June 5, 2023
Next Issue: July 3, 2023
Submissions Due: June 28, 2023
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MSU names green room at Amphitheater after Neuharth

Minot State University and Minot State Summer Theatre are proud to announce the green room at the newly renovated MSU Amphitheater will be named after longtime professor Kevin Neuharth ’74.

Neuharth spent 40 years teaching communication arts at Minot State and is synonymous with the stage in Minot, directing 149 plays with MSU Mainstage, Summer Theatre, the Sawmill Playhouse, Magic City Children’s Theater, University of Oregon Second Season, and Minot’s Magic City and Central Campuses.

“The green room is traditionally the place where the company members hang out backstage,” said Chad Gifford, MSU Summer Theatre artistic director. “When the renovation started, Executive Director Peg Morris knew that we needed to name the space after our mentor and friend, Kevin R. Neuharth. He inspired and created and ran the place for so many years that it only makes sense to name the new heart of Summer Theatre after Kevin.”

Neuharth continues to play an active role in the MSU Summer Theatre serving on the Board of Directors and is helping to form the upcoming Summer Theatre Hall of Fame.

The updated Kevin R. Neuharth Green Room is a part of an overall $2.8 million renovation that has spanned the past two summers. Finishing touches will take place during the summer with a new canopy covering stage completed in time for the 58th season starting in June, a marquee sign installed later in the summer, and an updated wheelchair lift after the season.

Staff Senate donates to Minot Public Schools middle school lunch program

Minot State University’s Staff Senate presented Minot Public Schools with a check for $1,700 to go towards the lunch program at Minot middle schools.

The donation was part of MSU Staff Senate’s annual silent auction fundraiser that takes place each spring semester, culminating in a donation to a local charity. This year, Staff Senate added a live auction to the fundraiser, auctioning off baskets donated by the campus community. The person with the highest bid made the decision on which charity would receive a check.

MSU’s POWER Center Director and outgoing Staff Senate President Katy Allers’ basket sold for $160 to give her the final vote.

“Staff Senate is amazed at the amount of funds raised this year at the silent auction!” Allers said. “Adding the live auction to the event was a great idea and we plan to make it a permanent part of the yearly event. I was fortunate to be able to choose the organization to receive the funds this year and I chose the lunch program at the middle schools.”

According to Minot Public School officials, there is still a large number of negative balances as families struggle to recoup after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summer Theatre Season 58 lineup sure to please

If smiling is your favorite, Minot State’s Summer Theatre Season 58 delivers with a full schedule of performances on the stage above the rest.

“We are happy to welcome back our audiences to a night up on the hill under the stars,” said Chad Gifford, MSU Summer Theatre artistic director. “We have a lineup of shows that have never been done here before and a mix of community members that you know and love up on the stage once again. Thanks to the addition of a sprinkler system, the green hills will look more alive than ever before.”

The season will showcase “Jimmy Buffet’s Escape to Margaritaville!,” “Doctor Dolittle,” “Calendar Girls,” and “Elf the Musical.”

Kicking off the season is “Jimmy Buffet’s Escape to Margaritaville!” running nightly Tuesday, June 13 through Sunday, June 18. Directed by Gifford, the musical features original songs and some of Buffet’s best-known classics, including “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

The second performance of the season, family friendly “Doctor Dolittle,” tells the tale of a wacky and kind doctor who can talk to animals and will take to the stage Friday, June 23 through Monday, June 26 and again from Wednesday, June 28 to Saturday, Aug. 1.

“Calendar Girls” will be on the Josh Duhamel Stage Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14. Based on the true story of 11 older women who pose for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, this show has a PG-13 rating.

Rounding out Season 58 is “Elf the Musical.” Running from Monday, July 24 through Friday, July 28 and again from Sunday, July 30 to Tuesday, Aug. 1, the performance based off the beloved holiday movie will end the summer on a high note.

Doors open for all performances at 7:30 p.m. with showtimes at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 1 at 9 a.m. and can be purchased ONLINE or by calling the box office at 701-858-3228.

Alumni Association announces 2023 Golden Awards

The Minot State University Alumni Association announced four individuals have been chosen for the 2023 Golden Award and one individual will be honored with the 2023 Young Alumni Achievement Award.

