FLINNtalks

Matt Rolland | Class of 2005

On the road—from stockbroker, to touring musician, to arts leader

Class of 2005 Flinn Scholar Matt Rolland has had a fiddle in his hand since the age of four. Best known as the bandleader and fiddle player for the Tucson-based band, Run Boy Run, Matt has performed at festivals and concert halls across the country, released six studio albums and was twice featured on American Public Media’s popular radio show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” In addition to being a touring musician and recording artist, he is the director of programs at SAACA (Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance) and serves on the board of the Tucson Folk Festival. Matt is a graduate of the University of Arizona and was a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico.


Shelly Lowe | 1992 Flinn Scholar

On the higher-education experiences of American Indian students

Class of 1992 Flinn Scholar Shelly Lowe is executive director of the Harvard University Native American Program. An enrolled member of the Navajo nation, she graduated from Ganado High School and studied at the University of Arizona as a Flinn Scholar. Shelly has served on the board of the National Indian Education Association and as a trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian, and in 2016 President Barack Obama appointed her to the National Endowment for the Humanities Council. She has presented and published in the field of American Indian higher education and is currently completing her doctorate in higher education with a focus on American Indian student success and services.


Upcoming FLINNtalks

Nate Johnson | Class of 1986
in conversation with Jake Batsell | Class of 1992

Class of 1986 Flinn Scholar Nate Johnson is the District 16 senator in the Texas State Senate and practices commercial litigation at the law firm Spector & Johnson P.L.L.C. Class of 1992 Flinn Scholar Jake Batsell is an associate professor of journalism at Southern Methodist University and author of Engaged Journalism: Connecting with Digitally Empowered News Audiences.


Michelle Minitti | Class of 1991

Class of 1991 Flinn Scholar Michelle Minitti is the principal of Framework, a consultancy specializing in planetary science research and Mars mission operations, and is a co-investigator on projects for the Mars 2020 and Mars Curiosity rovers.


Marla Smith-Nilson | Class of 1987

Class of 1987 Flinn Scholar Marla Smith-Nilson is the founder and executive director of Water 1st International, which enables the world’s poorest people to implement and sustain community-managed projects integrating clean water supply, toilets, and hygiene education.


Kris Mayes | Class of 1990

Class of 1990 Flinn Scholar Kris Mayes, formerly chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission, is a professor of practice in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and director of the Utility of the Future Center at Arizona State University.