Nov. 5, 2020
Next Issue: Dec. 3, 2020
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Minot State mourns the passing of Dr. Doris Slaaten

The Minot State University community is saddened to learn of the passing of longtime professor, MSU Development Foundation Board member, and friend of the University, Doris Slaaten, who died at the age of 100 on Sunday.

Slaaten’s connection to Minot State began in 1949 when she graduated from Minot State Teacher’s College with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in business. After teaching elementary and secondary school in North Dakota and Montana, she returned to her alma mater to teach in the College of Business for 27 years.

“The entire Minot State University community of students, faculty, and staff, along with thousands of alumni as well as her former colleagues, are saddened by the passing of Dr. Doris Slaaten,” said Minot State President Dr. Steven Shirley. “Doris was a pillar in the MSU family, and she left an indelible mark on this campus over the course of so many decades. It was certainly a special occasion earlier this month as she celebrated her 100th birthday, and we will certainly never forget Doris and the incredibly positive impact she had on Minot State University and the Minot community.”

Among her many contributions to the University are the Slaaten Learning Center in the College of Business on the third floor of Old Main and the Northwest Arts Center’s new home in the Gordon B. Olson Library. Slaaten was also the chair of the University’s Kimball Organ Restoration Campaign at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.

The Slaaten Learning Center was renovated in 2011 following a gift to the University to enhance student development, supplement scholarships, and provide for on-going support, including the creation of a video-conference board room, financial trading lab, and study space.

“Doris was a special lady,” said Rick Hedberg, MSU Development Foundation executive director. “If I had to use one word to describe Doris it would be ‘class,’ as she always exhibited the highest degree of integrity and grace. She was such a caring person. There’s a reason why she is revered by so many of her former students. She led a wonderful life and has left a lasting legacy.”

Active as a public servant, Slaaten served on several University boards including the Development Foundation, was a charter member of the MSU Board of Regents, a founding member of the advisory board of Phi Beta Lambda, and was a member of the MSU Legacy Society and Old Main Society.

Along with her bachelor’s degree from MSU, Slaaten earned a Master of Arts degree from Northwestern University and her doctorate from Colorado State University.

Slaaten was a Professor Emeritus in the College of Business and earned the MSU Alumni Association’s Golden Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association based on outstanding service to the University or the Alumni Association and distinguished leadership in their career or community, in 1979.

Minot State’s 100% online RN to BSN Completion Program offers flexibility, opportunity

Nursing is unique to other healthcare fields, with several pathways to entering nursing practice.

Evidence continues to show that patient outcomes are improved when nurses have reached the level of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher. The Minot State BSN Completion Program is an online curriculum that empowers registered nurses (RNs), or those building on their associate degree of nursing or associate of applied science, to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

With students completing the program with different levels of education and employment backgrounds, a personal touch is important.

“We really know that the more we communicate with the students, the more likely they are to complete the program,” said Melissa Fettig, MSU Department of Nursing pressor and BSN Completion Program director/advisor. “It is important to have excellent advising so we can get them in touch with any support they need, from the Writing Center to scholarship applications.”

Receiving a BSN opens new employment opportunities for RNs, including leadership and management positions; public health nurse, nurse educator, and nurse practitioner roles; and careers in Magnet Hospitals, a designation awarded to health care facilities by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Minot State Phi Beta Lambda chapter receives national awards

Minot State University College of Business students received recognition at the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) 2020 National Leadership Experience.

Walking away with awards were Zachary Keller, with an eighth-place finish in Networking Concepts; Katherine Klemetsrud, fourth place in Insurance Concepts; Linh Le, second place in Accounting for Professionals and third place in Cost Accounting; Jodi Spangler, Who’s Who; and Tanner Thompson, First Place National Champion in Local Chapter Annual Business Report.

The event, which connects middle school, high school, and collegiate-level students through competitive events, leadership sessions, and networking, convened online with more than 10,000 participants.

