Sept. 8, 2023
Next Issue: Oct. 3, 2023
Submissions Due: Sept. 24, 2023
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Western Plains Opera presents ‘Carmen’

Western Plains Opera will be returning to Ann Nicole Nelson Hall in Minot State University’s Old Main on Friday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.

One of the most popular operas ever written, “Carmen” is set in 19th century Seville, Spain, where soldiers spend their time drinking at a tavern obsessing over the girls who work in the cigarette factory, and over Carmen, whose captivating intensity allows her to manipulate everyone to suit her whims.

“This is a toxic love story with shocking, electric energy interspersed with the sweetness of daily life; an innocent Micaëla delivers a mother’s letter to a soldier and children eagerly await the changing of the guard,” said DeVera Bowles, recently retired Minot State voice professor and Western Plains Opera costumer designer. “The music grabs you from the first note and doesn’t let you go until the last note.

“It’s all there: Carmen’s seduction of soldier Don José, Carmen’s lust for freedom, and José’s obsessive love, jealousy, and desperation hurtling toward her violent end. The story gains dimension through scenes with Carmen’s smuggler friends and handsome bullfighter Escamillo, whose swaggering tavern entrance marks the beginning of the end.”

The stage will be filled with a multi-generational adult and children’s chorus, along with dancers from the Rinat Mouzafarov Institute of Ballet.

Severson Entrepreneurship Academy presents panel discussion

The Minot State Severson Entrepreneurship Academy is sponsoring a panel discussion titled The Entrepreneurial Perspective: Stories from the Bakken on Sept. 18 at the MSU Student Center Conference Center.

The panel discussion will focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of energy industry leaders in the Bakken Oil Formation in western North Dakota.

“We are excited to host an exceptional group of entrepreneurs for our students and others in the community,” said Randy Conway, director of the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy. “All of our guests have taken unique paths and overcome extreme challenges to become leaders in their industry."

The event begins at 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

The event features Bruce Larsen, president and CEO of Kraken Resources, LLC; Preston Page, founder and president of Dakota Energy, LLC; and Jason Baker, owner and CEO of Baker Energy Services, along with moderators Kevin Black, CEO of Creedence Energy Services and member of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and Conway.

"Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me,” Larsen said.  “The success that an entrepreneur strives to achieve is most often paved with a trail of failures. I look forward to discussing what I’ve learned, both successes and failures, with the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs."

Looyenga Leadership Center welcomes Fila back to campus

The Minot State Looyenga Leadership Center is welcoming back alumnus Ryan Fila for a special speaking event, “Find Your Path,” at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 3 p.m.

Fila is the first speaker in Looyenga Leadership Center’s Auto-Owners Insurance Leadership Speaker Series. MSU benefactor Roger Looyenga enjoyed a nearly 40-year career with the insurance company, becoming CEO in 2004 and Chairman of the Board in 2006. Roger and Ann Looyenga gifted $1 million in 2019 to develop the Center to ensure MSU students have education opportunities in an area the Looyengas are passionate about.

The Auto-Owners Insurance Leadership Speaker Series will feature three speakers each year for the next five years.

The event will feature a presentation by Fila, founder and president of Motion Impact, and is free and open to the public. Fila will also speak to MSU students during various leadership classes during the week.

“Ryan is a great example of someone who has left his comfort zone to create great opportunities for himself and positively impact others. He has such a positive message, and it is great coming from someone who was a student here not very long ago,” said Jim Sturm, Looyenga Leadership Center director. “Ryan shows us what we are capable of when we push ourselves, take chances, and genuinely connect with others.

“We are excited to have him on campus to share his message with our students and the broader Minot community.”

MSU NOTSTOCK posters, poetry, pottery, propaganda, and perseverance

NOTSTOCK returns for its 16th year with an impressive lineup of artists, events, and exhibits.

For three days, guest artists will share their talents, passions, expertise, and work with the community. All events are free and open to the public and take place on the Minot State University campus or in downtown Minot Sept. 21-23.

