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Pillar Pride

A newsletter for alumni and friends of the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College Spring 2012

Thriving MLT program provides rovides skilled workers to the area

Not long ago, funding cuts and low enrollment put the Medical Laboratory Technician program at M State on life support. Three years later the program is thriving, a turnaround that benefits the college, students and community. The 60-credit Associate of Science MLT degree prepares students to complete the National Board of Registry certification exam and work in a variety of job sites, including hospitals, clinics, commercial laboratories, blood donor facilities, instrument sales, and education and research facilities. M State also has an articulation agreement that allows MLT graduates to enroll in the Clinical Laboratory Science bachelor’s degree program at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. “Our program is beneficial because it provides skilled MLTs to the community and surrounding area,” says Christie Huber, M State’s MLT program director. “Without the program, it would be difficult for local hospitals in smaller communities to find MLT professionals, and ultimately the health care system would suffer.” Huber is focused on raising awareness of the program, involving herself in student recruit-

ties through M State’s Co Coll lleg egge 2 CaCament activities College nd its Health and Scien ncee Sho howc wcas ase, e, e, reer Expo and Science Showcase, gh the Kennedy Second darr y Sc SSchool hoool ol and through Secondary areer Fair. She also tea amed w itth College Career teamed with ren Peterson to participate paart r icipatte inn Science Sciiennce ce UND’S Karen ay, a workshop hosted hoosted byy the thhe AmeriA er Am eri riiGirl Saturday, ation of Universit ity Wo W ome m n aan nd fo ffo-can Association University Women and ntroducing science sciennce ccareers areeerss ttoo ggirls irls in cused on introducing d 5. grades 4 and hanges have spar arke arke ar k d more m re interest mo int nter e est Recent changes sparked ram from prospective prospeective students. MLT in the program om tr rad ad iiooona aditio naal on-campus nal courses havee shifted fro from traditional cour urse sess th se that a include at inc ncllu lude de a combicom ombiombi bibi courses to hybrid courses assroom andd online onliliine sessions. on sesssiion onss. s. Classes Cla lass lass sses ess nation of classroom campuus forr meet only once or twice a week onn campus work in the laboratory. dent Olivia Voigt says sayys the t e instructh inst inst in stru ruccru MLT student spital professionals make m ke learning ma lea earn nin ng tors and hospital he flex eexibility exib x bilit illit ityy iss exciting andd enjoyable, and th the important too her. “As a student who commutes, m is convethis program ticipate in,” nient to participate w she explains.. “I can view the lecturess online andd attend class once a week -on training in to do hands-on ory.” the laboratory. Huber iss currentlyy working on re-accreditation for the program, and representatives of thee National Accrediting Agency for boratory Science Clinical Laboratory arch. will be on campus in M March. cently awarded awardded a grant nt She was recently an $10,000 ffor orr tthe h pur he urrof more than purw laborator ry equi eequipment. q ipm pmennt. chase of new laboratory ion, Teresa Teres esaa Beske Beskee ha as In addition, has labo borratory ry aass-joined the program as a laboratory ke, an MLT T aatt Lake Regio on sistant. Beske, Region Faallls l , brings experiexpeeerriHealthcare in Fergus Falls, int ntoo the classr room in ence from the hospitall into classroom annd assisting assi as sisting students. stuudents ts. her positionn tutoring and T program’s program’ m’ss community comm co m unity partners, ppaart rtne n rs ne rs,, The MLT

p ov pr ovid viddiinng laboratory labo la boora ratto tory sites tory sit ites for for students, studdents, s, aare re L aakke providing Lake R gi Re gion on n Healthcare Hea e lthcare in Fergus Falls, s, Perham Per erhham ham Region Heeallthh and H and P erham Living in Pe Perh rham ham m, Mi M nn., Health Perham Perham, Minn., Trii-C Tr Coun Coun nty H ospital in Wadena, Minn., an nd St SSt.. Tri-County Hospital and Josseph ph’s M edic ed ical al Center Cen enter in Brainerd, Minn. Joseph’s Medical Wiithh iincreasing W ncreaasin ingg student studden entt de ddemand mandd ffor o tthe or he With prog oggrraam, m, aadditional dditio ioona nal partner partne rttne ner er lab lab sites la sitess site si program, eiin ng es ng eestablished. tabllis ishhe hed. hed are be being

Long-time friends of the college will remember Pillar Pride, the newsletter named in recognition of the pillars that stand between the Science Building and College Center. We’re happy to be able to bring back Pillar Pride to update alumni and friends about activities on the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. We hope you enjoy catching up! If you know others who would be interested in receiving Pillar Pride, email their names and mailing addresses to

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FastTRAC partnership offers unique opportunity to students

NISOD honors instructors


Two instructors on the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College are the recipients of national awards recognizing their excellence in education and college leadership. Paul Carney and Ramona Caswell received Excellence Awards from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development and will be recognized formally at the NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Learning in Austin, Texas, in late May. Award winners are selected on the basis of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and contributions outside the classroom through special projects or committee leadership. Carney is an English instructor and the developer and coordinator of Ready or Not Writing and Step Write Up, two programs offered through M State’s Center for College Readiness to prepare junior high and high school students for college-level writing courses. He is a former president of the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English, creator of the Roadside Poetry Project and has been involved in state and national education standards efforts. Caswell, a chemistry instructor, is recognized for her innovation in the classroom, aligning chemistry labs with national Green Chemistry Principles, developing experiments and chemistry kits for online chemistry courses, creating logic puzzles for various chemistry topics and coordinating collaboration among instructors at M State and other colleges. Caswell has promoted science education through special events and each year exposes her students to real-world applications of chemistry. NISOD is dedicated to the professional development of higher education faculty, administrators and staff, and to improvements in teaching and learning with the ultimate goal of student success. Its members include more than 700 community colleges around the world.


M State works with partners in a variety of initiatives that address the crucial issue of workforce shortages in health care, and a project currently under way is having great success helping individuals both discover and prepare for a wide range of health care careers. The project, which received a $95,000 grant from the Minnesota FastTRAC initiative, is a partnership of Rural Minnesota CEP, Adult Basic Education, Area Health Education Center, West Central Initiative and M State. Participants have the opportunity to be mentored, job shadow, explore health care careers and receive supplemental instruction. The FastTRAC partnership’s Health Care Prep Course gives students instruction in the areas of time management and study skills, math for health care occupations and college reading and writing. Students who completed the prep course could enroll in M State’s anatomy and physiology course at no cost and receive additional instruction. The grant funds the services, and students now in the program give it their enthusiastic stamp of approval. M State anatomy and physiology instructor Matthew Boercherding echoes the enthusiasm of students. “The FastTRAC students that are currently enrolled in my human anatomy and physiology course are some of the most dedicated and motivated individuals that I have instructed. Every one of them is determined to be successful in this challenging course and is putting in long hours of studying on top of their responsibilities as employees, parents and grandparents,” Boercherding said. He said students meet with Susan Ward from Fergus Falls Adult Basic Education

prior to each class session and have the opportunity to review material together, then arrive at his lecture “well-prepared and jazzed up to learn new material.” “I am glad to be a part of the program, and I think all parties involved are doing great things for these students,” he said.