“Attending PBL Nationals Leadership Experience in June was nothing ordinary,” Le said. “Unlike other years, when we could travel to another city and connect with other students and professionals, this year we had to do it all online. Despite that, the national team pulled their best effort into creating an online experience for us with opening and closing sessions, competitive events, and social networking meetings, just like in-person — props to them for that.

“I was glad to have a chance to virtually meet new people, hear career advice from professionals, and especially, compete against other students in different states.”

The Upsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Beta Lamda at Minot State was chartered in 1971, with Doris Slaaten and John Doering serving as the first advisors. Other faculty advisors have included Gary Ross, Sharon Reynolds, and Dean Frantsvog.

Stander, Renfrow open exhibitions at Taube

Minot State University’s Ryan Stander and Rayson Renfrow both open exhibitions at the Taube Museum of Art in October.

Stander, an associate professor of art at MSU, opened “The Sky is Universal,” in the Taube’s upper gallery. Stander’s medium for the show is wet plate collodion. Renfrow, a Minot native majoring in photography with a concentration in printmaking, will earn his first exhibition with “Window Shopping” in the lower gallery. His collection is lithography.

“It has been more exciting than nerve-racking overall, the only really nerve-racking part was framing the artwork,” Renfrow said. “Although, for a little while I was skeptical that there even would be a show because of COVID-19.”

“I often compare where my students are against my own artistic career. My first solo show was at the age of 30, Rayson is in his early 20s,” Stander added. “To me, that is a major accomplishment. Rayson is one of the hardest working students I have had in my time here and is a great model for our younger students on how to move toward success. He comes in on weekends, stays late, works over holiday breaks and summers. All that work pays off with good skills, good art, and lots of opportunities.”

Stander encourages his students to feature their work outside the walls of Harnett Hall. For Renfrow, a photo event at the Taube last year was the steppingstone to a featured event.

“One of the things I encourage all students is to be entering local exhibitions when they can,” Stander said. “Last year, Rayson entered the Taube's ‘Biennial Photo Exhibit.’ His work impressed the director and she asked him if he would consider doing a solo show. Getting your work out there leads to more opportunities. Rayson is a prime example of that.”

Both exhibitions began on Oct. 14 and run through Nov. 18. 

Minot State Division of Music changes name to Division of Performing Arts

The Minot State University Division of Music has changed its name to the Division of Performing Arts.

“With the addition of theatre into our program, the name change makes sense,” Erik Anderson, Division of Performing Arts chair and professor of music, said. “It also reflects our current mission to incorporate a broader understanding of what it means to create and perform into our curriculum.”

The Division of Performing Arts houses the music and theatre degree programs including a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Bachelor of Science in Music Education, non-teaching music minor, theatre arts minor, and concentrations in music, dance and creative movements, and theatre.

The division’s mission is to provide courses of study and performance opportunities that foster aesthetic, technical, and intellectual development as students prepare for their future career. Whether students envision themselves teaching at the front of the classroom or performing onstage, the Division of Performing Arts is committed to helping them achieve their dreams.

“This is a great time to join the program at Minot State,” Anderson said. “Access to current technology, including a podcasting studio, music creation software and hardware, training in lights and sound, streaming from Ann Nicole Nelson Hall and Aleshire Theater, and the exciting addition of studio guitar in the fall of 2020 are just some of the opportunities recently added to our program.

“I am also excited about the possibilities for interdisciplinary learning between music and theater.”

Minot State University faculty receive fellowships, stipends

Several Minot State University faculty have been awarded North Dakota University System (NDUS) fellowships and stipends for open education resources.

The North Dakota University System Open Education Resources Faculty Fellowship and the North Dakota University System Open Education Resources Faculty Stipend supports expansion of open education resources (OER) within the NDUS to reduce student debt and enhance learning experiences.

OER materials for teaching and learning are made available for free or at substantially lower cost than traditionally published materials.

