Monthly Archives: February 2014

Community college investments pay off for students and for the state

State Board of Higher Ed President DiederichBy Kirsten Diederich, Board Chair

Community colleges nourish both students and society, according to a February report on the value of a community college education. “Where Value Meets Values: The Economic Impact of Community Colleges,” said community college graduates receive nearly $5 in benefits for every dollar they spend on their education, while the return to taxpayers is almost six to one. In addition, the report says that while the principal aim of community colleges is to provide education and raise people’s incomes, students’ health and lifestyles are improved and society indirectly benefits.

As a board member of the Association of Community College Trustees, I was particularly intrigued by this information, especially in light of North Dakota’s robust economy. Our state is wisely investing heavily in infrastructure to build a foundation to support and maintain that economy. In addition to investments in roads and bridges, law enforcement and health and human services needs, building that foundation includes investment in higher education, which is the key to having the workforce that is needed for the future. I encourage you to view our new video on that topic, which is highlighted elsewhere in this newsletter.

The Higher Education Funding Interim Committee of the Legislature has been meeting regularly, focusing on various higher education topics. They are gathering information that will help them make informed decisions about funding our institutions, and we appreciate their dedication. In the past few months, they have met at North Dakota State University to get an overview of our research universities and at Valley City State University to hear about what’s happening at our regional universities.

Their meeting last week at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton focused specifically on community colleges in the North Dakota University System. We shared information about our wide variety of on-site programs that are tailored to the workforce needs of and created in partnership with the state’s business community, as well as our robust online and distance education programs. We believe ensuring North Dakotans have access to community colleges will help fill the jobs that are in such high demand. And certainly the above-referenced report quantifies the return on investment for students and society.

In addition, many years ago, we organized our university system so that it is easy for NDUS community college students to seamlessly transfer to our state’s regional or research universities. As a result, we are #1 in the nation in the percentage (74 percent, compared to the national average of 32 percent) of our community college graduates who transfer to four-year institutions and attain their four-year degrees.

I am very proud to be part of a higher education system that continuously strives to ensure all students reach their educational goals while helping to shape the future of our state.

NDUS: Opening the door for a brighter tomorrow {Video}

The North Dakota University System is looking to the future – and it’s an exciting view. The world is changing, and it’s up to us to prepare our students to meet these challenges. This video showcases where we want to go, and we’re making a plan to get there through collaboration with stakeholders across the spectrum of education and beyond.

Our university system is one of the best and it’s getting even better. But in order to secure our success, we must invest in our people. Education is the key the making sure we have the right people who will ask the right questions to shape our future, build our communities and change world. Let’s seize this opportunity to break down barriers and focus on what matters – empowering students with the skills and confidence to make a difference. Together we can open the door to a brighter tomorrow for our world, our state and our institutions.

Please help us join together by sharing this video with anyone who wants to make a difference in the future of North Dakota.

Feb. 27 Board Meeting Agenda Highlights

Agenda Highlights:

  • Minot State President Interviews and Selection
  • Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
  • Higher Learning Commission Response
  • 2014-2015 Budget Guidelines

This meeting will be in two parts. The State Board of Higher Education will interview presidential candidates in the morning. The regular monthly meeting will begin at 1 p.m. The live stream of the afternoon meeting will be available at

View the full agenda here.


Three finalists to interview for Minot State University president

Before its monthly meeting this Thursday, the State Board of Higher Education will interview three candidates for the president position at Minot State University. These three finalists were nominated by a search committee chaired by Dr. Terry Hjelmstad, vice chair of the Board. The interviews are scheduled from 8:10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The Board will then go into executive session to consider the candidates. The final vote will be in public immediately following the executive session.

