Monthly Archives: May 2014

Commencement: a time to say thank you

A column by SBHE Board Chair Kirsten Diederich

A column by SBHE Board Chair Kirsten Diederich

I had the opportunity recently to represent the State Board of Higher Education at two North Dakota University System commencements – Dakota College at Bottineau, Mayville State University, and I was honored to be the Commencement speaker at Lake Region State College. Dr. Terry Hjelmstad, Don Morton, Dr. Doug Munski, Kathy Neset, and Kari Reichert also represented the Board at one or more commencements across the system.

I look forward to attending these ceremonies because it allows me to see the successes of our institutions firsthand. There is nothing more gratifying than interacting with the students, faculty, staff, families and communities as they celebrate these wonderful occasions.

The following is an excerpt from my address to Lake Region graduates and really expresses my feelings about serving on the Board and about how much we need our graduates – their ideas, their hopes, their dreams — if we are to continue to be a strong state and nation:

“I am grateful that you chose to continue your education in North Dakota. Our institutions are working diligently to make sure students like you are prepared to fulfill their greatest potential. I encourage you to take that next step into the future and embrace the opportunities that lie before you as a college graduate. You have been well prepared to make a lasting impact on this state and beyond.

“Most importantly, don’t ever lose sight of your dreams. As Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” By coming to Lake Region and committing yourself to furthering your education, you are now better prepared to pursue a career or continue your education than ever before. Step into the future with confidence, and I know that your dreams will help make North Dakota, America, and the world a better place.

“We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you and learn from you during your education journey. So, today, instead of congratulating you, I want to thank you.

“Thank you for choosing Lake Region State College and the North Dakota University System for your education. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. And thank you for everything that you will do for all of us as you make your own dreams come true.”



SBHE to tour oil patch, stay in crew camp

neset consulting

Neset Consulting’s office in Tioga where the Board meeting will be held.

At the invitation of Board member Kathleen Neset, the State Board of Higher Education is meeting at Neset Consulting in Tioga this month. To take full advantage of this opportunity to see the state’s largest economic force in person, the board members and NDUS staff will be attending a Hess Corporation “Follow the Barrel” tour. The tour will take them to the EN-Ortloff B05 Drilling Site, the Tioga Gas Plant and the Tioga Rail Terminal.  This is a great opportunity for Board members to see how the oil industry works firsthand, and become better education on what it takes for workers and communities to succeed in this “new” North Dakota. While in Tioga, the Board members will be staying at a crew camp to get the full oil patch experience.

Thank you to Hess and Neset Consulting for hosting the State Board of Higher Education.

Graduates prepared to fill workforce needs in oil patch

121031 Tioga Oil Fields DSC_1381c

Tioga Oil Fields: Kathleen Neset, owner of Neset Consulting Service, talks with UND Petroleum Engineering Department chair, Steve Benson, second from right and UND students Russell Carr, a master’s degree student in geological engineering, far left; and Joel Brown, a senior in petroleum engineering, second from left.

The oil industry has certainly made its mark on North Dakota – small towns have grown exponentially, out-of-state workers are moving to North Dakota, and businesses and infrastructure are scrambling to keep up. To help local communities and the state take on these new challenges and continue the economic growth, North Dakota needs educated people to meet the workforce demands in the oil industry and support services in the region. North Dakota’s colleges and universities across the state have stepped up to the plate with new program opportunities geared toward workforce needs in the Oil Patch.

Engineering, geology and energy management programs are becoming increasingly popular. The North Dakota State University (NDSU) Dept. of Geosciences offers 30 degree programs and most undergraduates take positions in the Oil Patch after graduation. Each year, NDSU has approximately 50 geology and 215 engineering graduates (including construction management, mechanical engineering, industrial/manufacturing engineering, agricultural and biosystems engineering, and civil engineering). For more information on the geology programs available at NDSU, visit