The epicenter of this year’s event is a major exhibit in the Northwest Arts Center, “Piotr Szyhalski: Prints from the Labor Camp.” The exhibit includes 225 posters Szyhalski created every day for eight months during the pandemic that became known as “COVID-19: Labor Camp Report.” The exhibit also includes works from Szyhalski’s “War Reports,” a response to the war in Ukraine, as well as original works from his “We Are Working All the Time!” series. Finally, the exhibit includes leaflets and a large banner on which Szyhalski and event attendees will print and later carry in a march around campus.

“The exhibit in the Northwest Arts Center is truly magnificent, and one typically only seen at galleries in major metropolitan areas,” said Laurie Geller, vice president for academic affairs and NOTSTOCK co-organizer. “Make sure you visit the gallery to experience it in person.”

For more information, visit MinotStateU.edu/notstock/ or @msunotstock on social media.

Minot State set for Homecoming 2023

Minot State University will host multiple events during Homecoming 2023 held Sept. 13-16.

“It’s very exciting for me to welcome all our alumni, family, and friends to this year’s Homecoming events,” said Courtenay Brekhus, Minot State’s director of alumni engagement. “This is a special time of year for the University every year and we hope everyone can make it to as many events as possible.”

The week’s signature MSU Alumni Association and MSU Development Foundation events begin with Wednesday, Sept. 13’s President’s Club Luncheon at the Student Center Conference Center beginning at noon.

MSU’s annual Golden Awards Dinner will be held Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Conference Center at 6 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15 features a Beaver Athletic Luncheon at the Minot State Dome starting at 12 p.m., campus tours beginning at the MSU Dome at 1:30 p.m., MSU Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet at the Grand Hotel starting at 5 p.m., and an Alumni & Friends Social at Sports on Tap in Minot starting at 7 p.m.

Minot State football will take center stage on Saturday, Sept. 16 with its annual Homecoming game at Herb Parker Stadium, taking on Minnesota State-Mankato at 2 p.m. Saturday’s events begin with the Homecoming Parade and 5K starting in Minot’s downtown at 10:30 a.m. and finishing at the MSU Dome. Tailgating will follow the parade at Lot L east of the MSU Dome. There will be a reunion social Saturday evening at Barley Pop in Minot following the football game.

More events from various athletic teams, departments, and clubs at MSU are planned during Homecoming 2023 and can be viewed at the Minot State CALENDAR.

Alumni Association honors five with 2023 Golden Awards

The Minot State University Alumni Association will honor four individuals with the Golden Award and one with the Young Alumni Achievement Award at the 55th annual dinner on Thursday, Sept. 14.

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.

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.

Share your Dakota Hall memories

Minot State students are looking for your memories from Dakota Hall.

Built in the early 1930s, Dakota Hall is slated for demolition in Summer 2024. Due to deteriorating conditions, Minot State was awarded funding in the 2023 legislative session to demolish the building, turning its former location into green space.

“Dakota Hall has housed many generations of students over the decades as the institution changed its name from Minot State Teachers College to Minot State College and finally to Minot State University, and also changed from a mostly female student population to one more evenly balanced,” said Bethany Andreasen, professor of history. “Recognizing the history of a building of which many alumni hold fond memories is important, particularly as the building will no longer be standing.

“While many aspects of student life remained the same over the years, others changed dramatically. The stories of Dakota Hall’s residents will reveal a great deal about the changing nature of the Minot State experience.”

Andreasen’s History of North Dakota class will delve into the project, gaining experience in historical research and investigating yearbooks, newspaper coverage, photographs, and the memories of former students.

Minot State offers museum studies degree

Minot State University has announced a degree in museum studies, an interdisciplinary major where art meets business, communication, history, storytelling, and science.

The Bachelor of Science in Museum Studies is a professionally oriented program designed to offer the tools to pursue a variety of careers in museums and art galleries from management roles to exhibition design and curator.

“The museum studies degree at Minot State is designed for students to be career ready from graduation day to enter the field and is also competitive for world-class graduate programs,” said Amanda Watts, Minot State assistant professor and museum objects conservator.

Earning the museum studies major will open a variety of career paths for graduates, including museum or gallery executive director, curator and interpreter, collections manager, exhibition designer, education coordinator, object conservator, art registrar, events coordinator, and visitor services and liaison.

