Oct. 7, 2022
Next Issue: Nov. 2, 2022
Submissions Due: Oct. 28, 2022
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Minot State 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 at the 54th annual dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The 2022 class for the Golden Awards includes Leslie (Gray) Coughlin ’01, Jerry Helgeson ’69, Robert Mau ’74, and Mark Sanford ’61. The Young Alumni Achievement Award winner is Veronica (Cavallo) Pinnick ’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.

Read bios of the 2022 Golden Awards HERE.

Take a Hike: MSU First Year Experience Trip

Minot State University’s First Year Experience (FYE) class and members of the MSU geology department took an epic trip west during the first week of October. The group spent eight days in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park.

The trip served as both a geology field trip and an adventure as multiple hikes in the two historic national parks were on each day’s itinerary. You can read more about each day of the trip and see epic photos from both parks by reading MSU Professor John Webster’s daily journal.

To access the journal, logon to MSU’s University Communications website HERE.

Minot State expands Hometown Pride Experience, includes educators

Minot State is expanding its Hometown Pride Experience with additional benefits for area high school seniors and a scholarship for educators.

Last year, the University announced a new, automatic $1,000 Hometown Pride Scholarship for incoming freshmen from the region. This year, MSU is rolling out the red carpet with free swag, tickets to athletic events, priority class registration and on-campus room selection, and more with the Hometown Pride Experience.

“We are excited to expand our Hometown Pride Scholarship with the new Hometown Pride Experience for graduating seniors throughout north-central and northwestern North Dakota,” said Minot State President Dr. Steven Shirley. “Minot State is proud of the role we play in educating citizens across the region and happy to announce the expansion of the Hometown Pride Scholarship to local educators, the backbone of our communities.”

All new freshmen who are accepted to Minot State and live in the expanded Hometown Pride region — Benson, Bottineau, Burke, Divide, Dunn, Eddy, Foster, McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Mountrail, Oliver, Pierce, Ramsey, Renville, Rolette, Sheridan, Towner, Ward, Wells, and Williams counties — will automatically qualify for the Hometown Pride Experience.


The $1,000 Hometown Pride Scholarship is eligible for students who are admitted to the University by March 31, 2023, meet North Dakota University System (NDUS) core requirements, and graduate with a 2.75 or higher unweighted GPA.

As a way of recognizing and supporting local educators who wish to pursue their master’s degree from Minot State, the University has expanded the $1,000 scholarship to include any K-12 employee working at a Hometown Pride school.

Community Rocks gives back to Minot

The seventh annual Community Rocks concert continued its tradition of offering a unique concert experience with a community-based philanthropic message.

The August concert, making its debut at the newly renovated Minot State Amphitheater, provided an excellent night of music combining rock and roll and orchestra.

On Monday, the philanthropic portion of the event took center stage as Community Rocks donated a record $51,000 to 10 area projects.

“The mission of Community Rocks reminds us that we are dedicated to planning and delivering performance arts events to improve our community," said Andy Bertsch, MSU professor and Community Rocks co-founder. “Our business model includes partnering with a primary beneficiary; and, because the event is made possible by an amazing orchestra, vocalists, auctioneer, emcee, and others who help to fulfill the mission, we name many other beneficiaries selected by those involved.”

The 2022 primary beneficiary and partner, Souris Valley Animal Shelter, was awarded $45,500 from the Community Rocks partnership. The Minot State Development Foundation was awarded $1,000 for music scholarships and Prairie Grit Sports was awarded $1,000 via Starbucks.

The Souris Valley United Way, The Lord’s Cupboard, Magic City Discovery Center, Project Bee, the Minot String Academy, Minot High School bands, and Dakota Chamber Music were awarded $500 each in the name of various partners of the event.

Minot State launches Aspire program for future educators

Minot State University has launched an exciting opportunity for high school juniors and seniors exploring a career in education through the Aspire program.

The program is possible through Minot State’s partnership with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the Bush PIPELINE (Planning Initiative to Prepare Educators for Licensure in ND {Special} Education) grant.

MSU is recruiting Aspire Explorers for the Spring 2023 semester. Students must be nominated by a school administrator or counselor. The program components include:

  • Dual credit SPED 110 Introduction to Exceptional Children: Delivered online with tuition and materials paid! This class is required for all education and communication sciences and disorders majors at MSU
  • Peer mentors
  • One day immersive experience on campus
  • Development of an individualized pathway to a career in education

There is a critical shortage of teachers in North Dakota and throughout the country and the Aspire program will help students earn a head start on their career by taking a college course in education.

MSU offers workshops through Lifelong Learning Institute

Minot State University is offering an exciting list of workshops for the Lifelong Learning Institute Fall 2022 schedule. 