The University of North Dakota also offers engineering and geology programs the oil industry needs through the UND College of Engineering and Mines and the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering. Companies in the oil industry hire UND graduates across all six engineering disciplines – chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, petroleum, and geology and geological engineering. UND also offers master’s and doctorate degrees in engineering, including Ph.D. programs in petroleum, energy and environmental engineering. The petroleum engineering program first launched in 2010 with the first four students graduating in spring 2013, all of whom are employed in the Bakken. Over the last three years, the program has grown to 209 students enrolled with a significant number of students nearly ready to fill the pipeline of need in the industry by spring 2016. For more information on the petroleum engineering program, visit

For those more interested in the business side of the industry, Minot State University offers an energy economics and finance major designed to provide a foundation in geology sciences and economics and finance courses focused on energy topics. A graduate of this program is then able to fill business analysis positions in the energy industry, from business and financial analyst to energy loan specialist for a financial institution to energy economist. Since its start in 2009, enrollment in the energy economics and finance major has grown from five to nearly 40 and 21 students have graduated and gained employment in the industry so far. To learn more about the energy economics and finance major, visit

Graduating from all types of business programs, including accounting, information systems, management, finance, human resource management, and more can be valuable in pursuing a career in the Oil Patch. Ninety-five percent of all Dickinson State University graduates employed in North Dakota are working in oil-impacted cities. Twenty-three percent of those are employed in areas directly related to energy development, while 77 percent are employed in support services to the oil-impacted region.

Williston State College offers degrees and certificate programs in welding technology.

Williston State College offers degrees and certificate programs in welding technology.

For students looking for a fast track into the oil industry, NDUS community colleges are the perfect fit. Williston State College offers associate degrees and certificate programs in petroleum production technology, welding technology and diesel technology with eight students graduating from these programs in 2014.  Bismarck State College also offers associate degrees and certificate programs in similar disciplines: petroleum production, petroleum engineering, process plant, mechanical maintenance, lineworker, welding, and instrumentation and control, as well as an online bachelor of applied science in energy management. These programs produced 202 graduates in 2014, including an impressive 46 graduates of the online energy management bachelor’s program. North Dakota State College of Science also offers programs that are a good fit for the oil industry including industrial electrical, diesel technology and welding technology. Visit the WSC, BSC or NDSCS websites for more information on these valuable programs.

The programs offered by NDUS institutions are constantly evolving and growing to meet industry needs. Through valuable partnerships with industry leaders and the work of dedicated faculty and staff, NDUS students are now being better prepared to fill workforce needs than ever before.

University System hosts summit on respect

Tribal, campus, university system and state board leadership sit around the table for a discussion on creating an atmosphere of respect on campus.

Tribal, campus, university system and state board leadership sit around the table for a discussion on creating an atmosphere of respect on campus.

On Monday, May 19, the North Dakota University System hosted a summit titled, “Creating an Atmosphere of Respect,” at the State Capitol. NDUS Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen worked with Scott J. Davis, Commissioner of North Dakota Indian Affairs, to organize the meeting. Davis coordinated the invitation of tribal leaders, University of North Dakota (UND) students and recent graduates, leadership from the university system and UND, and North Dakota State Representative Scott Louser.

The summit was spurred by the recent offensive t-shirt incident involving an image similar to UND’s retired Fighting Sioux logo in connection with alcohol abuse. Interim Chancellor Skogen’s statement on that incident may be found here. While that incident brought this issue to light, the university system is committed to a broader goal of moving the system forward in ensuring respect for all cultures on its campuses.

“This is not just a UND issue, it reflects on the entire university system. It’s time to start a conversation about how to create a culture of inclusion on our campuses, and we intend to lead that effort,” said Interim Chancellor Skogen.

The summit provided a venue for university system and campus leaders to listen to the tribal leaders and students, learn from their experiences, and discuss ways to move forward. Tribal leaders and students emphasized the importance of effective racism education, promoting inclusion, and holding students accountable for their actions in creating an atmosphere of respect on all NDUS campuses.

BJ Rainbow speaks during the summit.

BJ Rainbow speaks during the summit.

The summit closed with a Native American pipe ceremony held on the State Capitol lawn. According to BJ Rainbow, a 2014 graduate of UND’s master’s program, the pipe symbolizes that only good can come of this meeting, and that all involved are committed to moving forward.

“I think this is a positive first step in tackling this complicated issue,” said Interim Chancellor Skogen. “Thank you to all the tribal leaders and students who took the time to meet with us, and I look forward to working with you further as we develop an atmosphere of respect at all our institutions. As our state’s population grows, it is critical that we help ensure that North Dakota is a welcoming place for all who want to make our state their home – a good place to raise their families and educate their children.”

At the meeting, the Interim Chancellor and Board Chair Kirsten Diederich committed to revitalizing the NDUS Diversity Council. The Higher Education Resource Organization for Students (HEROS) is meeting this Friday, May 30 at Minot State University and will continue the discussion of the Diversity Council at the request of Commissioner Davis.

NDUS Hosts Higher Learning Commission Advisory Visit

ncahlc_org_On April 28-29, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visited the system office in Bismarck. NDUS supplied the HLC team with a great deal of information in preparation for their visit to the system. While here, the team interviewed the presidents of the institutions, university system staff, the Board, and a group of legislators.

The purpose for the visit was two-fold: one, to follow up on a complaint from last year and, two, to look into the potential impact of Measure 3 on accreditation – if voters approve it on November 4.

In short, Measure 3 seeks to change the governance of the university system from the eight-member State Board of Higher Education to a three-member commission, thus eliminating the voting student member position, as well as the faculty and staff advisers. It also takes the names and missions of the NDUS institutions out of the Constitution and eliminates the single, unified budget.

The HLC has not yet given their opinion regarding Measure 3. However, the advisory team did say that if the measure passes, the enabling legislation will be a big part of what determines their conclusion.

“Overall, I think the visit went very well,” said Larry C. Skogen, NDUS interim chancellor. “We won’t know the results of their report for a few months, but I am very confident that we had an excellent visit with the Higher Learning Commission.”

The HLC advisory team will report its findings from the visit to Sylvia Manning, HLC president, who will then determine her recommendation.

Theodore Roosevelt Center creating first comprehensive digital presidential library

“I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.” This quote by Theodore Roosevelt emphasizes just how fitting it is that his presidential library located right here in North Dakota.

Theodore Roosevelt's journal entry upon the death of his first wife, Alice.

Theodore Roosevelt’s journal entry upon the death of his first wife, Alice.

The Theodore Roosevelt Center (TRC), housed at Dickinson State University, is dedicated to the goal of creating the first comprehensive digital presidential library in the nation. The collection contains documents and artifacts from throughout the course of Theodore Roosevelt’s life including photos, political cartoons, letters, speeches, and even some audio and video recordings. All these items have been converted to high-quality digital files and are available to anyone at

The original documents and artifacts are spread across the country including at the Library of Congress, Harvard University and the National Park Service. By creating partnerships with these organizations and others, the TRC is able to create a central resource that allows more people than ever before to access this information and knits together far-flung artifacts to provide the opportunity to view the documents in chronological order for the first time.

“It’s essentially an electronic miracle, and it not only means we are going to achieve our goal of the first comprehensive electronic national presidential library here in Dickinson, North Dakota – a monument to this university and to the state system – and help change the way that scholarship is done,” said Clay Jenkinson, Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar, during the April State Board of Higher Education meeting.

So far, there are 21,000 items available to view in the collection, up from 5,000 processed documents in 2011. Processing these files involves not only converting them to a high-quality digital format, but also making them searchable by using metadata. There are over a million files currently in the TRC archive, and the staff is determined to process all of them to create the comprehensive digital collection.

A postcard to Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt on Memorial Day.

A postcard to Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt on Memorial Day.

During the 2013 legislative session, the North Dakota Legislature rewarded the center’s good work by issuing a challenge to TRC to develop and build a ‘Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.’ And, according to Jenkinson, they’re up to that challenge. The agreement with the Legislature states that if TRC is able to raise $3 million, the state will match up to $12 million to create a free-standing facility in Dickinson. A firm has been hired to conduct the planning process, and fundraising is well under way.