I am 42 . . . ——————— and going back to school after 25 years. This program has really helped me to better myself. We study as a class, we push each other to learn and encourage each other. I would not have confidence in myself or the desire to continue if it wasn’t for Mrs. Ward and Mr. Borcherding. Thank you for giving me the courage to believe in myself. ——————— ~ Persephone Caron The award that helps fund the Health Care Prep Course was one of 17 totaling nearly $1.7 million made by the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Department of Education - Adult Basic Education, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for adult career pathways projects in the state. For more information about the FastTRAC initiative, interested students can contact Kyle Johnston, enrollment manager on the Fergus Falls campus, at 218.736.1544 or

. . . getting to know my students Marilyn Swedberg earned her associate degree from M State and both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from St. Cloud State University. She currently teaches general and abnormal psychology and in the past has taught varied psychology courses, college success skills and career/life planning. Swedberg began teaching at M State in 1979, joining the faculty on a regular basis in 1985. She has advised the campus Phi Theta Kappa chapter and also worked in the campus counseling office. “At M State, I enjoy a class size that is small enough so that I can get to know my students on a more personal basis. This campus offers so many ways for students to be involved and have opportunities to make a difference.” Swedberg met her husband, Tim, at M State, and all four of their children attended the Fergus Falls campus – where her daughter also met her husband.

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Biological Science AS degree leads students to diverse careers The Associate of Science degree in Biological Science at M State is a transfer degree that gives students a firm foundation for continuing their education in a variety of fields of biological study including cell biology, bioengineering, fish and wildlife management, forestry, genetics, microbiology and pre-medical and pre-dentistry. M State instructors Nandini Banerji, Carol Bischof, Matthew Borcherding, Ramona Caswell, Jessica Daniels, and Tom Prieve provide a diverse learning experience for students in the program. Along with the knowledge needed to continue their education in science-based fields of study, students learn problem-solving and critical-thinking skills that help them prepare for life after college.

Faculty and staff are committed to providing quality education and experiences for M State students. In Caswell’s words, “Our campus is like a private institution at a public institution cost.” Hands-on laboratory training is an essential part of the program, helping students build crucial skills while learning in a way that is enjoyable. Students in organic chemistry work on “unknown analysis” where they are given a mystery compound and challenged to determine its components through various tests. The general chemistry class has a similar assignment with a mystery powder. In biology courses, students study the cellular structure of humans and animals, take an indepth look at how systems in the body function,

extract their own DNA for analysis and analyze plants in fields around the campus. M State is exploring the possibility of prairie restoration on the campus, expanding the variety of plant life that students could analyze. The program is continually adding new laboratory technology to enhance the educational value for students. Daniels said recent additions include probeware that allows students to collect data more accurately, molecular biology equipment to analyze DNA and proteins and a nuclear magnetic resonance instrument which works like a miniature MRI machine.

Sarah Redfield, Fargo, Instructor Carol Bischof, and Dana Meemken, Battle Lake, examine a sampling of equipment available in the M State biology lab. The AS in Biology provides a diverse field of study for various career paths. Sarah is considering a career in wildlife biology and Dana is pursuing her interest in the medical technology field.

. . . part of the “real deal”



Ron Godzinski Jr. joined the M State faculty in 2005, teaching courses in ethics, philosophy and the humanities. He earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from California State University in Chico and his master’s degree in philosophy from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he is also working on his Ph.D. He is the co-founder of the M State Philosophy Club. “At M State, I enjoy being able to dynamically interact with students in a smaller class setting that typically is not possible at the university level. Having taught at the university level with significantly larger class sizes, it is a pleasure to make it difficult for students to get lost in the crowd at M State. “The Fergus Falls campus has the look and feel of a small liberal arts-oriented college. With its diversity in academic offerings, theater, music and athletics, M State is the ‘real deal.’ “ He has been married for more than 15 years to Jennifer Godzinski, who is currently the interim director of the Fergus Falls YMCA.

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M State Call Center – At Your Service! Havee you Ha Have you ou dialed dia iale ledd 218.736.1500 218. 21 8.73 7366.15 73 6.15 1500 00 with wit ith questions ith ques qu esti tion onss about M State? Stat St a e?? Who at W ho answers ans nswe w rss tthese we hese he se ccalls? alls al ls?? Th Thee M State Sta tate call center, c nt ce nter er,r, lo llocated catedd in F Fergus ergu er g s Fa gu Fall Falls, llls, s fifieeelds ldss in ld info information form rmation requests re eqquuests ts ((both both thh vvia ia pphone hone ho ne aand n oonline nd nlin nl in ne ch chat chat) at)) ffor at or aallll four fo uurr M State Sta tate te campuses te cam ampu puse pu use sess – D Detroit etr et troi oit it Lak L Lakes, akes, Fergus Ferrgus gus Falls, Fall Fa llllss,, M Moorhead ooo oorhead and d Wa Wade Wadena. d naa. Thesee ccheerful de heer he erfu fuul and an extremely extrem ex meelly knowledgeable knowledggeaablle staff s aff st a members memb me mber ers answe answer er mo mo more than t an 1100,000 th 00,0000 requests 00 requuests annually and the they heyy needd too bbee he ready read re a y for f r anything! fo aannyt ythi th ng! Anthony A thhoon An ny Schaffh SSccha haffhauser, haffh aus u er, th thee co college’s olllege’s in iinterim nte terim de ddean ean of enrollment, enro en roollllment ment,, ssays me ays ys a central cen entr tral a Call Calll Center C nter helps pprovide Ce rovi vide the thee best best service to stu students ude dent ntts an and nd tthe he community coommunityy and and ensures staff sttaff ff members meem mbbers have the training train nin ing and and support supp su ppor ortt to help them excel eell at at their tthhei e r jobs. jobs jo obs. “We operate oper erat er rat atee as as a team, tea e m, and bbeing eing ei ng iin n the same same m pplace lace la ce hhelps ellps ps us reachh that t at th at objective,” obj bjec ecti ec ect tive,” vee,”, Schaffh Schhaffh ffhauser auuse serr sa ssays. says ays ys.. Every Evveerry E r y da ddayy iss a llearning earn ning ing experience expe ex peeriiennce ffor or tthe hee team teeaam of college collllegge resource co r soour re u ce specialists speciallissts who whoo are ree ready rea eady to to respondd too any about anyy qquestion uestion ab ue boouut the the college colleg egge - and annd with with more than tthhan an 1100,000 00,0 00 00,0 ,0000 calls calllss coming com omin ingg inn each eac achh year, they theyy have hav a e plenty plen e ty of