Woodbeck receives Minot Education Association Friend of Education Award

Amy Woodbeck, Minot State professional and community education coordinator, was awarded the Minot Education Association (MEA) Friend of Education Award on Monday.

The award is given to an individual or institution who works diligently to improve education in Minot Public Schools, and the MEA cited Woodbeck’s work with professional learning, which helps teachers and administrators continue their education advancement.

Woodbeck was nominated by Melissa Stanley, previous Minot Public Schools professional learning coordinator.

“Melissa nominated me for the work we did together to build the Professional Development Learning Menu that allows educators to earn credits during the year,” said Woodbeck. “In the last six years, educators have been able to earn over 1,000 credits due to the work we have done.”

Slotsve joins Minot State Development Foundation

The Minot State University Development Foundation announced 1991 graduate Pat Slotsve has joined the Foundation as a development officer.

Slotsve, originally from Velva, has been a life-long educator working for the past 32 years in public education, including the past 23 years in the Minot Public School system. He spent 28 years as an elementary principal, retiring as principal of Lewis and Clark Elementary in 2023.

“We are excited to have Pat joining our Minot State Advancement and MSU Development Foundation team,” said MSU Development Foundation Executive Director Rick Hedberg. “He’s been involved with campus and various activities and fundraisers at MSU for many years. He also has a great connection with the Minot community and many of our alumni and friends having served as an administrator in Minot and the region for the past two plus decades. He’s well respected and has been able to hit the ground running in this new role.”

His ties to Minot State and the education system extend throughout his family as his wife, Elizabeth, is a 1996 MSU grad and special education teacher at Minot Public Schools. Middle son Charlie is a junior at Minot State and daughter Ellie is a freshman at MSU. Slotsve’s oldest son, Max, works at Central Trenching.

Futurepalooza returns to Minot State

Minot State University’s Futurepalooza, an annual event for area high school students, returns to the MSU Dome Wednesday, Sept. 13 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

“There are many different career paths available to students when entering today’s workforce,” said Liz Krebsbach, MSU Enrollment Services visit and events coordinator. “Futurepalooza is designed for each student to explore those paths through conversations with college admissions representatives and professionals from multiple industries.”

The University is seeking table hosts from a range of businesses and organizations to present their expertise to students over the two-hour long event. To learn more or reserve a table, visit AskMSU.com/fp or call Enrollment Services at 701-858-3350.

In 2022, over 750 juniors and seniors from the area attended the event to explore a wide variety of professions at the University.

“Futurepalooza is important for juniors and seniors as they begin to decide what their next steps will be after high school,” said Krebsbach. “This event is a chance for these students to learn more about different professions they may be interested in so that they can discover which career path is the best fit for them.”

Introducing Plum Creek Native Prairie
In a joint endeavor that bridges history and ecology, Minot State University, Minot Public Schools, and Audubon Great Plains proudly announce the decision to christen the land, once the site of Erik Ramstad Middle School prior to the historic flood of 2011, as Plum Creek Native Prairie. This name reflects a dual commitment to preserving the heritage of the region's Indigenous people and creating a thriving native landscape. The name Plum Creek Native Prairie holds profound significance derived from its two core intentions: honoring Indigenous roots and ecological stewardship. In the future, there will be opportunities for individuals, organizations, and the wider community to engage with Plum Creek Native Prairie as they prepare for the planting phase.

Minot State EMPOWER Grant: Request for proposals

Minot State University and the MSU Development Foundation are pleased to announce the second round of EMPOWER Grants, which will provide $100,000 in support of academics. Faculty and staff members may request funding up to $20,000 to increase student enrollment, to advance academics, or to enhance the academic experience for students. Proposals are due Sept. 22. Please see the EMPOWER Grant site for complete details. 