“Our plan is to produce a smart, intelligent, thoughtful, spirited…facility, and to move forward decade by decade as we become more important in the national presidential arena,” said Jenkinson.

To keep updated on their progress and see all the files currently available, visit

NDUS hosts Retention Summit

Lamboley at 2014 Retention Summit

Keith Malatarre speaks with NDUS Director of Student Affairs Becky Lamboley at the Retention Summit.

On May 19-20, NDUS hosted its third Retention Summit. The theme for this year’s event was “Analysis and Application of Data for Student Retention.” The National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus hosted 130 summit attendees including faculty and staff from all NDUS institutions, as well as from North Dakota tribal colleges and private universities.

“Our campuses are focused on student achievement and making sure that all learners have the support and skills they need to be successful and graduate,” said Tanya Spilovoy, summit organizer and NDUS Director of Distance Education & State Authorization. “Over the past few years, NDUS institutions have instituted many research-proven retention programs, and the retention rate at our community colleges is the highest in the nation.”

Skogen presenting at 2014 Retention Summit

Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen presents during the Retention Summit.

Some of these proven retention programs include providing online alcohol education to all incoming students, increasing alcohol sanction training for campus staff, and increasing mental health resources on NDUS campuses.

This year’s Retention Summit focused on taking those successes to the next level by focusing on the data available and using that data to make informed decisions about programs and interventions. The Retention Summit included a presentation on a new data framework that allows anonymous student data (class performance and other factors) to be tracked on a larger scale to provide more accurate trends, then giving the faculty and staff the tools to find the specific students in need and intervene with proven techniques. This type of data-driven decision making allows faculty and staff to be confident that they are using the correct intervention techniques to give students the support they need to complete their degree.

“The number of students in North Dakota is on the rise,” said NDUS Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen. “By working together to address these issues today, we’ll be better prepared to help our growing student population succeed in the future.”

Governor reappoints Board Chair Diederich, appoints Melicher to SBHE

On May 20, Governor Jack Dalrymple reappointed Kirsten Diederich, Ph.D., to a second four-year term on the State Board of Higher Education. Dalrymple also appointed Fargo optometrist and former Fargo School Board president Dr. Kevin Melicher to serve his first four-year term on the Board. Both appointments are effective July 1.

Melicher will replace Duaine Espegard whose term expires June 30. Dalrymple commended Espegard, a former state senator and retired Grand Forks bank executive, for seven years of dedicated service to North Dakota’s university system.

“Kirsten Diederich and Kevin Melicher are proven leaders who have a long history of community service and an unwavering commitment to educational excellence in North Dakota,” Dalrymple said in a news release.  “Serving on the Board of Higher Education carries a tremendous amount of responsibility and both Kirsten and Kevin bring to this important position a great deal of experience in education and the strong leadership skills that are required for the continued advancement of  North Dakota’s system of higher education.”

Melicher served on the Fargo School Board for eight years, including terms as board president and treasurer and negotiations leader. He has held many leadership roles in civic organizations including the North Dakota Optometric Association, United Way, the Dakota Medical Foundation, the Fargo Public Schools Foundation and the North Dakota State Board of Optometry. Melicher holds an undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University and his Doctor of Optometry from Illinois College of Optometry. He has practiced optometry for 38 years.

Diederich was appointed to the Board in July 2010, and currently serves as Board Chair. She has served in several other leadership roles, including the Board of Directors for the Association of Community College Trustees, the YWCA Board of Trustees and the Fargo-based Rape and Abuse Crisis Center Board of Directors. Diederich is a retired biology professor. She attended the University of North Dakota for three years before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in entomology and a doctorate in zoology from North Dakota State University.

As per the North Dakota State Constitution, the governor makes four-year appointments to the Board from a list of nominees selected by a committee composed of the president of the North Dakota Education Association, Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives.  The student member is appointed from a list advanced to the governor by the North Dakota Student Association. The governor’s office is in the process of scheduling interviews with the student candidates now, and Governor Dalrymple plans to make an appointment by July 1.

