Julie Guelich

By Normandale Community College - Continuing Education

The Exponential Impact of a Remarkable Career

When Julie Guelich arrived in 1974 to teach mathematics, Normandale was just six years old, with an enrollment of about 3,000 students. Since then, the college has grown dramatically and has become nationally recognized for its focus on student learning, academic excellence, innovative programs and an inclusive culture. All of these noted achievements owe their success to Julie’s advocacy.

Julie’s degrees in mathematics are from Mount Holyoke College, Harvard University, and the University of Minnesota. They provided her with a strong foundation for teaching at the college level. It’s likely, however, that her resourcefulness, creativity, and integrity resulted from her Kansas small-town upbringing. Longtime colleagues and friends, Peggy Rejto and Shirley Beil share that “Julie has always found ways to use limited resources to develop programs and help Normandale to become a respected leader in higher education.”

Julie by the Numbers

6,000 - student taught by Julie

$24 million - grant funding that Julie's leadership has generated

19 - bachelordegree pathways now available through Normandale

44 - years of remarkable service

In 2003, Julie assembled a team to dream big and apply for a National Science Foundation grant to provide a pathway to careers in teacher education. At that time, NSF funding for a two-year college was against the odds. That grant and subsequent funding launched the highly successful and unique Education Training Academy (EdTrAc) along with the Associate of Science degree in Elementary Education Foundations.

Julie oversaw the research needed to secure two more National Science Foundation grants that provided scholarships, created unique support systems, and founded the Academy of Math and Science. The Academy has continued to thrive with support from Normandale’s Foundation.

Colleen Brickle, Dean of Health Sciences, recognizes that Julie “is a champion and her leadership has created opportunities for programs to expand.” Today, Normandale’s Dental Hygiene students can simultaneously enroll in Metropolitan State’s baccalaureate program and can continue on to the master’s degree program. Upon completion, students are eligible to be licensed as a dental therapist and credentialed as an advanced dental therapist. A recent federal grant is allowing replication of this model across the state and beyond.

Julie Guelich - Career Timeline

The success of those programs was just the tip of the iceberg. Others such as global learning initiatives, vacuum technology, workforce certifications, bachelor degree pathways and so many more have flourished due to Julie’s leadership abilities. Julie’s reputation and informed decisions have been valuable in obtaining commitments from businesses, K-12 schools, and other Minnesota State campuses. In 2012, Normandale opened its Partnership Center to create a dedicated space for innovation and collaboration.

Significant among student achievements during Julie’s leadership are the prestigious national Jack Kent Cooke scholarships that have been awarded to six Normandale students. The scholarships enable high-achieving, low-income students to complete their bachelor’s degrees at otherwise cost-prohibitive four-year institutions.

“While Julie’s accomplishments are truly exceptional, it is her generous spirit that has created a culture where students and faculty bring their best in the pursuit of excellent teaching and learning.” -Dr. Joyce Ester, President Normandale Community College

Among the many awards that Julie has received, two are especially meaningful. In 1997, she received a national Teaching Excellence Award from the American Mathematical Association of two-year colleges. That was the inaugural year of the award program, and Julie was honored for her outstanding contribution to mathematics education. More recently, she was named the 2013-14 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Outstanding Academic and Student Affairs Administrator by a selection committee composed of her peers. This award is based on innovation, leadership, and student success at the college and within the state system.

Devinder Malhatra, Chancellor of Minnesota State, praises “Julie’s thoughtfulness as an academic leader and her great passion and commitment to ensure a vibrant and relevant learning environment for our students.”

Julie GuelichJulie’s co-workers note that, above all, she takes great pleasure in seeing others succeed. She is generous in her support of and care for her colleagues, and they will miss her presence as administrator and leader. Julie’s retirement will not halt her connections to Normandale and education, but her focus will shift to family. Julie and her husband, Bob, have two grown children and are anticipating their first grandchild. Bob is currently a middle school math instructor, his second career after working for thirty years at Dayton Hudson/Target. Retirement also means more time for favorite activities, including traveling, biking, and cooking.

Julie’s level of service, leadership and accomplishments are unmatched. Her drive and passion for pursuing a higher standard of education has provided Normandale with an exponentially rich legacy!

“Julie will be greatly missed as she moves into retirement, but her contributions and legacy not only to Normandale Community College but to the system as a whole will continue to positively benefit the students and citizens of Minnesota.” -Ron Anderson, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities