Students honored with Student Leadership & Engagement Award

Minot State recently honored 15 students with the Student Leadership & Engagement Award, previously recognized as the Who’s Who Among Students in American University and Colleges.

Earning the 2018-19 distinction is Gideon Amponsah, Nima, Ghana; Aileen Cheong, Subang Jaya, Malaysia; Dana Cluever, Minot; Mark Fulbright, Sierra Vista, Arizona; Mary Gamas, Minot; Jayla Graham, Malta, Montana; Dominica Granada, Culbertson, Montana; Kyla Grandy, Minot; Sidni Kast, Minot; Madison Leier, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Taryn Moe, Shellbrook, Saskatchewan, Canada; Mosope Osiyale, Lagos, Nigeria; Madison Sem, Minot; Madison Tiedman, Minot; and Shelby Tornato, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Students are selected based on their academic achievement, service to Minot State and the greater Minot community, participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities, and their potential for continued success. 

“It was an honor to recognize many of Minot State’s most engaged and high achieving students,” Laurie Geller, vice president for academic affairs, said. “I look forward to seeing their continued success as they complete their degrees and as they begin careers or graduate programs. Congratulations to all of them.”

To be eligible for the award, candidates must be enrolled full-time at Minot State for the current academic year fall semester, be at junior or senior status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and attended the University as a full-time student for at least four consecutive terms. Individuals must not have received a previous bachelor’s degree or been awarded the distinction in the past. The selection process is carried out by fellow students, faculty, and staff. 

Gideon Amponsah is a senior majoring in finance, accounting, and criminal justice. He serves on the Student Government Association (SGA), sitting on several committees within that organization, and welcomes new students to campus as an orientation leader. Outside campus, he spends time volunteering in the Minot area with rehabilitation services. In 2017, he was accepted as a United National Youth Assembly delegate and fellowship recipient from The Resolution Project. During the summer of 2018, Amponsah interned in the U.S. Senate for the office of Heidi Heitkamp and in the Ghana Chief of Staff’s office. Amponsah has also received the Looyenga Leadership Scholarship, Jane Barlow Scholarship, and Robert Torgerson Scholarship.

Aileen Cheong is a junior enrolled in the communication disorders program. On campus, she is a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), mentor for Advancing Students Toward Education and Employment Program (ASTEP), summer Student Ambassador, orientation and welcome weekend leader, and member of the Rotaract Club. Cheong is involved in the community, volunteering at the Roosevelt Park Zoo, Dakota Hope Clinic, United Way Backpack Buddies, and the Parker Senior Center as a book club chapter leader. She has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll, the Engagement Honor Roll, and the VP for Academic Affairs Honor Roll and has received the Robert Williams Scholarship, the CETL t-shirt design contest scholarship, and was selected as student of the month for September 2018. 

Dana Cluever, a senior in accounting, has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her time at Minot State. She is a member of the Science Club, Lutheran Campus Ministries, and Accounting Club, where she serves as treasurer. She is also a peer tutor for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL). Off-campus, Cluever has volunteered at a STEM outreach event, Sunday Funday Carnival, Roosevelt Park Zoo, Halloween at the Auditorium, and First Lutheran Church. She has been listed on the President’s Honor Roll every semester and has received the Emerging Scholar Award and the Great Plains/Distinctive and Engage Scholar Award. Cluever has also been awarded many scholarships, including the ND Academic Scholarship, Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, Tom and Mary Probst Scholarship, Yvonne Schultz Scholarship, and the Accounting Department Scholarship. 

Mark Fulbright is a senior majoring in energy economics and finance and serves as a director of entertainment for MSU Life. He is involved in the Minot State honors and baseball programs and participates in intramural volleyball and bowling. Fulbright has volunteered for Roosevelt Zoo Cleanup, Minot Dream Catchers, Sledge Hockey at MAYSA Arena, MS Walk, and the Salvation Army. As a Minot State student, he has received the Great Plains, UND Aerospace, Joan Mattson, E. James McIntyre, John & Leslie Coughlin, Edson and Margaret Larson, Bernard Busse, Dale Atwood, Doris Slaaten, and Yvonne Schultz scholarships. 

Mary Gamas, a senior criminal justice major, a member of the Minot Symphony Orchestra, MSU Concert Choir, and small ensembles, has maintained a 4.0 GPA while at Minot State. She serves as a peer mentor and teaching assistant for aural skills, and she presented at the College Music Society Conference in October 2018. In the community, Gamas volunteers with the Minot State Title IX office, Domestic Violence Crisis Center, Roosevelt Park Zoo, and created the first Mental Health Awareness Fair as part of her community problem-solving course. She has been a recipient of the Great Plains, North Dakota Academic, Mary Lou Soukup, Robert O. “Red” Wuttke, and Amstutz/Sundet Woodwinds scholarships.

Jayla Graham is a senior nursing student active in the Nursing Student Association who has served on the curriculum committee for the past two years and participates in intramural volleyball and basketball. She has completed over 200 hours at local hospitals and nursing homes and helps with local food drives and Angel Tree donations. She has also taken part in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk and Alzheimer’s Walk. Graham has been awarded the following scholarships: Emma L. Misner, MSU Alumni, Dr. Elizabeth Ann Pross, Helen Chatfield Shurr, Malta High School, Northwestern Energy, and the Chair’s Award.