Alumni Spotlight: WSC grad always up for a challenge

By Matt NelsonIMG_2960

For many people, raising a family and pursuing a career is more than enough, but Kelly Maixner likes a challenge.  Maixner grew up in Western North Dakota, graduating from Beach High School in 1994.  He followed his brother up to Williston to study physical therapy at what was then UND-Williston.  After getting his therapy assistant degree here, Maixner finished his undergraduate work at Montana State University and went on to dental school at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.  He then moved to Alaska for a pediatric dental residency.

When he first moved to Alaska, Maixner found a new interest in racing sled dogs, which was one factor in his decision to stay up North.  “This is the best environment in the world for that,” he notes.  “And the best dogs in the world for that are up here, the best racers in the world.”  Maixner decided to start his own team and try his hand at racing.  “I got two females, and basically I’ve raised my team from those two females and their kids,” he explains.  “Now I have forty dogs.”

The Iditarod, often called the “last great race on Earth”, takes sled dogs and their mushers through nearly 1,000 miles of the Alaskan wild.  The wintry weather is wildly unpredictable in March, when the race takes place, and only the most qualified mushers are allowed to even join the race.  Maixner and his team first completed the Iditarod in 2011.  They went on to complete the race in 2012 and 2013, and he and the dogs are currently gearing up for the 2014 race, which begins March 1.

Maixner says that he was prepared to some extent for his first Iditarod because of where he came from.  “Growing up in North Dakota, we were exposed to blizzards, so as far as that stuff goes I was fairly comfortable with it,” he says.  “But growing up we always had snow machines or vehicles to be in,” he adds.  “The first time I did the race, it was all crazy, and I thought I was going to die.  Now, I’ve learned safety-wise what clothes I need to wear, and I’ve learned how to push on through those storms, and to put more faith in my dogs.  They know a lot about what they’re doing.”

One of the biggest challenges for his first race was figuring out what to pack, so he got help from someone who had done it before.  “I had a packing sheet from an experienced musher, and I basically packed the exact same things.  He’s done this ten times, so that should be everything I need.  I got help from experienced mushers, so going into the first Iditarod, I had some idea how to prepare.”

207526_605667111654_1374717_nWith each new race, Maixner encounters new experiences that help prepare him for the next race.  “One year, I was out in the middle of a blizzard, in the Bering Sea, going across the sea ice, and it was blizzarding and I couldn’t see anything,” he recalls.  “Every once in a while I would see a marker that told me I was on the trail, and I was just trusting the dogs to take me there.  Once I got through there – that was the worst storm I’ve ever been in – so all the other bad storms I’ve been in are nothing compared to that.”

In addition to the Iditarod, Maixner makes another annual trip with its own set of challenges, traveling down to Haiti to provide dental care for children.  As with the Iditarod, the first trip was the most hectic and unpredictable.  “The first time I went down there, I had no clue what was going on,” he remembers.  “People were yelling at me in a language I didn’t understand and trying to take my bags from me, and I had no clue what was going on.  Now I can speak a little bit of the language, and I know where to go to get my ride that takes me way into the bush.  It’s far away from Port-au-Prince, where I work.  It’s nicely arranged now.  The first time I was there, I thought I was going to die.  Now, it’s a little better.”

As with his other projects, Maixner loves his work in Haiti, challenges and all.  His wife, who is a nurse back home, goes with him and works as his dental assistant.  They work out of a Catholic church, and now that they’ve been doing it for a while, they get to see the difference they’re making.  “The first couple times down there, it was a little more of a mess,” he notes.  “And it’s gotten better down there.  When we first went down, we were just taking out teeth.  That’s all.  This last time down there I fixed as many teeth as I pulled.  So it’s getting better; we’re making progress.  We don’t just have to go down there and pull teeth to get kids out of pain.  We’re actually fixing teeth before they get in pain.”

Maixner hopes students at Williston State College today will pursue their dreams, as he has.  “Don’t be afraid to try new things,” he says.  “Don’t be afraid to go out and go to Haiti or do the Iditarod.  It usually works out in the end.  Talk to people who have been doing these things; get some help to guide you through it,” Maixner recommends, “but the first thing is that you need to decide that you can do these things.”

