July 3, 2019
Next Issue: Aug. 5, 2019
Submissions Due: July 29, 2019
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Minot State recognized for national excellence in educator prep

caep_accredited_front.pngThe Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) announced Minot State University is one of 42 providers from 23 states and the District of Columbia to receive accreditation for their educator preparation programs.

The spring 2019 review by the CAEP Accreditation Council resulted in 42 newly-accredited EPPs, bringing the total to 238 providers approved under the CAEP Teacher Preparation Standards — rigorous, nationally recognized standards that were developed to ensure excellence in educator preparation programs.

“Six years ago we started the work to ensure our education programs were aligned with the CAEP standards and requirements,” said Dr. Erik Kana, assistant vice president for academic affairs and the head of MSU Teacher Education Unit. “Many people aided in this work, including MSU faculty, staff, and area P-12 school partners. We are overjoyed at the successful completion of this accreditation cycle, and we are proud of the quality accredited teacher education programs we offer. Minot State produces high-quality educators for our state and region, continuing the original mission of the institution.”

Minot State’s accreditation status with CAEP is effective until Spring 2025 and MSU’s next site visit is scheduled for Fall 2024.

Minot State students earn more than 600 degrees in 2019

graduation_2019_front.jpgMinot State University awarded 607 degrees to just under 600 undergraduate and graduate students during commencement exercises Friday, May 10 at the Minot State Dome. The graduate hooding ceremony began at 8 a.m. in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall while commencement started at 10 a.m. in the Dome.

 Graduates are listed according to hometowns. North Dakota graduates are listed first, followed by students with out-of-state addresses listed alphabetically by state, then hometown; then Canadian students alphabetically by province, then hometown; and finally, international students listed by home country and town.

 For a complete list, see attached PDF.

Minot State professors awarded funding from Small Grants Program

small_grants_program_2019_front.jpgThe Minot State University Office of Sponsored Programs has awarded funding to 11 professors from nine projects to conduct research and further study this summer provided by the Minot State University Small Grants program.

Each year, faculty from a wide range of disciplines apply for funding through Minot State University’s Small Grants program. Each grant application is reviewed by members of the Minot State Faculty Research Committee. Committee members use a scoring rubric to rank the applications and use these rankings in making final funding decisions.

The Committee elected to award grants ranging from $977 to $3,000 to Heidi Super, biology; John McCollum, sociology; Jynette Larshus, sociology-political science; Wenjing Zheng and Holly Pedersen, special education; Bishnu Sedai, math; Ryan Stander, art; Rebecca Daigneault, social work; Mary Huston and Sarah Boyle, communication disorders; and Naomi Winburn, chemistry in 2019-2020.

Minot State recognizes annual award winners

AnnualAwardWinners_NewsPage.jpgMinot State University held its annual Employee Recognition and Retirement program in May, recognizing award recipients and faculty and staff retirees. Awards presented included MSU Board of Regents Achievement Awards, Academic Advising Awards, High Five Awards, and Service Awards.

Faculty achievement awards were established in 1985 by the Burlington Northern Foundation. In 1990, the Minot State Board of Regents established a second award and now solely supports the awards to recognize outstanding university teaching. In 1991, the Board of Regents Staff Achievement Award was established.

Named Minot State Board of Regents Achievement Award winners were three faculty members, Leslee Thorpe for teaching, Micah Bloom for scholarship, and Tracey Mays for service, and three staff, Melissa Fettig, Rick Heit, and Gary Orluck.

Student Government honors exceptional 2018-19 professors, advisor

Professors-and-Advisors-of-the-Year.jpgEach year, the Student Government Association (SGA) at Minot State chooses three outstanding faculty members to receive Professors of the Year Awards and one faculty member to receive the Advisor of the Year Award.

“Recipients are nominated through SGA senators who each have an opportunity to showcase some of the ways that they have gone above and beyond for MSU students both in and out of the classroom,” Aaron Richard, 2018-19 SGA president said.

SGA has announced the winners for the 2018-19 academic year. One professor from each of Minot State’s three colleges were named professor of the year.

Dr. Jynette Larshus, associate professor of sociology and political science, was named professor of the year for the college of arts & sciences. Kim Tiedman, nursing instructor, was named professor of the year for the college of education and health sciences. Jerry Stai, assistant professor of accounting & finance, took the title for the college of business. Jan Repnow, assistant professor of business information technology, was named advisor of the year.

Hess Corporation donates to Minot State Summer Theatre

hess_donates_to_summer_theatre_front.jpgMinot State University announced Hess Corporation has donated $11,110.50 to Minot State University Summer Theatre to upgrade the sound system at the iconic amphitheater. This marks the second year Hess Corporation has donated to the long-running summer program as new lighting was installed for the 2018 season.

“Minot State University Summer Theatre is an asset to the region and many of our employees have had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful outdoor theater,” said Brent Lohnes, general manager for Hess North Dakota. “At Hess, we work to identify and support those groups and programs that help strengthen the communities where our employees live, work, and play. We are happy to support the performing arts and provide the needed resources for new lighting and upgrades to the audio equipment utilized by the MSU Summer Theatre.”

The upgrades planned for Summer Theatre in 2019 include replacing 30 general microphones and 10 MicroSet head-worn microphones along with multiple sound system upgrades needed to maximize audio at the amphitheater to allow patrons the opportunity to fully enjoy performances.

Shirley selected for NCAA Division II Presidents Council

shirley_selected_for_d2_presidents_council_front.jpgMinot State University President Dr. Steven Shirley has been selected to serve on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, beginning a four-and-a-half-year term in July 2019.