opportunities to learn. lear “Something new happens and I learn new things about the job every day,” says resource specialist s Shannon Schmitz. “We interact with many people, so we learn fa facts and gain knowledge about all areas of the college.” The resource specialists speci continually strive to anticipate the needs of their clients, since there iis far more to their job than “just answering phones.” The goal is to handle handl 80 percent of the inquiries that come, forwarding only 20 percent of the th calls to other staff members. That means they will answer the questions of more than 80,000 callers this year. “Front-line service servic and first impressions are very important to most businesses, and this is so true for our college,” says resource specialist Lynn Bakke. “Our service se lets our students, staff, faculty and community members know that the college values their relationships.” The resource specialists speci are also responsible for outgoing call campaigns, including registration registratio reminders, academic progress updates, billing reminders, and informing infor and helping students with continuing education. The Call Center, w which is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to t 7 p.m. and until 5 p.m. on Friday, is the first point of contact for M State and is essential in sserving the growing number of students at M State. M State’s resource specialists are determined to make this experience pleasant, and they ta take pride in offering great customer service. tog “We all work together to provide the best customer service for our students says resource specialist Abby Crowser. students,”

Equine Science students not just along for the ride

Equine students, left to right, Samantha Searle of Donnelly, Karcyn Plune of Ada and Karlee Laubach of West Fargo.

M State’s Equine Science program offers students a unique experience through a community partnership with Red Horse Ranch. The college and Red Horse Ranch team up to give students a broad equine education that provides them with hands-on experience in a business setting – an experience unlike any other programs in the area. “This program gives students a real-world experience in the private sector,” says Dr. Tom Prieve, an instructor in Equine Science. M State currently offers two options in Equine Science. The 31-credit diploma program has a blend of transferable credits and hands-on courses, and the 61-credit Equine Science Associate of Applied Science degree builds on the diploma program through online courses and

an internship. Students graduate with the skills necessary to pursue careers in stable management, horse training, horse judging, riding instruction and other related occupations. Most colleges with Equine Science programs use college owned or leased barns for hands-on training, but at M State students work with real clients, watch professionals on the job and make professional connections. “This is the only Equine program where students are in a non-student stable with nonstudent lessons and events,” says Andrew Hinrichs, an employee at Red Horse Ranch and an M State instructor. Karcyn Pleune, a student in the Equine Science program, appreciates working in an operating erience “opens business, explaining that the experience your eyes to the day-to day operations tions in a business setting where every little detailill counts.” urses in equine Students in the program take courses anatomy, physiology and diseases, es, equine sciuine reproducence/careers and job skills, and equine m setting tion and nutrition in a classroom with Prieve. At the ranch, they work orkk with or operraa Hinrichs on skills including stablee operagliish eqq-tions, Western horsemanship, English uitation, riding and training, andd equine equ quin quin ne evaluation. peccts ooff Students are involved in all aspects horse care including training and exercise, exer ex erci er cise ci se,, se llllss. SStutu-tu cleaning barns and mucking stalls. mppedents participated in a judging compe-

tition in March, and in late April they travel to the State Fairgrounds for the Minnesota Horse Expo. This is a public event with more than 100 different breeds of horses where M State students will volunteer in the Red Horse Ranch booth. They will also have an opportunity to explore the Expo and visit other vendors and exhibitors or watch the PRCA Rodeo action. The public is invited to the M State Equine Performance at Red Horse Ranch on Tuesday, April 24, from 9:30-10:30 am as M State’s Equine Science Diploma students will demonstrate their English Equitation skills and will give a public jumping exhibition.

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Kindness in the cold gives warmth to international student “I could not breathe,” says Barnabas Mammas, recalling ng the moment momennt he he stepped steppped into int nto the thhe frigid friggidd January frig fr Jan a uar uar y aair ua ir ooutside utsi ut s ddee Fargo’s Far argo g ’ss Hector go Heeccto tor Airport in 2011. “It was so cold, it just took my breath away. way. Th Thiis is was the the very ve y first st time tim ime I had had seen ha se n snow. w.” hiopia, too the Midwest Miidw dwest esst inn January? Jannuaryy? Barnabas Barn Ba nabbas had earned ear arne nedd What brings a college graduate from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lannedd to pur rsuee hi hhiss ma ast steer’ss ddegree, eggree,, bbut ut hee a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in Ethiopiaa and pl planned pursue master’s m prepares p epar pr ares ess sstudents tuudeent n s fo forr cert tifific ficcation atioon in netnet ewas intrigued by the Cisco networking program. This program certifi working technology, router configuration and protocol and other otheer services. servicces es. Barnabas knew the United States offered the best opportunities rtunitiess for for the the hands-on hands annd -onn training trrai aiini niing ng program. progr rogr ro g am m. DurDu ersing bbyy emailil w ith it th M Stat atee admis ssio ions sp peci cial aal ing his Internet search for Cisco programs, he began conversing with State admissions specialist Larissa Ness, who promptly responded to his many requests requestts for f r information. fo in nform rm maattion. (He (He learned learrned e to email em mai al dessk in Fergus Feergus us Falls). Falls). The other otheer colleg ges he he at night in Ethiopia, since that is when Ness would be at her desk colleges contacted were much slower in returning his e-mails. “Miss Larissa’s kindness and the advantages of the Cisco o progr program ram m con convinced nvinc nccedd me th tha that at M SState tate ta t wa was as tthe he he alls sincee it it has on-campus on-c -ccam mpus ho ousing. place for me,” says Barnabas. He chose to settle in Fergus Falls housing. Barnabas values his work study position at the M State ate computer com mputer help lpp desk, desk, where where hee as assist assists ts students and faculty with their computer issues. He is honing oning hhis iss techn technical hnicaal al sk skills, kills, improving improvinng ng hiss English and learning customer service skills. His co-workers rkers and annd colleagues colleeaguues ue on o campus cam am mpus enjoy ennjo joy his friendly smile, polished manners and genuine concern rn for oothers. thers. ternshipp and a d iss also an alsso considering coonsider erin ing com mmBarnabas, now in his last semester, is hoping to find an internship comturns hom om me to E thiiopi th pia. aH is mot is othe ot her her he pleting his master’s degree in the United States before he returns home Ethiopia. His mother chool in London Londdon and and n another anoth thher e w ho and a brother still live there, but he has one brother in law school who is a Catholic priest assigned to the Vatican. ple on thee Fergus Ferg rggus Falls Falls campus cam mpus Barnabas has only praise and appreciation for the people and in the community. tient andd sso o kn nowle l dgeabl blee. bl “I feel so welcome here. My instructors are helpful, patient knowledgeable. d to thank nk eeveryone ver yone forr aallll And I have enjoyed getting to know the students. I need hile he’s been beenn iin nM innessot ota, a the help they provided me during my stay,” he says. While Minnesota, ncerts and annd pl play ayed ed socce er in in he’s ventured out ice fishing and kayaking, attended concerts played soccer Eveer ythin thhing – be ePelican Rapids and Fargo. Asked what he enjoys most, he says, “E “Everything because it is all new to me.”

Rick Hanson

Life has been non-stop for Brittany Nygaard since she first enrolled on the Fergus Falls campus as a high school senior. She will graduate in May with four degrees – the associate of arts and individual associate of science degrees in Business, Business Management and Accounting. Nygaard chose to pursue the multi-facetted business programs at M State as she knows they will prepare her well for a variety of careers. “I just love my classes,” says Brittany. “Each business instructor brings a unique personality and depth of expertise into the classroom. They are readily available with advice and have helped me gain confidence in my abilities.” In addition to required business courses such as financial accounting, principles of management and economics, Nygaard has completed a variety of liberal arts courses. She was especially intrigued by psychology. M State business instructor Kent Quamme praises Nygaard’s efforts. “Brittany is here to learn, not to just earn a degree,” he says. “She knows how to do ‘quality’ studying. She works hard and is a joy to have in class. Brittany is always so positive and easy to work with, a valuable personality trait to succeed in business and society.” Nygaard credits the camaraderie of her classmates for enhancing her positive experience and success. Her classmates are her study partners and have become good friends. She is impressed with the variety of activities offered on the campus and enjoys participating as her schedule allows. Nygaard also works as a checkout at Service Food Market in Fergus Falls and fills in when needed in the bakery and deli. Juggling school and work was made easier by her employer’s much-appreciated willingness to schedule her work hours around classes.

Eighteen years of coast-to-coast truck driving were enough for Rick Hanson. He made a sharp turn by returning to Fergus Falls and, at the age of 46, enrolling in his first-ever college course at M State. Not only was he a full-time student, but he tutored fellow students in the campus Center for Academic Success and worked maintenance 20 hours a week at a local church. He relished earning his first 4.0 GPA last spring semester, mastered a fear of public speaking, rose to the academic challenges of both business and liberal arts courses, and more than once found himself reminding younger students to never take this education opportunity for granted. But just a few days into his second year, in the fall of 2011, Hanson experienced heart issues and was hospitalized for 38 days during the semester. He attended classes between hospital stays but had no choice except to take incompletes in his classes. This spring semester, he is completing work for those courses as well as a full load of new classes – 27 credits in all. “My instructors are wonderful,” says Hanson. “They will not let me fail. Each one works with me to complete assignments, and I am grateful for their patience, understanding and encouragement. If I were at a larger school, I most likely would have had to drop out.” Hanson encourages others to return to college to follow their dreams and goals. “Take the chance,” he advises. “It will be worth the investment.” Hanson’s plans are to graduate from Fergus Falls in May 2013 with an associate in arts degree as well as associate of science degrees in accounting and business. He intends to pursue an accounting major at Minnesota State University Moorhead and become a CPA.


Brittany Nygaard

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Special assistance available for students through Disability Services

Jon Kragness (center) with students Carrie Rehm and Rick Lyden

For the typical college student, it’s challenging enough to get to class, take lecture notes, write papers and prepare for the next test. Consider the extra effort needed if you’re a student dealing with a disability that is a barrier to your learning. Enter Jon Kragness, director of Disability Services on the Fergus Falls campus. Kragness spends his days advocating and providing for students who need special assistance to aid them in their learning. Kragness used the college’s Disability Services himself from 1991-1993 after a high-level spinal cord injury. Dr. Dave Seyfried directed the program then, and his mentoring encouraged Kragness to overcome and achieve. Now Kragness has nearly completed a Ph.D. in education

at North Dakota State University, specializing in adult occupational learning. “The college provided so much support and encouragement to me. I felt absolutely compelled to give something back,” Kragness says His rapport with students and savvy technology skills make him the ideal connection to 30 to 40 students each semester whose documented disabilities present barriers to their learning. He meets with each of them and develops an individual learning plan. The need for each student may be something as simple as adjusting the temperature in a classroom, requesting an extended test-taking time or a quiet testing environment, or having a spring removed from a door to allow easier opening. More encompassing solutions could include providing a computer program that allows a student to write a paper by speaking to the computer or software that will scan a printed page and read it aloud. “Most often we think disabilities are physical things we can see,” Kragness says. “But most disabilities are not readily apparent – they’re “invisible” disabilities. This does not diminish their seriousness.” Kragness’ services do not change the curriculum for a student or eliminate course requirements. His intent is to provide equivalent learning so a student with a disability meets the same academic standards as other class members. The equipment available in Disability Services includes:

• Motorized carts for on-campus transportation • iPads that translate spoken words into text • Kindle eReaders with electronic textbooks for students with print disabilities or whose physical disabilities limit what they can carry to class • “Smart pens” that assist with note-taking and record an instructor’s lecture • Kurzweil software that reads aloud from a digital file or a scanned paper • Bluetooth microphones that run a computer with voice prompts • Word prediction software that prompts several word choices as a student types a document Kragness also can access assistive technology lending libraries throughout Minnesota for devices not available on the Fergus Falls campus. Kragness credits his program’s effectiveness to the culture of student success on the Fergus Falls campus. Administrators provide equipment, and faculty and staff are more than willing to make accommodations for students. He also commends the acceptance and support fellow students provide their peers who need the service. Carrie, a student who completed her goals at M State in fall 2011 and is currently pursuing a degree as a mental health associate, says “Disability Services changed everything for me.” “I was struggling to retain information (due to a diagnosed disorder), and my grades were failing,” Carrie says.” Jon offered me several types of assistance that made a big difference in my learning. I am still in school today because of the help I received in Fergus Falls.”

Come on along on a European experience! Thirty Thi hr M State students will do more than learn about a abo ut history in late May: They will experience it during d dur rin in a 12-day trip to Europe. The students are part of the campus’s travel T Th abroad program, coordinated by M State history ab abr o instructor inst ins t Arlin Nikolas. “In London,” Nikolas says, “students will see “ th changing of the guard, explore the Tower the of London, stand at the site where Henry VIII VI I executed his wives, see the English Crown Jewels and take a flight (not a ride!) on the J world’s largest Ferris wheel.” w

Other Oth h highlights include the Jack the Ripper walking tour, the National R Gallery, Westminster Abbey, and viewing G Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta E Stone at the British Museum. Students S also have the opportunity to attend two a musicals in London, Les Miserables and m We Will Rock You. W “While Les Miserables is a serious, powerful and haunting musical, We Will p po Rock You features 21 songs by the group R Ro Queen Qu u and is similar to attending a rock concert,” con on Nikolas says. Students who choose to attend will have front-row seats. cho Students then will travel on the Chunnel S

train from London to Paris and spend half a day at the Palace of Versailles. They will also visit historical sites including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Tomb of Napoleon and the Louvre.