Get to know the finalists

Dr. Martin SlannMartin Slann, Ph.D., currently serves as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Texas at Tyler in Tyler, Texas. Dr. Slann comes to Minot State with more than 30 years’ experience in classroom teaching, the pursuit of scholarship and various administrative posts. Throughout his career, Dr. Slann has had a commitment to communication with students through teaching introductory courses while serving in administration and regular meetings with student leaders. Dr. Slann refers to himself as a servant leader who values transparency and mutual respect. His past work experience includes serving as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Macon State College and Director of Academic Affairs at Penn State University – Wilkes Barre.Steve Shirley High Res

Steven Shirley, Ph.D., currently serves as the president of Valley City State University (VCSU). He comes to Minot State with 17 years’ experience in higher education at three institutions. Dr. Shirley has successfully fostered relationships with the community, faculty/staff, students, legislative and executive branch, alumni and university supporters during his time at VCSU, and says that he is looking forward to building and enhancing those same kinds of relationships at Minot State. Dr. Shirley’s past work experience includes serving as an assistant professor and Director of Study Abroad at the University of Minnesota, Crookston and Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Dakota State University. Dr. Shirley is a Fargo native with strong ties to the Minot community. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a two-year-old daughter, Anna.

11_clemo_lorrie_0002Lorrie Clemo, Ph.D., currently serves as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego). During her 25 years at SUNY Oswego, Dr. Clemo has served in multiple leadership roles including Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Board, Director of the Public Administration and Policy Program, Assistant to the President for Special Programs and Campus Communications, and Chief of Staff. She describes her leadership style as strategic and execution-focused. “I have the privilege of helping to build a better future by shaping the destiny of future generations and leaders of tomorrow,” she said. Building on her experience tending to cultural and social needs and addressing diverse educational requirements, Dr. Clemo hopes to build on Minot State’s inclusive culture and help the institution meet growing student and workforce demands.

Collaboration Key to Success for Joint Boards of Education

NDSCS wins ACT awardThe North Dakota Joint Boards of Education met at the State Capitol on Feb. 19 to review college and career readiness, data, assessments and standards, as well as discuss its future focus. The Joint Boards of Education is a legislatively mandated body comprised of the State Board of Career and Technical Education, the Education Standards and Practices Board, the State Board of Higher Education and the Dept. of Public Instruction.

The meeting began with a review of the working plan to increase college and career readiness by moving remediation to the 12th grade and increasing work opportunities for students, among other things. The Boards also heard presentations regarding the State Longitudinal Data System, the legally required state assessments and the adoption of the state standards.

“It is critical that we develop and use the business and industry resources that we have available in our state to expand the use of work experiences and partnerships to further prepare high school and college students to be truly career ready,” said Wayne Kutzer, Director and Executive Officer of the Department for Career and Technical Education.

The morning also included an awards ceremony recognizing students, schools and businesses that promote college and career readiness. The College and Career Readiness Awards were given out as part of an initiative from ACT, Inc. and the Department of Public Instruction. North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) was recognized as the top community college in North Dakota for their efforts in preparing students for careers. NDSCS will go on to compete against community colleges across the country for the national title.

“Our College and Career Readiness Award recipients epitomize the best North Dakota has to offer,” Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent of Public Instruction said. “It’s important we continue these partnerships among K-12 schools, Higher Education and workforce for the benefit of our students and our state.”

The main goal for the meeting was to determine the direction and focus for the Joint Boards going forward. With the priorities set forth in 2006 by the P-16 (preschool through college) Education Task Force as a guide, the Joint Boards discussed whether they wanted to maintain those priorities and what role the Joint Boards should fill in setting goals and strategies for education in North Dakota. The consensus was that the main goal of Joint Boards was to prepare students to take their next step, whether it is to middle school, high school or college, and improve their probability of success.

To accomplish this goal, the Joint Boards determined three priorities: transition between the different educational levels (elementary to middle school, high school to college, etc.), alignment of curriculum from K-12 through higher education, and the factors included in the college admissions index. The members of the Joint Boards will now present these priorities to their own organizations/boards, as well as to other North Dakota educational initiative groups (2020 & Beyond and Succeed 2020) and bring feedback to the next Joint Boards meeting.

“It is very important that all these entities – the Joint Boards, Dept. of Commerce, and Succeed 2020 – be informing each other,” said North Dakota University System Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen. “If we are able to collaborate, we can find the best way to accomplish our goals and, ultimately, help our students succeed.”

The Joint Boards of Education agreed to meet quarterly. The next meeting will be held in June.

