May 4, 2021
Next Issue: June 2, 2021
Submissions Due: May 25, 2021
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Minot State’s Nurse of the Year

Emily Neshem joined the nursing program because of a test result.

“I took a personality test in high school because I didn’t know what I wanted to be, and it said nursing,” the 2017 Lewis & Clark High School, Berthold graduate said. “I have a lot of family members who are nurses so I started asking them about it, and I realized that nursing is just one name for so many different jobs you do under that scope. It’s amazing to see what jobs there are in nursing.”

Once her decision was made, Neshem never looked back.

“This was the right decision,” she said. “They always say you can change your major, but I never changed my major. I was stuck to this, and it’s been a lot of work, but it’s been worth it. I believe I made the right decision, and I feel like I’m destined to be a nurse.”

Neshem’s faculty and peers agree, as she was selected as Minot State’s Nurse of the Year. Students were initially nominated by faculty in the nursing department before interviewing with members of the Nursing Student Association (NSA) on campus.

“It was narrowed down to the top three,” she said. “The two other nominees were my classmates; we were just all happy that we got nominated. We really didn’t care who won or not.”

The nomination process — as well as the North Dakota state Nursing Student of the Year interview process — gave Neshem the opportunity to reflect on her time as a nursing student and learn more about herself.

“I learned a lot. I learned that it’s okay to give yourself a pat on the back and say that you did this. You did well, you earned it. It was very hard for me to make it about me, I’m not that type of person,” she said. “Nursing school is hard, and it was kinda nice to get that recognition from the staff and the students.”

Minot State offers Leadership Living-Learning Community

Minot State Residence Life and the Looyenga Leadership Center are offering students a new opportunity on campus Fall 2021, the Leadership Living-Learning Community.

Recognizing that leadership is important to all majors and career paths, the community will be located on the second floor of Lura Major, a co-ed gender inclusive suite-style residence that offers students a comfortable living environment.

“The Leadership Living-Learning Community allows us to offer unique community-building experiences with students who share similar interests and goals,” said Jim Sturm, Looyenga Leadership Center director. “Students will have a chance to develop their leadership skills while interacting with others from a wide range of majors.”

The community will foster current and future success through involvement in leadership, citizenship, and relationship building.

“The living community is open to first-year students,” said Karina Stander, Residence Life director. “We will give preference to students who are part of the UNIV 110: Be Empowered class. Other students who have indicated that they are interested in being a part of the leadership community will be selected on a first-applied, first-served basis until it is filled. It has a capacity of 30 students.

“The peer mentor from the First-Year Experience Learning Community will also serve as the resident assistant for the living community. This will allow us to carry programming from in the classroom into the residence hall.”

Students who participate in the Leadership Living-Learning community can anticipate leadership activities throughout the semester, including an adventure weekend of high and low ropes team building, a community service project, developing a personal leadership plan, and leadership workshops, speakers, and activities focused on developing leadership skills.

MSU celebrates 31st annual Spring Honor Dance and Powwow

The Minot State Native American Cultural Center and Native American Cultural Awareness club welcomed back the 31st annual Spring Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration in the MSU Dome.

The MSU Dome was a little different during this year’s celebration. Last fall, the University displayed flags of the Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation, the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation to acknowledge their cultures and their presence on campus. The event also implement standard guidelines for COVID-19, including doubled seating to allow for physical distancing, mask requirements for audience members and performers, and concessions to go.

The standard dancing and drumming of the powwow happened in full swing. While registration for these events does not start until 3 p.m. on Friday, April 30, Well-known groups participated at this year’s event as it did not conflict with one of the largest powwows in the country, the Gathering of Nations.

Speaking with intent

For most, the process of speaking is automatic, a series of complex actions running in our brain with little to no intentional thought. We can thank the extrapyramidal system — a part of the motor system network — for that and many other involuntary actions.

Individuals with Parkinson’s, however, have to learn how to speak without the benefit of that system.

“When you’re lacking dopamine, the firing neurons at that automatic level aren’t working properly,” Lisa Roteliuk ’97/’99, Minot State communication sciences and disorders assistant professor, said. “To say a word, you might have a delay in trying to say it, or it may come out very, very soft. We’re trying to take the process of speaking and move it from the automatic extrapyramidal system to the pyramidal track, which is our intentional system.”

Together, faculty and students involved in the speech pathology graduate program are helping clients learn to speak with intent.

The Communication Disorders Clinic offers a two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s regain and maintain effective communication: SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd®.

The department was first awarded the National SPEAK OUT! ® and LOUD Crowd® grant through the Parkinson Voice Project in 2018, and the grant was recently awarded again for the fourth year in a row. The grant provides funding for training for faculty and speech pathology graduate students. Additionally, supplies such as sound pressure level meters, therapy manuals, and other materials used in the therapy process are provided through the grant.

