Jan. 2, 2019
Next Issue: Feb. 1, 2019
Submissions Due: Jan. 29, 2019
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NASA’s Pinnick to speak at Minot State

Minot State University alumna Veronica (Cavallo) Pinnick ’04 will be featured as the first Minot State Alumni Speaker Series guest, giving a talk at the Cyril Moore Auditorium Room 16 Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. 

Pinnick, a research associate specializing in scientific instrumentation at the Goodard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will give a talk intended for all audiences titled, “Searching for the Fingerprints of Life in our Solar System using Mass Spectrometry.” The event is free and open to the public. 

“I take education and public outreach seriously, and take every opportunity I can to spread the word about what we scientists and engineers are doing with your tax dollars,” Pinnick said. “We are doing such amazing science, such amazing engineering, and honestly awe-inspiring exploration that I can hardly help snapping up every opportunity I can to be an ambassador to the public.  I want you to be as excited about what we’re doing as we are.” 

Pinnick finished work on a highly advanced mass spectrometer for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) that will be sent into space in 2020 as part of the ExoMars Rover’s mission to Mars in June. She is transitioning off planetary science missions into two missions, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and Plankton, Aerosol, Ocean Ecosystem (PACE). Information on LISA and PACE can be accessed via NASA’s website.

After graduating with a chemistry degree from Minot State, Pinnick attended Texas A&M where she completed a doctorate in analytical chemistry. It was at Texas A&M that she studied under renowned professor Emile Schweikert, a leading researcher in time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Pinnick was tasked with developing instrumentation that could measure nano-particle materials.

Essentials for Learning makes big impact

The Minot State University Roger Looyenga Leadership Program started a class assignment two years ago hoping to help the community. Fast forward to this fall and the project, named Essentials for Learning, has done just that.

After partnering with the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce 2018 Community Leadership Institute (CLI) Class, the project raised nearly $10,000 in cash and items to fulfill the most basic needs for students in the Minot Public School System.

“We originally came up with the idea to help students with items like clothing, but it shifted to personal hygiene products,” said Minot State senior Aaron Richard. “Last year, we worked with McKinley Elementary. It was such a fun project to work on. This year we wanted to carry it forward and had a great partner in the Community Leadership Institute.”

“It has been an insane process to see it start with just one elementary school and watch it grow and see what it has become,” said MSU senior Alexa Tate. “We have such great community support. We were able to see the impact on McKinley and were excited to expand it. We know the kind of impact this has on a student’s life.”

Richard and Tate are two of the original six students — along with advisor Tawnya Bernsdorf — who brainstormed the project in the Roger Looyenga Leadership Program. After four students graduated, Richard and Tate knew they would need a partner to move the project forward.

Minot State receives Edson & Margaret Larson Foundation grant

The Minot State University Development Foundation, in partnership with Minot State’s College of Business, announced the University has received an Edson & Margaret Larson Foundation grant.

The grant will support the start of the Minot State University Veterans Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Minot State entrepreneurship students working in this program will assist veterans (or veteran spouses) who are interested in starting their own business.

Approximately 25 percent of transitioning veterans are interested in running their own business according to research conducted by Bunker labs. The VET Program is designed to help veterans and others start businesses in the local Minot community, which invigorates the local economy though job creation and the development of a local entrepreneurial ecosystem. As a neighbor and friend of the Minot Air Force Base, it is essential the Minot community continues to support our veterans.

The VET program will begin with veterans and veterans’ spouses as clients, but will extend to a broader program for anyone in the Minot community that needs business start-up and entrepreneurship consultation. Prospective and current small business owners will be able to seek analysis and consultation from entrepreneurship students who are supervised by Minot State faculty and staff.

MSU students use pageants to promote passions

Sisterhood is an important tenet in the pageantry world. For 2019 Miss North Dakota USA Samantha Redding and 2019 Miss North Dakota Teen USA Caitlyn Vogel — both current Minot State students — that bond began long ago.

Redding, a senior in the special education program, and Vogel, a freshman enrolled in the nursing program, grew up in Burlington, N.D. and their families have known each other for years. Redding’s younger sister is one of Vogel’s best friends. As Miss North Dakota USA and Miss North Dakota Teen USA titleholders, their volunteer opportunities will increase, something that is important to Redding and Vogel.

Redding has spent the last several years developing a local program called “More Alike than Different,” based on a campaign by the National Down Syndrome Congress.  Although it began with an emphasis on disabilities, her focus has evolved into teaching acceptance about all differences. Vogel founded a fashion show her senior year of high school for girls with disabilities and ran a summer clothing line for the same demographic.

Redding and Vogel are committed to enjoying the upcoming year. Beyond volunteering, they will frequently travel out of state, engaging with communities and other titleholders. They will also prepare for, and compete in, the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA national pageants in 2019.

International Mother Language Day 2019

Minot State University along with Minot Public Schools are organizing an event on campus that will take place on Feb. 21 to coinside with International Mother Language Day. This global celebration promotes diversity and inclusiveness around the world. Any student, faculty, staff, or community member is invited to participate in making a powerful impact. 

Please complete a brief online QUESTIONNAIRE by Jan. 15 if you are interested in joining. A video will be produced collectively with your participation and published campus-wide. You only have to say the below expression in your mother tongue and in English and record it using your smartphone or camera. You can choose any background and attire during your video.

_______ is my mother tongue and an expression/phrase I like is:

Send your recorded video to international.ml.day@gmail.com  or upload HERE by Jan. 15. Contact SAYEED SAJAL for more information.

Elizabeth Smart to speak at Minot State

Minot State University Presidential Speaker Series will launch on Wednesday, April 17 in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall with its inaugural guest speaker Elizabeth Smart. Smart will be the first in what is expected to be a long line of prominent speakers coming to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas with our campus and community. Smart was kidnapped from her home at aged 14, then held for eight months by a man who had previously been hired to do some work on Smart’s family home. The man kidnapped Smart from the bed she shared with her sister and he and his wife forced Smart into the role of a second wife to the man. Someone spotted the trio, and a rescue ensued. While her story begins tragically, Smart's talk will be about survival, moving on, and moving forward. More details on the Minot State University Presidential Speaker Series will be available in the following months. Contact committee member ROBERT KIBLER for more information.


Flat Tail Press
The gallery is located in the landing space on second and third floor of the Minot State Student Center, west entrance. It is open while the Student Center is open, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.

  • Reception: Friday, March 1, 12:30 p.m. in the Flat Tail Press Gallery
  • Calliope Arts and Flat Tail Press present Found Fiction: Exhibition by Susanna Crum and Rodolfo Salgado, on display Oct. 22-March 1.


Joseph Jastrzembski, Minot State professor of history and Executive Director of the Minot Area Council for International Visitors, is a finalist for the Global Ties US Excellence in IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) Programming Award for the category “Outstanding All-Volunteer Community-Based Member Programmer.” Global Ties US is a non-profit partner of the U. S Department of State that sustains a network that coordinates international exchange programs and brings current and future leaders from around the world to communities throughout the United States. The award winner will be announced at the Global Ties US National Meeting held in Washington, D.C. in January.

Annette Mennem, Native American Center director, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's November High Five Award winner. Mennem has worked at Minot State for seven years. She is married to Joe and has three children, four grandchildren, and a boxer. She enjoys camping where there is no WIFI access, gardening, and canning. Mennem is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and a two-time Minot State alum. 

Emily Schmidt was selected as the CETL Student of the Month for November. She has contributed to the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning’s programs as a peer mentor.

Breanna Heupel, a theater arts major, presented her honors thesis, "Color Psychology in Visual Media,” at The Honors Center in Model Hall on Dec. 4.

Kayla Stevens, an elementary education major, presented her honors thesis, "Notes for the United States: A Comparative Look at the World's Top Education Systems." at The Honors Center in Model Hall on Dec. 5.

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.