 Pictured (left to right): Chief Justice VandeWalle poses with ACT award winners: a representative from Hess Corporation, President John Richman from NDSCS, Sam Lim from Fargo North High School, and three representatives from Carrington High School.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems offer boundless partnership opportunities

130327 Draganflyer X6_0103At the January 30 SBHE meeting, Dr. Bruce Smith, Dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks, and Dr. Kelly Rusch, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, made a presentation to the Board regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in light of the recent designation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to Dr. Smith, the UND Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence (UAS COE) started within the Odegard School in 2005 with a focus on education, training and research. The UAS COE has grown rapidly leveraging funding from state, Federal and industry sources.

The Odegard School was the first college in the United States to offer a bachelor’s degree in UAS and form a Research Compliance Committee to address privacy issues.

Most recently, North Dakota obtained the FAA’s designation as one of six National Test Airspace Sites to operate, test and certify UASs with the ultimate goal to safely integrate UASs into the National Airspace.

“We were probably the most cohesive team that competed [for the designation]” said Dr. Rusch.

Collaborations regarding UAS have already spread to NDSU and Lake Region State College (LRSC) in Devils Lake, with potential collaborations possible across the university system. NDSU, in particular, is playing a strong role in research and development regarding precision agriculture, technology to improve performance and safety (such as anti-icing coating), big data and uses with transportation, infrastructure and logistics.

LRSC has also incorporated UAS into its Law Enforcement Training program and offers training in conjunction with UND for UAS pilots, sensor operators and technicians.

Pictured: Alan Frazier (right), University of North Dakota assistant professor of aviation, demonstrates a camera-equipped UAS vehicle to Barry Milavetz, associate vice president for research, and Grand Forks Sheriff Bob Rost.



Dakota College at Bottineau and Minot State University to remain aligned

At the September State Board of Higher Education meeting, the board agreed to host open discussions allowing stakeholders to weigh in on the possibility of making Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) a stand-alone institution. Currently, the president of Minot State University (MSU) presides over both institutions. Input meetings including community members, campus faculty/staff and students were held at both MSU and DCB in December.

“During the meetings in Bottineau, the community members, faculty, staff and students showed a strong desire to remain connected with MSU,” said DCB Executive Dean Ken Grosz.

With that in mind, Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen, President David Fuller (MSU) and Dean Grosz recommended to the Board that the two campuses continue to be affiliated. The Board accepted their recommendation at its Jan. 30 meeting.

To ensure this relationship is well-defined, President Fuller, Dean Grosz and Interim Chancellor Skogen are working to update the current agreement between the two campuses so it is reflective of the good work that has been going on between the two entities.


Hoffarth reappointed to third term on State Board of Higher Education

hoffarth janice 7-11The North Dakota University System Staff Senate has reappointed Janice Hoffarth, an administrative assistant in the University of North Dakota Department of Music, to serve as staff advisor to the State Board of Higher Education for a third term.

Hoffarth was the first University System employee to serve in this position, which was created with the passage of North Dakota House Bill 1213 by the 2011 Legislative Assembly. Hoffarth will serve another one-year term ending in June 2015.

An Esmond, N.D., native, Hoffarth was one of six statewide winners of the 2010 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. She was the 2008–09 UND Staff Senate president. She was also elected the first president of the North Dakota University System Staff Senate, which convened in 2008. Each of the 11 NDUS campuses has at least one NDUS Staff Senate representative; the group represents more than 8,000 full and part-time University System employees.

“I am honored to be elected for an additional term with the State Board of Higher Education,” said Hoffarth. It is so humbling to be representing such dedicated, hardworking people as the staff of the North Dakota University System.  We are just completing an extremely productive year in ND Higher education, and with our strong leadership that is in place, I am excited to be part of even greater things to come in 2014-15.”

CTS and NDUS System Office staff to be represented on ND State Staff Senate

The staff of the NDUS System Office and Core Technology Services have formed a staff senate. Core Technology and System Office Staff Senate (CTSOSS) is comprised of representatives of both the system office and CTS located in Bismarck, Fargo and Grand Forks. The CTSOSS serves to identify interests and issues shared among the staff and provides a forum to establish matters, concepts and developing trends related to staff. The senate also promotes communication between employees and across all levels of the organization. The CTSOSS will also have representation in the ND State Staff Senate.

