Professional Staff and Student Staff

Cheryl Wieseler

Interim Director of Trio Achievement Program

Cheryl Wieseler is an advisor and instructor for TRIO. In addition to meeting with students one-on-one, she also teaches the Foundations for Learning and Development (GS 100) course.

Cheryl grew up in northeast Nebraska. She attended college and graduate school at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Language Arts Education and a Master's Degree in Educational Administration. She has worked as an educator for 25 years.

Cheryl and her husband, Monte, own Cluck Ewe Farm north of Decorah where they raise goats, sheep and chickens, and Cheryl also runs a bakery business out of their home.

Her advice to students is to not be afraid to ask for help and make use of all the resources that are available to you.

Heather Cote

TRIO Achievement Program Advisor

Heather grew up in Iowa and has lived in various states throughout the Midwest before returning to the Decorah area in 2014.  Heather graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse and attended graduate school at Ball State University.   She has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years, advising, teaching and coordinating student services.

Heather and her husband, Dustin, have two boys who help to keep her family life active.  Her hobbies include biking the Trout Run Trail, reading, and cooking.

Her advice to students is to let your money work for you.  Saving a small amount now will reap great rewards for your future self.

Jennifer Folstad

Administrative Assistant, TRIO Achievement Program

Jennifer Folstad is a Luther grad with a major in Social Work and a minor in Spanish. Her work experience includes social work at NE Iowa Community Action and administrative work at a local law firm. Jennifer joined the TRIO staff in 2011 as Administrative Assistant. 

She and her husband live in the country where they have been domesticated by cats. Jennifer enjoys reading, traveling, being in nature, dancing, and dining out with friends and family.   

Her thought for students is: be the hero of your own quest and follow your bliss (to paraphrase Joseph Campbell). 

Ethan Bellendier

Hi everyone! My name is Ethan Bellendier and I am a Peer Leader for TRIO.

I’m a junior Neuroscience major. I grew up in Independence, Iowa which is about an hour south of Decorah. I also played soccer for all four years of high school as well as currently being a registered US Soccer and Iowa high school soccer official.

Currently, I am the president of the Luther College Democrats, Community Engagement Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, as well as a member of the honor council. This year I plan to spend more time outdoors exploring Decorah.

In my free time, I enjoy attending Luther College athletic events, spending time with friends and family, exploring Decorah, and learning new things. TRIO has helped me a lot during my time at Luther and I want other students to know what benefits being a member brings. My favorite thing about Luther is the close-knit community among students, faculty, and staff as well as the unique experiences in Decorah.

Sammy Ferguson

Hey everyone! My name is Sammy Ferguson and I am a Peer Leader for TRIO!

I’m an English major with a Secondary Education minor. I’m from Rapids City, Illinois, which is just outside of the Quad Cities. I also was a part of every arts program in my high school - band, choir, theater, speech - you name it!

On-campus, I’m involved in choir and I am a writing tutor at the Writing Center. You can come to talk to me about your writing struggles if you’d like. This year, I’m looking forward to discovering more organizations on campus that fit my interests.

In my spare time, I love going to music events around campus, reading, spending time with my friends and family, snuggling with my two dachshunds, and watching Marvel and Star Wars movies. I also love exploring Decorah and visiting the Dunning Springs waterfall whenever I get the chance.

TRIO has been a safe place for me on campus, especially during my first year as I transitioned into a new phase of my life. I want to help guide more students who may be experiencing some hardships coming into college and supporting everyone as they embark on their educational journey! One of my favorite aspects of Luther College has to be the close-knit community surrounding the campus, especially through this pandemic.

I’m so excited to meet and get to know every one of you - let’s make the most of your experience at Luther College!

Rebekah Nteso

Hi everyone! My name is Rebekah Nteso and I am a Peer Leader for TRIO!

I am an Accounting major and Music minor. I am from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, which is located right on Lake Michigan. You can find me tanning on the shore because the water is too cold for my liking. 

I am the Activities and Events Coordinator for the Black Student Union, a member of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, and a member of the International Students and Allies Association. This year, I plan to continue to branch out and seek out other organizations that are on campus as well as pioneer a space for minority students. 

In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking, napping, spending time with friends and family, and working out at the gym.

One of my favorite things about Luther is the close knit community as well as being surrounded by the beautiful natural scenery.

I cannot wait to meet all of you and get to know each and every one of you!

Grace Lawrence

Hi everyone! My name is Grace Lawrence and I am the TRIO Office Assistant!

I am a sophomore English major.  I am from Osseo, Wisconsin which is just south of Eau Claire.

In my first year at Luther, I was a part of the Aurora Choir as well as a member of LCSW and TRIO. My hope for this next school year is branch out and seek new opportunities on campus. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, and anything having to do with nature!

TRIO has helped me a lot so far during my time at Luther and has been a great source of support during a very challenging academic year. The Luther College community is very close-knit and I am very fortunate to be a part of it!

Jadyn Gasper

Hi everyone! My name is Jadyn Gasper and I am a Financial Wellness Ambassador for TRIO!

I am a junior Psychology and Neuroscience major following the pre-medicine track. I am from Appleton, Wisconsin which is located south of Green Bay.

Currently, I am the Luther Disability Alliance co-chair, involved in Health Sciences Club, Habitat for Humanity, and NASA. My hope for this school year is to be able to meet new people and begin to advocate more around campus about accessibility and inclusivity. I am also about to begin a new position as a volunteer at a crisis line which I am very excited about. In my free time, I enjoy napping, reading books and comics on my phone, and also drawing. If you ever see me around campus on my phone, it is likely I am reading!

TRIO has had a great impact on my experience at Luther so far by bringing me out of my shell and allowing me to meet more people and make connections. I feel fortunate to be a part of the Luther community and look forward to watching it grow. I cannot wait to meet all of you!

Samuel Scott

Hi everyone! My name is Samuel Scott and I am a Financial Wellness Ambassador for TRIO!

I'm a sophomore Business Management major from Banning California, which is right next to Palm Springs. I currently play on the Luther Men's Basketball team and in my free time I like to listen to music, play video games, and play sports. 

TRIO has been a great help to not only me but my family as well. They provided me with the resources and the information necessary to excel in and out of the classroom. I would love to help students that maybe don't know about this great program to join and take full advantage of the opportunity they have in front of them. My favorite part about Luther is definitely the people who are some of the most kind and down to earth people you'll ever meet! Luther is a one of a kind place and I am very blessed to be a part of it!