Student Leadership and Engagement Award

Each year, Minot State University selects 10-20 students to receive the Student Leadership & Engagement Award, previously recognized as the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges accolade. Students are chosen based on their academic achievement, service to Minot State University and to the greater Minot community, participation and leadership in academic and extracurricular activities as well as potential for continued success.

2020 Award Recipients

Alyssa Baerlocher
College of Education and Health Sciences

Alyssa Baerlocher of Bismarck graduated in December with her degree in elementary education. While attending Minot State, she served as an officer for the Minot State chapter of Student North Dakota United from Fall 2018 until graduating and as Director of Entertainment for MSU Life in 2018-19. She also worked as a mentor for ASTEP, a program for college students with disabilities. In the community, Alyssa is a board member of Youth Empowering Social Status, an organization that advocates for youth with disabilities. In 2017, she completed an internship with the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Alyssa received numerous awards and recognition while at Minot State including the Robert Lee Williams Scholarship, ND Academic Scholarship, and the Great Plains Award. She has also been listed on the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll and President’s List.

After graduation, Alyssa hopes to teach in grades first through fifth in Bismarck Public Schools and plans to continue her involvement in advocacy programs.

Aubrey Barker
College of Education and Health Sciences

Senior Aubrey Barker is a communication sciences and disorders major from Minot. She has been a member of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association since her freshmen year. Through that organization, she chaired the 2018 Miles for Smiles Walk which raised enough money for 24 cleft lip/palate surgeries for children in underdeveloped countries and is currently chair for the 2020 NSSLHA Conference that will be held on campus in October. She has been involved in the Student Government Association as a College of Education and Health Sciences Senator where she served on many committees across campus. As a member of Special Olympics, Aubrey has volunteered as a coach for basketball and flag football and has worked with students with disabilities as a mentor for ASTEP. This year, she is chairing the 2020 Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign at Minot State.

In the community, Aubrey has participated in the Tap to Chat event at the Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy and helped with a book club at the Parker Senior Center.

Aubrey has been on the President’s List and Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll every semester at Minot State. She will receive her undergraduate degree this spring and return to Minot State Fall 2020 to begin her master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Upon completion of her education, she would like to work in a hospital setting with pediatric clients and eventually open a private practice that offers services to pediatric clients.

Jessica Bingham
College of Education and Health Sciences

Jessica Bingham is a 4.0 GPA senior elementary education major from Max. On campus, Jessica has been active as a member of the pep band, concert choir, honors program, concert band, and Sustainability Committee.

While attending Minot State, Jessica has volunteered her time to assist with numerous events such as setup at the National Association for Music Educators annual haunted house, the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church soup kitchen, Northwest Festival of Music, Native American Honor Dance and Powwow Celebration, picking up trash for community clean-up day, and playing piano and singing at the Immaculate Conception Church in Max. Along with fellow students in her American Sign Language class, she also planned games and supplied food for Minot’s Deaf Community in Fall 2018. In Fall 2018, she also performed the National Anthem in American Sign Language at an MSU basketball game. She has served as an assistant coach for the First Lego League Lego Robotics team since Fall 2018, volunteered to tutor a third-grade student in numerous subjects, helped with the Recovery Reinvented event held on campus, helped train people in Narcan administration and, along with fellow honors program students, put together a community engagement project to celebrate life and talk about mental health issues and drug use.

Jessica has received the Great Plains Award, North Dakota Academic Scholarship, Robert Wuttke Scholarship, and the Jeanne Sandberg Scholarship, and has been listed on the President’s List.

Jessica plans to become an elementary teacher in rural North Dakota who promotes and implements STEM and gifted and talented programs while giving students the quality education they deserve. She will continue her education, taking courses that are relevant to her career and interests. She will enjoy being active in the community by joining music groups, church groups, and volunteering at library events. She believes that a great teacher never stops being a teacher, even when not in the classroom, and a big part of teaching is being a positive role model for students.

