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University Communications

MSU students honored with Student Leadership & Engagement Award

MINOT, N.D. – Minot State University selected 17 students to receive the Student Leadership & Engagement Award, previously recognized as the Who’s Who Among Students in American University and Colleges.

Students were chosen based on their academic achievement, service to Minot State and to the greater Minot community, participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities as well as potential for continued success.

Earning the award in 2017-18 is: McKinley Bender, Minot, senior, biology; Michaela Brost, senior, Oakhurst, Calif., history; Shyla Carr, Spokane, Wash., biology; Zhi Yang Chan, Ipoh, Malaysia, senior, energy economics and finance; Ryan Fila, Sedalia, Colo., senior, finance; Larisa Johnson, Golden, British Columbia, senior, communication disorders; Taylor Jundt, Minot, senior, biology; Jessica Klassen, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, senior, history education; Haddie Lucy, Minot, senior, finance; Aaron Richard, Kasson, Minn., senior, management information systems; Hailey Richards, Humboldt, Saskatchewan, senior, communication disorders; Katelynn Schettler, Brandon, Manitoba, senior, communication disorders; Stephanie Sundhagen, Tioga, N.D., senior, chemistry education; Jade Teske, Westhope, N.D., senior, corporate fitness; Jordan Torgunrud, Estevan, Saskatchewan, senior, chemistry; Kaitlin Walker, Minot, senior, mathematics education; and Shelby Zahn, Towner, N.D., senior, elementary education.

“It is an honor to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Minot State University student leaders through this award,” said MSU Student Activities Coordinator Aaron Hughes. “Selections based on academic achievement, service to our campus and community, and leadership in both academic and extracurricular activities – these students have so much to be proud of. As a campus, we too, are proud of the commitment and dedication our students have to becoming well rounded individuals.”

Student must have attended MSU full-time for four consecutive terms, including the current fall term (excluding summer sessions) and be a university junior or senior (or more credits). Individuals are required a minimum a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and the student must not have received a previous bachelor's degree. The selection process is carried out by fellow students, faculty, and staff.

McKinley Bender has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her time at MSU. While attending Minot State, Bender has been a member of the Biology Research Neurophysiology and Psychology Team, as well as the Beta Gamma Phi Science Club of which she served as treasurer and as club representative on the Clubs and Student Organizations Committee. She has served as a Peer Mentor and as an Orientation/Transitions Leader. In the community, she has taken part in the MSU “Swabathon” Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive, worked as a Roomegrot Stirrer at the Norsk Hoestfest for First Lutheran Church, helped with the Spooky Dash for a community outreach project, and has trimmed bushes and hedges around campus as part of a UNIV 110 class. Bender was a recipient of the Great Plains Distinctive and Engaged Scholars Award.

Michaela Brost has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her time at MSU. She has been a member of the League of Social Sciences since 2015 and has served as their president and treasurer. She has been a peer mentor, aiding other students, and has assisted Dr. Harry Hoffman with research on three different projects, helping to edit one prior to final submission, and helped with a promotional video for the history department in spring 2017. She has taken part in many community events, including a bone marrow drive and working chili fundraisers every semester, which raised money for the Men’s Winter Refuge and a WWI Memorial to be established on campus. She helped organize a 5k run in Fall 2016 and volunteered with the “Dancing with Special Stars” fundraising event for Special Olympics in Spring 2017. Brost has been a member of the Alpha XIXI Chapter of Phi Alpha Thata, a history honor society, since 2016 and represented the Minot chapter at the conference in New Orleans in January of this year. She presented a paper at the Northern Great Plains History Conference in October 2017, and completed a summer internship at the Fresno California District Attorney’s Office in 2017.

Shyla Carr is an active member of Beta Theta Sorority, currently serving as their president. She is a member and current chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and is also a member of the women’s basketball team, Honors Program and Greek Life Council. Through the Beta Theta Sorority, she has volunteered in the community with Roosevelt Park Zoo cleanup, put together care packages for families in the NICU for the Magic Day of Giving, participated in a Chili Cook-Off to benefit Souris Valley United Way, took part in a suicide awareness campaign, and collected donations for various other fundraisers. As a member of the basketball team she assisted with the Backpack Buddies for United Way, coached Future Beavers Camps, participated in a video against texting and driving, and served as scorekeeper and referee for various tournaments. Shyla has collected donation for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, took part in an event to raise money for an injured MSU football team member, helped with events for mental health and sexual assault awareness, and has begun to organize a 5K fundraiser for the foundation. Carr has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List, and was on the NSIC All-Conference Academic Team 2016-17 and the MSU All-Winter Academic Team for the winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Zhi Yang Chan has been active in MSU Student Life activities, serving as co-chair in 2016-17, the Finance Club, MSU Life Club, and Resident Hall Association. He has served as a resident assistant and resident hall director for the housing office, and was an orientation leader for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning. In 2015-16 he was part of the table tennis intramural championship team. In the community he has volunteered time to help with Backpack Buddies – a program of the Souris Valley United Way, clean-up at Roosevelt Park Zoo, Fill the Bus program, and Habitat for Humanity. Chan has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll.

Ryan Fila is a member of the MSU football team serving as team captain, and has been a member of the Finance Club where he was president, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society where he also served as president. He has also taken time to serve as a tutor and been involved in the StepUp Program. In the community Fila has volunteered time with Special Olympics, and various youth organizations and sports, and helped in providing security for events.

Larisa Johnson serves as a peer mentor for the Advancing Student Towards Education and Employment Program (ASTEP) where she works with students with intellectual disabilities. She is a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), currently serving as secretary. Through this organization she has participated in children’s parties, block parties, and helped provide security at MSU hockey games, as well as helping to organize the Miles for Smiles walk to raise money for Operation Smile in April of 2017. She is also a member and past secretary of the MSU Special Olympics Club where she has volunteered at Special Olympics North Dakota Winter Games and various other events that the club sponsors. Johnson has volunteered her time in the community to help with Sertoma Christmas at the Park, scooped ice cream for Norsk Hostfest to raise money for Western Plains Opera and Children’s Chorus, and worked as a swim coach and basketball coach for Special Olympics North Dakota. While attending MSU, she has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll, the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll and the Engagement Honor Roll.

Taylor Jundt is a member of the Science Club and is co-founder and current co-president of the P.A.W.S. Club. She was a speaker at the MSU Honor Panel in fall 2016. She enjoys volunteering in the community and, as a member of the P.A.W.S. Club, she organized the Fido 5K Fun-Run to raise money for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter in Spring 2016 and 2017 and the Souris Valley Animal Shelter Photoshoot in the winter of 2016 and 17, as well as helping with Jasper’s Walk. She has volunteered and served as an intern at Roosevelt Park Zoo, participated in MSU Homecoming parades and Halloween at the Dome and Auditorium, and helped with the Science Club Open House, Science Club STEM event, the Science Club Scheels Event. Jundt has been a part of the Honors Program since 2014.

Jessica Klassen is a member of the League of Social Sciences, where she has served as vice president, historian, and secretary, and is also a member of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society: Alpha Xi Xi Chapter, and the MSU Honor Society. She has served as a tutor and peer mentor for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning. Klassen has volunteered in the community at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter and has helped raise funds for the Minot Men’s Winter Refuge and for WWI Memorial trees at MSU. She also did fundraising and activity planning for Wood Mountain Rodeo Ranch Museum in her home province of Saskatchewan. She is a member of the National Honor Society for History – Phi Alpha Theta and presented a paper at their biennial conference in New Orleans in January of this year. She also presented a paper at the Northern Great Plains History Conference in Grand Forks in 2017.

Haddie Lucy is currently secretary of the Finance Club. In 2017 Lucy was nominated by three professors to be considered for the Roger Looyenga Leadership Development Program. She was accepted and is currently attending weekly seminars as well as planning and organizing a group project for the program. In the community she was trained to be a certified dog walker for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter. She has volunteered with Project CLEAN to help clean up the city of Minot at the end of winter. She has taken part in the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Campaign to raise money for breast cancer awareness and this year will participate in the Souris Valley United Way Little Black Dress Campaign. She has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll.

Aaron Richard is a member of the Student Government Association where he previously served as a freshmen senator and college of Business senator, and is the current Student Body President. He is a student recruiter for enrollment services and as such has taken part in the Minnesota Education Fairs, MSU Education Fair and Minot High School Education Fair. Aaron is CONNECT Orientation Leader for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, assisting new students as they transition into university life. He is a Social Media Ambassador for the department of marketing and is a member of Phi Beta Lambda, the Sivertson Entrepreneurship Club, DECA, and the Rodger Looyenga Scholarship and Leadership Development Program. In the community Aaron has helped paint the exterior of the YWCA during Welcome Week of 2017, collected leaves for the giraffes to eat and cleaned up lawns at Roosevelt Park Zoo. Richard was featured in the December issue of Prairie Business Magazine: Next Generation and in the Red and Green in April 2017. He has been listed on the President’s Honor Roll and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll, and has been recognized as the SGA Senator of the Month and CETL Student of the Month.

Hailey Richards is a member of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) – both Minot and National, currently serving as treasurer. She has been active as a Student Ambassador since 2015 and is currently on their executive board as vice president. Hailey is a mentor for Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP) where she helps students with disabilities transition to college and work, and is involved with the MSU Special Olympics Club where she served as treasurer in 2016-17. She has volunteered her time in the community to work with Meals on Wheels, MSU Red and Green Preview Days, MSU Communication Disorders Clinic Children’s Party, MSU hockey, Trinity Nursing Home, Halloween at the Auditorium, Taco Johns Crunch for a Cause, Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament, Spread the Work to End the Word Campaign, MSU Gala, Norsk Hostfest, Souris River Basin Long Beards Banquet, Special Olympics ND Polar Plunge, Ducks Unlimited Banquet, and SERTOMA Christmas in the Park. Richards has been listed on the President’s Honor Roll, the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll, and the Engagement Honor Roll and has received the Athletic Directors Academic Achievement Award for Fall Spring 2015.

Katelynn Schettler is a member of the National Student Speech and Hearing Association and Sigma Delta Sorority of which she is the current treasurer. She is a student Mentor for the ASTEP Program and has worked as a residence hall desk clerk/office assistant. In the community she has volunteered her time at MSU hockey games, the Trinity Nursing Home, MSU Homecoming Parade, MSU Block Party and Halloween at the Auditorium. She organized a campus-wide service project for the YWCA to donate hygiene kits to local women and children. Schettler has attended the NSSLHA Annual Conference twice and explored various strategies to promote speech development in infants, toddlers and school-aged children. She has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll.

Stephanie Sundhagen is a member of the Residence Hall Association, serving as the Crane Hall representative in 2015-16 and as president for 2016-17. She is a College of Arts and Sciences Senator on the Student Government Association, and is a member of the MSU Science Club, and the MSU Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society, where she has served as treasurer for the past two years. As part of this student group she has traveled to the ACS National Conference to present a poster as well as their chapter poster. In her home community of Tioga, Sundhagen volunteers at the Tioga Theater and the Tioga Fire and Ambulance fundraiser. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and the National Science Teachers Association. She has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll, and was Senator of the Month for December 2017.

Jade Teske is a member of the Minot State Club of Physical Educators (MSCOPE) and served as president in 2016-17. She was on the varsity golf team in 2014-15 and was a member of the StepUp Committee in 2017. She served as a peer mentor for “How to Guide to Wellness” and was a student representative for Fall Preview Day. In 2016 Teske traveled to Jamaica on an International Teaching Tour where she taught Water Aerobics and Yoga. In the community, Teske has volunteered in the community to work at the Roosevelt Park Zoo, Norsk Hostfest to provide security, and at College for Kids Fit Camp and Kids Yoga/Rockwall Camp. She was recognized as Employee of the Month for the Wellness Center in August 2015 and has received the SHAPE America Award.

Jordan Torgunrud is a member of the MSU Honor Society since 2013, serving as vice president from 2014-2017 and currently as president. She is a member of AUGITE (Geology Club) and is their current secretary and past vice president. She is a member and current vice president of the Science Club, and a member and current president of the Student Chapter of the American Chemical Society of which she was past secretary in 2016-17. She serves on the Honors Advisory Council and was on the Analytical Chemistry Faculty Search Committee as a student representative in fall 2016. As part of her honors problem-solving course, Torgunrud participated in the Pause for Paws event to help collect donations for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter, where she also volunteers. She has been listed on the President’s Honor Roll, the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll and the Engagement Honor Roll, and was selected as the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning Student of the Month for November 2017. She was chosen as the American Chemical Society Organic Chemistry Student of the Year for 2017-18 and earned Best Presentation at the Undergraduate Research in Molecular Sciences Conferences in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Kaitlin Walker is a member of the Student Government Association, through which she served as Senator for Teacher Education and Health Sciences in 2015-17 and is their current vice president of finance. She is a member of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), currently serving as treasurer, and was recently elected as the State PBL officer for 2018-19. In the community Kaitlin has helped with Tech Day through the College of Business, United Way Backpack Buddies, Blankets for Puppies where they made fleece blankets for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter, and Pause for Paws to gather donations and raise money for the animal shelter, as well as get the word out about adoption of pets. She has volunteered at the Bread of Life Lutheran Church to watch children during council meetings, and taken part in the CLC Science Club at Lewis Clark Elementary School. She has assisted with the Honor Society Babysitting Night and a National Ski Patrol Candidate in the process of training and practicing to earn her certification as a volunteer ski patrol member. Walker is a member of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). She has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll.

Shelby Zahn has served as a MSU Life Team member and Co-Director of Events, and a Transitions Leader. In the community Zahn is actively involved in the North Dakota Leadership Seminar which puts on a Statewide Day of Service every year. Last year she was asked to be the director for the Minot area service project.

ABOUT MINOT STATE UNIVERSITY
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/03/18



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