Oct. 5, 2020
Next Issue: Nov. 2, 2020
Submissions Due: Oct. 28, 2020
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Minot State breaks ground on Phase One of Summer Theatre revitalization project

Minot State University celebrated the ceremonial groundbreaking for Phase One of its MSU Summer Theatre revitalization project in the future home of an expanded plaza Thursday morning.

The ceremony kicked off a two-phase process to upgrade the amphitheater which was originally built in 1970.

Phase One, set to immediately begin with a May 15, 2021 final date, will focus on upgrades to accessibility, including integrating handicap seating in the lower, middle, and upper concourse, increased space for aisles and handrails, and a replacement of the upper level deck. Some seating from the lower section will be removed to accommodate the new aisles, but additional seats will be added to the upper section in order to keep seating at the current level. In fact, the amphitheater will add roughly 20 seats to bring the total capacity to just under 500.

After completion of Summer Theatre’s 55th season next summer, construction is anticipated to begin on Phase Two, a complete overhaul of the existing complex including bathrooms, ticket office, dressing rooms, and office space, along with a new plaza and drive-through, and lower-level concessions. Additional fundraising is needed to complete Phase Two.

Rolac Contracting of Minot was awarded the bid as general contractor for Phase One. Phase Two is expected to go to bid during this winter for an August 2021 start date. The entire $1.9 million project is expected to be completed by May 2022 in time for the 56th season.

Fundraising for the project is ongoing. For more information, to view a project description, to view photos, and to support the revitalization visit www.MSUSummerTheatre.com.

POWER Center awarded $523,776 in federal grants

The Minot State University POWER Center was the recipient of two federal Student Support Services (SSS) grants of $261,888 each to help students succeed in and graduate from college.

The POWER Center, utilizing the two TRIO Student Support Services grants since 2010, serves 310 students each year academic year.

“These grants are significant to the campus for many reasons. TRIO programs focus on student retention, graduation, and good academic standing,” said Holly Major, POWER Center director. “If we can help keep students in good standing, they can continue their educational path to graduation. Seeing students graduate and cross the stage at commencement is so rewarding.

“We are excited to continue to be here for students to see them complete more of their educational goals and to help students with the next steps after graduation.”

Student Support Services helps college students who are low income, first generation (those whose parents do not have a four-year college degree) or students with disabilities. The array of services the grant will provide are comprehensive and will include academic tutoring, financial aid advice, career and college mentoring, help in choosing courses, and other forms of assistance.

Major and her team worked throughout 2019 to prepare for the application process for the federal program. That hard work will pay off for Minot State students as MSU is the only campus in North Dakota to have two TRIO Student Support Services programs, including a traditional program for students who are first generation and one program exclusively for students with disabilities.

Minot State names Becker, Henry to Academic Hall of Fame

The Minot State University’s Academic Hall of Fame committee has chosen two outstanding alumni in Dr. Becky Becker and Dr. Tim Henry as members of the Class of 2020.

Due to ongoing restrictions for large gatherings this fall, the Class of 2020 will be honored at a social and program during 2021 Homecoming events.

Becker is currently a professor of theater in the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. In addition to her teaching career in theater history, dramaturgy, playwriting, and devising performance, Becker has been a director, dramaturg, and playwright.

Henry is a cardiovascular interventionist at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. He serves as the Lindner Family Distinguished Chair in clinical research and is the Medical Director of The Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research at the Christ Hospital. Henry is a pioneer in the treatment of myocardial infarction.

The duo joins nine others in the Minot State Academic Hall of Fame, including Veronica Pinnick, who was inducted last year. Carrie Forshner Evans, Lisa Feldner, Delane C. Kristky, and Rosanne Olson were a part of the inaugural class in 2011, Robert Holmen and Joe Alme in 2012, Kim Baldridge in 2013, and Robert Hubbard was inducted in 2014.

To read more about both Dr. Becker and Dr. Henry, see the University Communications story HERE.


Alumni Association to honor five with Golden Award

The Minot State University Alumni Association will honor four individuals with the Golden Award and one with the Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2020.