The current CTSOSS representatives are (by location):

  • Bismarck: Marietta Kemmet (vice president)
  • Fargo: Kate Greicar, Randy Wald and Kraig Ronning
  • Grand Forks: Clay Willoughby (president), Phil Moore, Darrin Were, Ericka Westphal, Angela O’Leary (secretary/treasurer), Bradley Holcomb, Nathan Clough, Doug Osowski and Mary Bergstrom

According to CTSOSS bylaws the senate is comprised of up to 10 percent of staff members from each of the Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo offices with a minimum of two voting members from each location. There is one vacant position in Bismarck.

CTSOSS meets the second Tuesday of the month from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Anyone interested in learning more about the senate should contact Clay Willoughby at 701.777.0408.




Timothy Carlson joins NDUS senior staff

Tim Carlson Final EditedTimothy P. Carlson joined the North Dakota University System senior staff as chief auditor in December. Carlson comes to the NDUS with over 20 years’ experience in internal auditing, risk assessment, finance and operations. His expertise includes implementing complex information systems, designing internal controls, and staff leadership and development. Carlson also brings more than seven years of executive-level experience at a regional medical center subject to multiple Federal and state regulations.

As chief auditor, Carlson is responsible for leading the university system’s internal audit function and conducting audits to mitigate risk. This position reports jointly to the State Board of Higher Education and the Chancellor.

Born and raised just north of the Twin Cities in Forest Lake, Minn., Carlson received bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and English with an emphasis in Written Communication from Concordia College. Since that time, he has lived in five states including North Dakota and, most recently, St. Louis, Mo.

His past work experience includes positions as a managing member of TPC & Associates, LLC, O Fallon, Mo.; director of internal audit for the Catholic Healthcare Audit Network, Valley City, N.D. and St. Louis, Mo.; and assistant administrator – chief internal auditor for Marquette General Hospital, Marquette, Mich.

Carlson has been married for 32 years to Jill (Christensen) Carlson, a Kenmare, N.D. native. They have three daughters – Erin Allen, Courtney Carlson and Mallory Carlson – and three grandchildren.

Alumni Spotlight: Juan Quesada’s desire to heal creates a global nursing adventure

juan and childJuan Quesada dreamt of becoming a doctor to help the underprivileged in his native country of Peru. So far, his life-long pursuit of that goal has taken him from Peru to Tucson to Minot, where he earned a Minot State University nursing degree, to the Andes Mountains with a service project, to Bismarck, where he currently works as a nurse in St. Alexis’ Intensive Care Unit.

In 2007, Quesada attended community college in Tucson. When he was ready to transfer to a four-year university, he could not find an affordable one in Arizona. Looking online for options, he discovered Minot State with its straight-line tuition model.

MSU’s affordable tuition rate initially attracted Quesada, but the attention he received during the application process sealed the deal. Everyone at MSU made the application process seamless.

Quesada lived in a residence hall the semester prior to his acceptance into MSU’s nursing program and experienced the university’s rich campus life. He liked the size of MSU’s classes, which enabled him to get to know faculty well. He met professors outside of nursing, such as Kevin Neuharth, who taught his “Fundamentals of Speech” class and encouraged him to get second major in public relations.

“I got access to everything at MSU, experienced the changes, such as the new and renovated buildings, and became involved in the International Club my first semester in 2010,” Quesada said. “Overall, I had a good experience, and the nursing program prepared me well to become a nurse.”

After participating in a 2011 exchange trip between MSU and Universidad Alas Peruanas, Arequipa, Peru, Quesada devised his own service project. Through Awamaki, a small nonprofit that improves economic and social well-being in rural Peru, he canvassed door to door immunizing poor children in the Andes’ Sacred Valley near Machu Picchu. His maternal grandparents, who always stressed the importance of education, grew up in the Sacred Valley. They left it to escape poverty.

juan giving an injectionQuesada plans to become a doctor and return to his home country, where an advanced nursing degree would not be accepted. He feels fortunate to be a nurse.

“The patient contact an individual gets as a nurse is unbelievable. It will prepare me to be a doctor,” Quesada said. “The actual time you spend with the patient and their family makes you a better nurse.”

Although he likes ICU because of the varied medical situations, Quesada is passionate about public health nursing. Its global impact prevents diseases and saves countries money. He has gained skills, such as the ability to improvise, in the Andes and ICU, which will help him realize his dream someday.

