June 1, 2018
Next Issue: July 2, 2018
Submissions Due: June 27, 2018
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Minot State holds 104th Commencement

Commencement 2018Minot 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 awarded diplomas to 766 students.

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

Minot State recognizes annual Board of Regents Achievement Award winners

Board of Regents Award WinnersThree faculty members, Scott Kast and Jan Repnow for teaching, and Eric Furuseth for service, and two staff members, Kate Marshall and Darren Olson, were named the MSU Board of Regents Achievement Award winners at their annual Board of Regents meeting April 20.

The Faculty Achievement Awards program was established in 1985 by the Burlington Northern Foundation. In 1990 the Board of Regents established a second award and now solely supports the awards to recognize outstanding university teaching. The intent of the award is to recognize, reward, and motivate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Teaching: Scott Kast
Kast is the chair of mathematics and computer science and assistant professor of computer science at Minot State. He has taught at MSU since 1991 and is recognized for excellence in teaching.

When Kast teaches his voice reverberates through the walls, carries down the hallways, and captivates his students. His positive attitude, upbeat personality, and high expectations, combined with his willingness and effort to help all students learn, makes him a teaching dynamo. He cares about every single student, whether they are a computer science major or an elementary education major. He pushes students when needed, encouraging them and helping them find solutions to problems whether they are in the classroom or not. He truly wants students to be successful.

Teaching: Jan Repnow
Repnow is an assistant professor in the business information technology department since 2007 and is recognized for excellence in service.

Repnow believes students come to the university ready to expand their knowledge and it is her responsibility to challenge them in the process. She uses active learning in her classes. The best example of this is the annual Tech Day where Repnow guides business education students through the organization of hosting area high schools for a morning of technology competitions. She is dedicated to staying current in the field of business education and spends countless hours reviewing teaching standards, visiting with educational leaders, and attending professional conferences to ensure that her courses deliver up-to-date content. On a regular basis, you can find her visiting with students in the halls before and after class discussing course materials, degree options, career options and sometimes even life.

Service:  Eric Furuseth
Furuseth is an associate professor in humanities and has been a part of the performing arts in Minot and the university for nearly 25 years. He has had five solo recitals for “Arts in the Parks” as well as numerous performances with the Minot Chamber Chorale and like venues in Williston and Stanley. Through the Western Plains Opera and the Minot Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared in 23 major productions, including seven leading roles.

For over 20 years, he has performed as “Lord of the Manor” for the Minot Chamber Chorale’s Christmas Renaissance Feast. His organization of ice cream sales for the Norsk Hostfest has earned significant money for the Western Plains Opera and Children’s Chorus. On campus Furuseth has held virtually every service position from program coordinator of the English and Humanities programs to president of the faculty senate. He can always be counted on to pitch in whether it be to stand in as a speaker when a headliner fails to show or to perform the Star Spangled Banner at various events. Eric is recognized for excellence in service.

The Board of Regents Staff Achievement Award was established in 1991. The Board of Regents established the award to recognize university staff members for outstanding service to the University and the community.

Kate Marshall
Upon her graduation from Minot State University in 2007, Marshall assumed the position of donor relations coordinator with the MSU Advancement Office.

With her attention to detail and sincere appreciation for our donors, she has assisted in setting fundraising records each of the last three years. She has successfully completed over 170 endowment reports, all which require a great deal of attention. Working with the legislatively approved, ND Challenge Grant program, she has assisted in securing over $3 in matching funds for the university. Her consistent contact and follow up with donors is evidenced by the numerous mailing pieces and personal visits which has resulted in increased loyalty and commitment to MSU. Her service to the campus by serving on several committees is exemplary and much appreciated.

Darren Olson
Olson is Minot State’s IT director network services/IT security officer and has been with Minot State University since 2006.