Students involved in the graduate program spend time immersed in three different tracks before their externships: assessment, pediatric, and adult. It is when they’re in the midst of their adult track that they have the opportunity to work with patients with Parkinson’s.

Project Find Safe launches at Minot State University

Vanessa Rovig is passionate about keeping families safe.

With Project Find Safe, a grant funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Assistance to assist with the Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities Program, she is able to do just that.

“This program has the potential to save so many lives here in North Dakota,” said Rovig ’15, research associate for North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a Minot State University Center of Excellence.

Rovig is currently serving as project director for the Find Safe program in Minot and completed training with Project Lifesaver staff and North Dakota law enforcement Fall 2020.

“The Find Safe program is important because before we completed our training with outside law enforcement last fall, individuals who were prone to wandering had limited access to this tracking equipment,” she said. “When I hear first-hand from families who have reached out to me about our program, you can sense a wave of relief that comes over them, knowing that they cannot prevent their loved one from wandering but that they have a plan if they do wander.

“This program is so much more than just providing equipment. This comes down to what is most important in our life, which is the safety of our loved ones. I am privileged to be the liaison between Project Lifesaver and the families of North Dakota.”

New sports communication specialization available at Minot State

The Minot State University professional communication major is offering a new specialization beginning Fall 2021: sports communication.

The valuable option will be added to the current focus areas already offered in the major. They include communication, journalism, production, public relations, and social media.

The new sport communication specialization allows students to gain knowledge and experience in sports-based communication. In particular, the program allows students to serve as communication professionals who serve sports organizations and their many stakeholders, such as players, fans, coaches, managers, media organizations, and the general public. This growing field offers graduates a variety of professional opportunities.

“Sport organizations are looking for people who can plan and coordinate an event, while also being able to function as a representative and possessing the skills to shoot and photograph other events — being the person who has the skills and knowledge to do it all can go a long way,” said Neil Roberts, professional communication associate professor.

The specialization will help students gain knowledge and experience in the following skills: sports journalism, interviewing coaches and athletes, writing/producing sports content for the web, sports information management, TV anchoring and sports reporting, play-by-play and color analysis for various athletic games, sports live-shots, podcasting, vocal delivery, digital media in sports, sports advertising and public relations, special event planning (e.g., game day operations, press conferences, social events), and sports videography and photography.

Gala Dinner and Auction returns for 37th annual event

After a year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Minot State University Alumni Association is proud to announce the return of the annual Gala Dinner and Auction Friday, May 7 at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center.

The Gala, the Alumni Association’s premier fundraising event, will commemorate the University’s history, alumni, and students with the 37th annual event. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a social and silent auction. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. with a live auction to follow.

The fundraiser supports student scholarships and Alumni Association sponsored activities. Individual tickets for the Gala are $60 and tables of eight are $500. Tickets can be purchased by calling the MSU Alumni Office at 701-858-3373.

Along with the silent and live auctions, the fundraiser will feature mobile bidding sections and multiple games of chance. First Western Bank & Trust is hosting “Crack the Vault,” a game where guests will have a chance to crack the vault and win a cash prize. Successful bidders in the silent and live auctions may win an Infinity Massage Chair, donated by I. Keating, various golf outings, Minot State clothing and items, and more.

Minot State offering face-to-face classes at Minot Air Force Base

Minot State University is excited to again offer face-to-face classes at the Minot Air Force Base starting with the Summer 2021 semester.

The Summer 2021 semester begins June 1 and finishes July 29 with registration currently open. MSU at the Minot Air Force Base will also have three sessions of face-to-face classes in Fall 2021. Those three sessions are Aug. 23 to Dec. 17, Aug. 23 to Oct. 14, and Oct. 18 to Dec. 19.

There is no application fee for active-duty military personnel.

On-base classes can be completed in a variety of flexible formats for military students, their dependents, Veterans, and the general public. Courses are offered in a variety of formats in a range of times, including Monday through Saturday, during the lunch hour, and as arranged for special squadrons.

Military personnel can complete their Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree and earn a bachelor’s degree from Minot State. CCAF students can apply as a non-degree-seeking student and take up to 24 semester hours before transitioning to a degree-seeking student or complete general education requirements through the University’s General Education Mobile (GEM) program.

Minot State’s affordable and convenient programs qualify for tuition assistance, offer no out of state fees, no hidden charges or fees, and financial aid is available to qualifying students.

ASTEP graduation celebration May 13

ASTEP will be hosting a graduation celebration for our ASTEP graduate on May 13 at 1 p.m. on the second floor of Swain Hall. Join us as we celebrate.

Don’t cook supper on Tuesday, May 18

The MSU Nursing Student Association is having a fundraiser at Slim Chickens on Tuesday, May 18 from 5-8 p.m. The chapter will receive 50% of the sales to use to support several community projects and charities and for member participation in the Nursing Student Association of North Dakota State Convention which is held annually in January. Please help support your student nurses and spread the word.  Just mention the MSU NSA fundraiser at the time of check out. The event flier 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 Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 1-5 p.m., and by special arrangement. It is closed holidays. Masks and physical distancing are required.

