Minot State University campus successes

July 2, 2018

Students fundraise for smiles, offer important services

In the past seven years Minot State students in the Communication Disorders Department have raised thousands of dollars to provide over 200 life-changing surgeries to individuals born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

The Minot State chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association organizes the Miles for Smiles fundraiser every year with proceeds going to Operation Smiles, a volunteer-based international medical charity that provides free surgeries to children and young adults with facial conditions.

The NSSLHA at Minot State has approximately 75 student members and raises additional funds for Operation Smiles through bake sales and silent auctions.


Biology students search for answers to meth addiction in genetics research

Methamphetamine use continues to devastate communities and the lives of individuals across the nation leaving many scrambling for solutions to the problem. Biology students at Minot State hope to contribute to those solutions by conducting in-depth research to find a genetic link that explains why some people become severely addicted to the drug.

These efforts come at a time when North Dakota has seen a rise in meth addiction, and meth-related crime. According to a 2017 article in the Bismarck Tribune, methamphetamine remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region, and meth incidents have risen each year since 2012.

Recognizing the scourge of meth addiction, Minot State biology professor Zeni Shabani and a group of science students have turned to inbred mice for answers.

Minot State is working in association with Oregon Health and Science University on this study. Oregon Health and Science University carries out the breeding schemes of the mice, while Minot State researchers focus on the behavioral pharmacological component of the study.

Student lab assistant, and Minot State graduate, Sydney Houlton, who will be attending the graduate neuroscience program at the University of Iowa in fall 2018, and fellow lab assistant Bikalpa Ghimire, a senior double major in biology and mathematics, work under the direction of Shabani. Much of their work involves administering a two-bottle choice, a bottle of water and a bottle of methamphetamine, to mice and then observing and documenting their behavior.

The aim of the research is to locate a gene or genes that cause methamphetamine addiction. So far research has pinpointed a region of genes in Chromosome 10 that explain certain addictive behavioral traits.


Minot State earns National SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® grant

Minot State University was named as a recipient of the National SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® Grant Program honoring Daniel R. Boone, PhD, CCC-SLP, by the National Parkinson Voice Project – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

MSU assistant professor and Communication Disorders Clinic coordinator Lisa Roteliuk was notified the university was awarded the grant in April. Members of the MSU team will attend the Lead With Intent Symposium in Richardson, Texas, June 20-23, which includes an impressive list of speakers, including Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States (2001-09).

The grant recipients represent hospital rehabilitation clinics, nonprofit Parkinson’s organizations, and university speech therapy clinics like Minot State’s which are being awarded $650,000 in training, therapy supplies, and funding from Parkinson Voice Project. Minot State is committed to replicating Parkinson Voice Project’s unique two-part speech therapy program that combines individual and group speech therapy to help people living with Parkinson’s across America restore their speaking abilities.