“It’s tough to go out there and decide to do something like this, but the tougher part is to figure out how to do it,” he adds. “You can, but you just need to take it piece by piece.  Don’t be afraid to just jump in and do anything you want to do.  If somebody else has done it, you can do it.”

While he plans to continue with the annual Iditarod and Haiti trips, Maixner admits that he is probably going to take a break from trying those new experiences where he thinks he’s going to die, at least for now, while he has kids to raise.  Does he think he’ll want to throw himself into some wild new situation again sometime?  “Maybe when they graduate,” he suggests.

But that doesn’t mean Maixner is going to let himself get too comfortable.  For example, he recently started his own dental practice.  “Working for yourself is great,” he says.  It will allow him to work more hours in the summer, freeing up more time to train for the Iditarod in the months leading up to the race.  Many of his patients followed him over to his new practice, and it’s going well.  “It’s a challenge,” he admits, “but at least it’s easier than the Iditarod.”

Maixner and his wife Margaret live in Big Lake, Alaska, with their two children.  Their daughter Rosemary is two years old, and their son Vendelin was born this past June.

For more information about Maixner and his team, check out his website at

BSC breaks ground on Communications and Creative Arts Center

BSC breaks ground on Communications and Creative Arts Center

BSC broke ground May 20 on its new Communications and Creative Arts Center. The 40,000 square foot Center will bring BSC’s English and Visual Arts departments together into a modern space. It also will replace the library with a 21st century learning commons.

BSC graduates 1,001 students

BSC conferred 1,144 degrees this spring to 1,001 graduates. The college granted 481 AA and AS degrees, 452 AAS degrees, 46 BAS-Energy Management degrees, 158 Certificates, one Diploma, and two Certificates. Eighty percent of the graduates are North Dakotans.


Six BSC employees receive excellence awards

BSC honored six employees with the Award for Excellence this spring: Tayo Basquiat, assistant professor of philosophy, Vickie Volk, associate professor of computer support specialist, Becky Fischer, catering coordinator and food service supervisor, Jamie Gable, custodian, Rebecca Ottosen, chemistry lecturer, and Brianne Fuzesy, music advisor/lecturer.

DCB honors Rep. Bob Hunskor

DCB revives student drama group

This spring, on May 1, Dakota College revived its drama group and renamed the organization the LumberActs as a reminder of the college’s School of Forestry legacy. The inaugural event for the LumberActs was a mystery dinner theater production of The Last Pirate of the Caribbean.


DCB honors Rep. Bob Hunskor

On May 5, Dakota College, in collaboration with Bottineau High School and the Chamber of Commerce, honored Rep. Bob Hunskor with its distinguished service award. Rep. Hunskor is a long time educator with an outstanding record of service to his fellow citizens.


Haymakers author visits DCB campus

Dr. Steven Hoffbeck, the author of the DCB campus read selection, Haymakers, was hosted by Dakota College on April 23. Dr. Hoffbeck is a history professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead and spent the day discussing his book with DCB students and Bottineau community residents.

DSU students raise money for Trinity High School after tragic fire

2014 Celebration of Scholars

DSU students presented their original scholarly work to an audience of fellow students, faculty members, community members, and professionals at the 2014 Celebration of Scholarship held on May 10. Presentations included scientific research, literature reviews, scholarly critique, humanities papers, creative writing, musical or dramatic performances, or visual outwork. Fifteen oral presentations and 30 poster presentations were shared during the event.


One Red Paper Clip

Students enrolled in DSU Business Ethics and Critical Thinking classes participated in a semester-long project designed to integrate theory and experience.  The project engaged students in active learning as they explored topics related to barter economies, ethics and perceived value. Starting with one red paper clip, each student made eight trades, bartering for items that were “bigger and better.”  Final items were sold during a silent auction that was open to the community. The classes raised more than $2,700 which they donated to the local United Way.