Three faculty members received fellowships to stimulate and facilitate projects to improve their teaching, to advance their scholarly and creative work, to enhance the institution's academic programs, and to realize institutional goals.

  • Bernard Halloran, assistant professor of biology, for Integration of Biological Impedance Analysis into Undergraduate Labs;
  • James Ondracek, professor of business administration, for Open Education Resources to Support Undergraduate Management Studies; and
  • Daniel Ringrose, professor of history and chair of the Division of Social Science, for The Reiten Papers: Family Ties, American Ingenuity, Nordic Origins, and Prosperity on the Great Plains.

Five faculty members received stipends to adopt, adapt, create, or reuse OER resources as alternatives to high-cost textbooks and course materials.

  • Andy Bertsch, professor of business administration, for OER in International Culture and Management;
  • Lacey Long, adjunct instructor of special education, for Course Materials for SPED 202;
  • Mary Mercer, adjunct instructor of special education, for Developing OER for SPED 446: Interdisciplinary Taming and Community Collaboration in Human Services;
  • James Ondracek, professor of business administration, for BADM 301 Fundamentals of Management: An Open Educational Resource (OER) Course; and
  • Mark Singer, associate professor of history, for OER Primary Source Reader for World Civilizations I.

Individuals selected for the faculty fellowship are encouraged to promote the use of OERs at Minot State and to share their research findings and experiences with others at the North Dakota Open Education Resources Conference in March 2021.

Spring 2021 registration open

Minot State University’s Spring 2021 semester registration opens with priority registration on Tuesday, Oct. 27 for all currently enrolled MSU students.

Current Minot State degree seeking undergraduate or graduate students who enroll by Nov. 6 are automatically entered in a drawing for a pair of Apple AirPod Pro earbuds. The first 100 students who share their Spring 2021 schedule with MSU Life will receive a free cup of coffee at the Beaver Dam Coffee Shop.

“By reaching out to your academic advisor to discuss your course plan, classes, and account holds, students can be prepared to find the best class options for them,” said Katie Tyler, MSU director of enrollment services.

Students can register for classes after the Nov. 6 date, but classes are subject to availability and students can only be entered into the drawing for the earbuds if registration is completed before the end date.

MSU students should also consult their academic advisor by appointment and check with the MSU registrar’s office by EMAIL for any holds on their account prior to beginning their Spring 2021 schedule.

“Spring semester will again be a mix of face-to-face, HyFlex, and online course offerings,” said Laurie Geller, MSU vice president for academic affairs. “Students should meet with their advisors and register for spring classes as soon as possible to ensure they get the classes they need in the formats they want.”

New and transfer students must complete virtual new student orientation before enrolling and should check their email for information on how to sign up. Contact the Minot State admissions office for any questions.

Classes are scheduled to begin on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 after 4 p.m.

Minot State Staff Senate Scholarship open for applications

The annual Minot State Staff Senate Scholarship is accepting applications for Spring 2021. Applications are due to the Minot State financial aid office by Friday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. Recipients will be notified in the first week of January. The scholarship is given out each spring to a Minot State classified employee or their immediate family member who is continuing their education in order to meet future career goals. For more information, see attached APPLICATION or go to the MSU Staff Senate Scholarship WEBSITE.

Statues of Dead White Men: Do They Matter? Nov. 18

Campus and Community Dialogues: Statues of Dead Men: Do They Matter? Is set for Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. The event will be live streamed through the MSU webpage page askMSU.com/dialogues. Guest panelists include Bethany Andreasen, Minot State professor of history; Rob Port, Forum News Service columnist; and Bill Peterson, State Historical Society of North Dakota director. Everyone, absolutely everyone, is invited to participate in the dialogue. Panelists will open with a few views of their own and will then unlatch the gates to questions, comments, and back-and-forth dialogue. The event is scheduled to last 70-90 minutes; come and go as you will.