He has been tasked with the new changes mandated by the legislature to switch to a new email system. His work on the Starfish and iDashboards software was critical in a successful launch of these programs to assist students. Darren is always available for students and makes sure that students in the residence halls have all their technology needs taken care of. He is a member of the State Security Advisory Board and is persistent in minimizing security threats on campus. His work on the Code Blue System on campus provided the operation of the system to be in use in a timely manner. He is active in his home community of Max, often volunteering at school events. His contributions to the campus are invaluable.

MSU service award winners recognized

In 2017-18, 57 MSU employees were acknowledged for five-year increments of service.

5-Year Service


Individuals with Five Years of Service include: Jeni Anderson, Ashley Blake, Christine Brigden, Courtenay Burckhard, Mary Fetzer, Constance Geyer, Brenda Halvorson, Aaron Hughes, Sheila Latham, Keryl Lesmann, Penny Lipsey, Jennifer Malachowski, Devin McCall, Matt Murken, Anne Nordgaard, Lynda Opp, Jolene Orluck, Amy Roberts, Ryan Stander, Camila Van Dyke, Michael Wardzinski, and Rhonda Weathers. 




10-Year Service


 Individuals with Ten Years of Service include: Ben Bruton, Melissa Cantone, Andrea Donovan, Kathie Eslinger, David Getzlaff, Jill Hieb, Jessica Hudson, Deborah Kinzell, Kate Marshall, Brigitte Mikula, Tim Morris, Holly Pedersen, Jan Repnow, Melinda Rudnick, Neil Scharpe,Jana Schultz, Brock Weppler, and Bobbi Zueger.  





15-Year Service


 Individuals with Fifteen Years of Service include: Andrew Bertsch, Mikhail Bobylev, Alexandra Deufel, Heather Golly, Anton Huether, Dragoljub Markovic, Darren Seifert, and Amy Woodbeck.  







20-Year Service


Individuals with Twenty Years of Service include: Lisa Borden-King, Marlene Hargrave, Leisa Harmon, Joseph Jastrzembski, Chris Keller, Richard Miller, and Laurie Weber.   






25-Year Service


One individual was recognized for Twenty-Five Years of Service:  Jonelle Watson.



Retirees honored by MSU

2018 Retirees

Minot State retirees include Conrad Davidson (1986-2018), Linda Haider (1989-2018), Deanna Head Gotvaslee (2001-2018), Karen Holmen (1981-2018), Julie Keller (2000-2018), Walter Piehl (1970-2018), Linda Schaefer (1990-2018), Neil Scharpe (2008-2018), and Rick Watson (1993-2018).

Richard re-elected as SGA president

Aaron Richard SGA PresidentMinot State University Student Government Association will have a familiar face as its president as senior Aaron Richard was elected president for the second straight year.

Along with Richard, three of the four vice presidents will return for another year. Vice President for Finance, Kaitlin Walker, and Vice President for State Affairs, Bikalpa Ghimire, were both re-elected to serve in 2018-19. The students elected Noah Grant as vice president for internal affairs for the upcoming school year.

MSU Red & Green students take home 13 awards

Red & Green Award WinnersMinot State University students who worked for the Red & Green newspaper along with individuals taking the MSU Comm 281 class who were published in the Red & Green captured 13 awards from the North Dakota Professional Communicators 2018 College Communication Contest.

The awards were announced April 27 at the NDPC Spring Conference in Fargo. MSU competes with all North Dakota university and colleges and Minnesota State University Moorhead. There were over 100 entries across all categories.

Earning first place in the contest were Jerusalem Tukura for multiple issues submitted in the Publication Regularly Edited by Entrant category, Chad Olson for his Personality Profile featuring Minot State’s President Dr. Steven Shirley, and Dan Fagan for Personal Column as he submitted three separate columns for the contest. The Red & Green also won first place for Special Series for their Oct. 26 and Nov. 16 issues on race.

Tukura, Fagan, and Miller were all staff members of the Red & Green, while Olson, Eckleberry, and Heisler were Comm 281 students.