On a free day in each of the cities, students have the option of traveling to Stonehenge, visiting Oxford or Cambridge, touring Windsor Castle, seeing the grave of Jim Morrison or going to the Moulin Rouge. “Many students choose to take a day trip to see the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy,” Nikolas says. The travel abroad program began in the 19931994 academic year under the guidance of Dr. Ken Peeders. Since then, he h en,, mor m more ore e tthan han 50 500 00 sstudents ttud ud dent e tss h have ave ve participated in trips tr rips ps to Paris, London, n, n, Rome, Vienna, B Berlin, er in, erl n Salzburg, Frankfurt, furt, fur t, Edinburgh, Nice, China, Florence, Naples, Wales and n nd Munich. Students earn n three academic credits for the study abroad trip. iip. p..

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“Empty Bowls” fills hearts and stomachs M State ceramics instructor Lori Charest, who nurtures creativity and the joy of discovery in her students, wanted her students to relate their work to something larger, to instill in them a connection to their community. Eight years ago, inspired by the Empty Bowls international project to fight hunger, she invited her students to join her in a distinctive kind of community service. Eight years later, Empty Bowls has grown far beyond her expectations. Students enrolled in Charest’s ceramics courses are each required to create two soup bowls that they are willing to give away. Each bowl becomes the integral ingredient in the annual campus “Empty Bowls” lunch. Held each April, this local event follows the international Empty Bowls principle – to identify a hunger need and create an event to raise awareness and funding for the need. In Fergus Falls, filling soup bowls paired perfectly with the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen, the beneficiary of this goodwill ever since.

Guests line up half an hour early in Legacy Hall awaiting their chance to select their favorite bowl. For a suggested donation of $13, they choose a bowl, enjoy it filled with tasty soup and then take it home – empty – as a reminder of hunger and the many empty bowls in the world. More than 300 bowls are available for choosing. Charest asks former students and fellow ceramics enthusiasts to help provide the bowls to meet the need. During the event, more than 30 campus and community volunteers willingly accept jobs from filling water glasses to washing bowls for the guests as they leave. In the first seven years, more than $20,000 has been raised for the local Salvation Army soup kitchen. Thrivent Financial has generously provided matching funds for each event. This year’s Empty Bowls Lunch is Thursday, April 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Legacy Hall. Come early and enjoy a unique experience of giving and receiving.

Scholarships available for talented musicians Auditions for M State Music Department Scholarships will be conducted April 3 and 4, 2012 on the campus by appointment. Both choral and instrumental music scholarships are awarded to returning and musi incoming students who plan to participate in music incom ensembles, have been successful in high school ense music contests, and /or are pursuing the Associate mus of Fine F Arts Degree in Music. Fergus Area College Foundation scholarships include: Selma Lundeen Fou Scholarship, Geneva Eschweiler Scholarship (for Sch both bot incoming and returning students), Barbara Allison Glaser Scholarship as well as the Eagles All and Carlisle Band scholarships. Contact Teresa Ashworth, As director of music, to confirm an audition time at 218.736.1600. Students will be au sent se scholarship application information. When co combining music with an academic scholarship, students have a competitive option for their higher st eeducation journey.

Little Shop of Horrors In Little Shop of Horrors, a down-and-out skid row floral assistant becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. The plant offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time and a highly successful movie, this affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a household name. Charming, tuneful and hilarious, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, Little Shop of Horrors never fails to entertain. The exuberant cast includes Alex Vasquez of Willmar; Rusty Duncan and Abby Hull of Battle Lake;; Amanda Collins of Dent; Jake Bauer off Graceville; Hazen Roller-Olson of Underwood; Hattiee Russell of Fergus Falls; Jasmyn Sutton of Hoffman;; Katie Jensen of Dawson; and Kristen Johnson of Alexandria. Theatrical and musical direction Jake Bauer, Graceville an d Ha ze n Ro are provided Un derwood ller- Olson, battle with the alien pla by Stefanie nt. Gerhardson, Erica Lundberg and Dan Carlson. See the Events Calendar on Page 12 of Pillar Pride for performance dates and times. You won’t want to miss this one!

Spartan golf makes history

Spartan golfers celebrate regional success. Pictured are (left to right) Abby Feist, (soph., Pelican Rapids), Alex Miller (soph., Big Lake), Mitch Thorsen (soph., Fergus Falls), Lucas Gervais (fr., Fergus Falls), Taylor Shuck (fr., Fergus Falls) and Tyler Brackey, (soph., Albert Lea). Other team members include Tanner Drewelow (fr., Graceville), Alex Harste (fr., Glenwood) and Connor Lausch (fr., Fergus Falls).

The Spartan mens golf team made history in the fall of 2011 when it qualified for the NJCAA Division III National Golf Tourw nnament by winning the Minnesota College Athletic Conference aand Region XIII championships. It is the first time since 1976 that the Spartans have won the MCAC title and the team’s first-ever regional title. The Spartans M finished 16 shots better than Rochester Community and Techniccal College to win the regional crown in October at the Legacy Golf Course in Brainerd. G Coached by Jason Retzlaff, Jeff Haukos and Aaron Sletten, the tteam won six of the seven tournaments it entered during the fall 22011 season. The Spartan men were never defeated by a Division IIII opponent. The men’s national tournament is June 5-9, 2012, at Chautauqqua Golf Course in Chautauqua, N.Y. M State also qualified Abby Feist as an individual for the womens NJCAA National Tournament with a 6th place finish at the m Region XIII championship. Feist is making her second appearance at the national tournament, which is in Daytona Beach, Fla., on May 14-17, 2012.


The Spartan mens basketball team had an outstanding season, falling just shy of a national tournament appearance. M State finished its season with a 19-11 record after starting the season at 0-5. In the Minnesota College Athletic Conference tournament March 2-4, the Spartans defeated Northland Community and Technical College and then, in the most exciting game of the tournament, battled national powerhouse Rochester Community and Technical College to a twopoint victory. In the championship game, the Spartans were defeated in a back-and-forth battle with the Central Lakes Community and Technical College Raiders, ranked No. 5 nationally. Despite the championship loss, Coach Jason Retzlaff was proud of this team’s performance. “It really was a wonderful and rewarding season,” Retzlaff says. “This team went through the adversity of starting with an 0-5 record and then played for the state championship. The character of these men who continued to believe in each other week after week is commendable.” Post-season honors include: Shane Bosek and John Paul Bright, AllMCAC Team; Bosek, All-Region XIII Team; and Bright and Rapheal Cabaniss, All-MCAC Tournament Team. Retzlaff was named a cocoach of the year in the MCAC Southern Division.

