Monthly Archives: May 2018

Media Coverage Summary – Friday, May 25

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, May 25


Bismarck State College
BSC faculty and staff receive promotions and excellence awards

Dakota College at Bottineau
Dickinson State Visits Dakota College at Bottineau

Dickinson State University
Dickinson State is making life a little easier for parents of young children
Hawk’s Perch – May 2018
A Minute with Mitzel 5.21.18
Zach Miller Named Academic All-American

Lake Region State College
Tande earns excellence in education honor

Mayville State University
Durant’s Mayville State experiences provide firm foundation
Alumni among hall of fame inductees

Minot State University
Friend-raising Summer Golf Tour kicks off in Velva
Minot State SGA names Professors, Advisors of the Year
MSU SAAC, Title IX office partner for ‘It’s On Us’ campaign

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS Employees Honored at Employee Recognition Program

North Dakota State University
NDSU project generates hundreds of pounds of contributions
NDSU assistant professor named Outstanding History Teacher
NDSU to host climate science workshop
NDSU Computer Science Launches Four Cybersecurity Enhanced Graduate Degrees
NDSU gets nod to raise money for new ag center, indoor athletic practice facility
NDSU students volunteer at NFL Draft
Emergency management students work as consultants

University of North Dakota
Telepsychiatry — making the connection
Head of the class
UND’s Gerla takes students back in time
Nachos for a cause
Demystifying Mars without leaving home

Valley City State University
This week’s Hotline

Williston State College
More than 240 graduates set off from WSC

North Dakota University System
Morton: Creating North Dakota’s high-skilled workforce
Board updated on Envision process
Envision 2030 shaping strategy


Commencement photos from throughout North Dakota University System


Bismarck State College


Dakota College at Bottineau


Dickinson State University


Lake Region State College


Mayville State University


Minot State University


North Dakota State College of Science


North Dakota State University

University of North Dakota


Valley City State University


Williston State College

Bismarck State College campus successes

BSC Carpentry House wins top honors in Spring Parade of Homes

Each year BSC’s carpentry students learn all aspects of their trade by building a home that then goes on the market with proceeds benefitting the program. This year’s home, built at 3926 Meridian Drive in Bismarck, has been named Bismarck Mandan Homebuilders Association’s 2018 Spring Parade of Homes People’s Choice Award Winner in the $344,900-$399,900 category.

View this one-of-a-kind home here.


More than 900 graduate from BSC

BSC’s 78th Commencement was held May 11 honoring the more than 900 students who earned degrees from BSC during this academic year. Commencement speaker was nationally-known recording artist and North Dakota native Kat Perkins, and student speaker was Carter Honeyman from Regent, N.D.

The ceremony was livestreamed and is available to view at


BSC offers short training courses for industry this summer

BSC is offering short, intensely focused hands-on training courses to companies this summer. Training topics include basic hydraulics, climb rescue, mechanical drives, motor control and PLC topics. The training will utilize industry-approved equipment and create workplace scenarios in a safe setting.  For more information visit

Dakota College at Bottineau campus successes

DCB Recognizes the First LEAP Graduates
Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) is proud to announce the first LEAP (Leading to Education and Advanced Preparation) program graduates. Designed for high schools, LEAP allows high school students to earn a Certificate of College Studies alongside their high school diploma. This spring DCB graduates seven students from this program; one from Midkota High School and six from Mohall High School. Each graduate will be acknowledged as a high school and college graduate at their high school commencement exercise.
Lauren Ashley Topp, Midkota High School will be walking across the stage at DCB as one of the first high school students to receive their Certificate in College Studies while attending high school. DCB is the only college in North Dakota that offers this program. The commencement exercise will be held on the Dakota College at Bottineau Campus Friday, May 11th at 3:00 pm in the gym located in Thatcher Hall.
Students earn 24 general education college credits while in high school, by taking two dual credit offerings from DCB during each semester of their junior and senior year. This program launched in the Fall 2017 semester and offers great benefits for students including time and cost savings, flexible deliver either online or via Interactive Video Network (IVN) and transferability. General education courses transfer to any campus in the North Dakota University System (NDUS). This allows students to take quality courses from DCB at an affordable rate and then either continue their education at DCB or transfer their courses/credits to any campus in the NDUS.
LEAP Graduates: *Honors, **High Honors
Midkota High School
• Lauren Ashley Topp* Grace City, ND
Mohall High School
• Mikaylee Bahl* Sherwood, ND
• Stephen Isaac Ellingson** Sherwood, ND
• Levi James Feland** Antler, ND
• Chase Lloyd Gates* Mohall, ND
• Trevor J. Savelkoul** Mohall, ND
• Cole Robert Southam* Sherwood, ND


Dakota College at Bottineau Graduates 28 AAS Nurse Students
The Dakota Nursing program at Dakota College at Bottineau will pin twenty-eight Associate in Applied Science Nurse graduates on Friday, May 11, 2018. Dakota College at Bottineau’s practicum is a member of the Dakota Nursing Program, a consortium of four community college nursing departments which work together to offer a common curriculum for a Practical Nursing Certificate and for an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing.
The program works to meet North Dakota’s growing need for nurses by providing these degree programs on the campuses of four two-year colleges and numerous satellite sites across the state. This spring’s Dakota College at Bottineau graduates are from the Minot, Valley City and Bottineau campuses. There were nine enrolled in the Bottineau class, 12 in the Minot class and seven in the Valley City class. The program collaborates with medical centers across the state at which students gain practical experience. The nursing program has proven successful, as graduates consistently score higher than the national average on exit exams.
The photo attached is a picture of the 2018 Associate of Applied Science Nurse graduating class. Students will be taking their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) exam to become licensed to begin their career as a Registered Nurse.