The honorees include Mark Lehner, Suzanne (Schriefer) Neufang ’85, Darryl Smette ’69, and Michael Toy ’91. The Young Alumni Achievement Award winner is Stephanie Little ’14.

Lehner, a Minot native who lives in Milton, Massachusetts, attended Minot State from 1968-70 before earning a bachelor’s degree from American University in Cairo and his doctoral degree at Yale University. He is a world-renowned Egyptologist with more than 30 years of experience excavating in Egypt. Neufang, from Golden Valley who splits her time between New York City and Hanover, Germany, is the CEO of the Global Business Travel Association. Smette, a Newburg native who currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma, retired after just shy of 30 years with Devon Energy Corporation, serving as executive vice president of marketing, midstream, supply chain and planning, and evaluation. Toy, originally from Williston and currently living in Fargo, is the chief operating and strategy officer at First International Bank & Trust. Little, from Bismarck, is an assistant professor of social work for Minot State at MSU’s Bismarck location.

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.

The MSU Alumni Association will honor the 2023 class at its annual awards dinner on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Minot State Conference Center.

More information on the dinner as well as each award winner will be released later in the fall semester. For more information on the Golden Awards, visit the Alumni Association at MinotStateU.edu/alumni.

Cyber bootcamp for educators at Minot State

As students go on break, teachers will be hitting the classroom at Minot State University.

The Dakota Digital Academy (DDA), a unit of the North Dakota University System (NDUS), and the Northern Information Technology Consortium (NITC) are teaming up to deliver a two-day IT/cyber bootcamp at six locations across the state on June 6-7.

“We are excited for the opportunity to host a cyber bootcamp in the Minot area,” said Daren Erisman, Minot State assistant professor of computer science. “Our programs in computer science and cybersecurity have been growing along with a new data science program starting this fall. Sharing the new technologies and some tools for teaching them will be fun.”

The bootcamp aims to help K-12 teachers who have little digital technologies experience to be exposed to the fun and creative aspects of digital technologies. Attendees can return to their classroom with a technology toolbox to engage their students as well as earn graduate credit upon completion of the course.

“Digital technology literacy is only growing in importance as we see the advancement of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity in all that connects us through the internet and advancement of learning and engaging with our environment,” said NDUS Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “Students need to be taught about digital technologies and this opportunity is a way to help teachers familiarize with important aspects of technology.”

Governor Doug Burgum signed HB1398 during the 2023 Legislative Session, requiring the teaching of computer science and cybersecurity and the integration of these content standards into school coursework from kindergarten through 12th grade. North Dakota School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said North Dakota is the first state in the nation to approve legislations requiring cybersecurity education.

The two-day bootcamp is being offered at Minot State University, Dakota College at Bottineau, Lake Region State College, Turtle Mountain Community College, Valley City State University, and Williston State College.

Modules of learning will include four hours each of networking, cybersecurity awareness, Internet of Things, and programming. Each attendee will receive a $200 stipend to attend and one graduate credit through Minot State or Valley City.

Minot State saddened by the passing of Shaar

The Minot State University community is saddened to learn of the passing of former University President Dr. H. Erik Shaar.

Shaar, who was MSU’s president from 1992-2004, passed away peacefully on May 11 in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, at the age of 85. He is survived by his wife, Jane; sister, Christine Hogarth; and daughters, Gretchen Shaar-Hagwood (R. Bruce Hagwood) and Rachel Roach (Sean Roach).

“On behalf of the entire Minot State community, we mourn the passing of President Emeritus Erik Shaar. We extend our deepest condolences to Jane and the Shaar family,” said Minot State President Dr. Steven Shirley. “Dr. Shaar will be remembered for moving the University forward, both physically, with improvements to multiple campus facilities, and virtually, by launching MSU’s online programs. His commitment to helping build the MSU Development Foundation continues positively impacting our students today and into the future.”

Shaar was raised in Pennsylvania and majored in music at West Chester State College. During a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he played cello in its symphony orchestra. He earned a doctorate in music from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1964.