The 2020 honorees include Chuck Barney, Josh Duhamel, Terry (Ferebee) Eckmann ’81/’82, and John Schwan ’82. The Young Alumni Achievement Award winner is Joseph Brewer ’04.

The Golden Awards are the highest award bestowed by the Minot State University Alumni Association. Selections are based on outstanding service to the University or Alumni Association and distinguished leadership in the recipient’s career or community. The Young Alumni Achievement Award recipient is between the ages of 21 and 39.

Honorees will receive their awards at a dinner along with the 2021 award winners next year as the University has decided to not hold any large in-person events this fall due to COVID-19 For more information on the Golden Awards, visit the Alumni Association website MinotStateu.edu/Alumni.

Sturm to direct Looyenga Leadership Center

Minot State University took its first steps towards putting into action Roger and Ann Looyenga’s $1 million gift for leadership with the welcoming of Jim Sturm as the director of the Looyenga Leadership Center.

Last November, the Looyengas presented their gift to expand the University’s leadership opportunities, beginning with a leadership certificate and concentration that include four new leadership classes available for all students.

This meant the University needed someone to head the new center. Vice President for Academic Affairs Laurie Geller was a member of the council who selected the candidate for the new position.

“The Looyenga Leadership Advisory Council sought someone who could work with a variety of people – students, faculty, staff, and community members,” she said. “We also wanted someone who models leadership and who will inspire students to consider learning more about leadership, whether that is in a course, workshop, co-curricular activity, or some other method.”

After he accepted the position, Sturm moved to Minot from Buffalo, New York at the beginning of September. Having never been here before, he has quickly settled into the city and the University.

NDCPD celebrates 30th anniversary

The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD) at Minot State University is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Follow our social media sites for trivia, videos, and information highlighting staff, events, and projects that showcase the Center’s 30 years.

Brent Askvig, NDCPD executive director, stated NDCPD is a University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, Education, Research, and Services (UCEDD). We are a part of a national network of 67 similar programs funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), a U.S. Health and Human Services division. As a statewide organization, we collaborate with community providers and state and local government agencies to provide training, technical assistance, service, research, and information dissemination. 

“Oct. 1, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary date of NDCPD. Starting on Sept. 24, 2020, follow us virtually as we share memories of how it all started, former center directors, and previous and current projects and staff," Askvig said.

Please watch our social media sites for information that brought us to this historical mark. Visit our WEBSITE, follow us on Facebook at North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD), and on Twitter @NDCPDatMSU. For questions, contact Korie Huettl via EMAIL or at 701-858-3580. 

Minot State 2020 Virtual Homecoming

Minot State 2020 Homecoming is doing our dam'dest to keep everyone healthy by offering virtual weeklong events. Today, Monday, Oct. 5, record yourself playing the Beaver Fight Song on a kazoo and post it on the Alumni Facebook page for a chance to win a $50 gift card from the Minot State bookstore. To view other planned events for the week, view the POSTER.

MSUWell Homecoming 5K
MSUWell is sponsoring its annual 5K a little differently this year! The 5K will be virtual, where runners and walkers can complete the 5K ROUTE any time during the week of Homecoming (Oct. 5 -11). The race fee is $20, which includes a virtual 5K t-shirt. Racers who submit their timed results via email to COURTENAY BREKHUS will be eligible for door prizes. Proceeds will go to the MSUWell Scholarship Fund. To sign up, click HERE. The event poster can be viewed HERE.

Minot State flu vaccine clinics

The Minot State Nursing Department and MSU Student Health will be set up on the third floor of the MSU Dome to provide students, staff, and faculty their annual flu vaccination. A full schedule of times and dates, while supplies last, is available online for STUDENTS and STAFF/FACULTY, or via printable SCHEDULE. All forms (links below) must be printed and completed prior to arriving to the clinics.  Staff and faculty must provide your Sanford Health Insurance ID#.  Please DO NOT ATTEND if you are sick, recently had COVID, currently have COVID, or if you are in quarantine or isolation

If you have any questions please contact Student Health at 701-858-3371.