Lynn Braaten
College of Education and Health Sciences

Special education major Lynn Braaten is a senior from Minot. Lynn is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and participated in their Halloween Sensory Room and Christmas Party. She has been active in many NDCPD Interdisciplinary Scholars Program events and has participated in Teens Night Out at the Parker Senior Center. She has also helped with Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports, volunteering with bowling, gymnastics, sled hockey, and yoga.

Lynn has received the Outstanding SCEC Award, the Helen Gaheen Myhra Scholarship, Florence Lake Scholarship, Bane-Sather Scholarship, Gertrude M. Eck Scholarship, Sandra Koolmo Dilland Scholarship, and the Elsie M. Deeter Scholarship.

Upon graduation, Lynn plans to teach and pursue her master’s degree to become a teacher of the deaf.

Emily Brendsel
College of Education and Health Sciences

Emily Brendsel is a senior from Maxbass currently majoring in biology/pre-dental hygiene. During her time at Minot State, she has participated in Campus Crusade for Christ and, for a short time, held an office position in the Organization of Athletic Trainers.

In the community, Emily has volunteered her time with Prairie Bistro in Mohall, First Baptist Church in Minot working in the nursery, and the AWANA program on Wednesdays for the last seven years. For the past few years, she has also volunteered with the Good Samaritan Center in Mohall to entertain and visit residents.

Emily has received the MSU Automatic 4-Year Award, Johnson Award, ND Academic Scholarship, and Olson Scholarship. She has been listed on the President's List and Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll.

Emily is currently preparing and hoping for acceptance into a dental hygiene program.

Nathan Demme
College of Arts and Sciences

Nathan Demme, from Minot, is a junior with a 4.0 GPA majoring in criminal justice. Nathan has been actively involved on campus, serving as club leader for Campus Crusade for Christ from 2017-19 and as a peer mentor for the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning in 2018.

As part of an honors course, Nathan participated in a student transportation project that resulted in the implementation of a bicycle program for students on campus. He also coached freshman boys’ basketball at Bishop Ryan High School in the fall of 2018 and 2019.

Nathan is a recipient of the Great Plains Scholarship, the Enbridge Higher Education Award, and the Honors Program Excellence in Leadership Award. He has been included on the President’s List and recognized as a Student of the Month for the Academic Support Center.

Nathan is enrolled in the Marine Corps Officer Training Program and aspires to be a USMC officer following graduation. He also desires to become a writer and lists a law degree and a career in federal law enforcement as other options for his future.

Eleni Garbrandt
College of Arts and Sciences

Broadcasting and professional communication major Eleni Garbrandt is a senior from Minot who has spent her college career cheering for football and basketball. As a member of the cheerleading team, she has participated in the Annual Community Halloween Party at the MSU Dome, hosted summer mini-cheer camps, and organized a bingo event for Edgewood Vista residents. Elani also served as a Welcome Weekend Leader in Fall 2018 and is a Rotary Club member.

Eleni has been included on the Engagement Honor Roll, President’s List, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll. Her future aspirations include building a solid foundation in public and community relations and working for a non-profit doing public relations.

Alyson Heisler
College of Arts and Sciences

Junior Alyson Heisler is a broadcasting and professional communication major from Velva. She is a member of the Rotaract Club, serving as secretary in 2018-19, and has been the assistant editor of the Red and Green student newspaper since Fall 2018. She had the opportunity to participate in a research trip to New York City in the summer of 2019 and took part in the KMSU Auction Fall 2019.

Off campus, Alyson has participated in Welcome Week activities including a project with a local Girl Scout organization. In March 2019, she helped lead sessions for attendees at a Rotary convention, and as a member of the Rotaract Club, she helped with a project that provided over 20 blankets to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

Alyson has received the North Dakota Academic Scholarship, MSU Alumni Scholarship, Vadell Family Scholarship, Dollars for Scholars Scholarship, and the Dr. and Mrs. CP Lura Scholarship.

