Page 1




Summer 2011

Alumnews is published two times per year by University Marketing, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead MN 56563

Editor Kristi Monson (

Designer Derek Lien (

MSUM Alumni Foundation Box 68 Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead, MN 56563

Phone (218) 477-2143 Toll-Free 1-877-270-2586

Fax (218) 477-2909 E-mail


Vice President of Alumni Foundation Laura Huth (

Associate Vice President for Development Laurie Wigtil (

Director of Alumni Relations Gina Monson (

Director of Annual Giving/ External Relations Kim Bair (

Alumni Foundation Board of Directors President Darrell Rowe

President Elect Ev Quigley

Past President Jo Burdick

Treasurer John Bennett

Secretary Tod Ganje

Directors Mark Anderson Pam Wimmer Benedict Maureen Brownson Darlene Cobian Corey Elmer Lisa Erickson Lindsay Hartmann John Haugo Frank Leidenfrost Deb Magnuson Frank Mosier Rodney Paseka Arlette Preston Mark Reed Tomi Sawyer Jason Sjostrom Greg Staszko Mark Voxland

On the cover:

Dear MSUM Alumni, I’ve already learned a lot about what a great school MSU Moorhead is since my arrival in March—and I’ve barely scratched the surface! I am thankful to be part of a school with such a rich history. Next year MSUM will mark its 125th anniversary. When the school opened its doors, the city was off to the north. The giant elms and cottonwood trees that now canopy the mall were saplings. The first students were learning to be teachers in the country schools for the children of families who came in search of their piece of the American dream. We have a history rich in “self sacrifice, service and undying loyalty,” reflected in the motto on three donated stained glass windows honoring campus veterans of the First World War that hang above the library information desk. Times changed and so did the school. The Normal School became a teachers college, then a state college with additional programs and in 1975, a state university. We have about 50,000 alumni on our mailing list and several thousand on our email list. Most of them live in Minnesota and North Dakota, but you can find our graduates just about anywhere in the world. MSU Moorhead’s legacy of service is due to the remarkable people who came before and those who still serve. I was particularly struck by that when I reviewed our list of donors of planned gifts. Many of them are former or current faculty and staff and alumni. It’s touching when you realize that people whose hard work built this legacy decided to share even more to make a difference in the lives of coming generations. We’ve put together a Legacy Society to thank these visionary donors. Their gifts help bridge the widening gap between willing students and affordable education. They help the University to be more strategic in planning and more stable in our changing economy. They present an example to others who may have the interest and wherewithal to do the same. They demonstrate the power of philanthropy to do remarkable things. I invite you to become a member of our Legacy Society and to contact us with any questions. Thanks to all of our supporters. We value your sacrifice, service and loyalty. Gratefully, Laura Huth, Vice President, Alumni Foundation PS: If you’d like to receive emails with news about the campus and coming events, visit our website at and click on “contact us.”

Alumna Leigh Wilson-Mattson at Elephant Sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Alumnews Summer 2011

Alumnews What’s Inside

PROFILES 4 Alum teaches in Malaysia under prestigious Fulbright program 8 Time magazine names alum’s project a 2010 “Best Invention” 10 Annoying Orange is major YouTube sensation 18 Saving Sudanese children is alum’s passion


FEATURES 20 Every font tells a story for distinguished alumna 24 Connect with alumni around the country 29 Celebrate Homecoming 2011 31 Dragons Athletics news and updates 39 MSUM introduces new academic wordmark


ALUMNI 14 From Hollywood to Broadway: Where are our theatre graduates? 16 Alum is 1 of 93 U.S. Attorneys 26 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award winners 42 Alumnotes


20 30 Alumnews Summer 2011


> Elephant Sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Alum Awarded Distinguished Fulbright Teaching Assistantship Leigh Wilson-Mattson, ’09, enjoys teaching and traveling in Malaysia


ass communication Professor Camilla Wilson describes her daughter as curious and hard working; a risk-taker when pursuing a goal.

Growing up in Palos Verdes, Calif., most of her preschool classmates were children of foreign-born parents. She attended Chinese school on Saturdays and was the only Caucasian among 500 students. “She didn’t realize she was different,” Wilson said. “And as a writer, I often took her with me when I traveled. She’s always been game to travel.” It comes as no surprise that Leigh Wilson-Mattson, a 2009 communication studies graduate, traveled halfway around the world to expand her experiences.


Alumnews Summer 2011

“I wanted to travel, see new cultures, meet new people and have amazing experiences. Fulbright Malaysia definitely provides those!” Wilson-Mattson was one of 17 students awarded a 2011 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for Malaysia. After three weeks of orientation—one in Kuala Lumpur with MACEE (the U.S. side of Fulbright) and two in Kuala Terengganu with the Terengganu government—she started a 10-month part-time assistantship teaching English to primary school students. “Leigh was always curious and eager to learn more than what was necessary,” said Tim Borchers, dean of MSUM’s College of Arts and Humanities, who supported and recommended Leigh for the program. “Her desire to learn about

alumni feature re u Fea eattur F

“The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned.” – Sen. J. William Fulbright the world and contemplate her role in it made her a good Fulbright applicant.” Her school is located in the small fishing village Seberang Takir. While most students are from poor fishing families, the outdoor campus is spacious and attractive, with a library and a computer lab. “Most students live in traditional Malay houses on stilts to avoid flood water. On my way to school I often see goats, cows and chickens running around,” Wilson-Mattson said. “The people are friendly and talkative. I’m the only non-Malay in town so everyone knows me as ‘Teacher! America!’.” Ninety-seven percent of Terengganu is Malay and so are all of Wilson-Mattson’s students. “On Sundays I go to assembly where the students hear announcements and pray at

U.S. Student Fulbright Program

East Asia/Pacific, At a Glance 2010-2011 > Leigh Wilson-Mattson was awarded the English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), one of 3 grants through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. > This program places recent college graduates and young professionals as English teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools or universities overseas. > ETAs are placed in one of 65 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, Western Europe and the Western Hemisphere. > In 2010, Malaysia had 38 applications and 6 awards > Total applications and awards for 2011 were 878 and 190, respectively. > Grant benefits: round-trip transportation to host country, housing/living expense allowance, medical insurance, books/supplies allowance, tuition assistance. > Top grantee fields of study: Anthropology/Sociology, History, Political Science/Law/International Relations, Creative and Performing Arts, Natural Sciences/ Medicine/Public Health.

7:30 a.m., then I teach two classes a day. To encourage English learning and speaking, we sing songs and play games.” Despite the language barrier, WilsonMattson’s education equipped her well for this experience. It would take many pages to document her activities while an MSUM student. If you were a student here between 2004 and 2009, you most likely encountered Wilson-Mattson in one of nearly 20 student organizations or one of 17 decision-making committees. Student Senate was the most visible. “I was a student senator for three years,” she said. “It was invaluable learning how to work in groups, confront conflict, and work on behalf of student needs. I gained leadership skills while fighting for something I am passionate about.”

Wilson-Mattson was also Senate President, Student Body President, and a board member of the Minnesota State University Student Association. “I enjoyed being a part of student organizations,” she said. “Being an orientation counselor was a wonderful way for me to meet and share my experiences with incoming students. I learned that being a good leader means helping others find the leader within themselves.” The most important lesson she learned, she says, is that “working hard with a smile will get you far.” Her personality and drive has put this young political activist in the driver’s seat for a ride that will likely take her to national influence.

“On my way to school I often see goats, cows and chickens running around. The people are friendly and talkative. I’m the only non-Malay in town so everyone knows me as ‘Teacher! America!’.”

> Teachers at school on “Teacher’s Day.” Alumnews Summer 2011


Kuala Terengganu

(Jawi: ; Chinese: ) > Largest city, state & royal capital of Terengganu state, Malaysia > Pop. 406,317 > 310 miles northeast of Kuala Lumpur > Translation: “Terengganu Harbour,” referring to the broad expanse of the Terengganu River estuary which empties into the South China Sea > Travel sites boast “stunningly beautiful islands that sparkle like gems in the South China Sea”; “a strong Malay culture, laid-back lifestyle, tranquil coastal towns and rustic villages”

> Luang Prabang, Loas

Even though she was on a leadership path as early as high school, her many interests and talents posed a challenge in selecting a major. She credits her mom and many faculty and administrators for helping her to find her way. “MSUM always had a professor teaching me, never a graduate student. I was given leadership opportunities and a great academic base,” she said. “I have been dumbfounded at the number of friends who attended top ranking schools who had mostly graduate assistants teaching them.” Torn between art, journalism and politics (and a teetering interest in theatre), she landed in the Communication Studies Department. “Figuring out the politics of communication is a true passion,” she said. “MSUM guided me to the career path I have chosen, which is environmental law.” Her political bent started early.

teered at political events, wrote newsletters, and invited local candidates to speak to our group,” Wilson-Mattson said. “My mother has been my most influential political mentor. When I interned in Sen. Byron Dorgan’s office, I worked with his deputy state director, Pam Gulleson, who was also a wonderful mentor. It’s important to be a part of our governmental processes.” Borchers says Leigh always strived to improve situations and saw politics as a means to an end. “As student president, she worked hard to create a polling site on campus since she knew it would increase student participation in elections.” She honed her political savvy through internships at Dakota Datebook (NDPR)/Prairie Public Broadcasting, U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan’s office, and North Dakota Public Radio. She wielded an internship at the City of Moorhead into a part-time job as assistant to City Manager Michael Redlinger (’01, political science & ’04, public, human services and administration).

