Sept. 6, 2019
Next Issue: Oct. 1, 2019
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Minot State to open Academic Support Center

ASC StaffMinot State University has consolidated multiple services under one roof as the University announced the Academic Support Center (ASC) will open in September in the lower level of the Gordon B. Olson Library.

Construction on the 10,000-plus-foot physical space in the Gordon B. Olson Library started during the summer and is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 15. The combined space will offer a one-stop shop location, merging several offices into one welcoming and comfortable space. Until the completion of the Center, individual offices on campus will continue to provide support for students.

"In the past, Minot State students who needed academic support were directed to a variety of different offices located in a myriad of places across campus. This often caused confusion for the students, faculty, and staff,” said Erik Kana, assistant vice president for academic affairs. “This fall, with all academic support services in one location, students who need any type of academic assistance will just visit the lower level of the Gordon B. Olson Library, and personnel there will be able to find the correct service for each individual student without sending them to another office."

Minot State named Beth Odahlen, director of the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, as the Academic Support Center director in July. MSU has also announced a new position within the Center as Kelly Lichtenberger has been named as a staff advisor. She will advise all freshmen and sophomore nursing students, while continuing some duties with Minot State’s New Student Orientation for the upcoming academic year.

Eleven current departments and services will be housed in the Center, including: academic advising, access services, career services, engagement honor roll, first-year experience and peer mentoring, new student programs, peer tutoring, Starfish, supplemental instruction, The Writing Center, and POWER.

Sold out shows highlight successful 54th season for Summer Theatre

Summer Theatre Season 54Minot State University Summer Theatre sold out all 10 performances of “Beauty and the Beast” in early August and broke its season attendance record to cap off a successful 54th season.

Summer Theatre attracted just under 12,000 people over 28 performances.

“Season 54 was one of our most successful seasons ever,” said artistic director Chad Gifford. “There were many people attending for the very first time, but there were also audience members who chose to come back again and again to see the same play. There really isn’t a greater compliment than seeing someone come back to see a show again. We rolled out a few new features this summer as well. Our new online ticketing system and the addition of credit card machines went over extremely well. We also created a photo booth for audience members to pose with characters from ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which was incredibly successful.”

“Beauty and the Beast” was the crescendo to the season as patrons packed the iconic amphitheater on Minot State’s North Hill for 10 straight performances. The 10-performance run was a break from the norm for Summer Theatre.

“We sold out every performance of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ so in that regard, it was quite successful to have 10 performances,” Gifford said. “For the right show in the future, we will definitely consider doing it again.”

Minot State Summer Theatre also gave back to two of its own following the 54th season as Kaylee Capp and Kole Erickson were awarded scholarships at Minot State.

Smith begins term as North Dakota Student Association president

Cambree SmithMinot State University junior Cambree Smith was elected President of the North Dakota Student Government Association (NDSA) in April and began her term on May 1. After a year on the Minot State Student Government Association, Smith decided to run for vice president of government affairs of the NDSA before being elected president in 2019.

“I’ve always been interested in politics, but I can remember visiting with my grandma after taking an American government course in high school,” the business administration and sociology major from Minot said. “The first thing I did at orientation was to find the student government booth. I just clicked with Aaron (then SGA president Aaron Richard) right away. He brought up the state association and it sounded amazing. After about a month of meetings, I was hooked, four months later, I ran for vice president. Being involved has created a love of advocacy.”

During her first three months as president, much of her time has been planning for the upcoming school year and meeting with individuals involved in state government and higher education as well as work with her executive team.

“We’ve (executive team) had regular meetings over the summer and I’ve been involved with state board meetings and met with the governor,” Smith said. “We’ve been appointing members to councils and working on setting up meeting dates that work with 11 individual campuses.”

The NDSA has representation from all 11 public institutions in the NDSU with a clear and important reason: the future of higher education in North Dakota. The NDSA accomplishes that mission with positive relationships with both the State Board of Higher Education and the NDUS.

Minot State announces 12 new faculty members for Fall 2019

New faculty 2019Minot State University is pleased to announce 12 new faculty members have joined the University after completing nationwide searches in seven departments.

Joining the University are B. Thorpe Halloran, biology; Kara Nunziato, communication disorders; Karen Foley, early childhood education; Sam Stinson, English; C. Sophia Rammell, foreign language - Spanish; Ashley DeMakis and Lisa Krogman, nursing; Pam Ondracek and Chenmu (Julia) Xing, psychology; Lacey Corneliusen, social work; Zac Cunha, teacher education and kinesiology; and Laura Zucca-Scott, teacher education.

“All of us at Minot State are excited to welcome our new faculty members to campus,” Minot State Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Geller said. “They bring a wealth of energy, talent, and expertise to Minot and the campus community. I look forward to working with them in the coming year.”

Roness named mental health and outreach counselor

Troy Roness, prior instructor in the Minot State Teacher Education and Kinesiology Department, has been named mental health counselor at the University.

He will join student counselor Nancy Mickelson in providing short-term counseling services and outreach for Minot State students in the student health and development center, located in the lower level of Lura Manor.

“I am incredibly excited and looking forward to working with the students at Minot State University on a whole new level,” Roness said. “Clinical mental health and counseling have always been passions of mine, in part because of my own personal experience. I’ve always been invested in the lives of MSU’s students both in and out of the classroom; I’m just happy that I can, hopefully, help make a difference in a more integrative role.”

Roness has been on staff at Minot State since 2013. He graduated from MSU in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and again in 2012 with his master’s in education and cognitive science. He received another master’s in 2018 from Minnesota State University, Moorhead in counseling and student affairs.

Early childhood education degree offered online

Minot State University is offering a new online degree in early childhood education.

