Sept. 4, 2020
Next Issue: Oct. 1, 2020
Submissions Due: Sept. 28, 2020
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Minot State University Department of Special Education receives $750,000 grant

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has awarded the Minot State University Department of Special Education a $750,000 grant to develop student scholarships for paraprofessionals with a special education emphasis.

The scholarship money will empower paraprofessionals to earn a Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Special Education.

“We have paraprofessionals who currently work as special education aids throughout our state, but they are not fully certified as teachers. These dedicated people have already shown their ability to work with, and their commitment to, students who have special needs,” Kirsten Baesler, DPI state superintendent of schools, said during the Aug. 10 North Dakota COVID-19 Response Press Conference. “The Department of Public Instruction, the governor’s office, and our state partners are partnering with Minot State University to offer scholarships to these paraprofessionals.

“Minot’s proposal is a research-based special education preparation program that addresses special education shortages in North Dakota. MSU’s Special Education Shortages CARES Act Project is a unique pathway for paraprofessionals currently working to support students with disabilities to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a major in Special Education.”

The two-year project will support 20 candidates as they complete their degree through a paraprofessional to teacher pathway. The project is a continuation of a pilot grant Minot State received in April 2020 for $252,000.

The pilot grant began May 27 and is supporting a cohort of nine candidates as they complete their Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Special Education over a two-year period.

“This program will begin to help increase our supply of licensed special education teachers who are trained in distance learning education. I should note that there is a high demand for this opportunity,” said Baesler. “For the nine openings for the summer, there were over 70 applications. Our additional support for 20 more scholarships will go a long way.”

The grant will cover the cost of tuition for all six semesters, and courses, seminars, and interactions with Minot State’s expert faculty will be offered through accessible distance technology. Candidates will continue to work in their paraprofessional position while completing the program and will receive on the job mentoring and modeling from the administrator and special education teacher.

Minot State switches to virtual 2020 Homecoming week

Due to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s decision to suspend all athletic competition through Dec. 31, the Minot State Alumni Association will not hold any in-person events for Homecoming 2020.

Minot State’s Homecoming 2020 was scheduled for Oct. 5-11.

The decision is based on guidance from public health officials regarding large gatherings. Minot State’s Homecoming celebration traditionally brings thousands of alumni and fans together for its Block Party, President’s Club luncheon, Golden Award dinner, reunions, tailgate, Athletics Hall of Fame induction, and annual football game.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make, but in light of the suspension of the fall sports season and to protect the health and well-being of both our alumni and fans and the students, faculty, and staff on campus, it was a decision we had to make,” said Janna McKechnie, Minot State director of alumni relations and annual giving. “We are working on celebrating with our alumni with virtual events during the week.”

The Minot State Alumni Association will release events for a virtual Homecoming Week at a later date.

North Dakota announces launch of Care19 Alert app to help reduce spread of COVID-19

Gov. Doug Burgum has announced the launch of the new Care19 Alert smartphone app designed to notify users of possible COVID-19 exposure while protecting their privacy with technology developed by Apple and Google.

“Care19 Alert is a powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19 and another example of how we’re embracing technology and innovation to save lives and livelihoods,” Burgum said. “North Dakota was the first state to launch a contact tracing app, and we’re the first state to connect an exposure notification system with the National Key Server, which will allow Care19 Alert to work with similar apps in other states. This makes Care19 Alert a vital resource in keeping schools and businesses open while protecting personal privacy.”

The North Dakota Department of Health developed Care19 Alert in partnership with North Dakota-based ProudCrowd LLC using funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The free app is available to download through the App Store and the Google Play Store. Care19 Alert is the only app in North Dakota allowed to use the exposure notification system (ENS) application programming interface (API) jointly created by Apple and Google.

Care19 Alert uses Bluetooth proximity technology provided by both Apple and Google notification systems. The app provides proactive alerts and notifications to users based on anonymous keys exchanged between smartphones as users go about their daily activities. Care19 Alert users will be notified if their device was in proximity of another device whose user tests positive for COVID-19. The app updates daily with positive COVID-19 results submitted by other users, which are then checked against the list of random keys that each device has encountered for more than 15 minutes in the last 14 days.

More information about Care19 Alert and Care19 Diary can be found at https://belegendary.link/Care19.

Department of Special Education receives grant for Deaf mentor program

The Minot State University Department of Special Education has received a grant from Sertoma, Inc. for its Deaf mentor program, a program successfully piloted last year in the University’s sign language and interpreting courses.

“Since Minot is rural and has a small Deaf community, we needed an innovative way to provide our students with regular interaction with native language users who could also share Deaf culture with them,” Holly Pedersen, special education department chair, said. “Through the magic of technology, we now match trained Deaf mentors from around the country with our students who log several hours outside of class via Zoom interacting with their mentors. Students and mentors both have given us a lot of positive feedback.”

Deaf mentor Katie Vetter was able to connect with Minot State students while living across the country.

“I live in Florida, so the students get the benefit of seeing different signs used in different regions. They also get to practice with diverse people — not all Deaf people have the same pace and signing style,” Vetter said. “I really enjoyed giving the students advice on their receptive and expressive skills, and it was great to learn their different reasons for choosing this profession.”

Priscilla Lawson, Minot State University Department of Education interpreting and sign language studies major, found value and confidence in the Deaf mentor program.