“My first political memory was when my mom took me to a fund-raiser for Kathleen Brown (Democratic nominee for governor of California in 1994) in Santa Barbara,” WilsonMattson said. “My mom was astute about world events and political undertakings.”

“My time there was priceless,” Wilson-Mattson said. “I worked with a wonderful staff and got an insider’s view of how cities run, ranging from city council, human resources and engineering, to policy changes and citizen concerns.”

“We have a photo of Leigh shaking Brown’s hand,” her mother said. “She was the only child at the event. When she shook Brown’s hand, she said: ‘If I could vote, I’d vote for you.’”

“I’m not surprised by her path,” said her mother. “Her time in Malaysia has heightened her interest in the environment. That, too, is in line with her previous activities.”

While at Fargo North High School, she started the Fargo-Moorhead Young Democrats for high school students. “We volun-

Her daughter agrees.


Alumnews Summer 2011

“I’ve had a long and growing interest in public health and the environment. I’ve heard numerous stories about health problems, many of which seem to be connected to environmental issues,” WilsonMattson said. “This is an important topic for everyone.” She is considering law school to study environmental law or graduate school to pursue environmental policy. Upon her return to the United States, she will get a job and likely be involved in the upcoming election. This hiatus has been a phenomenal experience for Wilson-Mattson, who has traveled to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, with planned excursions to Singapore, Borneo and Indonesia before returning home. She says the Fulbright Malaysia program is dramatically expanding over the next two years. “I highly recommend the Fulbright experience to anyone looking for a bit of adventure and some time abroad,” she said. “Learning about people in other cultures opens doors to new worlds. Apply for a Fulbright fellowship!” > KRISTI MONSON

Fulbright Snapshot > Flagship international educational exchange program > Started in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas > Operates in 155 countries worldwide > More than 294,000 participants to date > Approximately 4,500 student Fulbright scholarships annually (U.S. And foreign students) > Operates 11 grant categories and programs > Fiscal year 2009 Congressional appropriate: $234.9 million

> Street barber, Hanoi, Vietnam

History Professor Named Fulbright Scholar MSUM history Professor Sean Taylor heads for Norway in August to study and teach for 10 months as a Fulbright scholar. The award covers all expenses and provides a stipend. Taylor will teach American history to Norwegian college students at the University of Agder in Kristiansand. He speaks fluent Norwegian (most Fulbright scholars do not speak the language of the host country, Taylor says), and lived in Norway for three years while attending the University of Oslo. “I want to return to Norway to experience its education system from the other side as an educator,” he says. “I also want to share my expertise in American history and learn from students and faculty in the Norwegian university system.” Taylor intends to use teaching techniques he’s developed during his teaching career that he believes foster critical thinking. These techniques involve the use of historical simulations, films, historical novels, and other nontraditional materials. “This approach will allow Norwegian students to examine and explore the United States in new ways,” he said. Taylor will also use the time in Norway to research medicine, health, and healthcare among Norwegian immigrants to the United States. The Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year. It is the U.S. government’s flagship academic exchange effort, administered by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars on behalf of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Founded in 1947, CIES is a private organization. It is a division of the Institute of International Education (IIE).

> Playing hand games with the students at school.

Alumnews Summer 2011


See Why With Tom Weis …. Tom Weis, ’97, is a multidimensional artist whose passion extends beyond social, economic and global boundaries Incubator Innovator One of Time magazine’s 2010’s “Best Inventions” was in part the handiwork of 1997 art alumnus Tom Weis. The NeoNurture incubator was heralded one of the year’s biggest (and coolest) breakthroughs in health and medicine. Approximately 4 million infants per year die needlessly in the developing world because of the lack and reliability of pediatric incubators (isolettes). The genius of the NeoNurture incubator, Time magazine states, “is that it employs an underutilized resource (old car parts) to address a critical need: functioning incubators to nurture premature newborns. Headlights provide heat; a repurposed dashboard fan circulates air; a door-chime and signal-light assembly is rejiggered into an alarm system that alerts caregivers when things go awry with the heating mechanism. The device can even be powered from a motorcycle battery. Car engineers have nothing on these guys.” His friend and fellow alum Jeff Johnson says as a Vietnamese orphan and refugee, Weis may have benefited from such an invention. “Tom invests everything from his personal history into his work, which is true of the best artists alive,” Johnson said. Weis doesn’t hang his hat on being an inventor–that’s someone “who has an ingenuity that is more mechanically inclined. But I am curious.” While working on his master’s degree in industrial design at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), a joint project between the school and The Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) was sponsored by the Cambridge, Mass., design firm Design that Matters (DtM). DtM collaborates with volunteer entrepreneurs to design products and services for people in developing nations. They wanted to create a low-cost incubator that could save lives. Weis and two RISD friends tore apart a Toyota truck and built the first prototype of the incubator out of those car parts. The project received positive publicity initially, but then it was put on hold. Two years later Weis approached DtM Founder and CEO Tim Prestero about fine-tuning the prototype.


Alumnews Summer 2011

> Tom Weis

Prestero said that without Tom’s contribution of time and his uncanny ability to gather critical resources, the project may have remained on the shelf. “Tom saw this as an opportunity to push the idea forward and make it a reality.”

Born Collaborator “Tom is passionate about everything he does. His art and design work is how he connects with people,” Johnson said. Weis worked with a team of designers and engineers to develop an improved prototype that is fully functional. It was constructed in three weeks out of composite materials, powder coated aluminum, off the shelf parts, and Toyota truck components, all powered by a small motorcycle battery. New York-based Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum was familiar with the incubator prototype and included it in their triennial show. It’s the only museum in the United States devoted exclusively to historical and contemporary design. Once again, the project received a lot of media attention, including Time magazine, ABC, CNN, BBC and NPR. This isn’t Weis’ only project for Design that Matters. He built a prototype of a small mobile phototherapy unit, called firefly, for infants born with jaundice, which was field-tested in Vietnam. “He is not a one-hit wonder,” Prestero said. “Tom is a rare and wonderful example of someone who can both understand how things are made and pull together a huge group of people to see that it happens. He has the ability to inspire people to make amazing things.”

alumni feature re u t tur Fea a e F The rationale for using truck parts for the NeoNurture incubator was that Toyota trucks are everywhere. And so are the replacement parts. The goal is to use local resources, local repair sources, and local replacement parts. DtM is working with a manufacturer in Brazil to bring the incubator to market. Weis said the project raises a bigger question for the design community: “It gets people thinking about how we use existing materials. How do we design products that can be repaired and replaced? And how can we take advantage of parts that are acceptable to use rather than create more stuff? “It’s an honor to see these accolades on the pages of Time and other magazines. For a while, the prototype was sitting in my living room!” Weis said. “But the real test is whether it positively impacts people.”

Teacher/Mentor Improving people’s lives is a major motivator for Weis. He credits his time at MSUM for igniting a passion for service. While at MSUM, he volunteered with kids at the local juvenile detention center. “Finding creative outlets for these kids to express themselves was important. I loved seeing their excitement, so I credit a lot of what I do now to those experiences.” Weis’ thesis work in graduate school centered on secondgeneration immigrant teens. Now his company, called See Why Studios, offers workshops for high school kids to learn the discipline of design, and through it, critical thinking skills.

but I never gave it a name,” Weis said. (See related story on Jeff Johnson on page 12.) “Developing a brand for Tom is challenging because he is so prolific and wise in his work that you have to figure out a way to speak to that,” Johnson said. “That’s why See Why is perfect. In order to understand his work, you have to see the work. And when you see the work, you understand it.”

Artist/Builder Over the years Weis has done a lot of specialty, high-end projects for well-to-do clients. These days he’s doing less of that, recently finishing the interior design of a restaurant. “People in the community know I build things, but I’m also an artist and designer so I have creative freedom to design more visually interesting projects.” He’ll also return to Rhode Island School of Design this fall to teach a studio course on modular furniture. His Rockland studio sits near the ocean. He spends some time on personal art, usually sculpture or painting, but most of the time he’s solving design challenges. It’s a life well carved for a man who sees with his hands. (Weis was featured in the Spring 2004 Alumnews in a story titled, “Orphan returns to Vietnam.”) > KRISTI MONSON

The hands-on program focuses on learning by doing. All of the visiting educators are expert practitioners who bring a purposeful process to their work of humanitarian, environmental and socially aware endeavors. That calling has simmered in his soul for years. As an apprentice boat builder with The Atlantic Challenge Foundation, he learned the value of experiential learning. “After five years of college I moved to Rockland, Maine (pop. 7,441) and learned by using my hands—things I never would have learned from writing papers or reading books. Experiential learning hit close to home because for two years it was all about taking risks and learning from my mistakes.”