Dickinson State University campus successes

Bowditch and Hicks speak at 2018 commencement ceremony

Dickinson State University students Carlie Bowditch and Mackenzie Hicks addressed the graduates at the 98th spring commencement ceremony Saturday, May 12, during which the University awarded 168 baccalaureate degrees and 34 associate degrees.

Bowditch, from Sylvania, Saskatchewan, Canada, is the daughter of Ryan and Joline Bowditch. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture studies with a business and marketing option and a minor in leadership. During her time at Dickinson State, Bowditch was on the DSU rodeo team, was an active member in Collegiate Farm Bureau and was a Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Scholar. This past year, she worked at the DSU Heritage Foundation. Outside of DSU, Bowditch coaches figure skating, helps out with 4-H events and continues her education through leadership and agronomy workshops. Bowditch plans to attend equine chiropractic school and travel before returning to her family’s farm.

Hicks is the daughter of LeAnn and Scott Fitch of Hettinger, North Dakota. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in composite music education. During her time at DSU, Hicks participated in numerous music ensembles, TRiO, Campus Activities Board, NAfME, and was a resident assistant for three years. Hicks is moving back to Hettinger to teach K-12 music at Hettinger Public School where she has already accepted a position.


Ehlang and Hicks named DSU’s 2018 Outstanding Graduates

Twenty-one students were nominated for this year’s 2018 Outstanding Graduate Award. The Dickinson State University Alumni Association at the Outstanding Graduate ceremony honored the following students Friday, May 11, in the DSU Student Center Ballroom. The winners were Mackenzie Hicks and Seth Ehlang.

·         Brittany Berger – Social Sciences – Dickinson, ND

·         Heather Bird – Nursing – Reeder, ND

·         Carlie Bowditch – Ag & Technical Studies – Sylvania, SK, CA

·         Kendra Cox – Social Sciences – Gladstone, ND

·         Megan Dailey – Language & Literature – Glasgow, MT

·         Marcus Dietrich – Language & Literature – Bismarck, ND

·         Briana Dolechek – Fine & Performing Arts – Dickinson, ND

·         Seth Ehlang – Natural Sciences – Billings, MT

·         Nicole Field – Teacher Education – Dagmar, MT

·         Mackenzie Hicks – Fine & Performing Arts – Hettinger, ND

·         Abby Houghton – Teacher Education – Regent, ND

·         Aleesa Joslyn – Math & Computer Science – Gillette, WY

·         Anthony Locke – Heath & Physical Education – Elk Grove, CA

·         Miranda Marx  Nursing – Dickinson, ND

·         Zachary Miller – Math & Computer Science – Dickinson, ND

·         Billi Petermann – Natural Sciences – Wibaux, MT

·         Kaler Ray – Heath & Physical Education – Glendale, AZ

·         Shaylee Singleton – Business & Entrepreneurship – Miles City, MT

·         Dylan Skabo – Business & Entrepreneurship – Dickinson, ND

·         Karissa Van Horn – Nursing – Sentinel Butte, ND

·         Justin Ward – Ag & Technical Studies – Mabel, MN


Dickinson State to host Centennial Celebration

This is a special year for the University as it marks 100 years since its doors first opened in 1918 as Dickinson Normal School. The school initially opened as a teacher’s college. Now, DSU offers one master’s degree, 41 bachelor’s degrees, four associate degrees, two certification programs and six certificates of completion. In addition to these current offerings, the University is continuing to expand its curriculum to serve the needs of the region.

Dickinson State will host its Centennial Celebration June 28-30. During this time, DSU will be celebrating the more than 14,000 students who have entered the hallowed Dickinson State halls to learn and have departed to serve. Some feature events of the celebration include an alumni association luncheon, the Roughriders Days parade and a Dickinson State Centennial Exhibit on display at the Dickinson Museum Center from June 28 – Oct. 14.

For the full Centennial Celebration schedule, visit

Lake Region State College campus successes

Tande earns excellence in education honor

A trailblazer in providing students free, online textbooks; coordinator of study abroad adventures; and innovator in curriculum development has been recognized with Lake Region State College’s annual teaching excellence award. Teresa Tande, Lake Region State College Associate Professor of English, Communications, and Humanities, has been awarded the Excellence in Education honor at the college for 2017-2018. Tande also advises the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society on campus and coordinates the annual study abroad trips for LRSC students and community members.


Eight days of hope

Volunteers from Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), a Lake Region State College Club, traveled to southeast Houston over Spring Break for Eight Days of Hope XIV-XV. Club advisor Shaun Prince said it was an amazing fifteen days for the participants. A total of 4,692 volunteers from 48 states and seven countries served a total of 844 families.


Honorary honor society members recognized

The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at LRSC inducted two honorary members at its recognition ceremony. Dr. Randy Fixen and Dr. Doug Darling, both of whom had roles in the first ceremony in 2008 and leaders with the program received the honor. Dr. Fixen has been in charge of the scholarship program of PTK since the beginning, and even serving in a similar capacity before PTK came to campus. Dr. Darling has been an advocate of the advantages PTK provides and is certified in its elite leadership training. Dr. Darling also was chosen as one of PTK’s 20 outstanding presidents for 2016.

Mayville State University campus successes

First MaSU MAT graduates participate in spring commencement

The first graduates of MaSU’s first-ever master’s degree program, the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), participated in the spring commencement ceremony. The online program provides a graduate-level teacher preparation program for non-teaching bachelor’s degree graduates seeking to become licensed teachers in North Dakota, and directly impacts the North Dakota teacher shortage crisis.


MaSU Football players clean up Military Honor Garden

Several members of the MaSU football team and their coaches volunteered their time for spring clean-up of the Military Honor Garden located on the grounds of the Larson Alumni and Leadership Center at MaSU. The memorial garden pays tribute to alumni and friends who have served their country as members of the armed forces.


MaSU alumni among 2018 North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame inductees

MaSU head baseball coach Scott Berry and Dan Carr, both MaSU alumni, will be inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in June. Berry is the sixth-winningest active coach in the NAIA and has kept MaSU on the collegiate baseball map for nearly four decades. Carr has coached for 39 years at Linton, N.D., and in 2016, became the winningest coach in North Dakota.

Minot State University campus successes

Minot State holds 104th Commencement

Minot State University held its 104th Commencement Exercise for Master’s, Bachelors, and Associate degree candidates May 11 at the Minot State Dome.

Roger Looyenga, ’68, gave the alumni address, while students Juria (Bigelow) Wiechmann and Jordan Torgunrud were featured speakers.

Minot State Symphonic Band, under the direction of Dr. David Rolandson; MSU Concert Choir, with Dr. Kenneth Bowles serving as conductor and Dr. DeVera Bowles as pianist; and the Oakdale Singers from Mandaree, N.D. all performed at the event.

The university will award diplomas to 766 students in 2018.

Along with the main ceremony, MSU’s graduate school held its annual Hooding Ceremony in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall in Old Main.


DECA has strong showing at international conference

Fifteen Minot State University students traveled to the nation’s capital to compete in the Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference.

Nicholas Trumbauer, Manheim, Pa., placed in the Top 10 and won two medals for his work in Accounting; Haokun Yang, Xi’An, China, won an exam medal in Fashion Merchandising; Kaitlin Fredrich, Minot, N.D., and Brenda Parks, Houston, Texas, were Top 12 finalists in Business to Business Marketing; Edel Mae Alvarez, Kaulapu’u, Hawaii, and Jordan Busch, Minot, N.D., were Top 12 finalists in Financial Statement Analysis; Paula Cabatingan and Levy Cabatingan, Manila, Philippines, placed in the Top 10 for Emerging Marketing Strategies; and Aaron Richard, Kasson, Minn., placed in the Top 10 for Professional Sales.

Awards of Excellence were awarded to Trumbauer in Accounting; Asia Pleasant, Fredericksburg, Va., in Human Resource Management; Fredrich and Parks in Business to Business Management; Tracey Slama, Hacienda Heights, Calif., and Marina Carrillo, Chihuahua, Mexico, in Business Ethics; Alvarez and Busch in Financial Statement Analysis; Queenie Lim, Manila, Philippines, and Brett Hlebechuk, Belfield, N.D., in International Marketing; Paula Cabatingan and Levy Cabatingan in Emerging Technology Strategies; and Richard in Professional Sales.

The MSU DECA Chapter received a Chapter Community Service Award, a Leadership Passport Diplomatic Award, and Outstanding Chapter Leadership Awards for Barbara Marques, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Brett Hlebechuk.


Eckmanns release new book

Terry Eckmann and her daughter Katie released their new book, “101 Mindfulness and Meditation Practices,” in March.

Terry is a professor and chair of the teacher education and kinesiology department at Minot State University. Katie is an English education major at MSU and a trauma sensitive yoga specialist.

The research-based practices in the book give the reader the why, what, and how to live a more mindful, healthy life. The benefits of practicing mindfulness and meditation include stress reduction, lower blood pressure, lower anxiety, improvement in memory and focus, sleep enhancement, and chronic pain and substance abuse reduction.

North Dakota State College of Science campus successes

NDSCS Holds Commencement Ceremony

NDSCS awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates to graduates from Wahpeton, Fargo and online programs on Friday, May 11 in the Ed Werre Arena located in the Clair T. Blikre Activities Center on the Wahpeton campus. Six hundred ninety students were scheduled to graduate.


NDSCS RN programs receive initial accreditation

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) has formally granted initial accreditation to the NDSCS Registered Nursing programs. This includes the one-year Associate in Science in Nursing degree (ASN RN) and the two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in Registered Nursing (AAS RN).


NDSCS Practical Nursing cohort achieves 100% first-time pass rate on national exam

The NDSCS Practical Nursing Southeast North Dakota cohort achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The students graduated from NDSCS in December 2017 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing. The students in this cohort completed their studies over a three-year period in Oakes, N.D.

North Dakota State University campus successes

NDSU’s four-year graduation rate increases 10 percent

NDSU’s commencement ceremonies were held May 12, with 2,300 students eligible to participate. The university’s efforts to improve graduation rates showed positive results, with a 10 percent increase in the four-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students between the fall 2013 and fall 2008 classes.


NDSU students receive prestigious National Science Foundation fellowships

NDSU students Kurt Williams and Anna Renner earned highly competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. Williams is a doctoral student in zoology and STEM education. Renner is a new NDSU graduate who plans to begin graduate studies in chemistry at Harvard University in the fall. Graduate student Jasmin Kaye Farmakes and senior Ryan Callahan earned honorable mentions. Fellowship recipients often become national leaders who make major contributions to science and teaching.


Endowed professorship to advance ag research, provide hands-on learning for students

Robert Brueggeman, associate professor and agricultural research scientist, was appointed to the newly-established, privately-funded Dr. Charles J. Mode Professorship of Genomics Research. Brueggeman directs research that involves both undergraduate and graduate students. Through applied research, he is pursuing genetic resistance to a range of diseases that threaten the production of cereal crops. The professorship will advance research, provide students valuable hands-on learning opportunities and enhance academic programs.

University of North Dakota campus successes

UND Space Studies completes fifth NASA-funded mission in Lunar Mars Habitat

The University of North Dakota’s Inflatable Lunar Mars Habitat (ILMH) held three UND-affiliated volunteers for the first weeks of May to complete the fifth NASA-funded mission of its kind. Pablo de Leon, faculty member in the Space Studies program, directs the UND Human Spaceflight Laboratory that conducts these missions. The team conducted research centered around mimicking long-duration stay and its potential medical aspects on the planet Mars. The ILMH is the only system of its kind in the nation on a college campus.


UND grants honorary degrees to Seymour “Si” Robin and Mary “Betty” E. Bazar Robin at Spring Commencement Ceremony

Benefactors of Robin Hall on the University of North Dakota campus, Seymour “Si” Robin and Mary “Betty” E. Bazar Robin, were awarded honorary doctorate degrees at the UND’s Spring Commencement Ceremony for undergraduate students.  The husband and wife duo’s support of UND and the Hohn D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences resulted in the construction of the university’s home base for pioneering work in unmanned and autonomous systems. The couple share a deep, life-long passion for aviation and now have opened the door to assist UND in fulfilling its purpose of being the engine of opportunity for one of this state’s most prominently growing industries.


UND welcomes multiple new faces to key positions throughout its academic colleges

The University of North Dakota has filled multiple prominent positions throughout the campus.  Jed Shivers started May 16 as Vice President for Finance-Operations.  Brad Myers will serve as the interim dean for the School of Law.  Myers succeeds Kathryn Rand, who will return to teaching in August.  Myers has served as associate dean of UND Law since 2012.  Amy B. Henley is the next Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration.  Lastly, Amy Whitney is the next director for the Center of Innovation at UND.

Valley City State University campus successes

VCSU spring commencement held May 12

VCSU held its 126th spring commencement exercises Saturday morning, May 12, in W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse. A total of 174 students—155 undergraduates and 19 graduate students—were candidates for degrees in the spring 2018 term. Interim President Margaret Dahlberg directed the ceremony, and Don Morton, chair of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, also gave remarks. Providing the student reflection at the ceremony was Niklas Ernst, a senior from Kiel, Germany, who served as Student Senate president this past year. Ernst graduated summa cum laude with a major in social science with a concentration in political science. Said Ernst of his VCSU years, “I encountered a vibrant student body, faculty who deeply care about their students’ success, staff taking pride in their work, and a community opening their doors and hearts to students. For all that I will be forever grateful.” The commencement address was given by Kathryn Woehl, associate professor of social science, who has taught psychology at VCSU since 2010. Woehl, recently selected as Student Senate’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, urged the graduates to accept “the responsibility to courageously question the truth, to use your knowledge and skills to create change, and to persevere.”


Alumnus Tharaldson does book signing on campus

Gary Tharaldson, entrepreneur, hotel magnate and a 1967 VCSU graduate, signed copies of his biography, “Open Secrets of Success: The Gary Tharaldson Story,” on Tuesday, May 8, in the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse. Tharaldson signed and gave away books to an audience of about 100 gathered for the event. He gave remarks and also fielded questions from the audience. “There’s never a day that I don’t totally enjoy what I’m doing,” said Tharaldson, who believes strongly that “Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” When asked when he might retire, his response was this: “I will never retire. Why would you ever quit doing something you love?” Described by Forbes magazine as North Dakota’s richest man, Tharaldson majored in business education at VCSU, did high school teaching and sold insurance before getting into the hotel and motel development business.


Gjovik named ACTE Region V Teacher Educator of the Year

Peder Gjovik, VCSU associate professor and chair of the Department of Technology, was named ACTE Region V Teacher Educator of the Year at the Association for Career and Technical Education’s Region V Conference held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 11–14. The Teacher Educator of the Year award recognizes teacher educators who have demonstrated innovation in teacher education, leadership in improving Career and Technical Education (CTE) and commitment to preparing teachers to deliver high-quality CTE programs. His recent work includes helping establish accelerated pathways to bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials for graduates of North Dakota two-year colleges who hold technical-specialty degrees. He is currently involved in development of an online course to fulfill student-teaching requirements for distance technical-education candidates. As a regional Teacher Educator of the Year, Gjovik will participate in a competitive interview process for the national Teacher Educator of the Year award and attend the ACTE CareerTech VISION 2018 conference in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 28–Dec. 1, 2018. ACTE prepares youth and adults for careers and aims to provide educational leadership in developing a competitive workforce.

Williston State College campus successes

Housing Costs Drop at WSC

WSC has reduced its double occupancy rates for Frontier Hall to $2,000 per semester and also provides housing scholarships.

WSC offers a Regional Housing Scholarship for $1,000 per semester and an Out-of-Region Housing Scholarship is also available.

“We have listened to what our students are saying; ‘Affordable housing coupled with affordable academics is desired,’ so we have dropped our rates and have provided more scholarship opportunities,” explained Kit Hernandez, WSC Director of Residence life. “Living on campus allows our students to have better connections with classmates which promotes improved student academic and personal success.”

WSC’s Housing Scholarships are both limited and are applied on a first-come first-serve basis. Scholarship eligibility is based on when the housing application is completed, the application fee is paid, the first installment fee is paid and available funds.


WSC Student Selected to be a Northern Ambassador of Music 

WSC Freshman, Shawn Postovit, received an acceptance letter in April not only to be a member of the Northern Ambassadors of Music, but to participate in a music performance tour of Europe during the summer of 2019.

Nominated by his band and choir director from Tioga, Ella Lewis, Postovit joins the select honor group composed of students from North Dakota and Montana.

“I about hit the floor and started bawling when I read the first line, ‘Dear Shawn, It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been selected by your director to receive this invitation to participate in a music performance tour of Europe during the summer of 2019.’” Explained Postovit. “This is once in a lifetime opportunity. I have never left the county, not even to Canada and now I have been selected to go on a European tour, it’s really an honor.”

From July 9, 2019 until July, 24, 2019, Postovit and his fellow ambassadors will visit seven counties including England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy and Germany.


WSC Honors Graduates with Commencement and Pinning Ceremonies Friday

WSC’s Fifty-Seventh commencement ceremony will be May 11, 2018 in the Well at 10:00 a.m. where Representative Gary Sukut will speak to over 150 graduates.

“While we have 411 total anticipated conferred degrees, we are excited to have 152 students participating in the graduation ceremony,” explained Kathren Hoffman, WSC Registrar, Research Analyst. “Degrees are awarded after we compute and record final grades.”

Graduates from WSC often earn more than one degree. For the 2017-2018 academic year (fall to summer) 411 degrees are anticipated to be awarded for 242 graduates. 242 Associates in Arts or Associates in Science, 78 Associates of Applied Sciences, 52 Certificates, 39 Certificates of Completion.

Of the 242 students anticipating graduation, nearly 20% received either the Williams or Regional County Scholarshi

Morton: Creating North Dakota’s high-skilled workforce

Embracing disruption and innovation is critical as the North Dakota University Systems strives to create our 21st Century workforce. Otherwise we will be outpaced by the disruptors.

There is a new game in town and that new game is all about human capital. Companies like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Google are great examples of how today’s information-based economy lets businesses create vast shareholder wealth using very little financial capital but loads of human capital.

Software firms are hardly the only examples. Pharmaceutical firms like Lilly and Amgen, retailers like Kohl’s and Walgreen, even manufacturers like Dell and Applied Materials are all devising business models that generate tons of wealth with very little capital. Money isn’t what today’s firms need most. No, the best companies understand what they desperately need are talented people. Talent of every type is in short supply, but the greatest shortage of all is skilled technical talent.

In North Dakota one of our greatest resources is the human capital on the 11 campuses within the university system. It all starts with our students engaging with a talented and dedicated faculty supported by an outstanding staff organization, and exceptional campus leadership.

All of us within the university system must work closely with state government and the private sector to drive innovation at an accelerated pace. The faculty is skilled, talented, and eager to mold the next generation of leaders. This 21st Century digital transformation presents challenges and opportunities in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, experiential learning, online knowledge transfer, research and the monetization of that research. Lifetime learning must be embraced and presents an expanded market opportunity for higher education.

Innovation begins when the conversation shifts to how great the 11 campuses within our higher education system can be. It takes great humility to be an innovative leader and an innovative organization. It takes humility to admit your shortcomings and your areas of weakness. It takes humility to challenge your own assumptions.  It takes great humility and courage to say: “Let’s improve, we can do better.”

Yes, there is a new game and that new game is all about human capital, innovation, and a move from process accountability to outcome accountability. Our options are to learn this new game, the rules, the roles of the participants and how the rewards are distributed, or we can continue practicing our present skills and become the best players in a game that is no longer being played.

The message is simple – trust people, embrace change, take some chances. Bring great humility to your work place every day. Make a commitment to the idea that one organization can make a difference. Be that one organization.

Board updated on Envision process

Among the largest updates heard by the State Board of Higher Education this week was one that provided an in-depth look into the past two years of the Envision 2030 process.

Through much of the morning session, Chancellor Mark Hagerott provided details on the consensus-building effort of the initiative, which ranged in methods from formal research to informal discussions to listening sessions and two spring summits. Following those numerous conversations, Hagerott noted, system staff began to integrate the findings into one upcoming report.

Hagerott utilized an extensive presentation during the Board meeting to provide context to the “hows” and “whys” of the current round of Envision recommendations, which he noted could help shape strategy moving forward as a complement to the ongoing efforts by the presidents, and the upcoming findings of the Senate Bill 2003 task forces.

Following his brief, Hagerott turned the facilitation of the Envision discussion over to Carrie Herrig, from University of North Dakota. Herrig provided guidance to the Board as members walked through the Envision recommendations. Herrig said she would be introducing six challenging questions to provoke calls-to-action based on some of the recommendations made.

Those questions were:

  • For the medium to long term how do we ensure that higher education receives adequate funding. What is holding us back from getting the resources we need?
  • What is holding back widespread support for building stronger efficiencies in higher education?
  • What is holding back widespread support for providing anytime access to key programs within our institutions of higher education?
  • What is holding back the establishment of strong partnerships and collaborations with our diverse population within higher education? How do we ensure these diverse populations feel supported and recognized during our time of advocacy?
  • How do we find a way forward as we look to reconcile the presence of Big Data and networks, with the need to balance privacy?
  • For the medium and long term, how do we ensure our faculty and staff receive adequate pay and benefits? What is holding us back from getting the resources they need?

Each question prompted dynamic responses from the Board members, presidents, and at times, members of the public. The responses will help shape the next Envision briefing and how it in turn will affect the strategic plan, when the Board meets next month.

Following the Envision update, the Board delved into housekeeping items such as the nominations for board chair and vice chair, presidential evaluations, and updates on SB 2003. Morton and Stemen were named Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.

Conversation regarding the presidential evaluations began by reminding the Board of the staggered evaluation process it had adopted last year, which allowed for more intensive review of leadership at each tier – two-year colleges, four-year universities, and research universities.

On SB 2003, Human Resources Manager Jane Grinde spoke to some HR inconsistencies within the task force findings. Later, Interim Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Strategic Engagement James “Phil” Wisecup provided a more in-depth report as to the progress of the bill’s mandated task forces, which are due to issue their final reports later this year.

Board member Nick Hacker brought forward the consent agenda for the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee. That agenda included recommendations to authorize North Dakota State University to begin formal fundraising for the Richard H. Barry Hall Space renovation; for NDSU to proceed with the Van Es Mechanical Improvements project; for NDSU to begin fundraising for its campaigns regarding a new softball facility, indoor practice facility, and ag products development center; for NDSU to move forward with an expansion of the West Dining Center; for NDSU to increase the project authorization cost for the partial underground steam tunnel replacement project; for University of North Dakota to move ahead with renovation on the Chester Fritz Library; for UND to raise funds for construction of the High Performance Center; to approve the UND master plan; to approve the Minot State University program and enrollment-driven needs; and to approve a revision to the NDSU tuition model, which added one percent in order to maintain revenue neutrality. All were approved.

Chief Financial Officer Tammy Dolan spoke next to the Board concerning the 2019-2021 Budget request process. Dolan provided a timeline of the budget process, as well as noting where the appropriations have been for previous bienniums versus what current guidelines called for.

Board member Mike Ness brought forward the Board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee’s consent agenda recommendations, which included special tenure requests; three new programs at NDSU including a Minor in Honors, Minor and Bachelor of Science in Precision Agriculture, and a Minor in Interior Design; as well as organizational changes at Mayville State University for a new academic division with the Division of Nursing; and a program termination at NDSU regarding its Bachelor of Arts and B.S. in Social Science. All were approved.

Ness brought forward the Board’s Governance Committee consent agenda, which focused on the chancellor’s evaluation. The process was detailed by Chief Compliance Officer Karol Riedman, who noted a survey would be sent out with results sent to the board chair next month.

In other business, the Board held the first reading of Policies 302.1 (Academic and Student Affairs), 302.3 (Budget and Finance), and 302.5 (Governance), which all dealt with its committees. Additionally, the Board held the second reading of Policy 1202.1 (Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources). All were approved. The Board also heard an update on the ground lease for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, although declined to take direct action on it. Additionally, the Board held an executive session to discuss Dr. Lisa Feldner’s complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Updates were also provided by Council of College Faculty President Debora Dragseth, and North Dakota State Staff Senate President Retha Mattern. Dragseth noted that CCF had endorsed the NDSSS letter on funding impacts, before moving into the topic of the CCF’s report card on the Board. Mattern’s update touched on staff work through the summer and how important it was to recognize their hard work throughout the year.

The next scheduled meeting will be the Board’s annual strategic retreat, which will be held June 27-28 at the Northern Great Plains Research Lab in Mandan.

Envision 2030 shaping strategy

Two years after the initial educational summit that kicked off the Envision 2030 initiative, the process has brought forward the first round of recommendations to the State Board of Higher Education.

Initially conceived from the May 2016 summit’s breakout sessions, the goals across 10 different student and workforce “Pillars” have been grouped into three different phases: the short-term of 2019, the mid-term of 2021, and the long-term of 2030. At many junctures these goals and recommendations have had to take economic details into consideration, resulting in goals for the early phases that align with what campuses are already doing well.

Early recommendations have a tendency to favor gradual approaches to certain topics, encouraging campuses, programs or departments to continue on tracks where they’ve found success, or to find ways to study efforts that could result in more opportunity systemwide.

Chancellor Mark Hagerott noted that the initiative would have been at a loss if not for the feedback it had generated from the North Dakota University System’s many stakeholder and constituent groups.

“Two years ago system office staff began the process of seeing if consensus existed among these varied and diverse Pillar topics,” Hagerott said. “After hundreds of conversations, dozens of meetings and listening sessions, and two recent summits attended by students, faculty and staff, we think that we have reached that consensus. We are incredibly grateful for the detailed analyses and perspectives that have been given to us on these numerous topics. The feedback is a strong reminder that we’re all in this together, and all those who participated in this process want the best for higher education in our state.”

Hagerott provided a report on the process to the Board this week, touching on high points relating to funding, partnerships, workforce protection, and maintaining a high degree of opportunities for student success. The report for the 2019 recommendations is set to be finalized soon and provided to the Board in advance of its strategic retreat and annual meeting in June.

MaSU Staff Profile – Wuori

If there’s one person in the North Dakota University System who knows distance education, it has to be Misti Wuori. Few can match Mayville State University’s Director of Extended Learning in the topics of extended learning, distance learning or blended classes. It’s not hard to see why, either, given her extensive background on the topics.

Prior to her current role, where she’s served for nearly a decade, Wuori worked as the distance education program coordinator at MaSU on the Lake Region State College campus. Additionally, she also teaches online Introduction to Sociology courses at MaSU, and serves as the HOV-ITV Consortium Director. Before that, she was an instructor at Turtle Mountain Community College (TMCC) in Belcourt. That’s where she really found her passion for the topic.

“While at TMCC, I was introduced to online and blended teaching, and really loved working with online students and adult learners,” she noted. “When the opportunity came up to work as a distance education program director, online advisor, and online instructor with Mayville State on the Lake Region campus, I felt this was a great opportunity to learn even more about advising online students and adult learners.”

According to Wuori, the opportunities to follow her dream continued to present themselves.

“When the opportunity came up to move to Mayville and serve as the Director of Admissions and Extended Learning, it felt like a great chance to keep working to expand online learning opportunities for rural students and adult learners,” she said. “This is definitely my passion!”

Her day-to-day work takes her through a number of related topics, including committees on university marketing committee, curriculum, online learning, learner accessibility, strategic planning, diversity, institutional reaccreditation, technology planning, Starfish analytics, provisional admission, student affairs, and more.

“I work on online program enrollment planning and expanding opportunities for MaSU’s online students; supporting MaSU’s full-time distance education program directors on the LRSC and Williston State College campuses; developing marketing campaigns and marketing materials for MaSU’s online programs; and directing all operations of our eight person department that includes distance and online advisors, dual credit programs and admissions, nondegree/collaborative and continuing education opportunities and admissions; Moodle/Blackboard support; instructional design; online student support services; articulation agreements; and state authorization and compliance.”

And, if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also gets plenty student interaction as well.

“I also carry an online student advising load, and teach online and dual credit SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology in the fall and spring semesters,” Wuori added, noting that she really enjoyed the diversity of her workload, which provides regular opportunities to work with different areas of the campus and learn something new.

“I enjoy providing personal attention to our online students and helping to resolve questions and concerns, and working with program advisors and academic departments in improving the support services and online learning opportunities they provide online students,” she said. “I really enjoy advising transfer students, online students, and adult learners. It is so rewarding to help students achieve their goals and earn their degrees!”

With that many responsibilities, challenges can present themselves. Two that should be familiar to many revolve around shifts in personnel and in the adoption of new tech.

“The biggest challenges for our area have been the turnover in staff to other positions in the university system or to other areas of the state, as well as the migration from Moodle to Blackboard,” Wuori added. “We are so busy in our rapidly growing area that any staff changes or major projects expand the workload significantly for all involved in Extended Learning. I have had the opportunity to work with many talented and dedicated staff members over the years! It has been very rewarding.”

Wuori’s passion and enthusiasm for her work have definitely helped her department and campus goals. Along the way, she’s even been honored with the Orville Johnson Meritorious Service Award, which is awarded to MaSU employees who show “outstanding dedication, loyalty and trustworthiness” in their work. Those qualities are also a likely reason she was also nominated for, and currently serves as, MaSU’s Staff Senate President and State Staff Senate Secretary.

She also serves as the secretary of her church council, Hillsboro United Parish.

Wuori concluded that she was grateful for her community, friends and colleagues.

“Mayville State is a great place to work!” she exclaimed. “The students, staff, and faculty are terrific and very caring. My husband had an extensive health crisis in fall 2016 due to a very complicated brain tumor and subsequent complications. He was hospitalized for four and a half months in different facilities. The support I had from my supervisor and other staff members to balance being with him at the hospital and to continue to do my work was amazing.  I am so grateful to the Mayville State community for all the support!”

Bannier: Expanding chemistry education

Don’t trust atoms… they make up everything.

There are many ways to bridge difficult subjects, with humor being but one of many. Chemistry can certainly be considered an intimidating subject to the uninitiated, but one professor at Lake Region State College has been finding new and intriguing ways to bring the topic to her students. Although she doesn’t necessarily resort to ancient chemistry jokes like that one to do it.

Dr. Betsy Bannier, Professor of Chemistry, has been working in her current role teaching online chemistry full-time for LRSC since 2008. But, she’s been connected to the school for far longer.

From 1998 through 2001, she taught as an adjunct instructor for LRSC at the Education Center on Grand Forks Air Force Base, where she discovered that she really loved working with nontraditional students. Later, she began teaching chemistry classes online on a part-time basis.

“Many people don’t realize that LRSC and the North Dakota University System were among the nation’s pioneers in offering laboratory science classes online,” she stated. “I’m proud to have been a small part of that!”

Bannier stated that if there was one aspect of her role that she enjoyed more than others, it was in helping students connect chemistry concepts to their own real world interests.

“For many students, and perhaps especially for adults returning to school for very specific purposes, understanding the ‘So what?’ behind the subtopics of the course they are working through is really important,” she said. “’So what? How is this going to help me in a hospital/on the farm/on an oil rig?’ Those are fair questions, and helping students really understand those connections is a highlight of my job.”

Bannier teaches entirely online, and noted that she enjoyed playing a small role with other online faculty in offering life-changing opportunities through distance ed.

“There are plenty of learners on our campuses for whom online courses are one tool among many in, for example, completing a degree at an accelerated pace or managing an occasional on-campus scheduling conflict,” she said. “I’m glad those students have access to online classes! For me personally, however, the greatest reward is in working with students whose only avenue to a certificate or a degree is via distance education. There are so many folks who are working full time, raising young children or caring for elders, serving active duty in the military, managing health conditions, et cetera, whom we will never see on campus. Distance education is a life changer for these students. I love having a hand in providing that service.”

Teaching – especially through the digital realm – can bring plenty of changes. For Bannier, the biggest that she’s seen in the past decade was the sheer increase in availability of diverse, high quality lab activities in her subject.

“When I began teaching online, I was shipping lab kits to students myself,” she recalled. “This approach served its purpose, but making use of newer laboratory learning services – which are inexpensive and customizable – is so much more efficient.

“What hasn’t changed is my ‘old school’ use of the telephone in connecting with and assisting some of my returning adult students,” she added. “Videoconferencing with all of the accompanying bells and whistles is great, but for some returning adults, stepping away from the computer and simply talking through course-related questions over the phone is more comfortable. When students are comfortable with their learning tools, learning improves.”

While online spaces can allow for plenty of off-topic remarks and conversations, Bannier said these types of discussions have a tendency to strengthen the learning environment in her digital classrooms.

“It’s easy to overlook the importance of the informal connections which take place in (and just before/just after) face-to-face classes,” she said. “Discussing weekend plans, children’s antics, and crazy work shifts is precisely what leads students to become comfortable correcting each other’s chemistry practice problems and working together on projects. If you find a photo in my course shells featuring my tabby cat ‘reading’ a chemistry book, or wonder about my asking for gardening tips in an online class discussion, now you know why.”

While her role focuses on instruction, Bannier does find time for educational research, publishing and speaking about her findings.

“I find it personally interesting – research activities are completed after and outside of my teaching responsibilities, which always come first. I also serve on several committees, and currently serve as vice president of the Council of College Faculties, a role I enjoy and take seriously,” she added. Beyond those roles, she also has a neat volunteer gig with NASA.

“I’m a Solar System Ambassador – a member of a volunteer outreach program coordinated by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,” Bannier said. “I have access to training and materials provided by NASA scientists, and in turn I develop community outreach programming to share with others. The programs I coordinate range from brief classroom visits and library events to larger community events such as space-themed science fairs and Solar System Explorers nights at neighborhood community centers.”

Outside of the academic sphere, she focuses on aiding the needs of the homeless and of children, providing meals for two programs benefitting homeless members of my community.