Workshops range from photography to framing, sculpture to pottery, and pickle ball to podcasting. There are events for children and adults. Each workshop features various Minot State faculty and expert community members.  

For more information or to sign up for a class, see Minot State’s Lifelong Learning Institute WEBSITE or contact Amy Woodbeck, professional and community education coordinator, by EMAIL or by phone at 701-858-3989/1-800-777-0750 ext. 3989. 

Be a Beaver Days at Minot State

Minot State University is inviting prospective students to campus for Be a Beaver Days on Thursday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 21.

The event allows high schoolers, transfer students, and individuals interested in higher education the opportunity to customize a unique experience built around their interests. Attendees can attend classes, tour campus, meet with an admission counselor, learn about specific majors, climb the rock wall, enjoy a free meal, and more.

With several dozen college courses to sample — from art to nursing to philosophy to criminal justice and more — attendees are encouraged to create a schedule built around their interests on one or both days.

The event is the perfect time to see what life is like on the Minot State campus and occurs during the annual North Dakota Council of Educational Leaders Fall Conference, when K-12 students are off from school. While high school halls will be quiet, school will be in session at Minot State, allowing attendees the opportunity to experience University life alongside current college students.

To register for Be a Beaver Days and explore available classes, campus tours, Wellness Center activities, and additional event times, visit askMSU.com/BeaverDays.

Let’s get cheeky!
Every year, in the US,  more than 15,000 people with blood cancers  are in need of a blood stem cell donation from an unrelated person.  Please consider adding yourself to the registry of potential  blood stem cell donors.  Only about 1/500 who register are ever called as a lifesaving match,  so the registry must maintain a large pool of willing donors.  What does it take?  An understanding of the obligation if you are ever a “match” , and a swab of your cheeks to check one set of important genes.  That’s it.  You could be needed one day to save a life. Check out these VIDEOS. For more information contact Heidi Super by EMAIL. There will be a registry clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the MSU Student Center.

Homecoming 5K Run/Walk
Minot State University is excited to announce the 2022 Homecoming events will include its annual parade from downtown Minot to the MSU campus. The parade is scheduled for the Saturday of Homecoming Week on Oct. 15 and starts at 11 a.m. in Minot’s historic downtown. MSU welcomes cars, trucks, floats, walkers, marching bands, and horses to participate, expecting up to 80 entrants. The route begins on 3rd Street and moves through the downtown via Main Street and Central Avenue before heading north on Broadway to MSU (MAP). Each entrant will be given a line-up spot — to avoid traffic jams — and a time starting at 9:30 a.m. To enter, see MSU’s parade online APPLICATION or for more information, contact McKechnie by EMAIL or by phone at 701-858-3373. More information on all Homecoming 2022 events can be found ONLINE.

SWIFT Club participating in Hivestorm


The Minot State SWIFT Club is participating in the national cybersecurity event HIVESTORM. Last year, SWIFT had one team participate and finish in the top 40% of 400 teams. This year, the SWIFT Club has five teams participating. The event takes place Oct. 15 from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.. Students will be in the Cybersecurity Center, Old Main third floor, on campus.


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.

  • Rosanne Olson: A Creative Life: This retrospective exhibition by Minot State alum, photographer, artist, and educator, Rosanne Olson, will be on view in the Northwest Arts Center’s Walter Piehl Gallery from Oct. 6 to Nov. 26.
  • Rosanne Olson: A Creative Life: Join us for the opening reception of "Rosanne Olson: A Creative Life," a retrospective exhibition by Minot State alum Rosanne Olson on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 6-8 p.m. There will be an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. The exhibit will be on display October 6 to November 26 in the Walter Piehl Gallery at the Northwest Arts Center. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. We welcome you to attend either in person or online. Masks are not required, but individuals who are not fully vaccinated or deemed vulnerable are encouraged to continue to wear masks.

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 a.m.


Yung-Ju Ruth Chen, from the Department of Teacher Education and Kinesiology at Minot State, has received the President’s Award from the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA). NASPSPA is one of the leading international organizations in kinesiology and this award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the development and growth of the society. 

Renee Duncan, Department of Nursing, along with Sandra Groth, Joanne Lassiter, and Billie Madler, published an article in "Teaching and Learning in Nursing.” The article, “Onboarding orientation for novice nurse faculty: A quality improvement pilot project,” discusses the difficulty of transitioning from bedside nursing to the academic setting and how a formalized orientation program can ease that transition.