Making a “Best Invention” Incubator > Project owners: The Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, Design that Matters

His company is called See Why “because I wear many different work hats, and I needed a brand and company name that shows why I do this and why I do that. “See why” is important in all that I do.”

> Project team: Tom Weis and physicians, engineers, human factors specialists

Weis is collaborating with Johnson’s company, Spunk Design Machine, to help brand See Why. “I’ve always done the work,

> Completion time: 3 weeks

> Users: Health care workers in rural clinics, primarily in developing countries > Purpose: Germ-free environment, warmth, easily transportable

Alumnews Summer 2011


An Annoying Orange? How Dane Boedigheimer, ’03, and Spencer Grove, ’02, made a talking orange a YouTube phenomenon

“For some reason, people love to watch other people get annoyed. I think it’s because it’s pretty relatable. Everyone has been annoyed, and everyone has a friend or someone they know that’s like Orange in some way.” Grove believes another part of Annoying Orange’s online success is due to the malleability of the series. “We’re constantly experimenting with different genres, different structures, different formats, you name it,” Grove said. “We work really, really hard to make sure our viewers have a reason to keep coming back.”

> Dane Boedigheimer directs Annoying Orange.


imple jokes, an obnoxious laugh and irritated friends are components that make the Annoying Orange web series a YouTube sensation. Creator and MSUM grad Dane Boedigheimer uploaded the first Annoying Orange video in October 2009, intending it to be a one-time video for his YouTube channel. When the video went viral, Boedigheimer embraced the opportunity to create more videos featuring the boisterous Orange. The series is about Orange, who sits on a kitchen countertop relieving his boredom by annoying nearby fruits and objects. Orange laughs at his own jokes, making those around him furious. The fate of Orange’s agitated co-stars usually ends with their unfortunate death. Boedigheimer came up with the idea for Annoying Orange while lying in bed one night. “I thought of the idea and just kept laughing to myself,” Boedigheimer said. “If you can make yourself laugh, you’ve got an idea worth exploring.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

Boedigheimer brought in MSUM classmate and friend Spencer Grove to help write Annoying Orange scripts. “Enter Spencer, who’s the prince of puns,” Boedigheimer said. “He totally got the tone of Annoying Orange, and has helped write almost every episode since.” Grove and Boedigheimer met during their time in the Speech Communication Department and moved to the West Coast after graduation. Boedigheimer and Grove began moonlighting on video projects under the moniker Gagfilms, where Boedigheimer introduced the first Annoying Orange video. “Each episode I uploaded was getting millions of hits in days,” Boedigheimer said. “People loved the character.” Orange’s rise to stardom may be credited to his obliviousness and persistent jokes. “Every generation has an annoying yet lovable character that people gravitate toward, for example, Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker. They are characters that are at their core annoying, but in a lovable sort of way,” Boedigheimer said. I think Orange hit in that same way.

Boedigheimer does the voices for reappearing characters Orange, Pear, Midget Apple and Marshmallow. “I love bringing these characters to life!” Boedigheimer said. The videos are filmed in Boedigheimer’s garage, which was recreated to resemble his kitchen, where the videos were first filmed. The collaboration between Grove and Boedigheimer is key to the weekly delivery of Annoying Orange episodes. “Dane’s one of my best friends. Beyond that, he’s an amazing person to work with on a creative level,” Grove said. “He’s just one of those cats that gets it.” Boedigheimer’s and Grove’s sense of humor resonates through everything they do, which has brought them success in the online world and beyond. The Annoying Orange YouTube channel is the ninth most subscribed to channel with more than 1.9 million subscribers, and is the 30th most viewed of all time. Annoying Orange surpassed expectations and now has a merchandise line; an iPhone and iPod touch app; and a TV pilot in the works. Check out Annoying Orange videos at > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD

Third Worlds to Windy Cities

alumnifi profiles les Pro ro file P

Becky Johnson, ’06, encourages new alums to take chances


or someone with a graduate major in human security, Becky Johnson is quite comfortable with uncertainty and physical challenges. She’s hiked an active volcano, lived and worked in Third World countries, swung through rainforests on ziplines and hiked the daunting “Pyramid to the Sun” in Mexico. And in 2009, she moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago. Moving to one city from another may seem more mundane than adventurous, but in Johnson’s case, it was even a little risky. After completing her master’s degree in international development with a major in human security at the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, she had a fulltime job in Pittsburgh and associations with two organizations for which she volunteered and served as a board member. Yet she completely uprooted herself for a two-month position that promised no future permanent employment. Johnson, a 2006 graduate of the Languages and Cultures Department, had been watching a particular organization—Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights—for quite some time. When she learned of a temporary position, she applied. Heartland Alliance offered her the job two days following her interview, and she moved to Chicago three days later. “I thought of it as a foot-in-the-door, and hoped to one day work there in a permanent, full-time position,” she said. Heartland Alliance is an international organization that provides safety and support to people all over the world, from refugees fleeing violence and torture to residents of public housing in the United States trying to escape the cycle of poverty. Chicago is the organization’s headquarters. Today Johnson is employed full time as an international programs associate at Heartland Alliance. She provides support to the organization’s president and the directors of eight country offices with more than

> Johnson with an Iraqi man who sought asylum through Heartland Alliance.

300 staff members around the world. Much of her position involves writing sections of proposals for funding, conducting research and creating budgets. But there’s a more dramatic side to the job, too. “One day I might be collecting school supplies for a female child soldier rehabilitation center we run in Burundi, and the next day I might be attending a U.S. Department of State meeting in Washington to assess the human trafficking situation in our world,” she said. Now that she works full time with the organization she most admires, she hopes to someday become a program officer, travel to all the organization’s program sites, and set up new sites as funding becomes available. Perhaps she picked up the travel bug while at MSUM. In 2005, through MSUM’s study abroad program, she spent six months in Spain studying Spanish. She also received a scholarship from the National Hispanic Honor Society to spend six weeks in Cuernavaca, Mexico, living

with a Mexican family, taking classes at a Mexican university and honing her Spanish. Before enrolling at the U of P, she spent four months as a volunteer in Guatemala, serving poor people outside of Antigua. This work was featured in a 2009 issue of the MSUM College of Arts and Humanities newsletter. The article included comments about her desire to work some day on global issues related to refugees, former child soldiers and victims of human trafficking. Today this alum encourages other MSUM grads to embrace uncertainty, travel the world and pursue a variety of experiences. It worked for Johnson. She loves Chicago and she loves her job. “I’m with an organization that I am passionate about, that works in the specific areas I always wanted to be involved in,” she said. “That makes me happier than I ever thought possible.” > REBECCA SUNDET-SHOENWALD

Alumnews Summer 2011


By Invitation Only Jeff Johnson, ’92, founder of Spunk Design Machine, is leading designer for mission-oriented clients

> Spunk redesigned and helped develop a new aesthetic that embodies and honors Galactic Pizza’s sensibilities and maintains an earth-friendly system of production.

A 2010 article in The Line, an online Twin Cities magazine, showcases Spunk Design Machine’s niche of attracting “mission-oriented” clients, resulting in a 30 percent increase in work. “I feel incredibly excited and bullish about this trend,” Johnson said. “Clients that are doing mission-oriented branding are succeeding.”

Photo by Chris Bonhoff

> The exterior of the revitalized Seward Co-op was to convey the exuberance and freshness of the co-op and the new Seward Co-op brand. The challenge was to give the store a more contemporary, urban image, while celebrating the actual farmers and artisans whose work is integral to the cooperative community.


eff Johnson is North Dakotan through and through. His hard work ethic, self-deprecating humor, and genuine modesty have elevated his award-winning company, Spunk Design Machine (SDM), to one of the region’s most sought-after graphic design boutiques, with offices in Minneapolis (5 designers) and New York (2 designers). Despite an anemic economy, Spunk has blossomed where others have withered.

His client list is akin to Madison Avenue’s big dogs—American Express, Chrysler, Coca-Cola Company, KIA Motors, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Nikon and Subaru. He is equally inspired, and successful, with small companies and nonprofits. “Good work attracts clients,” Johnson said. “This week, for instance, we’re working with World Bank and Best Buy. It’s crushingly difficult, but we try very hard to treat every project with our absolute best work.”

Emerging literature touts businesses of the future competing on smarter design, not lower price points or energy costs.

For Johnson, design excellence means no go-between.

“A wonderful wave of business leaders and policy planners are embracing design because they see it as a way of competing in a hard market, and thriving,” Johnson said.