The 2011-2012 Lady Spartans ended their season with a trip to the Region 13A tournament. This season was a first for coaching staff members Brenda (Berg) Johnson, Janice (Ripplinger) Hendrickson, Jess (Holicky) Price and Krista Shaikoski – each a former Lady Spartan – who led the team following the retirement of longtime coach Ann Williams. Talented returning sophomores Kendra Stokes, Jordyn Campbell, Tanika Nguyen and Concordia College transfer Ann Bjorklund were set to build on last season’s experience. Promising freshmen Rhoda Christenson, Taylor Brue, Aria Walstad, Morgan Kapphahn, Megan Cole and Alyssa Blai added to the mix, and the team set a season goal of qualifying for the region tournament. Despite several player injuries, this tenacious group of young women did complete the season with a trip to the Region 13A tournament at Anoka-Ramsey Community and Technical College. Matched against the host team, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, the Lady Spartans showed their growth, drive and teamwork as they battled to the buzzer in a 55-54 loss. During the season, Christenson was twice chosen as the Minnesota College Athletic Association conference player of the week. Stokes and Christenson were named to the All-Southern Division second team. basketball photos courtesy of John Starner

Pillar Pride . . . News from Fergus Area College Foundation Page 9

Thank you for making a difference, Stuart and Nancy!

Dedicated board members impact the work of Fergus Area College Foundation. In addition to monthly board meetings, these volunteers give much time and energy to tell our college’s story in the community. Their efforts provide additional funding for scholarships and other Foundation initiatives on the campus. Nancy Straw and Stuart Klovstad have gen-

erously shared their time and talents as board members. They complete their terms on June 30, and we will miss them. Klovstad, a 1978 alumnus, has served on the board for close to 30 years and is currently board treasurer. As the manager of financial reporting at Otter Tail Power Company, he brings valuable credentials to his board position. We value his sincere loyalty to the Fergus Falls campus. Spartan True Blue runs through his veins as he is a regular at Spartan athletic events, concerts and plays. His enthusiasm for the college is contagious, and his commitment to the board’s mission is appreciated. “I have been so impressed with my fellow board members’ sincere passion for the college over the years. How fortunate I was to learn from several of the founders – Robert Allison, Earl Williams, B.K. Soby and Bob Bigwood. They established the Foundation’s vision to provide opportunities for all students, no matter their background, and that philosophy is integral to each decision we make. The Foundation has become

a significant partner with the Fergus Falls campus. I leave the Foundation board with wonderful memories of the college administration, staff and students, and with valuable friendships with those who share my commitment.” Nancy Straw, president of West Central Initiative, was first elected to the board in 2003. She has provided valuable connections to community resources and partners, and her passion for strategic planning has helped grow the Foundation’s mission and vision. We appreciate her energy, positive spirit and can-do attitude for the projects she undertakes. During her tenure on the board, Straw has served as president and as a member of the Bigwood Lecture Committee. “Fergus Area College Foundation is a real success story and helps so many students. It has been a pleasure to work with the other board members and a privilege to meet so many students, faculty and staff. We are very fortunate to have this highquality educational resource in our region.”

Students and campus benefit from generous endowments Fergus Area College Foundation is grateful for the generosity of local residents who commit their resources to support the Fergus Falls campus. Henry and Elizabeth Cowles Scholarship The late Henry “Hank” and Elizabeth “Sis” Cowles, long-time residents of Fergus Falls, believed in helping young people advance in their lives through higher education. Hank Cowles worked as a vice president for Otter Tail Power Company and both he and Sis, who had no children of their own, encouraged young people to follow their dreams. In May of 2011, the Foundation was honored to receive a gift of $319,000 from their estate. This gift, added to their 2008 gift of $27,500, Please contact Executive Director Carolyn Glesne at 218.736.1514 or if you are interested in discussing opportunities to support Fergus Area College Foundation through a major gift. Your financial advisor can also guide you to options that will benefit both your financial planning and the Foundation.

has established the Henry and Elizabeth Cowles Scholarship to fund scholarships in the engineering and medical fields. Their generous gift will benefit students for years to come. Donald and Dorothy Malm Scholarship The work of Donald and Dorothy Malm offers a fine example of people “giving back” through their involvement in church and community activities. Dorothy, of Fergus Falls, has been a church choir member and Pioneer Home Auxiliary board member. Donald was treasurer of his church and served as president of Augustana Apartments for 35 years. He was also treasurer for Cardinal Homes in Fergus Falls. Donald, a certified public accountant, worked for the Internal Revenue Service for 33 years and also formed his own accounting business and tax service in Fergus Falls, which he operated until his death in February 2011. To honor Donald’s memory, Dorothy (pictured with FACF

Board President Rob Bigwood and Vice President Gail Childs) established the Donald and Dorothy Malm Scholarship through a gift of $20,000 to the Foundation in September 2011. This gift will fund an annual scholarship for an M State business student.

Pemberton to speak at 20th annual Bigwood Lecture Fergus Falls attorney Richard L. Pemberton will be the guest speaker at the 20th annual Bigwood Lecture sponsored by Fergus Area College Foundation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17. The event, free of charge and open to the public, will be in Legacy Hall on the Fergus Falls campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Henry VI, Pemberton’s address is entitled “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers. And what about the judges and jurors? Shall we kill them, too? Comments on the Search for Justice and Upon the Values that Make Life Worth Living.” Pemberton is a recognized professional on state and national levels. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates and listed in Best Lawyers in America. He is a past president of the Minnesota State Bar Association and was the governorappointed chair of the Minnesota Racing Commission for nine years. Pemberton has served on numerous Minnesota Supreme Court boards and committees and currently is a member of the Supreme Court’s Civil Justice and Reform Task Force. Bigwood Lecture is endowed by Otter Tail Power Company in honor of the late Robert M. Bigwood, the longtime power company president and board chairman who also was instrumental in establishing M State - Fergus Falls and Fergus Area College Foundation.

Honoring achievement with scholarships, making connections with donors The Foundation’s annual Scholarship Reception is a celebration of achievement and philanthropy. Students are honored for their accomplishments, and scholarship donors are graciously thanked for their generosity. Students and their families, donors and college staff filled Legacy Hall on November 9, 2011, for this signature Foundation event. Students enjoyed the opportunity to personally thank their donors, and donors developed a connection to the campus by meeting the students. Pictured are just a few of the more than 100 M State students who shared in more than $125,000 in Foundation scholarships.

Bernadette King of Eagle le Bend, Minn., and son Steve ve (1985 alumnus and current nt Spartan football coach) are pictured with Hannah h Olson of Brandon, Minn. Olson received the Arlan King Memorial Scholarship, p p, awarded annually by the King family in memory of their husband and father. Olson will graduate in May y with an Associate of Arts degree.