The Bachelor of Science degree meets the need for non-teacher licensure programs while the Bachelor of Science in Education, or BSED, continues to meet teacher licensure and certification requirements for early childhood education.

“This new online degree, the Bachelor of Science, is for everyone else who is already working and does not want to teach in a public school,” Thorpe said. “This degree is for Head Start teachers, preschool teachers, and people who want to run their own preschool. It’s also for people who want to be daycare directors or work in a hospital setting as an early childhood education (ECE) child specialist.”

Minot State’s major blends theory with practical application while students learn a holistic approach to child development. With the increased value being place on early childhood education, employment in the field is growing faster than average.

Minot State University Choir requests submissions

In commemoration of the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage in 2020, the Minot State University Choir under the direction of Emerson Eads is pleased to invite North Dakota women artists to participate in a special art exhibition in conjunction with their Nov. 9, 2019 performance of Luciano Berio’s “Magnificat.”

Based on the biblical “Song of Mary,” Berio’s composition was completed 70 years ago this year and is one of several on the November program celebrating the empowerment of women as embodied in the passage of the 19th Amendment. As part of their performance, the MSU Choir is extending a special invitation to North Dakota women artists to submit work that visually represents one of the movements of Berio’s “Magnificat.”

Artwork selected will be displayed in the foyer of Ann Nicole Nelson Hall during the concert, and images of the works will be projected on a large screen behind the choir during the performance. Following the concert, the artwork will be exhibited at the Walter Piehl Gallery, Northwest Arts Center, from Nov. 14 through Dec. 5.

Artists should submit, by Oct. 15, a JPG image of their work for consideration, using the entry form. Works will be selected for the exhibit based on their interpretation of the theme. Selected artists will be notified by Oct. 25, and the physical artwork should be delivered to the Northwest Arts Center at Minot State University by Nov. 4. Artists are asked to provide a brief rationale for their work and a short personal biography.

Service learning and cultural immersion in Costa Rica

Applications are now available for Minot State’s faculty-led study abroad program to Costa Rica! Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join campus minister Anna Dykeman and assistant professor of social work Rebecca Daigneault in Costa Rica from May 16-25, 2020. This 10-day interdisciplinary experience will focus on promoting women's issues through service learning activities and allow participants to engage with the local community.  The program will also visit ecological points of interest such as a volcano, beach, tropical rain forest, and coffee plantation. The application deadline is Nov. 1, but you are encouraged to sign up early if you are interested so that you don’t miss your chance to explore Costa Rica through Minot State!


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.

  • Science Inspired Art: This exhibition of jewelry and small sculpture by NDSU professor of microbiology and artist Birgit Pruess will be on display Aug. 23 through Sept. 20 and is co-sponsored by the Minot State Department of Biology. This project, which also includes a research seminar on Sept. 6 by Professor Pruess, is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is made possible by the North Dakota Art Gallery Association.
  • Americas 2019: All Media: From its first call for entries in 1995, each year the All Media competition has brought diverse artwork in all mediums, traditional and experimental, to the Minot State campus. This year's exhibition features 61 artworks from artists across the United States, Canada, and Italy. Sally Jeppson is the juror and has worked in the arts for over 30 years. She is the gallery manager for The Arts Center in Jamestown and was former curator at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo.

Hartnett Hall Gallery
The new gallery provides exhibition space for students, faculty, and community artists, and is located on the second floor on the west side of Hartnett Hall in Room 233.

  • Learning Curve: A collection of tintype photographs by Ryan Stander, Minot State associate professor of art, that celebrates the trials and errors of making art, on display Aug. 27 through Sept. 27. The gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the exhibition.


Holly Pedersen, chair of special education, was awarded a social change fellowship from Walden University and received a grant to investigate better support of fathers of children who are deaf/hard of hearing in North Dakota.

Holly Pedersen, chair of special education, and Jersuha Olthoff, a research at the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a center housed at Minot State, published the article “Listen to us: Dad-endorsed strategies for EHDI professionals,” in the Journal of Early Hearting Detection and Intervention.

Holly Pedersen, chair of special education, and Ann Beste-Guldborg, chair  of communication disorders, published the article “The impact of collaborative consultation service delivery model for rural deaf/hard of hearing students,” in the Journal of Education and Learning.

Emerson Eads, Minot State director of choral activities, was awarded a North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA) Individual Artist Fellowship. He was one of two recipients in music and literature. He was recommended by a review panel whose selection was approved by the NDCA's Board of Directors.

Emerson Eads, Minot State director of choral activities, was named the Director of the Minot Chamber Chorale. Eads is taking over for Bob Demke, who announced his retirement after leading the chamber chorale for the past 12 years.

Dan Conn, associate professor in teacher education & kinesiology, teamed with Nova Southeastern University's Michelle Tenam-Zemach to publish an article in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing (JCT). The JCT is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies.

Dan Conn, associate professor in teacher education & kinesiology, and Leslee Thorpe, instructor in teacher education & kinesiology, along with student Juria Wiechmann, published an article in The Qualitative Report in July titled "Broader Strokes: The Curricular and Pedagogical Possibilities of the Multiage Educational Settings." The article "examines the accounts of a professor who taught in a multiage school environment within the United States, as well as observations of a multiage school in the Masaka district of Uganda. The study aims to understand how curriculum and pedagogy interact within multiage system, as well as whether those interactions help or hinder students." The Qualitative Report is a peer-reviewed, online monthly journal devoted to writing and discussion of and about qualitative, critical, action, and collaborative inquiry and research.

Micah Bloom, associate professor in art, was a guest artist at Calliope Arts Printmaking Studio in Louisville, Kentucky from Aug. 3-8. He created an edition of stone lithograph prints at the studio.

Paul Brekke, Wellness Center coordinator, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's July High Five Award winner.

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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.