HELLO, my name is Michelle Trudeau-Spanjers

Michelle Trudeau-Spanjers is an active member of the UMRA Hiking Club. Photo: Bev Moe

Hometown: South Saint Paul

When did you join UMRA? In 2021.

What was your very first job? I washed dishes in a restaurant at age 15. I was living in northern Wisconsin during that time and also mowed lawns, babysat, cleaned cabins, and delivered papers.

What was your occupation when you retired from FT work? My title was Animal Diagnostician 3, for the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the Twin Cities campus in St. Paul. I ran PCR diagnostic tests for bacterial and viral infections of animals, mostly for the livestock and poultry industries in Minnesota. The lab also runs samples from many other states, some arriving daily through the MSP airport, so it was a fast-paced job. The lab also runs tests for the medical device industry, vaccine manufacturers, and zoos. I also did sequence analysis to help identify bacterial pathogens. I have newfound respect for anyone involved in public health regarding the COVID crisis.

What was your first car? A 1974 Ford Pinto I purchased from my sister's friend, a U of M grad student in dentistry.

If you could learn a new skill, what would you like it to be? I would like to learn a new language and then use it when travelling.

Do you have a favorite place on the U of M campus? The ice cream shop in the Gopher Spot, in the basement of the St. Paul Student Center. Sweet corn ice cream is my favorite!

What is a fun fact about you we might not know? I was born in the car on the way to the hospital. My dad delivered me after quickly pulling over to the side of the street. He had to yell out the window to a kid walking to school that morning to call an ambulance, so that kid got a front row biology lesson. By the time the ambulance arrived, I was born. But we got an ambulance escort to the hospital. My 15 minutes of fame.

What is something you currently enjoy doing with your time? Hiking with the UMRA hiking club. I also enjoy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, gardening, and reading. I hope to do more traveling as COVID eases up.

Publication date: 
April 18, 2022
At A Glance
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Annual Meeting and Forum

Welcome back!

Campus Club, Fourth Floor
West Wing Dining Room
Coffman Memorial Union


10:45 a.m.

Check in


11:15 a.m.

Buffet lunch


Annual Meeting and Forum

Featured speaker
John Coleman, dean
College of Liberal Arts

Chicken in heirloom tomato sauce with roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and seasonal vegetables. GF.
For vegetarian/vegan option, please request when making your reservation.

RSVP by May 13

Prepayment of $25 per person.

Reserve and pay online or contact Diane Young at young054@umn.edu.

Cancellations and refunds will be honored until May 13. We are not able to accommodate registrations on the day of the event.

For a discount of $1 per hour in University parking facilities, use the QR code on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting. Credit cards only.

UMRA policy requires all participants to be vaccinated. Masks are optional.

Make your reservation today!

Unable to attend in person? Please register and join UMRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum via Zoom.