, Hannah and S teve

Jerry Covington of Fergus gus Falls met his scholarship donor in January when former Fergus Falls faculty y member John Donahue visited the campus from his is home in Queretaro, Mexico. o o. Donahue established “The Aspirin” scholarship for a student who has gone out of his or her way to “save the day” for a theatre instructor. As a business major, Jerry enjoys the change of pace provided by music and theatre opportunities on Jerry and J the campus. Donahue ohn was a theater director on campus and in the community during his tenure nure ure at at the the college c llege coll g from 1967-1982. He advised the college newspaper staff and taught English, speech, English as a second language and ceramics classes.

“I hope I can continue to walk through life as a student of the world . I hope I can teach others the same way you have all taught me .”

Ben Kugler, 2011-12 Presidential Scholar Scholarship Reception Speech, November 2011

2011-12 Presidential Scholar Vinny Olmsted off Dalton is pictured with donors Mary and David Lundeen. Olmsted is the e recipient of the Selma I. Lundeen Memorial Music Scholarship, given in memory of David Lundeen’s mother. He will graduate in May with an Associate of Fine Arts degree and plans to pursue a degree in music composition or music production. David Lundeen is a current member of the FACF Board of Directors.

Mary, Vinn y and David

Fangling Liu enjoys a visit with Nancy (Eide) Reek (1974 alumna), Deerwood, Minn. and her mother, Alfreda Eide, Fergus Falls. Liu, a native of China, will complete her Associate Degree in Nursing in May and is the recipientt of the Edwin and Alfreda Eide Nursing Scholarship, given in Reek’s honor by her mother and father (the late Edwin Eide). Nancy, Alf reda Reek spoke at the and Fanglin Scholarship Reception, g representing scholarship donors. She began began her h r journey toward a nursing degree at M State and is currently a home care and hospice nurse. Caryn and Kirk Williams m ms congratulate Brett Weisss of Erhard, recipient of the James Toso Williams Memorial Scholarship, given in memory of Kirk k Williams’ brother. Weisss is a freshman at M State e and plans to pursue a history major. Kirk Williams is an artist in Fergus Falls, and several of his works are included in the college’s permanent art collection. His parents, Dorothy and W. Earl Ca ryn, Kirk Williams, were faithful a n d Bre tt advocates of the Fergus Falls campus, and his father was a founder of Fergus F gus Fer guss Area A ea Ar ea College Col C olleg lege ege Foundation.

Pillar Pride . . . NewsPage fromHeader Fergus Area College Foundation Page Number

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Where are they now? 1960 Hollis Nelson (1962) is celebrating a 45year career that included employment with Honeywell and Watson Wyatt, a human resources consulting company. He was Watson Wyatt’s managing director for Florida and Puerto Rico prior to his retirement last year. In 2011 Nelson and wife Julia traveled 40,000 miles on worldwide vacations. Between travels, they live in Oakland, Calif., and Miami. They have two children and three grandchildren. LuAnn (Hanneman) Rudh (1966) has been involved in education her entire career – she taught in St. Paul and Waconia, Minn., and Muncie, Ind. When she and her husband, Mike, returned to Fergus Falls, she was a substitute teacher in the Fergus Falls public schools. Now retired, Hanneman enjoys her volunteer work in the school system.

1970 Deb Soliah (1973) recently accepted the position of executive director of the newly formed ShareHouse Foundation in Fargo, N.D. ShareHouse provides outpatient and residential services for the chemically dependent population. Soliah has worked in health care philanthropy for nearly 30 years, most recently as vice president of Sanford Health Foundation in the Fargo region. Daryl Klovstad (1974) lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where for the past 15 years he has been senior vice president of Daymon Worldwide, an international food brokerage group. He currently manages a team that works with store branding of Kroger properties throughout the world. His job involves extensive travel, including significant time in France, England, Spain, Japan and China where he encourages his team members to develop their skills and find success in the company. He and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of four adult children. Cal Hull (1978) has worked in the school bus service industry for more than 30 years. He began as a bus driver and is currently the senior vice president for the northwest region of First Student, Inc. Hull’s company contracts bus services with local school districts throughout a territory that includes Oregon, Washington and Alaska to Minnesota. He lives in Vancouver, Wash., with his wife, Pamela, and their four children.

1980 Mark Helland (1980) was recently elected vice chair of the Minnesota Public Radio Regional Development Advisory Council. He will represent the Fergus Falls area and serve as liaison between MPR and the community. Helland and his wife, Catherine (Fritz) Helland (1977), live in Fergus Falls, where he is vice president of customer service at Otter Tail Power Company.

Your Story We enjoy publishing these alumni updates. You will find campus memories from more than 100 alumni on our website. Go to and click on “Your Spartan Story” to: • Remember campus days with your classmates • Share your own memories by writing a Spartan Story • Update your current information for publication in the next issue of Pillar Pride. Or you can contact the Foundation office at or 218.736.1514. We look forward to hearing from you! Clay Moser (1983) has been hired as an advance scout for the Los Angeles Lakers. Moser has most recently been the associate head coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the NBA Development League. He brings more than 10 years of NBA and NBA Development League experience to his new position. Moser played Spartan basketball for Dave Retzlaff from 1981-1983. He also served as an assistant coach to Retzlaff for three seasons. His wife, Angela (Missling) Moser (1988), is a contracts manager for AECOM. She played volleyball, basketball and softball for the Spartans. Mosers are the parents of Chandler (19), Lily (4) and Carter (2). Kay (Randash) Lee (1989) is the assistant director of nursing at the Veterans Home in Fergus Falls. She previously worked at the Regional Treatment Center and has had her own business as a paramedical examiner for 22 years. Lee and husband Tom have two sons. Nic is a captain in the Air Force and Tanner is a geology major at North Dakota State University.

1990 Robert “Boomer” Moore (1990) is an assistant professor of art at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.V., where he teaches ceramics. Moore frequently travels with students to the WVU campus in Jingdezhen, China, to experience China’s vast ceramic history and cultural heritage. Moore’s ceramic work has been exhibited in numerous shows across the United States and in England and Spain. Naomi (Toso) Rajsky (1991) has been teaching English in Las Vegas for the past 16 years. Rajsky reflects, “The true rewards of teaching come from the students. Whenever a present or past student’s parent says that his or her child loves/ loved my class, that is the best award I could receive.” She and husband Patrick, a Las Vegas native, are the parents of Tatum (12) and Chip (8). Maria (Struthers) Barlage (1995) enjoys her work as an academic advisor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Cambridge campus. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in educational psychol-