“Our designers have direct, and often daily, contact with clients. It’s critical to provide direct mind share between clients and designers. That gives us great results.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

These organizations, like Spunk, pay attention to a triple bottom line that looks at financial, environmental and community factors. Johnson believes that companies selling good products with a clear message are “rocking it.” Seward Co-op is a great example, he explained. “When we started working with them in 2005, they were a $7.9 million organization. In 2010 they posted revenue of $21 million—a 43 percent increase— charging 30 percent over Cub, paying 100 percent living wages, self-funding a LEED-certified building, powering their building with solar energy, and selling the highest quality food in the metro. People vote with their dollars to do great things.” Other mission-oriented clients: Equal Exchange Coffee sources excellent coffees from small-scale farmers around the world; Share Save Spend teaches how sharing impacts family, community and the world; Davis Food Co-op in California has succeeded where other co-ops simply failed; Equal Exchange Fair Trade Co-op keeps small farmers an active part of the world marketplace; and Galactic Pizza’s sustainable mission is unmatched.

alumnifi profiles les Pro ro file P Fun fact: Spunky Jeff Johnson lived in the Center for the Arts during his senior year at MSUM, sleeping on couches, eating on the house, and working nearly full time to pay for school. “It’s one of the reasons I donate my time to MSUM; I probably still owe you!” Kidding aside, the graphic design alum says MSUM was “an amazing place for creative minds. Moorhead State holds a special place in my heart.”

Galactic Pizza is recognized as one of the best pizza venues in the Twin Cities, while delivering food with electric vehicles, using renewable wind energy to power the restaurant, incorporating hemp and organic items into the menu and purchasing local farm products.

>Spunk helped Galactic Pizza create a new identification system that included the beautiful yet frustratingly unrecyclable pizza box. Due to grease saturating all pizza boxes, they are unrecyclable. Spunk designed a pizza box (that could just as easily double as a corrugated piece of art) that serves as a coupon to be returned to Galactic Pizza for a discount. The box is then disposed of in the Galactic Pizza compost pile. Pizza 1, Waste 0.

Spunk (sp^nk)

— n informal courage or spirit De·sign (dih-zahyn)  —v to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully Ma·chine (muh-sheen) — n an apparatus consisting of

“They are the only pizza company in the country that has figured out—with our help—a way to recycle pizza boxes,” Johnson said. The solution: Collect and compost used boxes by offering a $1-off coupon for returned boxes. The finished compost is sold for roadside planting projects. “There is example after example of mission-oriented clients who provide an amazing level of customer satisfaction and a high-quality product, and they’re rewarded for it.” Spunk was the winner of the American Institute of Graphic Arts MN 2010 Green Leaf award for its design work with the Seward Co-op, given to the design

interrelated parts with separate functions Big Table Studio – A dynamic poster-art studio in

St. Paul will be a retail spot for rock-poster aficionados, an art gallery and classroom for design wannabes. It’s part of a larger project to revitalize downtown. Johnson is a key player of the studio, scheduled to open August, 2011. > Jeff Johnson is “the dude in the water” in this company photo.

company that best represents the sustainable design mission recognized by the AIGA, the leading graphic design organization in the U.S. “Our mission is simple: All design is an invitation,” Johnson said. “I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to work with our employees, and we’ve been fortunate to attract many great clients. “We have really great days. I believe that how you live your days is how you live your life. I also feel lucky that the kind of work I do invited someone like Tom Weis (see related story on page 8). He can work with the design elite in the country, but he chose to work with us. That’s high praise coming from him, and I don’t take it lightly.”

Fifty and Fifty – One of 50 contributing designers, one per state, who illustrate their state motto, ‘steeped in history but completely modern and unique.’ “I was the only designer in the country to be chosen to design the poster for North Dakota’s state motto, which honestly, to my core, I am so flattered by.” Read more about the curated project at – Online talk show

with innovators in the world of design, culture and invention. Interesting and spontaneous conversations, usually with beer and cigars, featuring highly regarded and prolific designers: Joe Duffy, Bill Thorburn, Steve Heller and MSUM alumni Tim Larsen and Sarah Nelson Forss, among others.

Poster Offensive – Biennial election cycle poster show for peace and democracy that Johnson began, funds and curates. Next show: 2012. Read more at “Many, many, many MSUM alums are in this show!”

Online Store – Buy posters, T-shirts, merchandise

and more of Johnson’s favorite things at https://store. “When we find things of interest we like to sell them.”

Talking Tools – Discussion-oriented board games, (You’re invited to enjoy a visual history of Spunk Design Machine’s work at > The first commissioned poster for Big Table Studio. The designer was Peet Fetsch, Jeff’s partner and collaborator in the new studio.


for ages 5 to 10, cover topics of friendship, safety, cooperation, divorce, etc. It’s the very first project Spunk Design Machine worked on. Created in partnership with child psychologist Jim Anderson, it’s been a best seller for 12 years running. Available at Alumnews Summer 2011


Gaye Burgess

Juleen Murray Shaw

> 1979, Actress/writer/producer, Gig Harbor

> 1994, Director, BFA Program in Performance in Theatre Dept. at UND, Grand Forks


North Dakota

> Gaye Burgess

Kristin Rudrud

Jeffrey Koep

> 1977, Actress, Fargo

> 1974, Dean, Fine Arts, University of Nevada Las Vegas

> Anna Carol

Nevada Betsy Kruse Craig



> 1992, Actress/teacher at Invisible Theatre Co., Tucson

Kathleen McCall

Bill Hulstrom


> 1973, Scenic Designer for Young and the Restless, LA

> 1980, Denver Center Theatre Company principal actress, Denver

Tim Nelson

Chris Carley

> 1993, Dresser, Denver Theatre Center, Denver

> 2000, Associate producer, Melis Productions; asst. to William Shatner, LA

Stephanie Storhaug

> 2006, Actress/director, Durango

Dawn Merkel

> 1998, Production manager at Nickelodeon Animation Studios, LA

Jarrod Iversen

Patrick Ward

> 1994, Agent, LA

> Producer of Parenthood, LA

Jon Wallace

Shannon Warne

> 1995, Producer of Southland, LA

> 2000, Actress – musical theatre, LA

Libby Baker

Sharon Gytri

> Actress, LA

> 1973, Casting director, LA

Lowell Dean

Tom Musgrave

> 1972, Actor, LA

> 1998, Actor, LA

Maggie McCollester

Patrick McDonough

> 1997, Actress, LA

Michael Klug > 1996, Actor, LA


> 1964, Theatre Professor Emeritus, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA

Alumnews Summer 2011

> Kathleen McCall

From Hollywood to Broadway MSUM Theatre Alums with Professional Careers in Theatre We included as many alums as we could for this map of working theatre professionals. We would like to use this kind of information in future publications, so if we missed you, let us know where you are and what you’re doing now! > Jan Maxwell

Minnesota Kevin Moore

> 1983, Managing Director, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland

Darrelyn Marx

> 1974, Actor, acting teacher at Wunder Studios, Chicago

New York

Pamela Daly

> 1986, Actress, Hamersville, Ohio, and LA

Anna Carol

> 2007, Actress/teacher, Twin Cities

Jan Maxwell

Amy J. Reddy

> Broadway actress Tony nominee, Manhattan

> 2000, Children’s Theatre Company, Twin Cities

Ann Segar

> 1999, Assistant Production Manager, Children’s Theatre Company, Twin Cities

Donna Larson



> 1966, President, Larson Design (theatre lighting); lighting designer for ABC, NYC

Cy Winship

Jerry Ver Dorn

> 1978, Actor/designer -- HGTV’s Decorating Cents, Twin Cities

> 1976, Actor in One Life to Live, NYC

Kim Moerer

Delrae Knutson

> 1979, Actor – Broadway, NYC

> 1978, Actress – Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Twin Cities

Michael Heintzman


Diane Foss

> 1979, Actor/writer, NYC > Jerry Ver Dorn

> 1976, Stage manager, Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, Twin Cities

Nancy Jones

Jean Rohn

> 1979, Casting director, Twin Cities

> 1994, Chair, Dept. Of Theatre at University of Kentucky, Lexington

Jefferson Fietek

Sean Palmer

> 1996, theatre department chair, Anoka Middle School for the Arts; AD of Young Artists Initiative, Twin Cities

Michelle Bosch

> Production/stage manager for Broadway’s Jersey Boys, NYC

Virginia Johnson

> 1965, Instructor Emeritus, Dept. Of Theatre, Rutgers, NYC

> 2010, Actor, Louiseville

Jennifer Liestman

> 1996, Artistic Administrator for Guthrie Theatre, Twin Cities

Joel Liestman

> 1996, Actor, singer, Twin Cities

David Moberg

Kelly Gallagher

> 1977, Indian River State College - Director of Theatre, playwright, actor, Ft. Pierce

> 1978, Co-owner, JR Casting, Twin Cities

Matt Berdahl

> 2009, Actor at Lyric Arts Company, Twin Cities

Nicole Fenstad

> 1994, Actress, owner of Princess Parties, Twin Cities

John Justad

> 1981, Owner, 20/20 Theatrical, LLC, Hackensack, MN

Florida > Nicole Fenstad Alumnews Summer 2011


National Security, Tribal Communities & Drug Prosecution Timothy Purdon, ’91, is one of 93 U.S. Attorneys representing the United States of America


imothy Q. Purdon was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as North Dakota’s 18th U.S. Attorney on Aug. 6, 2010.

and 2009, he was named a Great Plains “Super Lawyer” by Minnesota Law & Politics magazine.