BSC leader elected vice president of Council of College and Community Educators

Lane Huber named CCME board vice president – Lane Huber, BSC Chief Distance Learning & Military Affairs Officer, was elected vice president of the Council of College and Community Educators (CCME). A membership organization, CCME promotes and provides educational programs and services and facilitates communication between CCME members and the Dept. of Defense educational support network.

Rick Steves at BSC – On March 12, America’s most respected authority on European travel, Rick Steves, will visit BSC. He has produced 50+ guidebooks on European travel, hosts a popular travel programs on public television and radio, and writes a weekly syndicated column. Steves will address the diversity of travel.

Psychology faculty earns Jack Fellowship – Anita Wirtz, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is BSC’s 2014 Jack Fellowship Award recipient. The $25,000 fellowship helps BSC employees further their education, conduct research or pursue other professional development. Wirtz is seeking her Doctorate Degree in Psychology at Capella University.

Three DCB DECA members to compete at national competition

The Dakota College DECA Club qualified three of its members to compete in the National DECA event to be held in Washington, D.C. later this spring. The regional competition at which they qualified was held in Fargo on February 9, 10, and 11. Student members Cody Brooks and Cody Milliken placed 1st in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing category; and team member Evan Alexius finished 4th in the Travel and Tourism category.

A Dakota College co-curricular activity has been featured in the monthly NJCAA publication, The Review, in a special “Champions for the Community – Advocates for Education” section of the magazine. Criteria for this special recognition include role modeling, visiting local schools, volunteering in the community, and simply being an advocate for another. The Lumberjack hockey team was chosen for this honor for assisting Bottineau first graders over the past four years through a program called “Teaming up with Reading.”

Through a series of fundraising activities, The Dakota College community raised over $2500 for its photography instructor who was severely injured in a car accident on December 20. Events included a spaghetti luncheon, a 50/50 raffle, and a silent auction.

Enrollment numbers at DSU ahead of historical averages

Enrollment numbers at DSU ahead of historical averages – Enrollment at Dickinson State University for the 2014 spring semester is 1404 students.  This is 97% of the fall 2013 enrollment of 1449.  Average enrollment for spring semesters over the last five years, compared with the respective fall term, is 87%.  Last year, (2012-13), spring enrollment was 88% of fall.

Planning firm hired for Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University – In response to the North Dakota state legislature’s Senate Bills 2018 and 2003, Hilferty & Associates Inc. was hired to assist DSU in the planning effort to construct a facility to house the Theodore Roosevelt presidential library. Community forums will be held to discuss the future of the Theodore Roosevelt Center and its place in the city and region.

Strom Executive Series Begins This Month – Promoting excellence in learning and service to the region, speakers from our region, including Dean Gorder of the North Dakota Trade Office and Dr. Kirsten Diederich of the SBHE, will share with student and community leaders their thoughts and insights on how to lead in organizations.  This 3 month series begins in February. Full event and speaker information is available online at:

Over $11,000 raised on Giving Hearts Day to support LRSC

The Community College Foundation, which supports Lake Region State College, participated in a 24-hour online fundraising event, Giving Hearts Day February 13. More than $11,000 was raised during the event, which was supported by the Dakota Medical and Impact Foundations.  Funds will support the purchase of patient simulators for nursing education.

MaSU’s spring enrollment surpasses 1,000 students for first time ever

Mayville State University’s enrollment has surpassed the 1,000-student-mark for the first time ever in a spring semester. With 1,020 students enrolled, the current headcount is 4.0% higher than last spring semester. The number of dual credit students has increased 24.4% over last spring, and the numbers of degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students are up, at 8.6% and 7.9% respectively.

Several MaSU students who competed in the February North Dakota Collegiate DECA Career Development Conference qualified for participation in the international competition in Washington, D.C. in April. The chapter also received awards, and their advisor, Rob Johnston, was named N.D. Advisor of the Year. MaSU student Amber Montag was named vice president of N.D. Collegiate DECA for 2014-15.

The MaSU Division of Business and Computer Information Systems hosted the 32nd annual Business Activity Day at Mayville State on Jan. 30. About 170 high school students from seven area schools participated in competitive and team events held throughout the day.

