Rick Smith received his Bachelor of Social Work degree in 1985 and his Master of Education degree in 1999 from the University of Minnesota Duluth. After working as a corrections agent and coordinator of Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Program for St. Louis County, Rick joined UMD as an American Indian cultural competency trainer in 1987 to provide American Indian cultural competency training for UMD, local, state, regional, and national programs.
In addition to this role, since 1988 he has been the director of the UMD American Indian Learning Resource Center. Under his direction for the last 30 years, Rick has recruited and counseled American Indian students on the UMD campus. He has conducted many fundraising activities, and continues to assess the needs of American Indian students where he then recommends/develops programs to meet their needs.
He is a consultant and trainer for the Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program, which provides culturally specific residential retreat programs for community leaders. Rick has accomplished many things in his professional life, but for UMD, his continued strong commitment to American Indian students has never diminished.