ogy at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Barlage and her husband, Matt, a computer engineer, are the parents of Madelyn (8) and Mariana (2). Breck (Johnsen) Grove (1998) and Aaron Grove (1996) live in Underwood, Minn., where Aaron is the manager of Sverdrup Mutual Insurance and Breck is an elementary teacher and assistant volleyball coach for the Underwood Public Schools. They are the parents of Kallyn (5) and Max (3). Paul Johansen (1996) is currently the chief architect for PLATO Learning in Bloomington, Minn. He is the leader of a team that develops online learning software used by hundreds of thousands of K-12 students each day. He and his wife, LeAnne, have three children, Brady (6), Keegan (3) and Kinsley (1). Michael Brethorst (1996) is the city administrator in Melrose, Minn. He recently received the Credentialed Manager designation from ICMA, the premier local government leadership and management organization. He is one of about 30 in Minnesota and 1,200 internationally to earn this credential. Brethorst is also a major in the Minnesota Army National Guard and serves as a military intelligence officer. He has deployed to Iraq and Bosnia. He and wife Jill are the parents of Katelin (6) and Grant (2). Jill is an LPN at Lake Region Healthcare Clinic Services in Fergus Falls. Mindy (Hanneman) Fuder (1999) and Brian Fuder (1998) proudly announce the birth of Henry Erick on February 7, 2012. He was welcomed home by siblings Charlie (7) and Ellie (4). Mindy is the executive director of the 544 Education Foundation for the Fergus Falls Public Schools, and Brian is the owner/ general manager of Taco Johns in Fergus Falls, Wahpeton and Detroit Lakes.

2000 Jarrod Asmus (2001) is currently the coordinator of education and training for Athletic Republic at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls. He is also the head baseball coach at M State. He and his wife, Heidi, have three sons, Riley (4), Alex (2) and Jace, born March 6.

Alumni News

Monica Ness (2001) is the head infant teacher at Children’s Corner Learning Center in Fergus Falls, where she supervises two Baby Corner locations and provides child development advice and guidance to parents. She earned her B.S. in early childhood education from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2004. Bryce Haugen (2003) recently accepted a business assistant position at Otter Tail Power Company and has moved back to Fergus Falls from Dickinson, N.D. He and his wife, Bethany, welcomed their first child, Elliot, in January 2012. Joseph Osowski (2003) is the high school choral director at Anoka-Hennepin School in Anoka, Minn. He directs four curricular choirs and two extracurricular choirs. He sings with the Minnesota Chorale and performed Carmina Burana with the Minnesota Orchestra. Laura Odden (2004) is the 7-12th grade choir director in the Milaca, Minn., public schools. She is also attending North Dakota State University as a student in the master of vocal music education program. In 2010 she was selected as a section coach for the Minnesota Music Educators Association’s All-State Women’s Choir. Ashley (Zahrbock) Weatherspoon (2004) and Archie Weatherspoon IV (2004) currently live in St. Paul. In August, Ashley was promoted to director of enrollment management services at AnokaRamsey Community College. Archie is a probation/parole officer for Washington County. Ashley and Archie are the parents of sons Archie V (4) and Ashton (1). Paula Barry (2007) completed her doctor of physical therapy degree at the University of North Dakota in May 2010. She now works full-time as a physical therapist in Port Angeles, Wash., as part of an orthopedic residency program. Sam Norman (2010) exhibited his current ceramic work in a one-man show during January 2012 on the M State campus. Norman, currently a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is working toward a bachelor of fine arts degree. While at Fergus Falls, he studied ceramics with Lori Charest. James Stenger (2010) is continuing his education at Minnesota State University Moorhead as a theater arts major with an emphasis in acting, directing and technical theater (scenic design). Stenger frequently helps the theater department at M State with sets and stage management. He is the third generation of his family to graduate from M State. Katie Strom (2010) is currently majoring in musical theater at North Dakota State University, where she also works as a theater publicity and recruitment assistant. In 2011 she received an Irene Ryan nomination for her role as Laurey in the NDSU production of Oklahoma.

Fergus Area College Foundation



1414 College Way Fergus Falls, MN 56537 218.736.1514


Address change: If this issue of Pillar Pride is addressed to someone who no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify us with his or her new mailing address. You can reach us by email at or by phone 218.736.1514. Thanks!

Spring Semester Calendar of Events March 5

March 23-31 Directed by Stefanie Gerhardson and Erika Lundberg

Area Invitational Art Show Charles Beck Gallery Exhibit on display through April1 23-24 Little Shop of Horrors 7:30 p.m. | Waage Theatre (see page 7) 25 Little Shop of Horrors 2 p.m. | Waage Theatre 29-31 Little Shop of Horrors 7:30 p.m. | Waage Theatre

May 14-17, June 5-9

NJCAA Division III Golf Tournaments Read all about the Spartan golf teams on page 8

20 21


April 1

Tickets: Adults: $11 in advance, $13 at the door; Students: $7 in advance, $8 at the door. Available at the Waage Theatre Box Office, by calling 218.736.1600


Reception for Area Invitational Art Show 1-3 p.m. | Charles Beck Gallery The public is invited 3 & 4 Music Scholarship Auditions 2-4 p.m. | Waage 635 (see page 7) 3 Climb Theater presents: “A Deeper Look” 12:30 p.m. | Legacy Hall This play will provoke a deeper understanding of prejudice throughout American history. 5 Women’s Self Defense Class 6:30 p.m. | S 436 and the gym Taught by our local police force. 9 Art Exhibit - Paintings by Catherine Abbott Charles Beck Gallery Exhibit on display through August 12 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 10 a.m. | Legacy Hall In partnership with Someplace Safe. 12 Celebration of Cultures 6 p.m. | Legacy Hall A showcase of the rich ethnic cultures and traditions found in our local community, co-sponsored by M State, Fergus Falls Public Schools and Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. 17 Bigwood Lecture 7 p.m. | Legacy Hall (see page 9) Richard L. Pemberton, Guest Speaker 19 Empty Bowls Project 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Legacy Hall (see page 7)


Concert Band Concert 7:30 p.m. | Waage Theatre Jazz Band Concert 7:30 p.m. | Waage Theatre Diabetes Walk Noon on campus Sponsored by M State Student Senate for more info contact: Equine Performance 9:30-10:30 a.m. | Red Horse Ranch M State Equine students will exhibit their skills (see page 4) Spring Choral Concert 7:30 p.m. | Legacy Hall

May 3

Practical Nursing Pinning 5 p.m. | Legacy Hall 3 M State Commencement 7 p.m. | Gym Reception in Legacy Hall 4 Associate Degree Nursing Pinning 7 p.m. | Legacy Hall 14-17 NJCAA Division III Women’s National Golf Tournament Daytona Beach, Fla. (see page 6)

June 4 5-9

First Day of Summer Semester NJCAA Division III Men’s National Golf Tournament Chautauqua, N.Y. (see page 6)

*Reservations for music/theatre events can be made by calling 218.736.1600. Go to for spring sports schedules.

Pillar Pride  

M State - Fergus Falls and Fergus Area College Foundation Spring 2012 Newsletter

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