“Becoming U.S. Attorney was a goal of mine for about 10 years before my appointment,” Purdon said.

“Lawyers represent people who are experiencing the biggest problem of their life,” Purdon said. “We can’t solve the problem, but we hope to make things a little bit better for them. That’s the reward of private practice.”

He earned degrees from North Dakota State College of Science and MSUM in 1991. “MSUM gave me a good education at a fair price,” he said. Marie Taristano’s English classes and her emphasis on the literary criticism theory of “Deconstruction” developed Purdon’s skill of seeing both sides of an argument. “The intense reading, writing and analysis of an English degree are good training for law school, and frankly, law practice.” Political science Professor Andrew Conteh endorsed Purdon for a scholarship to Hamline University School of Law. “Without his assistance in helping me secure a law school scholarship, my path might have been different.” An outstanding law school career included membership in the Silver Gavel Honor Society and the Law Review. Purdon is one of 93 United States Attorneys stationed throughout the country. The U.S. Attorney’s Office represents the federal government in litigation involving the United States, including criminal prosecutions, civil lawsuits and actions to collect restitution. With 16 years of criminal and civil experience at Vogel Law Firm and Dickson & Purdon Law Office, he has tried more than 40 jury trials, serving as chief counsel in nearly all of them. In 2007


Alumnews Summer 2011

His extensive experience in federal court litigation was key to his nomination.

His first job out of law school was a clerkship with the Honorable Bruce M. Van Sickle in the U.S. District Court, Bismarck, N.D. While there, he visited a reservation for the first time. “I will never forget that visit to Cannonball, N.D., a tribal community located on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. I remember thinking, ‘How is it possible that, in the United States of America, U.S. citizens live in such isolation, poverty and hopelessness?’ That experience has stayed with me over the years.” He was often a court-appointed lawyer for Native Americans, and he has hunted on the Fort Berthold reservation. “I got to know the people and grew to understand their lives,” he said. “One reason I wanted to be a U.S. Attorney was because of these experiences as a young lawyer working in North Dakota tribal communities. In this position I hope to impact public safety issues in tribal communities.” He said a Native American female baby has a one in three chance of being sexually or physically assaulted in her lifetime. “A statistic like that should be unacceptable to any American.” While fighting crime on North Dakota’s reservations is a personal torch he carries,

Purdon said the top priority for the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s office in North Dakota is national security. North Dakota has a 310-mile border with Canada (Minnesota shares a 547-mile border with its northern neighbors.) “Every day, and I mean every day, people lie at a port of entry or attempt to sneak across our northern border to gain illegal access to the United States. In addition to the national security concerns this raises, these individuals are often trafficking drugs or human beings.” North Dakotans have a false sense of security, he said. National security risks are not confined to the coasts or to southwest border states. Illegal entry into the United States contributes to another massive problem: Drugs. “The number one drug in the Red River Valley is methamphetamine,” Purdon said. “The media highlights the drug violence in Mexico and it seems a long way away, but the tentacle of that conflict reaches all the way to North Dakota.” He steers a mighty ship—a team of 17 lawyers and more than 25 professional and support staff—to keep North Dakota safe. “I want to ensure that North Dakota’s great cities and towns remain good, safe places to raise our families.” When asked if he holds any political aspirations, Purdon replied: “I am 100 percent focused on being the best possible United States Attorney that I can be.” Expect to hear more from Tim Purdon. (Read more about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of North Dakota, at http:// > KRISTI MONSON

From Punk Rock Performer to Classical Radio Producer Former “guerilla artist” Christopher Danforth, ’04, enjoys productive, eclectic career


f the walls of MSUM could speak, we’d hear volumes. Ceilings, too, might have stories to share. Why, for instance, was there (until quite recently) an old record player tucked into the ceiling outside the Music Department office? Christopher Danforth knows how it came to be there, and now that he’s ensconced in a respectable full-time job with Minnesota Public Radio, he’s willing to explain the odd theft of equipment. “I spent a lot of time playing in punk bands, recording music in the MSUM studios and thinking up guerilla art projects to stage on campus,” Danforth said. Danforth received a bachelor of arts degree in music in 2004. He studied music composition under Henry Gwiazda, who could probably take some of the blame for Danforth’s “guerilla” art. “Gwiazda is an impressive figure and he made a huge impact on me,” says Danforth. “His creativity and approach to making music still influence my work.” Gwiazda remembers Danforth well. “I didn’t know where he was headed, but he was a wonderful, playful and extremely creative young man,” he said. Today Danforth is a radio director and producer for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul. He is also an experimental music composer with several commissions to his credit, and an instrument inventor. His electroacoustic music has been presented at various new music festivals across the country, and two new pieces recently premiered at the 2011 MATA Festival in New York City. MATA, founded in 1996 by composer Philip Glass, is dedicated to commissioning and presenting works by young composers from around the world. Danforth’s compositions have also been featured on advertising campaigns, interactive

websites and skateboarding videos. He recently finished a short piece for solo soprano that may premiere this fall, and he’s writing a couple neoromantic pieces—a wind quintet and a string quartet. “I’m also building a couple new instruments that I hope to use in some future electroacoustic compositions,” he said. Danforth modifies actual musical instruments, toys and everyday objects to create instruments for his compositions, which often include sounds from discarded, out-of-date technology such as unlabeled micro-cassettes. In an artist statement on his webpage,, he states: “My work has its foundation in recycling and combining digital technology and second-hand media. Since I was a kid in Cleveland watching the garbage man drive by with a stained Carebear hanging from the back of his truck, I have been intrigued by people’s interactions with and reuse of discarded objects.” Perhaps these interests explain why the old record player found a quiet life in the ceiling for some time. But how did Danforth turn his eclectic interests into a sustainable and rewarding multi-faceted career? Two things, he said: MSUM and hard work. “My time at MSUM was a lot of fun spent with a lot of creative people. I had a tight-knit group of friends and we all supported each other in creating music and art. It was a very important and formative time for me.” Hard work in the real world followed. After graduating, he worked in the mail room at an insurance company and started writing and recording music at night. Once he had enough tracks for an album, he sent a few demos around. An independent record label signed him and he formed a band—The Danforths—in order to perform his music live. The ensemble is currently on indefinite hiatus, he says, but can be heard on the Modern Radio Record Label.

Other odd jobs and different bands came and went, and so did a few national tours, until he chose to “settle down.” As the director and producer for MPR’s daily classical music program “Performance Today,” he records voice tracks and puts together the show before sending it out to a national audience. He also produces a weekly audio feature and podcast called “The Piano Puzzler,” which airs Wednesdays. In September, he’ll produce MPR’s coverage of the Last Night of the BBC Proms (widely considered the largest and best-known classical music festival in the world), live from London. “It’s a pretty great job for a composer,” Danforth said. To current and future MSUM students who dream of nontraditional careers that will support them, Danforth provides this advice: “Work hard. I think it was Philip Glass who said, ‘I’m not a genius, I just work 12 hours a day.’ I’ve modeled my life around that philosophy and one thing is for sure–I’m not a genius, but working hard at what I do has had some nice benefits.” So Henry Gwiazda can rest assured that his former student is not a starving artist. Gwiazda, by the way, thinks he knows why Danforth put the record player in the ceiling. “I don’t think it even played any music up there. I think he left it there for someone to discover.” And that’s eventually what happened. Maintenance workers discovered and removed the record player a few years ago. They were distinctly puzzled, Gwiazda recalls, just as the former “guerilla artist” intended. > REBECCA SUNDET-SHOENWALD

Alumnews Summer 2011


> Photo by Angie Ostbye

African Soul, American Heart Deb Dawson, ’99, and her extraordinary quest to shelter orphans in Southern Sudan


eb Dawson’s life was full with a husband, three biological sons between them, and three adopted girls. After retiring from the helm of a local insurance company and earning her MFA in creative writing in 1999, she was trying to publish a memoir. And then she met Joseph Akol Makeer, a Lost Boy of Sudan. “John Marks of Trollwood thought I should meet with him because he’d written a book and had some ideas,” Dawson said. “Joseph told me after 22 years of civil war South Sudan had depopulated much of the country, a peace agreement had been signed and people were returning. An orphan himself, he wanted to make a movie about orphans returning from the refugee camps. He thought if people saw it, they might help.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

While pursuing her MFA, Deb made four short films. Initially, she thought she’d pass the project off to filmmakers she knew, but it turned out she was the one with the passion to see it through. “In December of 2007 our small team flew to Kenya and filmed at Kakuma refugee camp where Makeer had lived for 11 years. Then, we chartered a mission plane to land in Joseph’s village of Duk Payuel, Jonglei State. There we interviewed children, elders, chiefs and pastors. Our 25-minute documentary, African Soul, American Heart, won awards at film festivals. More important, we now knew these children really needed help.” To address this humanitarian need, Dawson enlisted Kevin Brooks, who traveled with her to make the

film, Ron Saeger, sponsor of two of the orphans, Bob Rosenvold, the attorney who did their legal work, and John (Jef) Foss, an architect, to serve as the board for African Soul, American Heart (ASAH), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, incorporated in North Dakota in 2008. They began to develop plans and raise money to help the orphans. Several board members have traveled to Africa to work with the Kenya orphans and to share their expertise with the village. Since 2008, ASAH has provided 100 percent support for Sudanese orphans to attend boarding schools Kenya. FargoMoorhead sponsors have increased the group from three to eleven children. The children are grateful for the opportunity and are in the top 10 percent of their classes. The primary goal for ASAH is to ensure orphan girls in Duk are educated through graduation. In November 2010, ASAH was granted land in Duk Payuel to build a compound to house 50 girls. Chiefs there want ASAH to serve all the villages in Duk County, so each village will receive back educated young women. Around the world, it has been shown that when you educate women, you educate a community.