MiSU Receives Generous Donation

MiSU receives generous donation – A generous donation to the Minot State University Development Foundation will help the university in providing quality education for students into the next century. The donation from the estate of Chuck and Madge Westlie, brings their total estate giving to Minot State University to over $1 million. The Westlies were deeply involved in community and regional affairs, supporting a number of foundations and charities through the years. The Bishop Ryan Catholic School Foundation and the Norsk Høstfest-Heritage Foundation received significant donations as well.

MiSU announces three faculty sabbaticals – Minot State University President David Fuller recently announced three sabbatical projects. Bethany Andreasen, professor of history, will receive a 50 percent sabbatical leave for the 2014-15 academic year. Margaret Sherve, assistant professor of English, will receive sabbatical leave during fall semester 2014, while Alexandra Deufel, professor of biology, will receive sabbatical leave for spring semester 2015.

More than 350 students named to NDSCS fall semester 2013 President’s Honor List

NDSCS named 368 students to its fall semester 2013 President’s Honor List. The Honor List recognizes students who have achieved grade point averages of 3.5 or higher while taking at least 12 credit hours.

Spring semester enrollment at NDSCS is 2,814, according to the official census taken on the 20th instructional day of classes. This is a one percent change from the spring semester 2013 enrollment of 2,842. During the past five years, NDSCS spring enrollment has grown by 24 percent.

NDSCS hosted a career fair at its Wahpeton campus in February. About 175 employers participated in the cross-discipline fair to provide students with an opportunity to meet employers, share their qualifications, and potentially find a job for after graduation or a co-op experience.

NDSU Research Foundation reaches license agreement on new coatings technology

The NDSU Research Foundation concluded a license agreement with Fargo-based Elinor Specialty Coatings for hexavalent chromium-free coatings technology. The patented technology protects aluminum alloys found in vehicle and ship parts. The agreement gives Elinor exclusive rights in marine and automotive markets to further develop and commercialize the technology developed at NDSU.

Twenty teams have been named finalists in Innovation Challenge ’14, NDSU’s third annual student innovation competition. The competition is an organized way for students to present ideas, earn prize money and learn about turning ideas into commercial ventures. Winners will be announced March 6.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the McNairs Scholars program at NDSU. It gives first-generation, income-eligible and underrepresented students access to higher education through scholarships, undergraduate research opportunities and mentoring.  NDSU has served 287 scholars—44 earned doctorates, 40 earned professional doctoral degrees and 100 earned master’s degrees.

UND represented at the Winter Olympics

The University of North Dakota had 12 current students and alumni competing or serving as support staff for Olympic teams from four countries at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year: USA, Canada, Finland and Germany.  Eighty-eight countries participated in the Winter Games.  UND had a greater representation than 53 of those countries.

The University of North Dakota is in the beginning stages of a Program and Support Service Prioritization process.  This effort, which aligns with our Exceptional UND roadmap, will result in a redesign of UND’s budgeting model in order to create a process for allocating University resources more effectively.  The process, which will be developed by two task forces — one to examine academic programs and another to examine support functions — will help UND better understand its strengths and weaknesses as it position’s itself for the future.

Two University of North Dakota professors, Tami Carmichael, director of Integrated Studies, and Ryan Zerr, professor of mathematics, both faculty in UND’s College of Arts & Sciences, have been named STIRS (Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills) scholars by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  UND is the only university to have two STIRS scholars.

VCSU sets spring semester student enrollment records

VCSU has set spring-semester student-enrollment records with a headcount of 1,341 students and a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 956. Since 2009, VCSU’s spring headcount numbers have grown from 959 to 1,341, a 40 percent increase. Similarly, FTE over the same period has increased from 767 to 956, a 25 percent increase.

 VCSU students Amelia Brown and Ben Clifton earned Presidential Innovation Scholarship Awards to attend the National Association of Music Merchants conference Jan. 22–26 in Anaheim, Calif. Sara Hagen, VCSU music professor, presented “Turning STEM into STE[A]M with Undergraduate Research Fellows,” in which Brown and Clifton demonstrated their work with the MaKey MaKey invention kit, which allows anything that conducts electricity to become a music-making device.

VCSU senior Garrett Anderson directed a theatre production of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach on campus Feb. 11–15 for his senior project in the theatre minor. The production included two matinee performances for 80 Valley City elementary school students.