About Us

1.    What is Experiential Learning?

Structured education activities that challenge participants to reflect upon, think critically about, and learn from their experience.

2.    What is the Minnesota Association For Experiential Learning?

MAFEL is a unique regional organization and professional forum fostering the development, promotion, and supervision of internships, community service learning, and field experience learning.

3.    Why did MAFEL begin?

Founded in 1975, MAFEL organized to create vital links between education, nonprofit, business, and government communities interested in promoting and supporting experiential learning. In 1980, MAFEL received nonprofit tax-exempt status.

4.    Who participates in MAFEL?

Members may include internship coordinators, site supervisors, career counselors, faculty at area colleges and universities, volunteer coordinators, human resource professionals, and individuals interested in experiential learning.

5.    What are the goals of the organization?

To promote internships, service learning, and experiential education as a means for students to enhance connections between academic learning and the world of work and service.

  • To create and strengthen partnerships between sites and education institutions.
  • To advance the practice of experiential learning by addressing common problems, developing new learning models and assessment tools, promoting principles of good practice, and asserting influence as a network of education, public service, and corporate professionals.
  • To serve as a resource network for sharing information and ideas, and serve as a forum for members' professional growth and development.

If you'd like to know more, feel free to contact any of us:

                          MAFEL Executive Committee

Co-Chair (School)

Aric Bieganek

Career and Alumni Advisor

McNally Smith College of Music



Aric grew up in Central Minnesota with a background in the Arts. In 2002, Aric earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Songwriting at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. He has since built a career in the music industry as a performer and music educator in New York City, Western Massachusetts, and the Twin Cities where he resides in Richfield with his wife and daughter. In 2014, Aric earned a MA in business from Concordia University (St. Paul).

Currently, Aric is Career and Alumni Advisor at McNally Smith College of Music, where he works daily with students and alumni in helping them define, refine, and achieve their career goals. Aric has enjoyed his experience as a MAFEL member since joining the McNally Smith Career Services team in 2016 and believes that experiential learning is a very important piece of the puzzle for students as they explore their careers in a real world setting.  

Co-Chair (Site)

Sadie Ward

Human Resources Generalist                                        

The Guthrie



I joined MAFEL in 2014 around the same time I became the Human Resources Coordinator at the Ordway. MAFEL connects me with a huge network of professionals that have allowed me to not only learn more about best practices and industry standards, but consistently provides me with practical pieces of advice to improve the internship program I oversee and the interns I supervise. Experiential learning can be critical to shaping the foundations for an individual’s career. Internships, fellowships, and experiential learning are important to make sure our future professional are trained and informed about their career path.



Judy Lykins

Director of Service Learning



Judy Lykins is the Director of Service Learning at Century College where she has worked since 2005. Judy comes to service learning in higher ed from the community partner perspective, having worked in volunteer management since the mid-80’s. She has worked in and around nonprofits, both personally and professionally, in the many communities where she has lived: Colorado, Washington DC, Atlanta, small-town Wisconsin, and back in her native Minnesota. MAFEL brings together the various sides of experiential learning (community partners, experiential learning and career services managers, and faculty) and is a great organization from which to learn best practices and to network with those who are currently in the field.


Lela Sanchez Oslin                                        

Placement Coordinator | Academic Advisor                                           

Department of Business & Economics                                                    

Bethel University                                                             

Office:  651.638.6286 | Fax:  651.635.8712                              


        Membership Chair                                             

Kathryn Wegler

Volunteer Services Coordinator

Minnesota Children's Museum



Kathryn is the Volunteer Services Coordinator at Minnesota Children's Museum and works across a spectrum of ages and opportunities to engage with all volunteers who donate their time and skills to the organization. In addition to coordinating adults and pro-bono volunteers, she manages a robust internship program and has managed MCM’s nationally recognized high school Play Team volunteer program. She is a strong proponent of internships and experiential learning, and her current role in volunteer leadership began with a HR/Volunteer Management internship at the Guthrie Theater.

She received her certificate of Volunteer Leadership from the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration in 2015, and has since become a MAVA Trainer, training volunteer management professionals in the essential elements of leading volunteers.

Web & Social Media Coordinator                                           

            Rachel Lewis

HR & Intern Program Manager
Washburn Center for Children

Rachel holds a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Environmental Studies from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA at a refugee resettlement agency in Phoenix, Arizona and has worked in various capacities at Washburn Center for Children, a children's mental health agency, since 2010. She has a passion for nonprofit work and finds great satisfaction in providing opportunities for all levels of learners to explore career options. In her spare time, you can find her biking, gardening, reading, or dabbling in crafts.