  • Compositionally Offensive Public Reception: Six Minot State senior art students will host their senior capstone exhibition, Compositionally Offensive, to mark the culmination of their studies. The show will open with a reception on Friday, May 7 from 6:30-8 p.m. Artist talks are scheduled at 7 p.m. The full press release is available HERE.
  • Compositionally Offensive: Six Minot State senior art students will host their senior capstone exhibition, Compositionally Offensive, to mark the culmination of their studies. The exhibition features Amanda Anderson, JoHannah Grosz, Darby Ness, Rayson Renfrow, Tessia Samuelson, and Rhonda Weninger. The show will be on view May 7-June 4. The full press release, including information about the artists, is available HERE.

Flat Tail Press
Flat Tail Press is an educational printmaking studio at Minot State University. 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.-12 p.m.

  • Thanks for Being My Friend - Minot State University is the host to a new exhibition of artworks by New York City artist, Andrew D. Moeller. In “Thanks for Being My Friend,” Moeller shares precise, minimal paintings on paper created during New York City’s coronavirus lockdown in Spring 2020. In normal times, Moeller paints austere building façades on large aluminum panels in his studio, so during the pandemic his work had to shift down in scale. Bridging his prior work to his new predicament, Moeller borrowed his signature brick motif from the façade paintings and began creating blueprint-inspired works on paper, executed in a monochrome blue. The exhibit runs from March 10–May 15.

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.


Emerson Eads, assistant professor and director of choral activities, has been selected as a finalist for the 2021 Competition for Flute & Piano compositions by the National Flute Association for his Flute Sonata. He was one of four finalists named. The competition's winners, finalists, and honorable mentions are listed HERE. You can listen to Sonata for Flute & Piano along with information about the sonata from Eads HERE.

Eads is a national semifinalist in the Performance of American Music of The American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the recording of his Mass for the Oppressed. See The American Prize WEBSITE for more information and a listing of semifinalists.

Cathryn Halverson, assistant professor of English, for winning this year's Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Halverson will be in residence at Uppsala’s Center for North American Studies during academic year 2021-2022 to lecture and conduct research for her book in progress, “‘A Born Writer’: Juanita Harrison’s Beautiful World.”

Daniel Ngugi, associate professor of economics, hosted a session of the Western Economic Association International (WEAI) virtual conference held on March 17-19, 2021. He presented an article titled, “What Drives Acceptance and Use of Mobile Banking Technology in Kenya?”

Daniel Conn and Laura Zucca-Scott, associate professors in teacher education, presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference this week. Their roundtable presentation includes: "The Red and Green School: An Institutional Critique," Authors: Conn; Ian Clemente, Michigan State University; and Blake McCollough, Michigan State University. Their paper presentations include: "Unraveling the Assessment Industrial Complex: Reenvisioning What It Means to Say a School Is Doing Well," Authors: Michelle Tenam-Zemach, Nova Southeastern University; Conn; and Paul Parkison, University of North Florida. "When 'Sheltering in Place' Is Not Enough: Care, Dialogue, and Eco-Mindedness During COVID-19" Authors: Zucca-Scott and Conn.

Holly Pedersen, special education, and Ann Beste-Guldborg, communication sciences and disorders, shared a presentation based on their published research, "The impact of a collaborative consultation service delivery model for rural deaf/hard of hearing students," with school psychology students at Gallaudet University. The article is available HERE.

Holly Pedersen, Suzanne Nichol, Nicole Swartwout, special education, and Dan Conn, teacher education and kinesiology, published “Canadian Families’ Decisions of Communication Options for Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: An Initial Exploration” in the Journal of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention. The article is available HERE.

Lisa Roteliuk, Robyn Walker, and Kayla Fisher wrote a grant for continued funding for the SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® program. We recently received word that we were awarded the SPEAK OUT!® grant for a fourth year in a row.

Lauralee Dammen, administrative assistant in IT Central, was named Minot State University Staff Senate's March High Five Award winner.

Aileen Cheong was selected as the ASC Student of the Month for March. She has contributed to the Academic Support Center’s programs as an Access Services Graduate Assistant.

Caitlyn Vogel, nursing student, was crowned 2021 Miss North Dakota USA. View the Facebook post HERE.

This year’s Honors Program award nominees are listed below. Award recipients will be revealed at the Honors Program Commencement and Awards Ceremony in May.

  • Excellence in Leadership nominees: Praise Okunbor, Jenae Orluck, Lordina Yeboah, Melanie MacPherson, Thea Bonebrake, Megan Zeller, and Erica Summerour
  • Excellence in Community Service nominees: Jenae Orluck, and Erica Summerour
  • Outstanding Honors Program Thesis: Hannah Deplazes, and Kate Rock

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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.