After completing her degree, Alyson would like to become a communication representative for a company or organization that works to educate and inform the public. She would also love the opportunity to research or study additional elements of human communications in the future.

Haley Hildenbrand
College of Arts and Sciences

Haley Hildenbrand of Parker, Colorado is a senior majoring in professional chemistry. On campus, she has enjoyed being a member of the varsity women’s basketball team and the Student Government Association, where she served as the athletic representative in 2017-18. She has also served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, acting as basketball chair, vice president, and president.

In the community, Haley has volunteered with Girl Power at Sunnyside Elementary School and at the local animal shelter. She participated in a downtown painting endeavor as part of an orientation service project and has volunteered at a local art museum and basketball camp.

Haley has received the MSU Athletic Scholarship, MSU Academic Scholarship, and the Xcel Energy Scholarship. After completion of her degree, she would like to work as an industrial chemist and help coach basketball.

Kaitlyn Hill
College of Education and Health Sciences

Kaitlyn Hill is a senior from Bowman majoring in corporate fitness and wellness management. Throughout her time at Minot State, Kaitlyn has participated in the MSU Life Committee, varsity women’s golf, and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She has served as the Intramural Coordinator from October 2018 to present and enjoys taking part in the intramural sports of basketball, volleyball, and bowling. She has also served as a peer mentor for freshmen students.

In her spare time, Kaitlyn has volunteered in the community with Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports, the Guns and Hoses fundraiser, ND Junior Golf, ND Special Olympics, and has worked security for Minot State hockey.

Kaitlyn has received the William and Hilda Burkhardt Scholarship, ND Academic Scholarship, Beaver Booster Scholarship, Nels and Edna Solheim Scholarship, and the Dollars for Scholars Scholarship. In April 2019, she was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society to recognize her excellence in the classroom and athletic competition. She has been listed on the President’s List and the Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll while at Minot State.

Kaitlyn plans to continue her education and has been accepted into the graduate school at Concordia St. Paul where she will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

Nabeeha Latif
College of Business

Nabeeha Latif of Minot is a senior majoring in accounting and finance. While at Minot State, she has been involved in numerous clubs including the MSU Life Club, DECA Club, Accounting Club, and Finance Club, of which she currently serves as secretary. Through the DECA Club, she has had the opportunity to volunteer in the community, including helping with soup kitchens and the Marketplace for Kids event. Through DECA, she also participated in intramural volleyball and bowling.

Nabeeha has received the Roger Looyenga and Tim and Laura Mihalick scholarships and has been on the President’s List, Vice President for Academic Affairs Honor Roll, and Dean’s List.

Following graduation, Nabeeha plans to earn her master’s degree in management information systems at Minot State while preparing for her CPA. She would like to obtain a job in a top accounting firm and further her education by getting her doctorate while she works. Since there are many goals she wants to accomplish, she is taking it a step at a time.

Maya Moltzen
College of Education and Health Sciences

Senior Maya Moltzen is an elementary education major from Jamestown. While attending Minot State, she has been actively involved in the ED Sigma Delta Sorority where she has served as secretary and Gem Guide. In Spring 2019, she served as an orientation leader, assisting incoming students by leading them to sessions and activities and answering questions. She has also served as a Welcome Weekend Leader.

Maya finds time to volunteer in the community at the Annual Community Halloween Party at the MSU Dome, YWCA clothing drives, food drives, Alex’s Lemonade Stand which benefits children with cancer, and 5K walk and run events.

Maya has received the ND Academic Scholar, MSU Automatic 4-Year Award, and the Bert Skakoon Strings Scholarship for Cello. She has been listed on the Vice President of Academic Affairs Honor Roll and the President’s List.

After graduation, Maya plans to teach first, second, or third grade in North Dakota.

