SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Dawyduk shaped her future while building lasting bonds at MSU

MINOT, N.D. – Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Gabrielle Dawyduk originally chose Minot State due to the University’s warm and welcoming community.

She remembers her first visit, which shaped her decision to become a Beaver.

“I chose Minot State because it instantly felt like home,” she said. “The girls on the softball team were incredibly welcoming.”

Initially majoring in criminal justice, a turn in her academic path led her to discover her passion. 

“I took an American Sign Language class and absolutely loved it,” she recalls.

Encouraged by her teammates, she explored the Minot State Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. This change marked the beginning of her commitment to a new career path. Now, with a concentration in Deaf studies, she is on her way to becoming a speech-language pathologist.

Dawyduk describes her time at Minot State — and finding her calling in communication sciences and disorders — as transformative.

“These have been the best years of my life,” she said. “I feel like I’ve found a second home here at Minot State, with the school, the people, and the community.” 

While it took her a little time to decide on a career, she excelled both academically and as a student-athlete from the beginning. Dawyduk was named to the Vice President for Academic Affairs honor roll in three semesters, the President’s List three times, and earned a College Sports Communications Academic All-District team award in 2023. She was named a winner of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Myles Brand All-Academic with Distinction Award in 2024.

As she was discovering who she was on the academic side, her roles in MSU’s softball program were never in doubt. Dawyduk pitched in 23 games, making 11 starts with five wins and one save in her first season. She also hit .434 with two doubles and 14 RBIs in her freshman campaign.

From there, she would continue to be a constant in the circle and in the batter's box for MSU. In 2023, she hit .318 with eight doubles and a team-high four triples, while compiling a 3-1 record with a save. This past season, Dawyduk boasted a team-leading 2.23 ERA, going 9-7 on the season in 18 appearances and 14 starts. She batted .289 with nine doubles, helping the Beavers to the semifinals of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament. She was named second-team All-NSIC for her efforts in 2024.

Beyond academics and the diamond, she has thrived as a member of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA), realizing her potential as both an athlete and a leader.

Looking forward, Dawyduk is excited to continue her education at Minot State, pursuing a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology this fall. 

“After I finish grad school, I want to become a certified speech-language pathologist and work in a medical setting,” she said.

Additionally, her involvement in coaching high school softball has sparked another passion. 

“The last two years, I have also helped coach the Minot High varsity softball team,” Dawyduk said. “Helping out with the team made me realize I also love coaching, and it’s something I could see myself doing alongside my career.”

As her undergraduate chapter ends, Dawyduk expresses a mix of nostalgia and gratitude.

“I can’t believe my four years at Minot State are coming to an end. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into my dorm as a freshman,” she said.

Her advice to current and future students is heartfelt: “Cherish your college years — they really are the best years of your life.” 

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: 05/14/24   

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