Sept. 9, 2015
Next Issue: Sept. 23, 2015
Submissions Due: noon Sept. 16, 2015
Administration, second floor
Voice: 858-3298 - Fax: 858-4481

WPO rekindles creative spirit with ‘The Magic Flute’

Reigniting Western Plains Opera’s creative fire, Mark McQuade, music associate professor and new WPO general director, will direct as well as produce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on Friday (Sept. 11) at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday (Sept. 13) at 3 p.m. “The Magic Flute,” which is in English, has themes of love, truth, good versus evil and redemption and takes a slightly different twist on the original story. It is modernized and set in Las Vegas.

“There are some pretty cool similarities brought from the crazy, jumbled story of ‘The Magic Flute’ into modern times,” McQuade said. “Bringing it into the modern era, we are taking the Evil Queen and others into a place where there is lots of magic in the world, Las Vegas, but somewhere we can relate. The opposing entities, the queen and Egyptian prince, are set in two rival, separate hotels.”

The opera will feature guest artists, all new to WPO, along with community singers.

The professional performers are George Hogan, bass from Belton, Texas; Christopher Holmes, a baritone from Salt Lake City; Zachary Devin, tenor from St. Louis; and Jennifer McQuade, a soprano from Minot. Jennifer McQuade, who is originally from New Brunswick, Canada, has also joined MSU faculty as an instructor of music.    

WPO, one of Minot State University's premier arts organizations, has built an established opera tradition within the region, beginning with “The Student Prince” in 1976. WPO, which is funded by donations and grants, also sponsors musicals and concerts of the Western Plains Children’s Chorus.

“In the Minot community, there is a huge, incredible support for the arts — evident through the symphony, the opera, the dance studios,” Mark McQuade said. “I am hoping that we can increase the opera’s exposure in the region and expand the season from one to three productions and a Broadway musical. We have to find ways to bring people in and also find the revenue sources.”

Ticket prices for “The Magic Flute” range from $15 to $25 by seating choice. Tickets can be purchased through the WPO website, www.WPOpera.org, or the WPO Facebook page, www.facebook.com/WesternPlainsOpera, or by calling 858-3185.

MSU Homecoming 2015: ‘Building Beaver Nation’

Minot State University continues its tradition of excellence with its 87th Homecoming, which centers on the theme of “Building Beaver Nation.” Homecoming Week officially kicks off Sept. 15 and runs through Sept. 19.

“Each year Homecoming gets bigger and better, and I’m excited to see it all come together!” said Janna McKechnie, director of alumni relations and annual giving. “As Minot State joins forces with our community supporters in ‘Building Beaver Nation,’ we hope people will participate in the many events available for our alumni and friends.”

For the entire community, MSU hosts the Community Block Party Sept. 15, 5-7 p.m., in front of the Dome on 11th Avenue. The Block Party, which is free and open to the public, promises family fun and entertainment for all ages. There will be free food (while it lasts), bounce houses and assorted kids’ activities, door prizes and music by the MSU Marching Band and Jason LeVasseur. Registration for the Beaver 5K Fun Run/Walk is at 4:30 p.m., or by calling Stu Melby, head cross country/track and field coach, in advance at 858-3268. The race, which is a fundraiser for athletic teams, begins at 5:45 p.m. Homecoming coronation at 6:30 p.m. caps the evening festivities. In case of inclement weather, all Community Block Party activities will move inside the Dome.

At Herb Parker Stadium at 7 p.m., the MSU Soccer Team will battle against the University of Mary.

To honor donors to the university, the Office of the President will host a President’s Club Luncheon Sept. 16.

Sept. 17, recipients receive the highest honor bestowed by the MSU Alumni Association at a banquet in the Conference Center at 6 p.m. Linda (Wagner) Christianson, Deb (David) Schultz and Sandy (Schjeldahl) Starr are the 2015 Golden Award recipients, while Dr. Tami Jollie-Trottier will receive the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Banquet tickets are $30 and can be reserved by calling 858-3373.

Also that evening, the MSU Volleyball Team will play Minnesota State University-Moorhead in the Dome at 7 p.m.

Sept. 18, the Homecoming Alumni Reunion, open to all MSU alumni and friends of the university, will convene at the Grand Hotel, 7 p.m. This year, members of Sigma Tau Gamma, Gamma Delta Chapter, will celebrate the fraternity’s 50th anniversary. Other special reunion groups include the ’95-’96 and ’97-’98 women’s basketball teams.

The Embermen 5 will also perform their Last Hurrah Concert that evening in the Minot Municipal Auditorium at 8 p.m. The concert will feature Soulshine as well. Tickets are $20, and all proceeds will go to MSU Greek Life.

Homecoming reaches its apex Sept. 19 with the Homecoming Parade at 10:30 a.m. The parade route will culminate in the Dome parking lot.

A tailgate party will follow in front of the Dome on 11th Avenue. The MSU Beavers face off against Concordia University, St. Paul, in football at Herb Parker Stadium, 1:30 p.m. During halftime, the Homecoming Royalty, the Sigma Tau Gammas and the ’95-’96 and ’97-’98 women’s basketball teams will be introduced.

For more information, visit the Homecoming Week website or call student activities at 858-3987, advancement at 858-3373 or athletics at 858-3041.

‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Allies ... All are Welcome’

Pride Minot will present “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Allies ... All are Welcome” Monday (Sept. 14) in the Conference Center, 1 to 3 p.m. Pride Minot is a local organization that strives to build pride in the Minot community while creating a strong network for LGBT persons, www.prideminot.org. The LGBTQ Club and the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities are sponsoring the event as part of NDCPD’s cultural competence initiative. For questions, contact Becky Daigneault, NDCPD case manager and research associate, at 858-3469 or Rebecca.daigneault@minotstateu.edu.

MSU president opens Democracy Cafes with ‘MSU and Minot’

Opening the fall semester Democracy Cafes on Tuesday (Sept. 15), Steven Shirley, Minot State University president, will lead discussion on “MSU and Minot: Growing Together” at Broadway Bean and Bagel (1701 South Broadway), 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Democracy Cafes, which meet every three weeks in Minot venues, foster nonpartisan discussion on important civic issues.

Funded by Minot State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the event is free and open to the public. For questions, contact Jynette Larshus, associate professor of sociology, at 858-4324 or Jynette.larshus@minostateu.edu.

High school students explore possibilities at Futurepalooza

Futurepalooza, an annual signature event, showcases professionals and post-secondary schools highlighting career and educational opportunities for high school and Minot State University students. MSU will host Futurepalooza on Tuesday (Sept. 15) in the Ann Nicole Nelson Hall and the Dome. Exciting presentations and informational booths will be free and open to students, parents and community members, 9:30 a.m.-noon.

“Futurepalooza will be bigger this year with some fun additions,” said Carissa Botton, admissions counselor and Futurepalooza organizer. “High school students will have the opportunity to experience what MSU has to offer!”

Twenty-five area high schools plan to have students attend. Kyle Scheele, a youth motivational speaker, will show students how their lives will be defined by the actions they take, the people they help and the lives they change.

Fifty presenters from 14 career categories will participate in round table sessions with the students. They will discuss their education backgrounds and the steps they took to achieve professional success.      

Post-secondary schools and military branches from across the region will also exhibit at the event. These include 42 colleges, universities, institutes or academies from North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Manitoba and Montana.

“Futurepalooza could be one of the most important events students attend this year,” said Kevin Harmon, vice president for student affairs. “We have experts from a wide variety of career fields and every North Dakota higher education institution in the same place, at the same time!”

For questions about Futurepalooza, contact Botton at carissa.botton.1@minotstateu.edu or 858-3351.

NOTSTOCK art festival to return

NOTSTOCK will be back Sept. 23-26 with new and exciting opportunities for guests to participate in the arts. Minot State University’s annual live, signature arts festival, NOTSTOCK 2015, celebrates four days of printmaking, poetry, music, ceramics, theatre, dance, foreign language and communication arts and features two special art exhibits. Most events take place on MSU’s campus, and all are free of charge.

For a complete list of times and events, visit www.msunotstock.org. All events and performances are free and open to the public.

Vocal Function Lab benefits from community grant

The MSU Communication Disorders Department Vocal Function Laboratory is equipped with a new patient exam chair after receiving a $5,000 community grant from Sertoma International in March 2015. With the grant, the department completed renovations to the voice lab that began in 2013 after the Minot Sertoma Club donated $36,000 to the MSU Development Foundation for the purchase of new digital voice equipment for the lab.

“We are excited to partner with our local Sertoma Club and Sertoma International to provide state-of-the art equipment and facilities in the Communication Disorders Department Vocal Function Laboratory,” said Leisa Harmon, former department chair. “These resources allow us to provide students with experiences not available in many other communication disorders programs while also providing valuable voice therapy options for members of the university and Minot area communities.”

The new exam chair is an integral part of the lab which is used primarily by MSU faculty and graduate students to conduct voice evaluations and treatment of individuals who have voice disorders. These clients include community members and MSU students, faculty and staff who may have issues with their speaking and/or singing voices. Health care professionals also use the chair and voice lab during the quarterly Minot Cleft Palate Clinic, a service of North Dakota Department of Health Children’s Special Health Services. The Cleft Palate Team serves individuals with clefts of the lip and palate from the region. MSU faculty and students are also involved with the team.