Staff Senate Professional Development: Reignite the Flame: How to Battle Burnout
Minot State Athletics is excited to bring back a special season-long promotion made just for kids. Buckshot’s Kits Club returns for the 2023-24 season and will offer kids 12-and-under the chance to be Very Important “Kits” at all Minot State home sporting events. There will be fun contests and giveaways for Kit’s Club members, as well as opportunities to be on the sidelines at games and to interact as VIPs with the Minot State teams. Buckshot’s Kits Club is sponsored by Scheels and costs $25 for the year. “Kits” receive a t-shirt and admission to all MSU regular-season athletic events for the 2023-24 seasons.  Parents can sign up their children for the Kits Club at Meet the Beavers! night hosted at Scheels in the Dakota Square Mall on Monday, Aug. 28, from 5-7 p.m., at any Minot State home athletic event, or online throughout the year 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.

  • Piotr Szyhalski: Prints from the Labor Camp: MSU NOTSTOCK and the Northwest Arts Center present "Piotr Szyhalski: Prints from the Labor Camp," from Aug. 31 to Oct. 14. Szyhalski is a Polish-born and trained multimedia artist working in the United States since 1990. The Minneapolis-based artist’s wide-ranging practice encompasses an array of media and genres, including poster designs, drawings, mail art, photographs, painted murals, prints, web-based digital art, sound art, large-scale installations, and public performances. His multilayered works explore communication/exchange, extreme historical phenomena, and relationships between the individual, society, history, and time. Among his most recent projects is COVID-19: Labor Camp Report, which forms the foundation of the exhibition at the Northwest Arts Center. On March 24, 2020, Szyhalski embarked on a daily drawing practice responding to the COVID-19 pandemic as it unfolded in real time. 

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.

  • Moorhead-based artist, Chris Mortenson brings his poignant series of photographs to the Flat Tail Press Gallery. The exhibition, titled "Tumulus," presents images of people and landscapes from Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. Since its mining beginnings in the 19th century, the area has endured many boom-and-bust cycles, and Mortenson’s images hold a tension between the beautiful, altered landscape and the evidence of human struggle. Mortenson has shown his work nationally and internationally and is an associate professor of art at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.  


Steven Shirley, Minot State president, was an athletic administrator representative at a Congressional Engagement Listening Session held at the Elmen Center on the campus of Augustana University Aug. 22. The event was hosted by the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and Augustana University along with regional student-athletes and administrators. U.S. Senator John Thune (SD) and NCAA President Charlie Baker held the discussion with student-athletes from the NSIC and NCAA Division III schools and administrators from NCAA DI and DII. Shirley's administrator panel included athletic directors Josh Morton (Augustana University) and Jennifer Flowers (Southwest Minnesota State) and NCAA Division I Summit League Commissioner Josh Fenton. Shirley is currently serving as the chair of the NCAA Division II President's Council and vice-chair of the NCAA Board of Governors. For more information on the event, including photos and a video, see the NSIC's WEBSITE. PHOTO 001 PHOTO 002

Chad Fenner, assistant professor, business information technology, was an invited presenter at the Midwest Cybersecurity and Technology Summit on Aug. 17 in Fargo. He will spoke on the role of cyber security within the tech ecosystem. His representation stems directly from his Ph.D in cybersecurity, his work achieving the Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity for the Minot State BIT Department’s Management Information Systems Program, and his passion for the field of cyber! For more information on the Midwest Cybersecurity and Technology Summit presented by the West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, see their WEBPAGE. Fenner also presented his research submission titled, "Native American Rural Community Digital Divide: Student Insights," at the International AMICS 2023 conference on Aug. 10-12 in Panama City, Panama. The research explores the continuing digital divide inequities that exist within rural Native American communities. 

Lizzy LeRud, associate professor of English, has a new publication pertaining to changing relationships between poetry, prose, and society. The full article is available online HERE for a short time only.

Ashley Beeter is the Student Health Clinic and Counseling Center’s new case manager. She graduated from Minot State University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in social work and is proud to be a Minot State alumni! She is a licensed social worker in the state of North Dakota and a mental health advocate that encourages awareness and support. Beeter is originally from Rugby, currently lives in Velva with her husband, Kyle, and they have five children.

Keegan Berry was announced as Minot State Athletics Director of Athletic Facility Operations. Berry takes on the lead role in preparation for athletic department game day events at Minot State,  along with scheduling Minot State’s athletic facilities.