His academic career started at Northern Michigan University, where he taught music. He was dean of fine arts and humanities at Chicago State University, became Shippensburg University’s vice president of academic affairs, and was president of Lake Superior State University from 1986-1992.

During his time as president, Minot State extended its campus boundaries by launching an online delivery program, the first in North Dakota. MSU remodeled the 90,000-square-foot Memorial Hall in 1996 and renovated several other campus buildings including the MSU Dome, Cyril Moore Science Center, Hartnett Hall, Old Main, and the Student Center.


In 1993, the Old Main Society was established to recognize cumulative contributions to the University. Shaar increased the school’s endowment to $11 million by the end of his presidency, a 700% increase from his first year.


Shaar was an avid supporter of the arts while at MSU, performing with the Minot Symphony Orchestra and, on occasion, wielding the conductor’s baton.

Minot State plans summer events

The Minot State University Alumni Association, MSU Advancement, and Minot State Beaver Boosters have a jam-packed summer lineup of events for the whole family.

Minot State will host Beavers ’n Buds nights, its annual Summer Golf Tour, Alumni & Friends Socials in Fargo and Bismarck, an Alumni Night at MSU Summer Theatre, the Beaver Booster Golf Scramble, and the annual Luau at the North Dakota State Fair.

The summer schedule kicked off with the first of six Beavers ’n Buds nights on May 31, but the second event will be June 22 at Sports on Tap starting at 6 p.m. More dates, locations, and times will be announced soon.

The 18th annual Friend Raising Golf Tour hits the links in Velva at the Star City Golf Course on June 13. The 9-hole, four-person scramble starts with registration at 4:30 p.m. and a shotgun start at 5 p.m. Teams can be formed prior or MSU will place individuals on a team. Register online at MinotStateU.edu/alumni or call 701-858-3234. Payments are taken at the course. Optional meal/refreshments provided by the golf course and each golfer is responsible for green fees and carts. There will be prizes and T-shirts for everyone.

The Friend Raising Golf Tour makes its way to Garrison on June 27 and Kenmare on Aug. 3 with the same 4:30 p.m. registration and 5 p.m. start times.

The first Alumni & Friends Social in the summer will be in Fargo at the Crooked Pint Ale House on June 8 from 6-8 p.m. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available. To register, go online to MinotStateU.edu/alumni. MSU alumni and friends are invited to Alumni Night at Summer Theatre planned for Thursday, July 13 during the production of Season 58’s “Calendar Girls.” The Minot State Alumni Association will also travel to Bismarck in late summer with location and times to be announced.

Minot State Beaver Boosters will host its annual golf fundraising event with the 36th annual George Mellem Beaver Booster Golf Scramble set for July 17 at the Vardon Golf Club. Price is $700 per team with proceeds going towards athletic scholarships for Minot State Athletics. The event will kick off with an 11:30 a.m. registration and a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

Along with all the festivities at the 2023 North Dakota State Fair, MSU will host an Alumni and Friends social in the Flickertail Gardens at the ND State Fairgrounds on Wednesday, July 26 from 5-7 p.m. Snacks, beverages, and door prizes are available. This event is free to MSU alumni and friends, but gate admission to the ND State Fair applies.

For more information, additional events, and time and date changes, see the Minot State Alumni Association website at to MinotStateU.edu/alumni.

Campus severe weather training drill June 7

On Wednesday, June 7, MSU Security and University Communication’s will conduct a Severe Weather Safety Drill to help employees know where the safest place in each building is to occupy during a tornado warning. “Severe Weather Safety Zone” signs identifying the safe area are displayed on the lowest level of each building in an interior hallway or room away from windows.  Please take a minute to locate the zone in your building prior to the safety drill.

The drill will also test the Assurance Emergency Messaging System.  An Assurance message (text, voice, and email) will be sent to all employees announcing the start of the drill.  Please proceed to the designated Severe Weather Safety Zone in the building and remain there until informed the drill is over. An Assurance emergency message will be sent at the conclusion of the drill.

The Power of Prevention: How to Safeguard Yourself Against Cybercrime June 8

The Dakota Digital Academy has teamed with the NDSU Extension Service in developing “The Power of Prevention: How to Safeguard Yourself Against Cybercrime.” This online event will be held Thursday, June 8 from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Learn more and register 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.

