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Mara Hintz: MSU student forges unique path 
The discovery of an American Sign Language book in Glen Ullin Public School’s library ignited first-grader Mara Hintz’ interest in ASL and language. Hintz looked at it every day until she turned 7, during the second half of the school year, and was allowed to check it out. It was a second grade book.

After graduating from high school, Hintz attended Lake Region State College in Devils Lake for two years. She completed an associate degree in American Sign Language and interpreting studies.

Hintz is continuing her education and love of language by pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in communications at Minot State University.

“Communications consists of learning about your audience, then using that information to get your message across to them,” Hintz said, describing her study program. “The degree used to be called journalism, but now it is broader than that to include broadcasting, public relations and promotions.”

Hintz also has affection for millinery.

“I started wearing hats when I was 13 because I loved the style and versatility of them. When I got older, I also discovered I had Irlen Syndrome, which is a sensitivity to light and noise, and the hats help cut down the light. So, the hats are beautiful and functional, which is a great fit for me,” Hintz said.

Irlen Syndrome is a condition where the brain does not process certain spectrums of light properly and migraines result. To prevent migraines, Hintz tested for colored overlays and paper, which are not the same color, to filter out the light that bothers her.

“I use the colored overlays with any paperwork, bookwork and computers. Then I'm migraine-free, and I can study longer and retain more,” Hintz said. “Plus I get a more colorful life out of the deal.”

At MSU, Hintz serves as social and promotions coordinator and Livestream coordinator for Cru, a Christian fellowship. She is also a Student Ambassador, a reporter for the Red and Green, the student newspaper, secretary for Media Ink, the broadcasting student organization, and the founder and current president of the American Sign Language Club. In the community, she volunteered for Reading for Rugrats, a service project which assisted families of deployed military members and was a marketing intern with Norsk Høstfest in summer 2013. She has been listed on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List and President’s List.

After graduation from Minot State in December, Hintz plans to earn national certification as an interpreter for the deaf and use her public relations skills for musicians, nonprofit organizations and disability awareness.

Kyle Stephens: Hard work pays off
While some may not see the correlation between hockey and business management, Kyle Stephens, of Crosby says otherwise.

“I feel hockey is what pushed me to work harder for everything. I’ve been playing since I was 3 and I’ve met a lot of people, and if it wasn’t for hockey, I don’t know what I’d be doing,” Stephens said.  “I’ve always been interested in the business world, and just like hockey, that takes a lot of hard work and motivation.”

Stephens, having grown up in a small town like Crosby, Stephens, graduated from Minot State University may 16 with a Bachelor of Science in business management. He chose MSU because it was “just the right size,” and it was close to home.

“I enjoyed the small class sizes, it made you feel as if you weren’t just another number. It’s obvious the teachers really care and want you to learn and succeed,” Stephens said.

The teachers in the business department had so much great information, and I feel I gained valuable knowledge in my years at MSU that will be very useful in my future career.”

While deciding a major can be a daunting task for many students just starting their university career, that wasn’t the case for Stephens.

“I wanted something broad enough with flexibility, and business management was just that. I was always interested in the business world, and I knew that was the career I wanted to pursue,” Stephens said.

Stephens began his higher education at Dakota College at Bottineau, where he played hockey in 2009-10. Minot State University was calling his name and he transferred in 2010-11 and played on the Beavers Men’s Hockey Team 2010-14. The Beaver Men’s Hockey Team won the ACHA National Championship in March 2013.

“Hockey has always been a huge part of who I am, but Coach Regier always made sure our studies came first, hockey second,” Stephens emphasized. “He was not only helpful on the ice, but off as well. It all takes hard work.”

Stephens was on the College of Business Dean’s Honor Roll spring 2012 and fall 2013. He had been working as a bank teller at First International Bank & Trust and began working as a credit analyst at the end of May.

Lindsey Nelson: MSU abounds with opportunities
The word “opportunities” might come to mind when you hear the name Lindsey Nelson. The Bainsville, Mont. native took advantage of seemingly every opportunity she came across during her years at Minot State University.

“I took full advantage of the many opportunities in the classroom and community, extracurricular activities and my clinical practicum,” said Nelson, who graduated from MSU May 16 with a bachelor’s degree in communication disorders with a minor in deaf/hard of hearing education. “All of the opportunities have played a role in who I’ve become in my time at Minot State. I’ve made life-long friends and have a knowledge base I will be able to draw on throughout my career.”

MSU was the perfect fit for Nelson for a number of reasons. She is a third-generation MSU graduate, and MSU was closer to home than other universities offering her field of study. In-state tuition offered to out-of-state students through the Grow North Dakota program sealed the deal.

“My mother, grandfather and two aunts are MSU alumni, and they all shared what great experience they had here and really encouraged me to do the same,” Nelson said.

Nelson graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Communication disorders and achieved a number of honors during her time at MSU. She was listed on the President’s Honor Roll every semester of attendance; received the MSU Distinctive and Engaged Scholars Award; was the 2011 American FFA Degree recipient and was included in the 2014 edition of “Who’s Who in American Colleges & Universities.”

Nelson was involved in several campus clubs and organization throughout her university career. She was a member of the Student Government Association for two years, first serving as a senator and Homecoming co-director in 2011-12 and served as SGA president in 2012-13. Nelson was a member of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association from 2010 to 2014; Campus Crusade for Christ (2010-14); English Club, member at large (2010-12) and a CONNECTIONS leader (2012-13).

One of the program requirements was to complete a clinical practicum, which Nelson found played a key role in who she’s become.

“The best part is at the end of the semester when I see how much progress my clients have made,” Nelson said. “To know that I got to help make a difference in someone’s life is amazing, and my clinical experiences have reassured me that I have chosen the right future career.”

Nelson will marry her fiancé Chantz Buxbaum in June and plans to pursue her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Minot State University in fall 2014.

Published: 06/20/14

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