International Peace Garden Conference Oct. 16

This year, we will be holding our annual International Peace Garden Conference with the political science program at Brandon University online. Students will have an opportunity to share their research on issues related to democracy and political engagement with their peers at an international institution. Attendees and presenters will both have an opportunity to complete their IP2 general education credit via this one-day conference. To do so, students should enroll in the Political Science 095 course for Fall 2020 via Campus Connection.

The conference will take place on Friday, Oct. 16, and the exact length is TBD, though students should expect the conference to run for most of the day.  Student attendees and presenters will be given an access code to the Zoom sessions before the conference begins. Don't miss this excellent opportunity to present your original research and learn about national and international issues from your student peers at Brandon University! Requests for more information and paper submissions should be sent to JOHN MCCOLLUM.


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.

  • Visions of Justice: The Northwest Arts Center presents “Visions of Justice - Words & Pictures,“ on view through Oct. 9 in the Walter Piehl Gallery. The exhibition explores personal visions of justice by North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation resident artists and writers. Participants interpreted and expressed their vision of justice as related to prompts of judgment, fairness, balance, history, and identity. Held over the past summer, the call for entries drew 30 artworks and 10 written works from across the ND DOCR system. Broaching themes including criminal justice reform, religion, social justice, rehabilitation and regret, the works offer voices and perspective often left unheard in discussions of success and failure in the justice system. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Masks and physical distancing are required.

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.

  • Pursue ______: The Hartnett Hall Gallery is hosting an exhibition from Minot State professor of art Ryan Stander titled "Pursue ______:" through Nov. 6. This crowd-source letterpress project, created in response to current events and the growing division within the country, is free and open to the public. The exhibition features 65 posters printed with letterpress and feature phrases that Stander collected from his community. Each poster features something that a person wanted to pursue, like “pursue community,” and “pursue the common good.” Stander felt that each one of these phrases gave insight into who the person was, and what each person values during difficult times. For more information about the exhibition, contact STANDER or Hartnell Hall Gallery student director JOHANNAH GROSZ.


Ludny Desert was selected as the ASC Student of the Month for August.

Melissa Cantone, associate registrar, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's August High Five Award winner.

Ryan Miner, head women's hockey coach and university financial technician, was named the 2020 Young Alumnus by the Dakota College at Bottineau Foundation.

Office of Sponsored Programs update
Congratulations to the following MSU faculty and staff for the successful grant awards received over the past two quarters.