“I like that we are able to have the opportunity to meet with someone who is Deaf and is willing to work with us so we can have that real-time practice,” said Lawson. “It’s very encouraging and makes me feel good when I’m able to communicate with a Deaf person with absolutely no help from an interpreter or teacher. Both ladies I worked with were absolutely amazing.”

Sertoma, Inc. operates nationwide, with deep roots in the communities they serve at a local level. The Minot Sertoma Club, organized on Oct. 5, 1959, has a generous history with the University.

North Dakota Power Up Health Virtual Conference Sept. 11
The NDCPD is coordinating the fifth North Dakota Power Up Health Virtual Conference on Friday, Sept. 11. This is a virtual conference designed for and organized by people with disabilities, and is a conference designed for anyone interested in living a healthy lifestyle, both in mind and body regardless of your abilities. This is a great opportunity for Minot State students as well a professional development possibility. We are excited about our keynote speaker, ALVIN LAW, who will share his life story of being born without arms. Law is living proof that removing the word can't from your vocabulary is something to which we can all aspire. Registrations are being taken on EVENTBRITE. For questions, please contact SUSIE MACK.

Patriot Day program Sept. 11

The Military Resource Center will recognize Patriot Day with six moments of silence on Friday, Sept. 11 in The Quad, located near the evergreens on the south side of Memorial Hall, building 19 on the CAMPUS MAP. Each moment of silence will start with a one-minute program and conclude with a one-minute program, for a total three minute time start to finish.

  • 7:46 a.m. Flight 11 crashes into North Tower
  • 8:03 a.m. Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower
  • 8:37 a.m. Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon
  • 8:59 a.m. South Tower collapse
  • 9:03 a.m. Flight 93 crash
  • 9:28 a.m. North Tower collapse

The full 9/11 attack timeline can be found HERE. For information about Ann Nicole Nelson, who died as a result of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, please visit HERE or HERE.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program adds Sept. 18 date

The Great Plains Food Bank is partnering with USDA on their Farmers to Families Food Box Program (F2F). F2F is a new, short term USDA program in response to COVID-19, which helps farmers and suppliers get their food into the hands of families who need it. The event is scheduled for the Minot State Dome North parking lot. Drive-thru distribution of this pre-boxed produce is scheduled Sept. 18 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Harvest Celebration on Oct. 2
Red and Green School and the Minot State University Native American Cultural Center are hosting a Harvest Celebration on Friday, Oct. 2 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. across from Model Hall on University Avenue. During the celebration, attendees are welcome to take crops from our community garden — including Arikara watermelon, Mandan squash, Arikara sunflower, Arikara yellow bean, Mandan bride corn, and tobacco (for ceremonial use). Members of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation and the Ojibwe Nation will share stories, music, and lessons from their perspective nations. Faculty, staff, students, and community members, including children, are welcome to attend using COVID-19 guidelines. For questions or more information, contact Dann Conn, Red and Green School and associate professor of teacher education and kinesiology, via EMAIL or at 970-520-9084, or Annette Mennem, Native American Cultural Center director, via EMAIL or at 701-858-3365.


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. The Arts Center is open on adjusted hours this fall, Tuesday through Saturday, 1-5 p.m. and by special arrangement. It is closed holidays.

  • Americas 2020: All Media: The Northwest Arts Center opens the Fall Semester at Minot State University with the "Americas 2020: All Media“ annual juried exhibition. The exhibition is on view Aug. 21 to Oct. 2 in the Walter Piehl Gallery. 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 our community. This year’s exhibition features 41 artworks from artists across the United States. We are honored to have ceramicist Guillermo Guardia as the juror for the Americas 2020: All Media exhibition. Living and working in St. Paul, Minnesota. Guardia creates figurative sculptures and pottery, integrating pattern and form, which are influenced by art history, his upbringing in Peru, Catholicism, his transition to living in the United States, and political events.
  • Senior Capstone Exhibition: Originally scheduled for May but postponed due to the pandemic, the exhibition is on view Aug. 28 to Sept. 18 and showcases the following students and their artwork: The Grindzeebo by Charlie Lee, Left and Right by Ashley and Andrea Franco,1438 11th St. by Tienna Johnson, Graphic Design Portfolio by Jeanne Brenner, Thrive (Graphic Design Portfolio) by Isis Cabral, Portraits of Public Reception: Americas 2020: All Media: A limited public reception is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 10 from 6:30- 8 p.m. Both exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. Please see the reception event or NAC website for more details. Masks and social distancing are required.
  • Art Seminar Series: Guillermo Guardia: Guardia will present in the Art Seminar series on Friday, Sept. 11 at 12 noon in Aleshire Theatre, Hartnett Hall.

Hartnett Hall Gallery
The 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. The Hartnett Hall Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

  • Isis Cabral: 14 Daze: After completing her undergrad, Isis Cabral took the time to create art using all the styles she's grown to enjoy. This body of work was created through purely inspired thoughts. "When you have an inspired thought, you must act upon it," Cabral said. The exhibition is on view through Sept. 25


Aileen Cheong and Jessica Morton, both graduate students, have joined the Access Services. Cheong and Morton are in the communication sciences and disorders master's program. They will be assisting Evelyn Klimpel with test proctoring, recruiting note takers, and other accommodations.

Karina Stander, director of residence life & housing, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's July High Five Award winner.

Minot State University welcomes all new faculty and staff for the Fall 2020 academic year! See attached PDF for this year's new incoming employees with photos.

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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.