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les “The villagers welcomed us with song, much hand shaking, back slapping, and prayer, with the women encircling us, dancing and ululating cries of joy.” Dawson said, “This is a remote village and there have been many challenges, but every time we hit an obstacle, we manage to get through it. It’s been an extraordinary experience. We’ve selected our first five girls, ages 8- 15, who will live in the compound during the three-month long school terms. Our compound is a short walk from the local school. We’ll teach additional skills like sewing, gardening and cooking something beyond sorghum, as well as offer tutoring in school subjects. When the girls graduate, they’ll have marketable skills that can help support their families.”

In June, Dawson made her fourth trip to Africa to bring cargo and handle more details before this new facility opens, hopefully in September, with the school term. Besides construction and equipment details, they will orient the girls about living at the facility. Dawson feels led down this difficult path. “I really want to publish a book but these people need help right now. When we adopted our girls from Russia, they presented some problems, too, but you follow through because no one else is going to. If I walked away from it right now, I’d feel like I’d failed these people I’ve come to know. It may not succeed as I envision, but we’ll do something.”

Only 1 percent of Sudanese girls attend school; most quit when their menstrual cycles begin for lack of underwear and sanitary napkins. ASAH also distributes girls’ underwear and washable sanitary napkins to address this issue.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things. Sounds like good material for another story. > KRISTY (MAKI) OLSGAARD

Learn more . . . > Visit the ASAH website at: > Sign up for the ASAH newsletter. > Read their blog at: > Read: “From Africa to America” by Joseph Akol Makeer > View videos: A documentary “African Soul, American Heart”

“God Grew Tired of Us” (Sundance award-winning film by Christopher Quinn)

> YouTube: > Facebook: > Photo by Angie Ostbye

Get involved . . . Sponsor an orphan

Collect girls’ underwear

Sew reusable sanitary napkins

Write Grants

Raise Funds

Teach or work at the school

[Contact ASAH for more details.]

Alumnews Summer 2011


Every Font Tells a Story Sharon Werner, ’85, is a masterful storyteller uniting words and type > Sharon Werner

Internship to Leadership Werner was legendary ad man Joe Duffy’s first-ever intern, also working with design genius Charles Spencer Anderson, in a little offshoot of a company called Duffy Design Group (now called Duffy & Partners). Joe, the ad man, and Chuck, the designer, were often at odds about design. “When Chuck asked me to work on something I tried to think like him, and when Joe asked me to work on something I tried to think like him. Sometimes I’d stay late and do my own version,” Werner said. “It was an incredible yet frightening experience, but I learned to channel different ways of thinking.”

> Werner Design Werks office in “an average hardworking street in the middle of a practical, hardworking neighborhood.”


he exudes a calm, quiet confidence; a bit of an introvert who likes order and harmony. But Sharon Werner packs a punch. She’s one of the country’s leading graphic designers and brand strategists.

It’s the same with Sharon Werner. She’s a pragmatic, genuine, hardworking woman who delivers simple, honest and practical designs that tell a story. “We aren’t extravagant or ‘cool.’ she said. “I prefer to be called smart.”

Her studio in St. Paul produces projects for clients like Target, VH1, Comedy Central, Nick at Night, 3M, Chronicle and Moët Hennessey.

Werner has produced a lot of smart work during her 26-year career, receiving numerous national and international awards and honors, among them Target’s Vendor of the Year (2002); inclusion in 100 World’s Best Posters; and work that’s part of the permanent collection of The Library of Congress, Musée De La Poste, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Decoratifs and the Cooper Hewitt Museum.

But to hear her tell it (in Felt and Wire magazine), her office is “a scuffed-up brick building with no real style, in a decidedly not posh neighborhood…an average hardworking street in the middle of a practical, hardworking (hopefully up-and-coming) neighborhood…no facade or false front, no reception area that hides the work being frills.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

“Awards are always good for business, but good design increases sales or delivers a successful launch for a product.”

Her diligence paid off in a six-year climb that ended as senior designer/creative director for Duffy Design Group, but with “nowhere to go and a need to broaden my experience.” She interviewed with some of Twin Cities’ design legends—Tim Eaton, Eric Mattson, Tim Larsen. They all suggested she strike out on her own. “It changed everything for me.” In 1991 she opened Werner Design Werks, inc., in a nondescript 500-squarefoot studio. She owned a wooden drafting table, a moving cart with phone, and a chair. Then fear set it. “I thrive on a little fear, but I was scared.” Excitement and fear go hand in hand. Both are equally motivating. Her experience at Duffy equipped her with a vast network of designers, art directors and account executives to build a business. She got her first paying job with a small agency that wanted her assistance

“We aren’t extravagant or ‘cool.’ I prefer to be called smart.” in creating a sales pitch for Mystic Lake Casino. They netted the account, and a lucrative design project for Werner, who earned profit the rest of the year. Today’s Werner Design Werks is Sharon, MSUM alum Sarah Nelson Forss (’96, art) and a design intern. “Our body of work looks fairly different, considering that essentially only two people are producing it,” Werner said. She describes their work as approachable, friendly, not too highbrow or edgy. We strive to not have an office style but do what is appropriate for each client.” The small, familial company serves Werner, and her clients, well. “I don’t want a big, chaotic machine that has to be fueled every day,” Werner said. “Our studio is manageable and very hands-on. Our clients appreciate that, large or small, which is why we do well with start-ups and decision makers who are personally vested in their projects.” Like many MSUM design alumni, Werner’s client list reads like Who’s Who, including her all-time favorite client, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, which sells environmentally friendly aromatherapeutic cleaning products.

“We brainstormed the Mrs. Meyers name based on the owner’s mother who raised nine kids, dogs, cats and fish in an Iowa farmhouse. Who better to tell the story for a cleaning product than a busy farm wife who doesn’t like to clean? We built everything around the concept that Mrs. Meyers can make cleaning more enjoyable, easy, fast and effective by using these hard-working products.” A recent story in Fast Company’s online magazine praises the creative genius behind the brand and design.

alumnifi profiles les Pro ro file P

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book, Platinum Award 2009. Werner learned that “Parents are passionate about the books they buy for their kids. It opened a whole new world for us.” And even though she doesn’t subscribe to ‘design coolness’, her son, more of a fan of realistic fiction, thinks his mom is pretty cool when autographing and reading at her book signings. > KRISTI MONSON

The clever brand identity...leverages a scaleable toolkit of typography and colors to impressive effect, employing a universal system of labels that looks so good at point of purchase that it commands great shelf position…This unorthodox typographic approach might spell trouble in most designs, but here, it is just the right mix of wrong. It’s all about typographic craftsmanship and nuance.”

Designer to Author

Alphabeasties And Other Amazing Types

All designers embrace type, but Werner took it to an elementary level. As members of the Type Directors Club, she and Forss designed the organization’s annual call for entries poster featuring animals made out of type. Twenty-eight thousand posters were mailed worldwide and within days two book publishers called suggesting these animals would make a great children’s book.

A Publishers Weekly starred review reads: “No ordinary abecedarian, this typographical trip will wow design fans and suggest creative projects with letterforms. The book’s introduction speaks affectionately of typefaces just like people, they look different and have different personalities...Innovations arrive several to a page, rewarding repeat visits and encouraging readers to muse on the power of type and all that letters and words can imply or insinuate.” In its fourth printing, they also created a complementary activity book and flash cards.

Knowing nothing about children’s books, they worked with Blue Apple Books. Their first concepts were like museum books, Werner said. “It wasn’t interactive or kid friendly. Harriet (their editor) hated it. She said, ‘I sell children’s books that children want to read, not museum books.’” They tweaked and redesigned, returning with new concepts that were perfect. Alphabeasties and other Amazing Types was released in 2009 and received accolades from kids, parents, teachers, and most importantly, librarians. It was named

Bugs by the Numbers A follow up book, Bugs by the Numbers, was released in April of this year. The award-winning authors deliver “an amazing array of insects: butterflies to termites, dragonflies to walking sticks. While the ‘alphabeasties’ were comprised of letters, these incredible insects are ingeniously engineered out of numerals. It’s an eye-catching and imaginative look at the insect world.”

