A Lifetime of Servant Leadership

man in portrait

For Aloysius R. “Ron” Cheney, continual learning and being of intentional service to others have been his passion and lifelong pursuit. From his Benilde-St. Margaret’s Catholic school roots where the philosophy of servant leadership was taught, to his graduation from the University of Minnesota Department of Psychology and University of St. Thomas Master of Business Administration programs, Ron has been a mentor and trusted advisor to others, inspiring them to become leaders and agents of change in their communities through his roles as a corporate executive, retired U.S. Army General Staff Officer and public-university educator.

Addiction Counseling and Collegiate Recovery Programs

Ron did not end up at Minneapolis College by accident. “I selected to apply to the Minneapolis College Addiction Counseling Program based on its 50-year history, comprehensive curriculum and its stellar statewide reputation," says Cheney.  "I believe there are few treatment centers in this state that would not hire a graduate from the program.” He speaks highly of his professors and their blend of addiction studies theoretical and emerging trend substance use disorder treatment knowledge stating, they “have their hearts in the right place, care about their students and display great leadership, instructional and communication expertise.”

As a campus-community teacher for the University of Minnesota Academic Health Sciences Department interprofessional education curriculum, he compliments the Minneapolis College Collegiate Recovery Program and collaboration with the U of M Boynton Health Clinic, mentioning the importance of such joint programs and resources for students in addiction recovery.  He also praises the vision and core cultural values of the College, citing the commitment to diversity, inclusion, affordable education and its capacity to empower students to contribute meaningfully to a global society. Cheney states that, in his view, the College provides “the answers and solutions” to challenges faced by both young and adult non-traditional learners in postsecondary institutions today. 

“At our high school we were encouraged to be servant leaders, and I see synergy and alignment between that philosophy and the work being done on our campus to prepare students to solve 21st century challenges.”

Veteran Friendly Values

As a veteran and addiction counseling studies student, Cheney is a member of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Steering Committee, Military Connected/Student Veterans of America Clubs and the Addiction Counseling Club, and will be participating in the Minneapolis College Veterans Day Recognition event, entitled ‘Honoring All Who Have Served,’ slated for November 10, 2020.  In reflecting on the College and its commitment to support student veterans and their families he remarks, “I am appreciative of the Minneapolis College support of transitioning military students, its inherent veteran-friendly values and am grateful for the extensive community resources and services network.”

Just Doing It

Ron says he feels privileged to be enrolled at Minneapolis College, and a student in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He points out that he believes the College’s unique education model is the “right answer” for students such as himself who seek equitable and affordable access to stackable educational credentials, such as the Addiction Counseling Program Diploma, offered through the School of Education and Public and Human Service. Although it has taken Ron a few extra years to return to school, find his true life’s calling and pursue his future dream job of helping to guide and support people struggling with addiction to make positive behavioral life-changing decisions, he says, as Nike® states, “Just Do It.”  

And, in reflecting on his first-year experience on campus, he points out that Minneapolis College is “where the rubber meets the road.” The College offers a differentiated approach to education that supports students as a whole person, of all ages and backgrounds, in an inclusive and respectful higher education environment.

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