  • Senior Capstone Exhibition: Roots: Three Minot State University art students are exhibiting in the annual senior art exhibition: Bernadine Stevens, Cassidy Holmes, and Jyris Jiles. Entitled "Roots," the exhibition features each artist’s works tying back to their own definition of the word. "Roots" will open with a reception at the Northwest Arts Center on Friday, May 5, at 6:30 p.m. and be on display until June 10.
  • A Protest Against Forgetting: Jim Falck, born in Edgeley, had a career took him across the country. After retiring from an illustrious career in architecture in 1988, he enrolled at Montserrat College of Art where residencies took him to Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Mexico. His painting capture and celebrate the excitement of landscapes and people. His exposure to the beauty of landscapes around the nation and world. Over the last 25 years of his life, Falck would return to these places to find inspiration in the landscapes and people. His exhibition is on display until June 10.
  • Scandals: The Northwest Arts Center presents "Scandals," by Deana Novak, on view in the Northwest Arts Center’s Walter Piehl Gallery from June 22 to July 20. "Scandals" displays mixed media collages that have a humorous play on 1970’s scandals.
  • Opening Reception: Scandals: Join us on Friday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m. for the opening reception of "Scandals" by Deana Novak, on view from June 22 to July 20. "Scandals" displays mixed media collages that have a humorous play on 1970s scandals.

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.


Emerson Eads, assistant professor of music, had his composition "Meditabor," for treble voices published in the Nancy Menk’s College Choral Series, exclusively with Earthsongs music publishing and is now available for purchase and performance. It was given its world premiere by Nancy Menk and the St. Mary’s College Women’s Choir in the Cathedral at Fort Wayne, Indiana by the invitation of Bishop Rhoades. The composition is available for purchase HERE, listen to the live recording HERE.

Vicki McDonald, administrative assistant for enrollment, marketing, and outreach, was named the April winner of the Staff Senate High Five Award. She is pictured HERE with MSU President Steven Shirley, Staff Senate President Katy Allers, incoming Staff Senate Vice President Karla Bredahl, and Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Outreach Jacek Mrozik. McDonald has been with the University since October 2022.

Annette Mennem, Native American Cultural Center director, was recently named to the Strong Mind Strong Body Foundation board. Also a commissioner on Minot's Planning Commission and a member of the Prairie Public Broadcasting Community Action Board, Mennem has been a mentor to hundreds of Native American students. SMSB is community-led and youth-focused and supports programs that develop youth as future leaders. Learn more about Mennem's appointment HERE.

Minot State Staff Senate held its annual elections and representatives for 2023-25 include:

  • Academic Affairs: Caitlin Bellet, Karla Bredahl, Linda Conn, Kacey Donamaria, Melissa Cantone, Lynda Opp, Celeste Simmons, and Teresa Witteman
  • Administration and Finance: John Apland, Ann Haider-Bougard, Penny Lipsey, Kristen Striha
  • Student Affairs: Benjamin Bagwell

A complete list of all Staff Senate members is available HERE.

Troy Kowal was drafted by the BC Lions with the 70th pick in the 2023 Canadian Football League draft. Kowal is a 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman from High River, Alberta. He played 29 games for Minot State, mainly at tackle.

Haley Jo Rosinski was selected as the ASC Student of the Month for April. She has contributed to the Academic Support Center’s programs as a POWER peer mentor.

The Minot State University College of Business hosted its first-ever Academic Showcase Thursday, April 27. The event showcased the talents of Minot State and area high school students to a broader audience beyond their faculty. The following is a list of winners from the event:

  • Undergraduate (Individual) Tract: 1. Tanner Thompson; 2. Chloe Gunderson; 3. Great Godwin
  • Undergraduate (Group): 1. Carson Fettig and Alina Gonzalez; 2. Cameron Abel, Nathon Lakoduk, and Sam Aannerud; 3. Amber Schmaltz, Sam Aannerud, and Liela Koguchi
  • Graduate (Individual); 1. Gill Woodward; 2. Caleb Steinborn; 3. Jacob Fletcher
  • Graduate (Group): 1. Gill Woodward and Garrett Nicholson


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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.