Available at

Alumnews Summer 2011


s w e N s u p Campus News am C Blackhurst Named Provost, Senior VP for Academic Affairs

Anne E. Blackhurst has been named MSUM’s new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

2011 Honor College Combo

1st place: Tri- College Combo (students from Concordia College, MSUM and NDSU) (Simon Rowe, director) 2nd place: MSUM Jazz Guitar Ensemble (Nick Fryer, director)

Honor College Big Band

Blackhurst was previously acting vice president for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State University Mankato. Prior to that, she served as dean of graduate studies and research, and professor in the department of counseling and personnel where she served two terms as department chair.

1st place: MSUM Jazz Ensemble (Allen Carter, director)

She received her Ph.D. in college student personnel at Ohio University, her master’s degree in counseling at the College of Idaho, and her bachelor’s degree in economics at Boise State University.

EDC Supports Biopharmaceutical Industry Scholarships

Vaccinology Minor Means Major Growth for Regional Economy Tri-College University, in collaboration with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and Sanford Health, is launching a first-in-the-nation undergraduate academic minor in Vaccinology beginning Fall 2011. This opportunity has significant takeoff power because there are more than 2,500 students enrolled in life sciences and health care fields at the Tri-College schools: MSUM, NDSU and Concordia College. “It gives undergraduate students great opportunities to conduct research, interact with industry experts, and secure relevant experience through industry internships. It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” said TCU Provost Tim Flakoll. To advance the program, Sanford Health has created a Vaccinology Professorship Endowment of $150,000 to fund the faculty investment. “We are pleased to support a program that brings together medical research, growth for our community, and opportunity for students,” said Sanford Health President Dennis Millirons. GFMEDC President Devin McKinnon said, “We can make Fargo-Moorhead a global destination for vaccinology research by plugging in our own quality graduates into a emerging regional industry.”

Jazz Wins Big at Eau Claire Jazz Festival MSUM is emerging as the destination for seriousminded young jazz musicians. In April, four facultymentored jazz groups attended the 2011 Eau Claire Jazz Festival. MSUM and the Tri-College Combo (NDSU, Concordia, MSUM) returned home with four of the seven major awards. This is the second year in a row that MSUM has dominated the competition.


Alumnews Summer 2011

College Exemplary Soloist Jordan Christiansen, Piano, MSUM

> Anne E. Blackhurst

For video clips of the award-winning groups, visit “MSUM Jazz Studies” on Facebook.

The Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation is investing in the region’s biopharmaceutical industry by sponsoring Biopharmaceutical Industry Apprentice Scholarships at MSUM. The program is for students majoring in biochemistry biotechnology. They will be required to apprentice with a faculty member doing research in the BCBT program that has industry application or with an industry representative from a Fargo-Moorhead company. Scholarship recipients are also required to complete the Biochemistry and Biotechnology Industry Certificate, which is unique to the region. The award is $6,000 over two years. “The goal of the certificate program is to train these students for the new biopharmaceutical jobs that are being created in the region,” said Bioscience Professor Mark Wallert. “The certificate elevates a new employee’s readiness to jump into these types of jobs and to become a fully functional employee in a shorter time frame.”

Alumni Foundation Unveils Legacy Society The best ideas have typically been around awhile. The Alumni Foundation’s Legacy Society initiative is a way to pool information about planned giving for people who share something in common, like MSU Moorhead. Some planned gifts can provide income to the donors, while ensuring a lasting legacy with their name attached. Planned gifts come from investments, real estate, insurance policies and other sources. The donor may have the gift applied to the most urgent needs of the university or to a specific purpose. Gifts of sufficient size can establish endowments, which fund their purposes by using a portion of the income generated by the gift, thereby providing a continuous flow of funding. MSUM’s Legacy Society already has 120 contribu-

> Thomas Proehl

campus news > Legacy Society members Cheryl and Ron Lossett, who established an endowment that helps support the Performing Arts Series.

tors who have informed us of their planned gifts. Most of the Society members are former or current members of our campus community—faculty, staff and alumni. Those with the greatest knowledge of the work done at MSUM are often highly motivated to do what they can to see that it continues. If you have made arrangements to help the university and want to be a member of the Legacy Society, please notify the Alumni Foundation of your intent so your gift can be acknowledged. You learn more about MSUM’s planned giving options at

Judy Strong’s Lasting Legacy Judy Strong’s parting gift to the campus will be remembered for generations to come. She spent 38 years at the university and had served as a professor, dean and associate vice president by the time she retired in 2008. Judy passed away April 15, 2011, at the age of 69 after a three-year battle with endometrial cancer. > Judy Strong

The Judith A. Strong Endowment is a $1.5 million shot-in-the-arm for science education. Judy’s planned gift has two goals: The Strong Symposium on Science and Reason will fund publicly advertised guest speakers who will address controversial science issues such as global warming or creationism. The goal of the Strong Symposium is to provide an educational forum for the public and our campus community about issues in science, and also to allow MSUM to play a key role as a community steward with respect to scientific literacy and education. The Strong Scholars Research Fund is the second part of her bequest. It will support science students involved in faculty-mentored research.

Wally Open Raises Money for Art Students Dave Wallace, 1948-2011

> Wally Open Trophy

Dave Wallace was passionate about Alumnews, the publication he designed for more than 20 years. He was passionate about his family and friends; he was passionate about creating ceramics; and he was passionate about golf. On May 2, 2011, Dave’s passions were fused in memory. The Caring Bridge website chronicled his twoyear battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He retired from the university in 2010 to carry on the fight for his life. His friends put together a big fun-

> Dave Wallace

draising party at the Hotel Donaldson that packed the first floor. Dave’s condition didn’t allow him to attend in person, but he was there via the Internet and Skype. On June 18, his friends got together again for the first annual Wally Open. Foursomes teed up throughout the day and vied for a spectacular trophy. A piece of Dave’s pottery was framed by a beautiful wood case made by his longtime friend, Dwight Williams. The money raised will support scholarships for art students working in ceramics. It’s a wonderful way to remember a really swell guy.

Goodnight, Sweet Prince

Thomas Proehl leaves a lasting memory We lost a remarkable alumnus last spring. Thomas Proehl (‘88) passed away April 5, 2011 at the age of 46. Tom had an amazing resume. He was promoted to general manager and managing director of the Guthrie Theater when its new complex was being planned and built. After several years in senior management, he left the Guthrie to lead the Minnesota State Arts Board. In 2008 he left Minnesota to be administrative director for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Last summer he returned to the Twin Cities as the producing director of the theater arts and dance department at the University of Minnesota. He was looking forward to his first MSUM Alumni Foundation board of directors meeting. Proehl was mentored at MSUM by the late Delmar J. Hansen, founding director of the university’s theatre department, and Delmar’s wife, Rhoda. Actors, directors and playwrights get most of the attention in the world of stage, but thoughtful managers like Tom provide the support and resources in the long and arduous process of getting to opening night. At theatres like the Guthrie, the chemistry between artistic and managing directors is integral to success. He helped dedicate the Rhoda Hansen Green Room in 2006, and he visited MSUM for the Straw Hat Players 45th anniversary in 2008. If the university needed help, or a connection, he was always available. Tom was a focused and effective leader with a passion for the arts. Tom left his life partner, James Morrison, a loving family and many, many friends.

Alumnews Summer 2011


> Tiffany Deutsch


Dragons Connect Coast to Coast Alumni representatives initiate national networking for dragons


ast year the Alumni Foundation kicked off MSUM Mondays at Dave’s Southside Tap in Moorhead. The first Monday of every month alumni gathered from 5 to 7 p.m. for a night of socializing, networking and fun.

The alumni events give Dragons across the nation a chance to gather for a fun evening at a local setting. For graduates moving to a new state, alumni representatives can provide advice on where to live, what grad school to attend or how to meet fellow dragons.

The success of MSUM Mondays inspired Gina Monson, director of alumni and development, to continue the event and look into similar offerings across the country. Monson hopes this type of event will spread across the U.S. through the help of alumni representatives. “We want alumni to know they are important and still connected to MSUM, no matter what state they live in,” Monson said.

“For new graduates job hunting in tough economic times, these regional alumni events provide Dragon alums a chance to network in their new community,” Monson said.

The first MSUM Monday in Moorhead this year will be held October 3. Similar events will kickoff in several other states across the country. Each group is deciding what days, times and activities work best for them.

Visit for dates and locations.

“Some regional alumni groups are already talking about skiing, hiking or attending plays. The groups can really make the program what they want,” said Rachel Kinneberg, Alumni Office assistant.


Alumnews Summer 2011

MSUM Mondays will continue at Dave’s Southside Tap in Moorhead from 5 to 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month.