New faculty and staff aboard

Minot State University welcomes new employees, Efrain Amaya, Laee Choi, Megan Fixen, Elaheh Gorgin, Dan Langemo, Christina Paxman, Dane Schaffer, Jennifer Sherman, Surya Thapa Magar and Amber Wright.

Amaya, music assistant professor, composer and Minot Symphony Orchestra conductor, previously taught at Rider University in Lawrence, N.J. He earned bachelor’s degrees in composition and piano from Indiana University and a master’s degree in conducting from Rice University. His wife, Susana Amundarain, is an art adjunct faculty member.

Choi, business administration assistant professor, comes to MSU from the University of Arizona, Tucson. She completed a master’s degree at Michigan State University and a doctorate at UA. She and her husband, Sang Hyuck Park, have a son.

Fixen, business administration instructor, taught for Park University on Minot Air Force Base before joining MSU’s faculty. She completed an associate degree in business at Williston State College and a bachelor’s degree in marketing and master’s degree in management at MSU. Currently, she is pursuing a doctorate in business administration with an emphasis in management at Grand Canyon University.

Gorgin, mathematics assistant professor, previously taught at Michigan Technological University, where she received doctorate and master’s degrees. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Azad University and master’s degree from Sharif University of Technology. She is married to Foad Yousef.

Langemo, major gifts officer, retired from First Western Bank July 31 as its vice president and trust officer. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Dakota. His wife, Jerlyn, teaches elementary music at Minot’s Sunnyside Elementary School. The couple have two daughters and a son.

Paxman, communication arts assistant professor, previously taught at the University of Iowa, where she was a doctoral candidate of communication studies. She received a master’s degree in communication studies from California State University and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Western Washington University. She and her husband, Simeon, have a son. The family enjoys spending time with their dogs, cooking, fishing and snowmobiling.

Schaffer, science education assistant professor, previously taught at the University of Missouri, where she completed her doctoral studies. She holds a master’s degree in education from Indiana State University and a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University.

Sherman has joined the MSU faculty as a mathematics instructor.

Thapa Magar, mathematics assistant professor, previously taught at Kansas State University, where he completed doctoral studies. He is married to Yeera Budhathoki.

Wright, College of Business administrative assistant, recently moved to Minot from Buffalo, N.Y., where she worked for M&T Bank. She possesses a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo.

Faculty and staff achievements

The Office of Public Information proudly shares the many accomplishments of faculty and staff with the campus community in every issue.

Evan Borisinkoff, special education assistant professor and NDCPD research coordinator, and Mary Mercer, special education adjunct faculty and NDCPD assistant director for program management, recently presented “Stakeholder Input in the Redesign & Reconceptualization of an Undergraduate Degree Program in Human Services” at the National Association of Qualified Developmental Disabilities Professionals conference in New Orleans. Mercer also co-presented a session to inform members about the NAQ national credentialing program offered in collaboration with NDCPD.

Korie Huettl, Emily Rodacker and Brenda Munson, Disability Health II staff with the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, recently attended a Rocky Mountain ADA training seminar tailored to best practice in clinic accessibility assessments that are offered to health care facilities. Training topics included accessible medical care, common program access barriers, developing self-evaluation and transition planning and evaluating emergency management.

Melissa Naslund, an NDCPD research associate and psychology adjunct professor, was awarded a doctorate of philosophy in human development: counselor education and supervision from North Dakota State University. Naslund’s dissertation, “Counselor Education: A Personal Growth and Personal Development Experience, was a qualitative study that focused on better understanding the personal growth and personal development experiences of graduate-level counseling students. Her research interests focus on the personal growth and development of all individuals and how these growth and development experiences can positively impact the outcomes of people on both a personal and professional level. She is currently working on studies for NDCPD focusing on self-determination and suicide prevention. 

In the galleries

Sept. 9-22 — "Firecracker Press," a letterpress design studio from St. Louis, combines antique printing technologies with modern thinking to produce objects that bring surprise and joy. Their exhibit is part of NOTSTOCK and is in the Gordon B. Olson Library Gallery.

Sept. 9-Oct. 2 — "Americas 2015: All Media," Hartnett Hall Gallery. Richard Notkin of Vaughn, Wash., juried this year’s competition. A public reception for “Americas 2015: All Media” will be Thursday (Sept. 10) in Hartnett Gallery, 6:30-8 p.m. 

Minot State University mission
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.