Seth Honerman is the newest academic coach in the POWER/TRIO Center. Honerman comes from Mankato, Minnesota and has been building a career in theater and education. Highlights of that career include earning membership in the Society of Directors and Choreographers (SDC) union and teaching high school English. He follows his wife, Sarah, to Minot as she starts in her new role as assistant professor of theater at Minot State University. Together they have two children, Robyn (7) and Roderic (11 month), a cat, and a dog.

Jodi Patchen, an administrative assistant with North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, is the July winner of the Staff Senate High Five Award,. She is pictured HERE with MSU President Steven Shirley, Staff Senate Vice President Karla Bredahl, and Staff Senate President Tiffany Pierson. Patchen has been at MSU for almost two years. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 25 years and have three sons, Noah, Isaac, and Seth. They also have three cats, Toby, Lucy, and Brody, and a new puppy, Otis. In her downtime, she likes to read.

Daniel Schuetz is Minot State Athletics’ newest leader for fan development. Schuetz helped make the first-season fan experience at Minot Hot Tots baseball a success and is ready to now take on a similar role at MSU. Along with his extensive experience with the Hot Tots, Schuetz also served as manager at Grand Slam USA in North Carolina during 2021 and 2022, a baseball and softball training facility for all levels of athletes.

Diana Stetson is the new assistant athletic director of hospitality. Stetson will be in charge of hospitality for Minot State suite holders at Beaver athletic events, as well as supervisor concession operations. She began her duties last week. She brings a variety of experience with her to the position which includes working as manager at a family restaurant in Oregon where she did purchasing, accounting, scheduling, and filled other roles on a daily basis, as needed. Most recently, Diana has been a game-day volunteer for the past two years for Minot State athletics while also working at a local Minot day care. Prior to moving to North Dakota with her husband and three children, Stetson worked on campus at Waldorf University in Iowa for the campus radio station and doing game stats in athletics. She also served as a fire medic in the Boise, Idaho area for 15 years. Stetson received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Oregon State in 1999, and a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from Valencia College in 2002. 

Amy Woodbeck was presented the Friend of Education Award to Minot State’s on Aug. 21 at the welcome back assembly for Minot Public Schools. The award is given to an individual or institution who works diligently to improve education in Minot Public Schools. The MEA cited Woodbeck’s work with professional learning, which helps teachers and administrators continue their educational advancement, and dual credit programs, which help students earn college credit while still in high school.

Jayden Thomas Frantsvog and Sarah Frantsvog have received funding to the ND-ACES (New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science) Rural Student Teaching Experience Program. As part of the ND-ACES RSTE Program, ND EPSCoR (ND's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) will provide a participant support stipend of up to $10,000 to each individual to live and student teach in a rural school district. The stipends will be paid between August and December 2023. Jayden will be teaching math, including algebra II, geometry, and eighth grade math, with a potential section of probability and statistics at Bowman County School in Bowman.  Sarah will be student teaching seventh grade, advanced eighth grade (Algebra 1), and ninth grade (Algebra 1) also at Bowman County School. Both will be working with Tyler Senn as their cooperating teacher, and Ryan Summers, ND EPSCoR's ND-ACES RSTE coordinator, will be working with them on their programmatic requirements.

Sealy Rovig, Minot State senior in biology education, has been awarded a scholarship from the ND-ACES (New Discoveries in the Advanced Interface of Computation, Engineering, and Science) Rural Student Teaching Experience (RSTE) Program. As part of the ND-ACES RSTE Program, ND EPSCoR (ND’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) provides a participant support stipend of up to $10,000 to incentivize students to live and student teach in a rural school district in North Dakota. Sealy will teach biology, physical, and environmental science at South Prairie High School. McKayla Thompson and Keturah Schwarzrock will act as cooperating teachers this fall. After completing student teaching, Sealy will take a science teaching position at South Prairie. 

Alina Gonzalez, 2023 Minot State Bachelor of Science graduate, has been accepted to Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego to pursue her juris doctor degree and eventually take the California Bar Exam.


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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.