Dominica Granada, a senior criminal justice and sociology double major, has served as treasurer and president for the Criminal Justice Club at Minot State. In Spring 2017, she helped coordinate a trip to Minnesota to tour the state correctional facility and a federal correction camp. She is a member of the Sigma Delta Sorority, where she has served as historian, fundraising chair, and president. As a member of the Criminal Justice Club and Sigma Delta Sorority, she has volunteered for many community events, including a Mommy and Me Tea Party, YMCA Zombie Run, Halloween at the Auditorium, Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk, and decorated bags for Open Arms. Granada has been recognized on the President’s Honor Roll and the VP for Academic Affairs Honor Roll. She has received the Paul Morrison Memorial, Theodore and Nan Monson, and Nels and Edna Solhiem scholarships.

Kyla Grandy is a senior in the business education program who is currently secretary of Phi Beta Lambda, previously having served as treasurer. Off campus, she is active in the deaf community and has helped organize Minot State’s Annual Tech Day to help bridge the gap between high school FBLA and college PBL members. She serves as a junior high volleyball coach, junior varsity fastpitch softball coach, and often sings the national anthem for sporting events. Grandy was inducted into the Pi Omega Pi, the National Business Education Teacher Honor Society, in 2017. She has received the Great Plains and Emerging Scholars awards and many scholarships, including the ND Academic, Dollars for Scholars, Tom and Mary Probst, Yvonne Schultz, and Accounting Department scholarships.

Sidni Kast, a senior majoring in biology, is a member and past director of MSU Life and involved in the Honors Society, MSU Concert Choir, and Science Club, having served as a past secretary. Out in the community, she has volunteered with Roosevelt Park Zoo, Souris Valley Animal Shelter, STEM for Girls, the Honors Society community and problem-solving downtown event, and serves as a student aide volunteer at Sunnyside Elementary School. Kast has been listed on the President’s and VP for Academic Affairs Honors Rolls and has been the recipient of the ND Academic Scholarship, MSU Science Scholarship, and MSU Concert Choir Scholarship. In Fall 2018, she was honored to be elected Minot State’s Homecoming queen.

Madison Leier is a junior enrolled in the communication disorders program and is active in NSSLHA, currently serving as vice president. She is also involved in ASL Sign On, Special Olympics College Club, and ASTEP, where she is a peer mentor and social events coordinator. Off campus, Leier volunteers at a book club at the Parker Senior Center, coaches flag football and basketball for Special Olympics, and helps with numerous other community events. As a student, she has been listed on the President’s and VP for Academic Affairs Honor Rolls and has received the June Votaw and Frank and Peggy Linha scholarships.

Taryn Moe, a junior communication disorders student, is current secretary/treasurer of the Student Ambassadors, secretary of ASL Sign On, swim coach for Special Olympics, and is involved in NSSLHA and Rotaract Club. She is also involved in KidMin Group and the Interpret Gospel Group at Our Redeemers Church. She has received the Great Plains, Robert and June Marsh, and Frank and Peggy Linha scholarships. Moe has also received recognition for her volunteer work.

Mosope Osiyale, a senior in the nursing program, is a member of the Orientation Advisory Committee, Honors Program, and Nursing Student Association, where she serves as head of legislature and education. She is also a new student orientation leader and academic peer mentor. Off campus, Osiyale participates with new students in welcome week projects in Minot Public Schools and the YWCA. She has also hosted a clothing drive and volunteers at the Salvation Army. Osiyale has received the Minot Chamber of Commerce Eagle Award, Trinity Foundation Scholarship, Joan Love Christianson Scholarship, and the Robert and June Marsh Scholarship. She has been listed on the President’s Honor Roll and the VP for Academic Affairs Honor Roll.

Madison Sem is a senior majoring in accounting and music. She has participated in several groups including Concert Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, MSU Singers, Music Student Advisory Council, VOX HUMANA, and the Minot State chapter of National Association for Musical Educators (NAfME), where she serves as treasurer. Off campus she finds time to volunteer at her church and the Souris Valley Humane Society. She has received the Joe Hegstad, Mary Lou Soukup, Ralph Wallin Keyboard, Be Seen Be Heard, and Pat and Mary Kay Jones scholarships and has been listed on the President’s and VP for Academic Affairs Honor Rolls. She also took first place in the women’s category at the National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS) in her freshman and sophomore years.

Madison Tiedman is a junior majoring in marketing. She is a member of Beta Theta Sorority and the Entrepreneurship Club and serves as a peer mentor, orientation and welcome weekend leader, and Student Ambassador. Out in the community, Tiedman has been involved in the Lunch Buddy program, Roosevelt Park Zoo cleanup, 5K Overdose Awareness Walk, the Souris Valley Animal Shelter, and serves as a youth leader at her church. She has received the Distinctive and Engaged Scholar Award, Emerging Scholars Award, Severson Entrepreneurship Award, and the Stephanie and Richard Strom Scholarship.

Shelby Tornato, a senior majoring in communication disorders, is a member of NSSLHA and the Special Olympics, serves as senator on the SGA, and is a peer mentor for ASTEP and CETL. She is a member of the women’s hockey team and plays intramural volleyball and bowling. Off-campus, Tornato has served as co-organizer for the Miles for Smiles Walk, helped coach ice drills for Minot Hockey Boosters, participated in the book club at the Parker Senior Center, and was a prom escort for Teen Nigh Out.  She has been listed on the President’s and VP for Academic Affairs Honor Rolls and received the Robert and June Marsh Scholarship.

About Minot State University
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.

Published: 06/03/19   

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