The staff of the Immigration Response Team are current U of M employees who are committed, along with their home offices, to helping the University community in this important initiative.

Marissa Hill-Dongre, J.D.

Marissa is the administrative leader of the Immigration Response Team. Her permanent role at the University of Minnesota is with International Student and Scholar Services, where she has been since the summer of 2009. At ISSS, Marissa advised students, faculty, and staff on issues related to F1 and H1B visas, employment-based permanent residence applications, and other immigration-law related issues.  Marissa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Sociology and Spanish, and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2006. Prior to law school, Marissa worked as a Spanish interpreter and ESL teacher. During law school, Marissa worked at the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program and at Centro Legal, a non-profit legal services organization. From 2006 to 2009, Marissa practiced immigration law at Centro Legal, focusing on family-based immigration, naturalization, and on applications for victims of crime. Marissa previously worked at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota as their Education Coordinator. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and an active volunteer with Mid Minnesota Legal Aid.

Holly Ziemer
Director of Communications

Holly is responsible for communications strategy and implementation for the Immigration Response Team. Her permanent role at the University of Minnesota is with Boynton Health, where she has worked as Director of Communications and Marketing since 2015. Holly specializes in strategic, mission-driven communications with special focus on engagement communications. Before coming to the university, she served as Director of Communications for the Center for Victims of Torture, Attorney General Hubert. H. “Skip” Humphrey III and the Minnesota Smoke-Free Coalition, and was Senior Account Executive with Shandwick International (now Weber Shandwick). Holly has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and published in Minority Rights Group International’s 2013 annual report. She was an associate producer and researcher on several PBS Frontline documentaries, including the Peabody award-winning The Best Campaign Money Can Buy.