Cassidy Nelson
College of Education and Health Sciences

Cassidy Nelson of Devils Lake is a senior majoring in nursing. While at Minot State, Cassidy has been a member of the Nursing Student Association, where she is currently serving as vice president. She is also a member of the Student Faculty Association Committee helping to bridge the gap between students and faculty and address student concerns and requests. She played varsity basketball in 2017-18 and participates in the intramural sports of volleyball and basketball.

In the community, Cassidy has volunteered her time to take blood pressure readings at a convention and has given flu shots to students at Jim Hill Middle School.

Cassidy has received the Halvor and Orma Nesheim Scholarship, Richard Dormont Scholarship, American Association of University Scholarship, Beaver Boosters Athletic Scholarship, and the Robert Lee Scholarship. She has been included on the President’s List and has received the Academic Achievement Award.

Upon graduation, Cassidy plans to start her career as a nurse in the field of pediatrics or obstetrics as she loves children. After working for a couple of years, she wants to further her education by getting her master’s degree and become a family nurse practitioner.

Jenae Orluck
College of Education and Health Sciences

Nursing major Jenae Orluck is a 4.0 GPA senior from Beach. Jenae has served as a student leader for Campus Crusade for Christ where she has helped organize events, prepare for and present at promotional events, and lead group discussions. As a member of the Student Nursing Association, she has served as their public relations/fundraising officer and has helped organize fundraising events and attended annual state-wide conferences.

Jenae serves as an AWANA Club Leader on Wednesday nights leading children in games, singing songs, and helping with other activities. She has also volunteered her time at the Dakota Hope Clinic.

Jenae has been the recipient of the Great Plains Award, Gunnar Solberg Scholarship, ND Academic Scholarship, and the Ronald McDonald Scholarship. She was selected as Student Nurse of the Year for 2020 and has been listed on the MSU Engagement Honor Roll and the President’s List.

Emily Schmidt
College of Arts and Sciences

Emily Schmidt of Mandan is a senior majoring in English who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her time at Minot State. She has been active in marching band, the honors program, Minot Symphony Orchestra, the English Club, pep band, and the Sigma Delta Sorority. As a peer mentor, she collaborated with a co-professor to help teach first-year experience classes and gave presentations on time management, staying motivated, and group projects. She also coordinated social events with the students and helped students formulate community service projects. She has served on the Roger Looyenga Leadership Advisory Committee that handles his donation for leadership advancement at MSU.

Off campus, Emily has volunteered at the Roosevelt Park Zoo, where she helped paint fences for freshmen orientation, and at the Cornerstone Presbyterian Church soup kitchen serving meals to people in need.

Emily has received the Distinctive and Engaged Scholars Award, ND Academic Scholarship, Harvey and Arlon Twyman Scholarship, Humanities Scholarship, and the Blanch Lynch Memorial Scholarship. She has been included on the President’s List and the Engagement Honor Roll and was selected as a Global Sights Photo Contest winner in Fall 2019.

After graduation, Emily will continue her career in writing, specifically music criticism or music journalism, and would love to write for the Rolling Stone one day. She plans to continue participating in the ND Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar every summer and to maintain community service work wherever she lives in the future, all while pursuing her newly found passion for traveling and experiencing different cultures around the world.

Kimberly Shappell
College of Business

Kimberly Shappell of Minot is a 4.0 GPA senior majoring in accounting and finance. On campus, she has been active in the Accounting Club and Finance Club. She is currently participating in the Looyenga Leadership Development Program where she works alongside fellow students to establish an MSU civic volunteering effort to aid the community in a variety of ways.

Kimberly has been listed on the President’s List and has received the Emerging Scholars Award, the MSU Automatic 4-Year Award, Distinctive and Engaged Scholars Award, ND Academic Scholarship, 4-H Scholarship, Minot Officer’s Spouses Club Scholarship, Minot High Scholarship, MSU Alumni Scholarship, and the Pat and Mary kay Jones Scholarship.

After graduation, Kimberly plans to complete the CPA exam and find a job where she can help individuals or businesses manage their finances, meet their financial goals, and build a better future.

