Dakota's expertise is rooted in using influence and cross-sector organizing in creating social change. Bringing his skills as an educator, musician, nonprofit leader, and city leader, Dakota seeks to support those who improve the human condition through partnership. This holds true throughout his career where he started as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools. After, he was employed by Illinois State's College of Education where he eventually became the assistant director to the Chicago Teacher Education Pipeline There he created STEP-UP, an award-winning summer teacher internship in Chicago. Now Dakota serves as a strategy officer for Lumina Foundation, where he leads a national community and regional development effort designed to increase educational attainment.
As a student, Dakota was a principal tuba in ISU’s Wind Symphony and sousaphone section leader for the Big Red Marching Machine. He was also a founding member of ISU’s National Band Association chapter and the Urban Needs in Teacher Education. He worked in night operations for University Housing and as a stage manager and instrument repair apprentice in the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts.
He serves as the chair of the Alumni Association board of directors' scholarship committee and sits on the board development and executive committees. He also is the Bone Scholars liaison for the board.