Ulrickson creates community benefits

MINOT, N.D. – Lyndsay (Gunville) Ulrickson ’06 has spent over a decade immersed within local nonprofits.

Her first foray into the waters was following the 2011 Souris River flood.

“I started at Souris Basin Planning Council right after the flood, in September 2011,” she said. “We launched into flood recovery efforts as an organization. One of the first grants I was a part of, with the rest of the team, was the North Hill Retail Corridor on North Hill.”

The impact from flooding highlighted the lack of resources on the north end of town. A $1.8 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration brought in street lights, traffic signals, and underground infrastructure that enabled the development of a grocery store, gas station, clinics, and other new businesses in the area. 

“There is so much meaning behind that corridor,” Ulrickson reflected. “Just knowing people have access to milk and basic necessities in the event of another major disaster, that is very meaningful to me.”

Over the following years, she has been able to create a positive impact in the community by securing funding for a variety of projects, including the newly expanded Business Accelerator Fund.

“We partnered with the City of Minot and received a MAGIC Fund grant in 2019 to start the business accelerator. These funds are solely used for small businesses in the region to access Bank of North Dakota Flex PACE programs,” she said. “This revolving investment in the community allows businesses access to funds they wouldn’t have been otherwise able to access, those funds get paid back, and the money is lent right back out again.”

Growing up in Rolette and Dunseith, Ulrickson received her associate degree at Dakota College at Bottineau before moving to Minot.

“My family was here, and I had a cousin at NDSU (North Dakota State University) who wanted to be closer to home, so we said, let’s go to Minot State together,” she said.

It was the connections she built on campus and through her online courses that have had the greatest impact on the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa member.

 “While I did a lot of my classes online, I still had opportunities to meet friends, including my husband, Paul Ulrickson ’08/’14, and build these relationships that I still have,” she said. “And we still love to come and watch the Beavers play, especially my nephew Jaxon Gunville on the basketball team.”

Her current position as grantmaking officer at the Bush Foundation is expanding those connections.

“In the short time I’ve been here, I have learned so much about what different organizations are doing across the three-state region,” she said. “I always knew there were really amazing people in North Dakota doing great things for the people in our state, but in the last two months, I have more widespread knowledge about what individuals and organizations are doing across North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.”

Through her position, she supports rural organizations as they navigate the grantmaking process and elevate local voices while connecting people and resources.

“As grantmaking officers, we work together as a team to review grant applications that come in, find applications where there’s something really transformational about the idea, and then really dig deep,” she said.

One grant — the Bush Fellowship — includes a mind shift for the state populace.

“With the Bush Fellowship program, we have an opportunity for individuals to expand their leadership so they can be doing more for their community and their organizations,” she said. “It’s a really cool, unique opportunity for North Dakotans to really think, how do I invest in myself?”

The fellowship is a flexible grant of up to $100,000 to help individuals strengthen and develop their leadership by defining their own vision and creating a distinctive plan to learn the skills and build the relationships that will make their vision a reality.

“That’s a new and different mindset for North Dakota folks, because we’re always looking at what we can do for others,” said Ulrickson. “This is really an opportunity for people to go on this learning journey that looks different for every single fellow. We really need to take more advantage of that in this state, and we need more applicants from North Dakota to take interest in the program.”

Applications are currently open for the Bush Fellowship at bushfoundation.org/bush-fellowship until noon on Sept. 29. Additional information is available online or by contacting Ulrickson at lulrickson@bushfound.org.

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: 09/13/22   

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