For more information, contact Gina Monson at or Rachel Kinneberg at > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD

n o i t alumni foundation a d n Foundation u o F MSUM Alumni Regional Reps allow you to take your adventures to a new city, where you’ll have some support along the way. Tiffany Deutsch

Ryan Sylvester

> ’05 Mass Communications > Phoenix, Ariz. >

> ’98 Mass Communications ’02 Education Administration M.S. > New York City, N.Y. >

Pam Benedict

> ’67 Art > Denver, Colo. >

655 Washington


North Dakota










New York



















New Mexico


69 Louisiana





West Virginia



26 83


58 10 Rhode Island Connecticut

New Jersey

6 156


20 262

Delaware Maryland

North Carolina


Alabama Mississippi




46 147


















South Dakota Wyoming


New Hampshire


181 82 South



Alumni in the US


49,825 Total Alumni






> Check out the alumni numbers in each state. Make sure you’re counted by updating your information at



Julian Lile

> ’06 Mass Communications > Los Angeles, Calif. >

Kris Harty

> ’88 Mass Communications > Colorado Springs, Colo. >

Kristine Williams

> ’01 Mass Communications and Political Science > Chicago, Ill. > or Alumnews Summer 2011


d e h s i u g n i t Distinguished Dis Distinguished Alumni Awards

MSUM will present alumni awards to six graduates during this year’s homecoming celebration. Gregory L. Lof

Department Chair/Professor MGH Institute of Health Professions Gregory Lof is a professor and chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Mass., a graduate school founded by Massachusetts General Hospital. It’s one of the largest speech-language pathology graduate programs in the country. Lof received his B.S. in speech pathology and audiology in 1979 and his M.S. in speech-language pathology in 1981, both from MSUM. He earned his Ph.D. in communication disorders at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Lof has published 17 peer-reviewed articles. His research, teaching and clinical interests primarily are with children who have speech sound disorders, and he recently studied the lack of efficacy for using non-speech oral motor exercises to change speech sound productions.

He’s presented more than 40 peer-reviewed and 35 invited presentations and workshops at universities, school districts, and national, state and international association conventions. He’s served as editorial consultant for the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology; Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders; and Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. He has coordinated and served on numerous ASHA convention planning committees, and is a selected member on ASHA’s Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders. He is on the Communications Committee of the Council on Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and was elected to a three-year term as Massachusetts’s representative on the ASHA Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Board. Lof and his partner, Thomas Mutschler, live in Boston.

Sharon Werner

Owner Werner Design Werks, Inc. Sharon Werner started her own design firm 20 years ago, and since then it has been recognized nationally and internationally. Werner Design Werks, Inc., located in St. Paul, focuses on combining strong visual language with sound design solutions to impact commerce and culture. Werner started as an accounting major, but switched to design when she realized she was more interested in a dorm-mate’s art homework than her own. “I would lie awake at night wondering how I’d answer her assignment. The second semester of my freshman year, I took a drawing class—the hardest class of my life—but I was hooked.” Werner credits her success, in part, to Professor Phil Mousseau. She said his teaching style created an environment that is similar to working in a design office today–healthy competitiveness that fosters creativity.


Alumnews Summer 2011

After starting as an intern and working her way up to creative director at Duffy & Partners, Werner opened her company. The firm’s list of clients include Target Corporation, Mohawk Paper, Blu Dot Design and Manufacturing, Nick at Nite, VH-1 Networks, Levi’s, Minnesota Public Radio, Ogilvy, Comedy Central and Urban Outfitters. Werner Design Werks was named Target’s Vendor of the Year in 2002, and their work is included in the 100 World’s Best Posters and is part of the permanent collection of The Library of Congress, The Rumpus Room of Ernest and Viola Werner, Musée De La Poste, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musée des Arts Decoratifs and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Werner is married to Chuck Hanna, and they have one son.

alumni awards

Mary Jo Richard Partner Eide Bailly, LLP

Mary Jo Richard is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years public accounting experience, providing audit and accounting services. Richard was promoted to partner at Eide Bailly in May 2000—the first female partner in Fargo’s home office and the third in the firm. She is the firm’s director of service organization reports, where she manages consulting and auditing engagements, and specializes in serving SEC registrants, dealerships, wholesale and retail companies, manufacturers and non-profit entities. She also provides outsourced Sarbanes-Oxley 404 (SOX 404) testing and internal audit departments. Richard earned an accounting degree and minor in management in 1986, and she remains connected to the School of Business. “I have been a member of the School of Business Advisory Board for over 10 years. During this time, the School of Business received their

accreditation. The commitment of the accreditation team turned a vision into reality,” Richard said. Volunteering is an important part of Richard’s life. She served on the local Girl Scout council board for nine years and was on the YWCA Cass Clay Women of the Year banquet planning committee until 2010. In 2005, she was the Volunteer Service award recipient. Richard was a member of the United Way of Cass Clay Women’s Leadership Council for six years. She serves on the board and finance committee of Minn-Kota Red Cross in order to give back to an organization that helped her family during the ’97 flood. Richard is the chair for the North Dakota Society of CPAs peer review committee. Richard enjoys reading, scrapbooking and photography. She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 24 years. They live in Fargo and have three children and two grandchildren.

Diana Divecha

Developmental Psychologist Consultant Diana Divecha shares developmental science through writing, consulting and activism. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology from MSUM, she attended Cornell University to earn her master’s and Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Divecha said MSUM helped prepare her for an Ivy League doctoral program. Divecha was a consultant at Yale University for a one-year research project that studied cultural influences on the development of children’s thinking. In 1990, Divecha became an assistant professor of psychology at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif. Four years later she co-founded and served as chair of the major, Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development. “I internalized the student-faculty relationships I’d experienced at MSUM as a model of how to orient myself to students,” Divecha said.

In 1997, she left teaching to parent full time and write about children, teens and cross-cultural family life. She is working on her book, Kids Do Better When...: A Developmental Psychologist Shares her Favorite Research on Parenting and Child Development. Divecha has consulted for Futures Without Violence, the TEDx Conference on: Compassion in Education, and published Paranteen, a publication on parenting teens. Divecha’s professional agenda is to apply the science of children and adolescents’ development into the world to positively impact the quality of human development. She has presented academic papers for the American Psychological Association, National Council on Family Relations, Society for Research in Child Development, Eastern Psychological Association and more. Divecha is immersed in yoga philosophy, mediation and Hinduism. She is married and has two daughters. Alumnews Summer 2011


d e h s i u g n i t Distinguished is D Distinguished Alumni Awards Lori L. Wightman President Unity Hospital

Lori Wightman inherited an attraction to the health care industry from her parents. Her father was a hospital administrator and her mother was a nurse; Wightman has been both. She is the newly named president of Unity Hospital in Fridley, Minn., which is part of Allina Hospitals and Clinics. She is responsible for the operation of a 221-staffed bed acute care hospital with 1,400 employees and a net operating revenue of $187 million. Wightman was president of New Ulm Medical Center for eight years prior to joining Unity Hospital. She is also a licensed registered nurse. Wightman was elected as the Minnesota Regent in the American College of Health Care Executives from 2008 to 2010, and now serves on the Board of Governors. She is a Blaine/Ham Lake Rotary member, TPC Rose member and a board member for the Twins Cities North Metro Chamber.

Wightman said the experiences she gained as a student at MSUM impacted her professional development, such as her infection control preceptorship, exposure to public health and assessment skills. “Sr. Callista Roy’s Adaptation Model will be with me forever!” Wightman graduated from Fargo South High School, received her BSN from MSUM and her master’s in health administration from the University of Colorado. Going to school full time, working part time and planning a wedding taught Wightman the busier a person is, the more organization life requires. Wightman resides in Blaine.

Ryan J. Sylvester JAG Corps Officer U.S. Navy

This fall, Ryan Sylvester begins as an officer in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps. His interest in international affairs and law began when he took a class from Professor Andrew Conteh, whose in-depth teaching style, with heavy emphasis on historical and philosophical perspectives, prepared him for graduate study in law and global affairs.

In 2003, Sylvester moved to New York to work as an administrator at New York University, where he also completed his M.S. in global affairs. He soon developed international connections, and he interned for the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State for the Foreign Service Institute.

Sylvester was immersed in many student activities—resident assistant, student orientation counselor, tour guide and The Advocate advertising manager, among others. His greatest contribution to MSUM is the annual Student Academic Conference, which he initiated, along with Conteh, as part of his educational leadership master’s practicum. “I really felt like I was able to engage and contribute to the development of programs and traditions at MSUM, and those experiences served as the best learning laboratory one could ask for.”

Sylvester received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. In fall 2010 he studied at the American University in Cairo as a David L. Boren: National Security Education Program fellowship recipient, and was a legal intern for the Resettlement Legal Aid Project assisting refugees. As part of an international human rights project, Sylvester also traveled to Conteh’s homeland of Sierra Leone. Sylvester and his wife, Kristen, have been married four years. > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD


Alumnews Summer 2011

n o i t alumni foundation a d n Foundation u o F THE RED TICKET – Premier Event for Alumni and Friends, 7 pm | Bluestem Center for the Arts South Moorhead

HOMECOMING 2011 Thursday, Sept. 22

Saturday, Sept. 24 – Dragon Pride Day

Dragon Bash (Chili feed, sidewalk chalk, music, etc.)

All day Family Day Golf Tourney

11 am - 1 pm | Campus Mall

Distinguished Alumni Speaker – