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Be seen. Be heard.

MSU Profiles

Family inspiration leads to academic discovery

If anyone has spent time on the Minot State University campus there is a good chance they've crossed paths with Chelsea Geis. Geis, a senior special education major, made it a point to put her passion for people at the forefront of her involvement, both in and outside of the classroom.

"I have to visit with people, and I have to get to know people. I'm 99 percent extrovert," Geis said.

It didn't take the Yorkton, Saskatchewan, native long to decide that MSU was where she wanted to be.

"I knew I didn't want to go to a big university," Geis said, "When I toured here it took five minutes and that was it."

Geis was so taken with MSU she didn't apply anywhere else. The smaller campus and tight-knit community were just what she was looking for.

"I wanted to be seen and recognized," Geis remembered. She wasted no time living up to the MSU motto, "Be seen. Be heard."

During her freshman year, she belonged to more than seven student clubs and organizations.

"I felt the more involved I was the more I wouldn't miss home," Geis said.

Geis was a member of the Student Government Association, Campus Players, Red & Green, and the Student Ambassadors to name a few. She also joined the Beta Theta Sorority.

"I didn't want to join at first because of the stereotypes associated with Greek life," Geis recalled, "But then when I met [the sorority members], it was a complete 360."

Geis serves on the executive board as executive at-large and as the philanthropy chair for Beta Theta, where all members perform 25-50 hours of community service per semester. She earned a place on the President's List as a top-performing student in addition to working part time and her litany of extracurricular activities.

Family is a central part of Geis' journey. Her brother, Cody, who has autism, inspired her to pursue a degree in special education.

"He started the path for me. He's the reason why I'm here," Geis related.

Geis also credits her MSU professors as being a key to her success.

"The Department of Special Education is really good at finding community engagement opportunities," Geis said "And from there, you make connections with people from different agencies. I got a lot more field experience here than I would've gotten at a Canadian university."

DSE's involvement with the Minot community allowed Geis to take advantage of a wealth of opportunities with local schools and government organizations. She currently works with Community Options, a government agency that assists people with disabilities develop practical skills that support independent living. She works on the Person Centered Support Plan, which helps individuals meet personal incomes made by the PCSP team. These experiences have greatly enhanced Geis' academic experience.

"I take my work experience with me into the classroom," Geis said. "The more practical experience you can bring in to the classroom the more options you will have when you graduate."

The future is bright indeed for this spirited special education major. She is recently engaged and plans to start a career in Minot after graduation.

"I got so attached to this place," Geis said. "I have my life here now."