Cabinet

 Laurie Hamen, J.D., President
Laurie Hamen, J.D., President

President Hamen joined Mount Mercy University in February 2014. She was previously vice president for enrollment management, athletics, and student affairs at North Central College where she served for eighteen years. Hamen holds a Juris Doctorate degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. She has completed Ph.D. coursework in educational administration at the University of Minnesota and holds a Master of Science degree from Winona State University. Committed to the value of a Catholic, liberal-arts education, Hamen also holds an undergraduate degree from University of St. Catherine in Saint Paul, Minnesota. 

Dianne Austad '84, Executive Assistant to the President
Diane AustadDianne Austad joined Mount Mercy in 1975 and has worked with four of Mount Mercy’s eight presidents. She has served as the executive assistant to three Mount Mercy Presidents, including Dr. Thomas Feld (1977-1999), Dr. Robert Pearce (1999-2006) and Dr. Christopher Blake. She serves as staff secretary to the Board of Trustees and oversees the office of Institutional Events. She earned her Bachelor's degree from the College in 1984 and is a past president of the Alumni Association. Austad was instrumental in the creation and publication of Courage and Change, a landmark book about the Sisters of Mercy and their efforts to create what is present-day Mount Mercy University.
Robert Callahan, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services
Robert Callahan

Robert Callahan brings 10 years experience as a senior level administrator from three higher education institutions in Maine, Ohio, and New York. Callahan previously served as vice president for enrollment management at Thomas College in Maine, where the institution saw three years of record breaking enrollment under his leadership.

Callahan spearheads the newly created division of enrollment and student services, providing vision and leadership for the departments of admissions, athletics, communications and marketing, student life, residence life and financial aid. Callahan is pursuing his Ph.D. from Northcentral University in Prescott, Ariz. He holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Bachelor of Science in marketing management from Thomas College.

Dr. Jan Handler, Provost
Jan HandlerDr. Handler has been with Mount Mercy since 1987 when she began as associate professor of education. She held the first Feld Endowed Chair for Teaching Excellence in 2002 – 2004 and has served in a leadership role in the Office of Academic Affairs since 2007 as associate provost. She was influential in leading the core curriculum advisory team, and serves as co-leader with Graham on the Pathways to Scholarship Quality Improvement Initiative. Dr. Handler holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a Master of Education degree from Rutgers University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Bridgeport.
Duff Ridgeway, Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations
Duff serves as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at Mount Mercy University. He currently oversees the 11-member team in the Office of Alumni and Development, campaign, development, alumni, annual fund and grant-writing operations. Specializing in team building and leadership fundraising, Duff received his BA from Wartburg College and his MA in Philanthropy at the University of Northern Iowa.
Vicky Smith, Vice President for Administration
Vicky Smith

Smith joined Mount Mercy in 2009 as director of human resources, and brings more than 26 years of human resources and administrative experience to her new role.

She leads a divisional team of human resources, facilities, technology operations, public safety, mailroom, and copy center operations at Mount Mercy.

In addition to her time at Mount Mercy, her previous experience includes human resources work in both corporate and public business with a variety of organizations, including NRG Media, LLC, and The Hanor Company of Wisconsin, LLC.