advocacy skills.

Aly Hagglund