Ernst Pijning, professor of history, was invited to present the paper “Inglaterra e Holanda na Disputa pelo Comércio Atlântico,” at the international conference Independência on Aug. 30, Ernst Pijning, professor of history, was invited to present the paper “Inglaterra e Holanda na Disputa pelo Comércio Atlântico,” at the international conference Independência. Processos, Personagens e Interpretações ("Britain and the Netherlands in the stive over Atlantic commerce") in São Paulo, Brazil. The conference was organized and paid for by the Cátedra Jaime Cortesão/Department of History of the University of São Paulo, celebrating Brazil’s 200 years of independence (1822-2022). The conference presentation (in Portuguese) is available on YouTube.

Earlier in August, Pijning also gave an online presentation, organized by the Universities of Rio Grande do Sul and of Para (Brazil). This is the second conference organized for students, faculty, and all interested in Brazil and Latin America during the COVID times when all face-to-face classes were suspended. “Negociante, Diplomata, Espião e Contrabandista: a carreira de Domingos Luís da Costa" ("Merchant, diplomat and smuggler: the career of Domingos Luis da Costa, as part of the panel “Espionagem, soberanias e transgressões”), was presented at II Colóquio Virtual de História das Américas, on Aug. 10. The panel and conference presentation (in Portuguese) is available on YouTube.

"Todd’s Song," a song written by Minot State University’s ’92 alumnus Todd Mathistad and MSU’s Director of Choral Activities Emerson Eads, has been published by North Star Music LLC. A recording will be available shortly, meanwhile you can read more about this collaboration HERE. More information about available video and audio recordings forthcoming.

Neil Fulton is the August winner of the Staff Senate High Five Award.. He is pictured HERE with MSU President Steven Shirley and Staff Senate President Katy Allers. Fulton is the University's network operations manager in IT Central, doing network and server configuration along with Office 365 administration. He has been with MSU since 1999, starting as a work study before graduating to full time.

Minot State faculty, staff, and graduate alumni have authored articles in the recent publication of "Curriculum and Teaching Dialogue" Volume 24, Numbers 1-2.

  • Juria Wiechmann (Master of Education alum) is the first author of We’re Still Here: An Institutional Critique" Additionally, Alex DeCoteau (Master of Education alum), Annette Mennem (Native American Culture Center), Nathan Anderson (assessment director), and Dan Conn (teacher education and kinesiology) all contributed to the article, as well as Blake McCollough (U.S. Army), Ian Clemente (Michigan State University), and Daniel Henry (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Agricultural Research and Development). The article is available HERE.
  • Laura Zucca-Scott, teacher education and kinesiology, authored "I Hope You Get Deported: An Immigrant Child's Perspective." The article is available HERE.
  • Together with Paul Parkison, North Florida University, and Michelle Tenam-Zemach, Nova Southeastern University, Conn co-authored a book review of "Liberating Learning: Education Change as Social Movement" by Santiago Rincón Gallardo. The review is available HERE.

NDCPD established the M. Bryce Fifield ACCESS Scholarship to help students with disabilities attending Minot State University finance their college experience. Recipients will receive money toward their education. During the ACCESS Scholars’ education journey at MSU, they have the opportunity to influence their campus community bringing disability issues into the mainstream to spark discussions about quality of life and independence.  The ACCESS Scholarship recipients for the 2022-2023 Academic year are:

  • Carson Abrahamson, Minot. Abrahamson is a double major in early childhood and special education. She hopes to become an early childhood special education teacher somewhere in the area. Abrahamson is currently employed at Minot Public Schools as a before and after school aide at Perkett Elementary and as girls youth hockey coach and enjoys working with young children and their families.
  • Maison McDowall, Bismarck. McDowall is enrolled at Dakota College Bottineau through Minot State University’s ASTEP program earning a degree in paraprofessional/early childhood education. She hopes to use what she learns at Dakota College Bottineau to make a difference in children’s lives.
  • Connor Warbis, Surrey. Warbis is working toward a degree in teacher education to become an English teacher. Warbis's extra-curricular or volunteer activities include Junior ROTC, trap shooting, zoo cleanup, and working with the Humane Society.

Minot State Enrollment Services welcomes two new admissions counselors to the team. Emily Norman and Kyle Bjugstad both graduated this past spring from Minot State and started as admissions counselors this summer.  

The Minot State Wellness Center would like to introduce our newest employee, Ben Bagwell, to campus. He graduated from Minot State this past spring and started full time in the Wellness Center in August. Some of you may recognize him as he also worked with security here on campus when he was a student. 

The Minot State family has become just a tiny bit bigger! Congratulations to Emily Stephens, instructor in communication sciences and disorders, and family on the birth of her daughter, Tayte Jo, on Sept. 27.


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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.