Minot State SGA names Professors, Advisors of the Year

SGA Professors, Advisor of the YearThe Minot State University Student Government Association (SGA) named its 2017-18 Professors of the Year along with its Advisor of the Year award to end the 2017-18 school year.

The awards honor faculty from Minot State University and are broken into three colleges along with one faculty or staff advisor for their dedication to students.

Professor of the Year award for Arts & Science was Melissa Spelchen, assistant professor of criminal justice. Dean Frantsvog, associate professor in accounting and finance, earned the Professor of the Year in Business, and the Professor of the Year in Education & Health Sciences award went to Mary Huston, assistant professor in communication disorders.

The SGA award for Advisor of the Year went to Dr. Zeni Shabani, assistant professor of biology.

Staff Senate elects 2018-19 officers
The Minot State University Staff Senate welcomed eight new members and elected officers at its May meeting. Kowan O'Keefe, an academic coach in the POWER Center, was elected president for 2018-19. Michael Linnell, university communication director, will serve as vice president and Katy Allers, administrative assistant in humanities, was elected secretary/treasurer. Congratulations to all three. For more information, see the MSU Staff Senate WEBSITE or to contact Staff Senate, email staffsenate@mintostateu.edu.

Friend-raising Summer Golf Tour kicks off in Velva

Minot State University alumni and friends are invited to the 13th annual Friend-raising Summer Golf Tour. This year, the tour will make three stops at courses in the state starting with Velva on June 5.

The tour will also make stops at Bottineau on July 17 and finishes in Kenmare Aug. 2. Registration starts at 4:30 p.m. with a 5 p.m. shotgun start. All dates and times are subject to change.

Each stop is a four-person, nine-hole scramble. A social will immediately follow each event and non-golfers are welcome.

Teams can register online at MinotStateU.edu/alumni or call (701) 858-3234 or 1 (800) 777-0750, ext. 3234, or join MSU at the course and get placed on a team. Payments will be accepted at the course.

In the Galleries

The Walter Piehl Gallery is featuring "Art Instruction at MSU: Faculty Past and Present," now on display through June 8.

Summer exhibits at the Northwest Arts Center showcase art with a female perspective, with photographs by Williston artist Jamie Azevedo plus a selection of 25 works by women represented in the Minot State University Permanent Art Collection. The exhibits will hang in the Walter Piehl Gallery in the lower level of the Gordon B. Olson Library. The group exhibit, “Women’s Point of View,” will open June 18; Azevedo’s solo offering, “The Female Gaze,” will open June 28 with a public reception with the artist from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Both exhibits run through August 3.


Robert Kibler, Sarah Aleshire, Ron Fischer, Patti Kurtz, and Christopher Lozensky completed the Four-Year Periodic Review of English online courses. Their participation in MSU's comprehensive yet necessary procedures ensure delivery of online courses that meets best practices standards and reflect the expertise and knowledge the department has to offer to our online student community.

MSU awarded its Outstanding Academic Advising Awards for 2017-18 to Kathy Hintz, associate professor in teacher education & human performance, and Amy Roberts, assistant professor nursing.

Terry Wald, facilities management, was named Minot State Staff Senate’s April High Five Award winner. Staff Senate prompted the creation of the MSU High Five Award to recognize staff members who serve Minot State University by exemplifying outstanding service through their work and exhibiting positive and supportive attitudes.

Kevin Morgan was selected as the CETL Student of the Month for April. He has contributed to the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning’s programs as a new student orientation leader.

Brent Askvig, professor of special education and executive director of the ND Center for Persons with Disabilities, participated in two national review committees in May. Askvig was a grant reviewer for the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Administration on Community Living. He served on a panel that reviewed four national grant applications for Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. He also served as an invited reviewer on a national panel for the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. In this role Askvig evaluated multiple products developed by eight national programs for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials division.  This included a review of captioned and described videos, productions of policy documents, and the development of evidence-based education materials.

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.