Recently awarded grants

  • Holly Major, Academic Support Services - POWER Center / TRIO Student Support Services for Students with Disabilities and POWER Center / TRIO Student Support Services Traditional Grant – both funded by U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Post-Secondary Ed.
  • Paul Markel, AS/SW/SP - ND Challenge Grant Unendowed Scholarship - funded by ND Higher Education Challenge Fund
  • Lynda Bertsch, Career Services - Enterprise Holdings Foundation Grant - funded by Enterprise Holdings Foundation
  • Bryan Schmidt, Chemistry - FY 20-21 The Role of TAAR1 in Amphetamine - Stimulated Catecholamine Secretions - funded by ND INBRE
  • Mikhail Bobylev, Chemistry - FY 20-21 Novel formamide ligands antifungal activity… - funded by ND INBRE; ND ACES Funding FY21 - funded by ND EPSCoR; Summer Faculty Fellowship to develop new lab course for Medicinal Chemistry - funded by North Dakota Space Grant Consortium
  • Anne Beste-Guldborg, Communication Sciences and Disorders - ND Challenge Grant Unendowed Scholarship -funded by ND Higher Education Challenge Fund
  • Laurie Weber, Financial Aid - Fed PELL Grant FY21, Fed SEOG Grant FY21, Fed TEACH Grant FY21, and Fed Workstudy FY21 - funded by US Dept. of Education. CARES ACT Student Emergency Financial Aid Support - funded by US Dept. of Education CARES Act
  • Joseph Jastrzembski, History - FY20 Global Ties Community Partnership Grant International Visitor Leadership Program - funded by US Dept of State - Office of International Visitors, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs
  • Rick Hedberg and Laurie Geller, MSU Foundation & VPAA - ND Challenge Grant Educational Infrastructure to update curriculum instructional areas - funded by ND Higher Education Challenge Fund
  • Greg Vettel, NAC – Art - Institutional Support Grant Program FY 21 and National Endowment of the Arts - CARES ACT - both funded by ND Council for the Arts
  • Brent Askvig, NDCPD - ND Dual Sensory Project, continuation - funded by U.S. Dept. of Education – OSEP and NDCPD CORE Grant FY 21 YR 4 of 5 - funded by Office of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Dianne Bossert, NDCPD - FY 21 Infant Development - funded by the ND Dept. of Human Services
  • Hilory Liccini, NDCPD – Learn the Signs Act Early Partnerships - funded by CDC, AUCD, HRSA and URLEND FY 21 - funded by AUCD – URLEND
  • Jerusha Olthoff, NDCPD - (ND EHDI) ND Early Hearing Detection and Intervention - Information Systems and ND EHDI - COVID 19 Supplement Funds - both funded by US Dept. of Health & Human Services, HRSA, CDC
  • JoLynn Webster, NDCPD - Living in an Adult World - funded by ND State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Linda Madsen, NDCPD - FY 20-21 ND Senior Medicare Patrol Project - funded by Administration on Aging
  • Lori Garnes, NDCPD - Training for Supporting Children of Opioid Epidemic - funded by Administration for Community Living - through WY Institute for Disability
  • Vanessa Rovig, NDCPD - Trackers for Find Safe Project - funded by ND State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Angie Bischof and Sara Frantsvog, Nursing - Community Health Education Equipment - St. Joseph Community Health Foundation
  • Kim Teidmann and Jaqueline Reep, Nursing - The CAB's: As important as ABC's. Does your child know CPR? - National Student Nurse Association
  • Christina Klassy, Nursing - ND Challenge Grant Unendowed Scholarship - funded by North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund
  • Rebecca Daigneault, Social Work - Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Implement Yr 3 - funded by US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living
  • Holly Pedersen, Special Education - Sertoma Professional Education Grant - funded by Sertoma Club of Minot; Interpreting & Sign Language Studies Online Curriculum and Para to Teacher in Special Education Pilot - both funded by the ND Dept. of Public Instruction; Para to Teacher: NDDPI Special Education Teacher Shortage Funding Opportunity  - funded by CARES ACT through the ND Dept. of Public Instruction; and Special Education Dept. Student Scholarships funded by Tom and Frances Leach Foundation
  • Chad Gifford, Summer Theater - Summer Theater - CARES ARTS Midwest - funded by CARES Act
  • Brent Winiger, Vice Pres. Finance - CARES Act Higher Education Relief Strengthening Institutions and CARES ACT Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-Institutional Portion - both funded by U.S. Dept of Education CARES Act
  • Erik Kana, Associate Vice Pres. Academic Affairs - Open Educational Resources - funded by ND University System

Recently Submitted Grants
Kudos to the MSU faculty and staff for the following grant submissions over the past two quarters. Best of luck!

  • Bryan Schmidt, Chemistry - R21 Research: Determining the roles of allosteric disulfide bonds and antimicrobial peptides in SARS-CoV-2 viral binding – National Institutes of Health-NIAID
  • Joseph Collette, Geoscience - High Resolution UAV-LiDAR: Identifying Risks & Digitally Documenting at Risk Cultural & Paleontologically Significate Sites in ND – U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management
  • Amy Armstrong, NDCPD - ND Inclusive Model Pathways for College and Career Training Consortium (IMPCCT) – U.S. Dept. of Education
  • Brent Askvig, NDCPD - ND Dual Sensory Project - ND Dept. of Public Instruction
  • Christine Brigden, NDCPD - Phase III ND Disability Training for First Responders Grant - ND SCDD

While not funded, the following proposals were also recently submitted. Kudos for all their hard work!

  • Michele Burney, NDCPD - Circle of Giving Customized Employment Technical Assistance Project application to New York State Developmental Disabilities Giving Circle
  • Christine Brigden, NDCPD - Comprehensive Suicide Prevention Project application to Center for Disease Control – ATSDR
  • Linda Madsen, NDCPD - ND Transition to Integration Program application to the Administration for Community Living - Administration on Disability

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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.