Service to Community

Two DSU student groups recently held fundraising events to benefit Trinity High School (THS) which was closed earlier this year due to fire. During their annual service learning project, Trio students raised more than $500 to help THS purchase classroom supplies. Additionally, the DSU wellness program hosted a Dye Running fun run and donated more than $2,500 to THS.

LRSC Dakota Precision Ag Center takes on Google Glass

LRSC, Air Force hold peace officer graduation

Lake Region State College held a graduation ceremony May 1 in Minot for its 19 peace officer training students who participated in the Minot-based academy this spring. Students who studied at the Grand Forks Air Force Base Education Center also held a joint graduation ceremony with the Community College of the Air Force and other colleges and universities that offer degrees at the base. That event was held April 26.


Dakota Precision Ag Center takes on Google Glass

The Dakota Precision Ag Center at Lake Region State College is participating in an exploratory program with Google Glass to assess potential utility, wearability, and ruggedness for sustained use in agricultural work environments.

MaSU Collegiate DECA students compete on international stage

MaSU Collegiate DECA students compete on international stage

Fifteen MaSU Collegiate DECA students participated in the International Career Development Conference in Washington, D.C. April 22-27. Several were recognized for their individual performance, and the chapter as a whole received high commendations. The annual conference provides an opportunity for national and international students to compete against each other in business-specific events.


MaSU teacher education students collaborate with South Carolina scholar and students

Dr. Omari Dyson, visiting scholar from South Carolina State University, was at MaSU April 22-25 engaging teacher education students and faculty through the lens of his own experiences as an assistant professor of education at a historically black college. In an ongoing project, Dr. Dyson’s SCSU students and MaSU teacher education students collaborate via Skype and other interactive technology.


Senator Hoeven MaSU commencement speaker, recipient of Distinguished Service Award

U.S. Senator John Hoeven delivered the May 17 commencement address at MaSU, and received the MaSU Distinguished Service Award. In celebration of MaSU’s 125th anniversary and the institution’s Scandinavian roots, MaSU teamed up with the local Sons of Norway Lodge to host a reception. May 17 is Norwegian Constitution Day, or Syttende Mai. Dressed in traditional Norwegian costumes, Sons of Norway members served Scandinavian treats.

MiSU exceeds service goals

Power of 100 exceeds goal

Volunteer, mentor, serve and shape lives. That is exactly what dozens of groups accomplished through the Power of 100, MSU Centennial Service Challenge. These groups helped Minot State University surpass its goal of 100 service projects, with a grand total of 110! Visit to view projects.


SMILE100 exceeds goal

To be part of the Power of 100 Centennial service challenge, the Department of Communication Disorders took on a big challenge by adopting SMILE100. Students, faculty and staff in the department set their sights on raising enough funds to pay for 100 cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in developing countries. This put them in the throes of raising $24,000. They exceeded their goal of 100, and to date have raised funds for more than 128 surgeries, a total of $30,936.


Honor Dance: accomplishments and reconnecting

On April 25-26, Minot State University’s Dome came alive with tradition, color and movement. Native American dancers and drum groups from throughout North Dakota and neighboring states and provinces competed in the 25th annual Native American Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration. Approximately 1,200 people attended this year’s event. The event includes the acknowledgement of achievements, competitive dancing, vendor and information booths and food. The powwow is one of the largest student activities on campus.

NDSCS forms educational partnership

New educational partnership creates NDSCS Diesel Technology – Komatsu program

Representatives from NDSCS, Komatsu America Corp., General Equipment & Supplies, Inc. and Road Machinery & Supplies Co. recently announced an educational partnership resulting in the addition of a Diesel Technology – Komatsu program to the NDSCS Diesel Technology department. Through this innovative partnership, students will receive state-of-the-art technical training on Komatsu construction equipment and related products.


NDSCS vice president receives Hall of Fame Award

NDSCS Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Harvey Link has been awarded the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) Region V Hall of Fame Award. This award is presented to ACTE members who have made a significant impact in the field of career and technical education at the national, regional and state levels.


NDSCS associate vice president and dean honored with emerita status

NDSCS has named Dr. Gloria Dohman Associate Vice President Emerita and Margaret Wall Dean Emerita. Both Dohman and Wall were honored in Wahpeton during the college’s commencement ceremony. The Emerita honor recognizes vice presidents, deans, directors, faculty and other professionals for providing exceptional and outstanding service to NDSCS.


First operational UAS flight in state at NDSU Research Extension Center

First operational UAS flight in North Dakota occurs at NDSU Research Extension Center

North Dakota’s first operational flying of unmanned aircraft systems occurred on May 5 at NDSU’s Carrington Research Extension Center. North Dakota was one of six sites selected for the FAA UAS test site program, with NDSU and UND playing key roles on the team. The state has identified UAS as a significant area for economic development.


NDSU research receives more than $147,000 USDA grant

NDSU researcher Peter Bergholz received a $147,603 grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture to help improve food safety. His project will look at how to measure the environmental abundance of Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly foodborne pathogen, and the impact of precipitation on its abundance in soils.


NDSU student only North Dakotan to receive prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship

NDSU junior Robbie Lauf received the prestigious and competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He is one of only 59 Truman Scholars chosen for his academic success, leadership and potential for a future in public service. He is the only student from North Dakota to receive the honor this year.

UND granted full continued accreditation

UND granted full continued accreditation by HLC

Following an extensive three-year self-study program and a campus visit from peer reviewers in October, the University of North Dakota this spring was granted full continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The next visit will be 2023-24.  UND has been continuously accredited since the North Central Association organized in 1913.


UND Concert Choir goes to Cuba

The University of North Dakota Concert Choir was in Cuba May 18-27 to interact with a number of Cuban choirs as a result of a recent partnership with the American Choral Directors Association and Cuba. The Choir performed, by invitation, with the National Choir of Cuba and Coro Exaudi, both professional choirs in Havana and elsewhere.


UND vice president for student affairs named a Pillar of the Profession

University of North Dakota Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Reesor recently was named a Pillar of the Profession by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), an organization of student affairs administrators in higher education. NASPA is the nation’s leading organization for the advancement, health and sustainability of student affairs professions.

Dahlberg named VCSU interim president

Dr. Dahlberg named VCSU interim president

Margaret Dahlberg, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs at Valley City State University, has been appointed VCSU interim president by the SBHE. Dahlberg will begin serving as interim president on July 1, 2014, succeeding current VCSU president Steven W. Shirley, who has been appointed president of Minot State University.


VCSU students take top honors in North Dakota Academy of Science competition

VCSU students Tom Dodson (first place) and Aaron Burgad (second place) took top honors in the A. Rodger Denison Award competition for best undergraduate presentations at the North Dakota Academy of Science annual meeting on the VCSU campus April 24, 2014. Both Dodson and Burgad are seniors majoring in fisheries and wildlife science.


VCSU’s third annual Earth Day Festival brings several hundred attendees

Several hundred people attended VCSU’s third annual Earth Day Festival April 22, 2014, at Medicine Wheel Park in Valley City. In addition to earth-friendly information tables and vendor displays, the festival featured a performance by the Buffalo River Dancers, a Native American group from the Fargo–Moorhead area.

New restaurant at WSC provides job opportunities for students

Williston’s first Jimmy John’s opens at WSC

Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, the first in Williston, has just been opened on Williston State’s campus. The opening of this restaurant represents a number of job opportunities for students as well as another food option for students and community members all while directing additional traffic to WSC’s campus.


WSC students in top three schools at State Leadership Conference

Six students from WSC’s Phi Beta Lamda (PBL) recently attended the State Leadership Conference and made a strong showing with five first place finishes, two second place finishes, and four third place finishes. Their overall play landed them in the top three schools by points ranking.


TrainND breaks ground in Williston, hosts grand opening in Minot

Early May was a busy time for WSC’s TrainND division. They broke ground on a new facility on May 6, to be located in Williston near their existing Petroleum Safety and Technology Center. Just two days later, they hosted a grand opening for a new training facility located in Minot.