In the past, as many as 2,000 participants have participated through the livestream. The goal of the dialogues is to address contemporary issues of interest to those both on and off campus, and to do so in a civil fashion. Campus and Community Dialogues have discussed the pertinence of religion, the value of education, the existence of ghosts, the legalization of marijuana, the necessity of gun control laws, and life in the surveillance state. All dialogues have been successful, but we really want more student voice in these dialogues so please tune in. Just visit the WEBSITE at 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 and you will be in the virtual town hall. Type your questions and two facilitators will bring your opinions into the arena. Engage! For more information, contact Robert Kibler at 720-2716 or via EMAIL. The event poster is available HERE.


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.

  • Malao': The Northwest Arts Center presents Malao’, by artist and printmaker Reinaldo Gil Zambrano, Americas 2019: Paperworks Best of Show artist. On view from Oct. 15 until Nov. 19, his solo exhibition presents relief printing as a storytelling tool—using the medium to explore human relationships, universal experiences, and the idea of home. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Zambrano moved to Spokane, Washington, after receiving his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho. There he started RGZprintz, was involved in two community art collectives, and went on to co-found the Spokane Print & Publishing Center in 2019. Zambrano’s desire to promote printmaking and artistic collaboration has led him towards the development of such projects as The Ink Rally and Spokane Print Fes’ with other local non-profits. He is currently an assistant professor of Art at Gonzaga University. For more about Zambrano and his work, go HERE.
  • Public Reception: Reinaldo Gil Zambrano: A limited public reception and online viewing is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 13 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: Reinaldo Gil Zambrano: Zambrano will be presenting in the Art Seminar series on Friday, Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. in Aleshire Theatre, Hartnett Hall.
  • Frank Sampson: The Northwest Arts Center presents a retrospective exhibition by North Dakota native son Frank Sampson, on display Oct. 15 through Nov. 19. Sampson’s exhibition is made possible through the North Dakota Museum of Art’s Rural Arts Initiative, a program that tours exhibitions of original artwork through North Dakota communities. For three decades, Sampson — now 91 years old — taught painting and printmaking at the University of Colorado in Boulder where he continues to make his home. He returns for a month each summer and winter to his North Dakota family home in Edmore. He flies into Devils Lake from Denver carrying a big roll of Arches paper. Up to a dozen new paintings rolled up under his arm go back to his Boulder studio to be mounted and framed.

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.

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 Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-1 a.m.

  • Print Day in May: Hosted by Flat Tail Press, this is the sixth annual Print Day in May for Minot State. The exhibition includes 11 (student, faculty, or alumni) artists who each delivered a unique approach to the challenge: create an edition of 11 x 15-inch prints. The result includes screen prints, lithographs, wood cuts, giclée, cyanotype and letterpress prints.


Emma Profili was selected as the ASC Student of the Month for September. She has contributed to the Academic Support Center’s programs as a new student program leader, peer mentor, and office assistant.

Isis Cabral designed the cover art and graduate student Lauren Cowden assisted in research for MSU professor Dan Conn’s newest book "Unraveling the Assessment Industrial Complex" with Michelle Tenam-Zemach and Paul Parkinson.

Dan Conn, associate professor of teacher education and Master of Education program director, has co-authored a new book titled "Unraveling the Assessment Industrial Complex" with Michelle Tenam-Zemach and Paul Parkinson. The book offers a comprehensive critique of how the assessment industry and standardized testing adversely impact students, teachers, and society.

Dan Conn, associate professor of teacher education and Master of Education program director, has co-authored an article and a book review that were published in Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue. Conn co-authored "Are Schools 'Robbing' Students?" along with Nathan Anderson, Anderson Inquiry, LLC; Michelle Tenam-Zemach, NOVA Southeastern University; Ian Clemente, Michigan State; Luke Schaefer, Central Regional Education Association; and Joel Zemach, University of Florida in Volume 22, Numbers 1 & 2, pp. 183-196. Conn teamed with Tenam-Zemach, Kimberly A. Mahovsky, University of Northern Colorado; Paul Parkinson, University of North Florida; and Joseph Zajdel, Cumberland University to review "Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago's South Side," a 2019 O.L. Davis, Jr. Outstanding Book Award Winner by Eve L. Ewing.