The Presidents Council is Division II’s highest governing body. Its charge is setting the strategic direction for the division in all areas, including the division’s financial affairs and championships administration. With over 300 colleges and universities in NCAA Division II, approximately 5% of campus presidents are selected to serve on the Council.

“It is an important time in NCAA Division II athletics right now, and I am excited to serve in this capacity for the best interests of our campuses and our student-athletes. Being selected for the Presidents Council is a great privilege, and I am humbled by the opportunity and look forward to beginning my term,” Shirley said.

Shirley will begin his sixth year at Minot State in July and just concluded a term as chair of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Board of Directors. Previously, while president at Valley City State University, Shirley served on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents from 2010-2014.

Along with strategic direction, the Presidents Council is also the primary sponsor of legislative proposals at the NCAA Convention.

Minot State Alumni Association to honor five with Golden Award

The Minot State University Alumni Association has chosen four individuals to honor with the Golden Award and one individual with the Young Alumni Achievement Award. The 2019 honorees include Greg Fjeld, ’81, from Scobey, Montana; Cheryl Nilsen, ’90, Minot; Michael Saba, ’66, Bismarck; and Myron Thompson, ’67, Upham. The Young Alumni Achievement Award Winner is Caleb Heilman, ’11, from Minot. The annual awards dinner will be on Thursday, Oct. 3 in the Minot State Conference Center. More information on the dinner as well as each award winner will be released in the fall. For more information on the Golden Awards, visit the Alumni Association WEBSITE.

Bortoluzzi elected president of SGA

The Minot State Student Government (SGA) elected Janel Bortoluzzi as president during March 25 and 26 voting. She is currently finishing up her post-baccalaureate year at Minot State and will begin her graduate studies in communication disorders Fall 2019.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Minot State thus far and I appreciate the close-knit community,” said Bortoluzzi. “I feel like Minot State has created a sense of belonging for me and for many students. I want to give back to the community and the campus and help implement positive change wherever I can and address the issues that students are facing. I’m looking forward to working with everyone and meeting new people.”

The Winnipeg, Manitoba native spent the year coaching basketball for Special Olympics, getting involved in the campus National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) chapter, serving as a peer mentor at Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP), tutoring at the POWER Center, helping as student ambassador, and working the front desk in the student activities office. She also spent the year as SGA Senator for the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Bortoluzzi is joined by three new members to the Executive Board. Vice President of Finance Cole Brose from Minot, Vice President of Internal Affairs Madison Tiedman, Minot, and Vice President of State Affairs Felicia Arias, Los Angeles, were also elected in March.

In addition to Executive Board elections, students selected senators in four areas. Linh Le, Hanoi, Vietnam, and Jaeleon Roberts, Bangor, Saskatchewan, will serve as senators for the College of Business while Bryana Guzman, Orlando, California; Kellie Sink, Minot; and Lordina Yeboah, Tema, Ghana, are the College of Arts & Sciences senators. The College of Education & Health Sciences elected four senators: Aubrey Barker, Minot; Cassie Daniel, Esterhazy, Saskatchewan; Dylan Hennessy, Berthold; and Shelby Tornato, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Off-campus senators are Joshua Strong, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Cambree Smith, Minot.

Can I Count You In?

The Title IX Office is looking for committee members/student groups this summer to help organize Paws for Consent Walk: Inaugural Dogs/Cats Against Sexual Violence Walk.  If you are interested or have questions, please contact Lisa Dooley, Title IX coordinator, at 701-858-3447.

Save the date: service learning & cultural immersion in Costa Rica

Minot State students, faculty, and staff mark your calendar for May 2020. The Office of International Programs is partnering with Minot State’s campus minister, Anna Dykeman, and assistant professor of social work, Rebecca Daigneault, to offer an incredible study abroad program to Costa Rica! This 10-day experience will focus on promoting women's rights within the local community and will allow you to delve into Costa Rican culture and environment. See attached POSTER for more information. Follow the Minot State International Programs’ FACEBOOK PAGE from more details coming in September.


Northwest Arts Center

The gallery is located on the lower level of the Gordon B. Olson Library, with its own entrance on the south side of the library. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 1-5 p.m., and by special arrangement. It is closed holidays.

  • Escape: An exhibition of pen and ink drawings by Bismarck artist Matthew Norton, on display July 1 through 31.
  • Creative Legacy: A memorial exhibition for former Minot State Professor of Fine Arts Tom Willis on display July 5 through Aug. 9.
  • Reception for Creative Legacy: Thursday, Aug. 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. Former Minot State Professor of Fine Arts Tom Willis enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Minot State. He taught ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, and 3-D design until his retirement in 2000 at which time he was granted the title of Professor Emeritus. Both exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.


Karina Stander, Minot State wellness specialist, has been named interim director of residence life until a permanent replacement has been selected.

Michael Linnell, director of university communications, was elected Vice President of the North Dakota State Staff Senate at the June meeting in Grand Forks. Linnell will serve one term as vice president and will start as president in June 2020.

Keryl Lesmann, POWER Center, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's April High Five Award winner. Lesmann started working at Minot State in the POWER Center in September 2012.

Aaron Hughes, student activities coordinator, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's May High Five Award winner. Hughes is a 2012 graduate of Minot State and has worked as both a student worker and as student activities coordinator — a position she has held since 2012.

The Minot State Staff Senate elected officers for the 2019-2020 year. Michael Linnell moved from vice president to president at the May meeting. Lindsey Benson was elected as vice president and will serve a one-year term before moving to president in 2020. Kelli Marchand was elected as secretary/treasurer and will serve a one-year term.

Spencer Furniss 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 peer mentor and tutor.

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.