“During the winter months, I bring a hot dinner for 30 guests once per month to a facility which serves as a temporary overnight shelter,” she said. “During the warmer months, I prepare bagged dinners once per month which are delivered by an amazing man named Larry, who was formerly homeless himself, to areas of the city where homeless individuals seek outdoor shelter.

“Every December, my mother and I coordinate The Santa Project, where we accept donations of school supplies and candy to prepare and ship Santa Bags to children at a school in a deep poverty district in rural Mississippi,” Bannier continued. “This past December was the 10th year of The Santa Project, which has now delivered over 5,000 gift bags.”

Bannier added that her 20 years in education have provided plenty to be proud of.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been twenty years since I taught my first class for Lake Region State College,” she concluded. “When I applied, I thought teaching would make a pleasant part-time job for a few years. Ha! As it turned out, I loved it, and had the benefit of excellent mentoring from more seasoned educators along the way. Lake Region State College is more than a college, it’s a family, and one in which I’m proud to be a member.”

Media Coverage Summary – Friday, May 18

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, May 18


Bismarck State College
BSC faculty and staff receive promotions and excellence awards
BSC hosts tech camp for middle and high school students

Dakota College at Bottineau
Wildlife of ND Featuring Pollinators Workshop

Dickinson State University
2018 Faculty & Staff Recognition and Awards Ceremony
Blue Hawk Supporter – May 2018

Lake Region State College
Adult Ed holds graduation

Mayville State University
Enjoy an F-M RedHawks game with your Mayville State friends
Mayville State University’s 126th commencement held

Minot State University
MSU opens new doors for Teske
Brost sets her sights on the courtroom
MSU works with fifth graders to produce a newspaper

North Dakota State College of Science
Daily News: Almost 700 students graduate from NDSCS Friday, May 11

North Dakota State University
Thousands graduate from NDSU, UND in Spring Commencement
NDSU Grad Has Musical Role in Commencement Ceremony
Pharmacy students provide stroke education program in communities
NDSU engineering grad starts robotics camp company
Spidey strength: Scientist hopes to harness the superpower of spiders
NDSU to Host Climate Workshop
Clay Ream Named to Google Cloud Academic All-District® 6 Division I Men’s At-Large Team

University of North Dakota
McGimpsey announces shift in career
New website launches May 21
Lieutenant, at last
Brent Sanford details journey to serve
Leaders in Action on center stage

Valley City State University
This week’s Hotline

Williston State College
More than 240 graduates set off from WSC

North Dakota University System

Media Coverage Summary – May 11

The following is a roundup of news on North Dakota University System’s 11 public colleges and universities for the week ending Friday, May 11


Bismarck State College
BSC to celebrate 78th commencement
High school juniors and seniors invited to campus June 8
BSC Carpentry open house showcases student-built home
Summer Training Opportunities Available

Dakota College at Bottineau
DCB Recognizes the First LEAP Graduates

Dickinson State University
The Need For Sustainability In Our Soil
DSU Announces 2018 Outstanding Senior Athletes
DSU softball returns to NAIA softball playoffs

Lake Region State College
DECA students compete at nationals
Learning Commons Grand Opening

Mayville State University
Thank you for celebrating with us!
Hagerott to deliver the annual commencement address
Mayville State University football team volunteers

Minot State University
Minot State helps Bender achieve her goals
In the lab, on the stage, Kraft thrives
Miller pushes personal boundaries, helps fellow students

North Dakota State College of Science
NDSCS Commencement Ceremony set for Friday, May 11
NDSCS Employees Honored at Employee Recognition Program
Daily News: Agawasie Day

North Dakota State University
Sen. Hoeven learns about NDSU’s defense projects
Beloved NDSU ag prof touches minds, hearts
NDSU’s Collegiate CattleWomen promote beef for runners
Terrible twister: Book offers abundant imagery of Fargo’s 1957 tornado, aftermath
Student winners named for Architecture for the Birds challenge
NDSU ranked highly for precision ag education
‘I can’t ask for more’: NDSU student, son of immigrants, to graduate at age 19
Commencement speaker to urge classmates to try to solve world’s problems
Commencement speaker to urge teamwork, leadership

University of North Dakota
Main Street GF — challenge accepted
Revolutionary outlook
Degrees above the rest
Mission complete
The Big sweep

Valley City State University
VCSU commencement to be held Saturday, May 12

Williston State College
Burgum visits WSC during Williston stop

North Dakota University System

Online applications now open for STEM student loan forgiveness

College graduates employed in STEM-related occupations in North Dakota may be eligible for student loan forgiveness through the 2018 STEM Loan Forgiveness Program administered by the North Dakota University System (NDUS) and the Bank of North Dakota. STEM-related occupations include jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Applications for the STEM Student Loan Forgiveness program are open from Monday, May 1 to Thursday, May 31.

The STEM Occupations Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to reduce loan indebtedness for college graduates who work in STEM-related fields in North Dakota. The program provides for eligibility of up to $6,000 awarded in a lifetime. To qualify as an applicant for loan forgiveness under this program, applicants must:

  • Have completed an approved, STEM-related program of study through a board-approved college;
  • Have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 grading system;
  • Have a gross annual salary or equivalent hourly wage of $60,000 or less;
  • Have been employed in a board-approved STEM occupation for 12 months in North Dakota following graduation;
  • Hold a qualifying federal student loan or Bank of North Dakota DEAL Loan or DEAL One Loan that is not in default.

The number of loan forgiveness applications approved each year is contingent upon legislative appropriations. Not all qualified applicants are assured funding.  Applicants who meet these qualifications will be considered based on the date their completed application is received by the NDUS. Award recipients will be notified by July 31. Applicants must re-apply annually for funding consideration.

The application is available online at Contact NDUS at 701-328-2906 or at if you have any questions.