Cathryn Halverson, professor of English, was announced as this year's winner of the Thomas J. Lyon Book Award for best monograph in Western American Literary and Cultural Studies for "Faraway Women and The Atlantic Monthly" (University of Massachusetts Press).

Diane Pierson, administrative assistant in the communication sciences and disorders department, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's September High Five Award winner

Minot State faculty receive ND EPSCoR grant awards

Congratulations to Minot State faculty awardees of the 2020 ND EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) STEM Grants. ND EPSCoR’s mission is to increase STEM faculty capacity and competitiveness to help develop a stronger STEM pathway that produces next generation workforce, educators, and researchers. This year’s MSU awardees include:

  • Joseph Collette, geoscience, was awarded $39,877 to purchase one Revolution 60 turn-key flight-ready UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) - LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) package. This UAV-LiDAR will be used to complete the "Application of UAV LiDAR to Paleontological, Geomorphological, and Industrial Research Problems" proposal. Acquisition of this instrument will allow undergraduate student researcher-driven projects to be completed. Because many students choose careers with state or federal regulatory agencies, these projects will be seminal in helping train the next generation of land use, industrial, resource management, conservation, and paleontology professionals.
  • Thorpe Halloran, biology, was awarded grant funds in the amount of $13,307 to purchase a YSI EXO2 Multiparameter Sonde for implementation of the "Utilization of a Water Quality Mulitprobe to Examine the Phyiscochemistry of Aquatic Ecosystems In North Dakota" proposal. This equipment will be used in undergraduate-driven and faculty research projects and will allow the Biology department to integrate this technology into several courses. There will also be the opportunity for collaborative projects with fellow researchers as well as developing area high schools and other biology faculty. Experience using field equipment like this YSI unit is the type of pre-professional preparation which increasingly natural resource agencies expect from incoming hires and will be a great addition to the MSU biology program.
  • Christopher Heth, chemistry, was awarded an equipment grant for $11,400 to implement the "Ionic Liquid Precursors for Neat Electropolymerization of Conjugated Polymer Films" proposal. These funds will be used to obtain an electrochemical analyzer to implement student and faculty research projects. Additionally, students will utilize this instrument as part of the instrumental analysis curriculum as well as other courses. The acquisition of an electrochemical analyzer will significantly increase the research and educational capabilities of the MSU Division of Science.
  • Kathryn Kilroy, geoscience, received an undergraduate research award for $4,453 to implement the "Student Research of Vertical Hydraulic Conductivity, Vertical Gradients, and Aquifer Recharge in the Missouri Couteau of North Dakota" proposal. This proposal is the continuation of work started in 2013 to improve characterization of aquifer properties of the Fort Union Formation shale and the overlying Coleharbor Group of glacial drift sediments. This work is being done at sites in and near the Missouri Couteau in north central North Dakota, including Minot and Ward and surrounding counties. Undergraduate student researchers will gain experience gathering samples and using laboratory methods of analysis. The resulting body of information should allow multiple estimates of ground-water recharge in the upland area near Minot.
  • John Webster, geoscience, received a grant for $31,450 for the "Acquisition of an Energy Dispersive Spectrometer for a Scanning Electron Microscope" proposal. These funds will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) system for use on an existing LEO 435vp scanning electron microscope (SEM). The EDS system is used for microanalysis (spot chemical analysis) in petrologic studies, to acquire data on the compositions of individual sand grains (from sandstones) or crystals (in igneous rocks). The SEM-EDS system will be used for research, instruction, and public service in the geosciences and chemistry programs.

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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.