Lane Torgerson
College of Education and Health Sciences

Lane Torgerson of Colstrip, Montana is a senior majoring in physical education. While attending Minot State, Lane has played football for four years, serving as captain of the team for two years. He has served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and was a team leader for the Don’t Drive Drunk Campaign.

Off campus, Lane has volunteered with Special Olympics, the North Dakota State Fair, youth football camp, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, and a local chili cookoff.

Lane has been a recipient of an MSU Football Scholarship and a Physical Education Scholarship. He was selected for All-Conference Honors in football, has been listed on the President’s List, and was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society which recognizes student-athletes who have excelled in the classroom and athletic competition.

Lane plans to become a physical education teacher at the high school level after graduation and eventually obtain a master’s degree in administration.

Hannah Werchau
College of Education and Health Sciences

Senior Hannah Werchau is a communication sciences and disorders major from Minot. On campus, Hannah has been active in MSU Life where she helps plan and coordinate student activities and has also participated in intramural volleyball. As an active member of the National Students Speech Language Hearing Association, she currently serves as treasurer and sits on the NSSLHA Graduation Banquet Committee, helping to coordinate, organize, decorate, and set up for the communication sciences and disorders banquet for graduating students.

In the community, Hannah has taken part in Tap to Chat, an event for children attending Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy and their families. She has participated in Miles for Smiles, a walk that raises money to pay for surgeries for children with cleft lip and palate. She has also helped with security at MSU men’s and women’s hockey games and volunteered with Roosevelt Zoo clean up.

Hannah has received numerous awards and scholarships including the Emerging Scholar Award, D.J. Robertson Award, C.P. Lura Scholarship, Dr. David Williams Scholarship, Ole and Sarah Joraanstad Scholarship, ND Academic Scholarship, and the Tom and Mary Probst Scholarship and has been included on the President’s List.

After graduation, Hannah plans to begin graduate school for her master’s degree in speech-language pathology. She intends to work as a speech-language pathologist in a hospital setting, with her ultimate goal to work in a neonatal intensive care unit focusing on feeding and swallowing with high-risk infants.

Jordan Will
College of Business

Jordan Will is a 4.0 GPA senior from Minot majoring in accounting and finance. While attending Minot State, Jordan has been a member and team captain of both the Beaver football and wrestling teams.

Off campus, Jordan has served as a volunteer coach for the Bishop Ryan High School football and wrestling teams. He also helped count votes for Dancing for Special Stars, a fundraiser held each year for Special Olympics North Dakota.

Jordan has received the James McIntyre Scholarship and the Shirley and Baldwin Martz Scholarship and has been listed on the President’s List. He was named to the 2018 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NCIS) All-Academic Team and the 2019 National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-Academic team. He was awarded Athlete of the Week in January 2020.

Upon graduation, Jordan plans to take the CPA exam and work in public accounting.

 

2021 Application Information

Application Deadline: To be announced.

Application Process:
Minot State University faculty members are invited to nominate outstanding students for this award, though candidates may also self-nominate. The completed Application Form should be submitted to:

Vice President for Student Affairs Office,
Administration Building, Room 164
500 University Avenue West, Minot, N.D. 58707

Once the nomination forms are collected and scored, the final selection of nominees will be contacted and announced through the Public Information Office.

A recognition event will be held in honor of the recipients in the Spring Semester.

Eligibility & Selection Criteria:

  • Student must have attended MSU full-time for four consecutive terms, including the current fall 2017 term (excluding summer sessions)
  • Student must be a university junior or senior (must have achieved 60 or more credits)
  • Student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Student must not have received the Student Leadership Award and/or Who’s Who recognition previously

The selection process is carried out by your fellow students, faculty and staff and is based on your successfully meeting the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement
  • Service to Minot State University
  • Service to the community
  • Participation & leadership in academic and/or extracurricular activities
  • Future potential

Please contact aaron.hughes@ndus.edu with any questions regarding the nomination process.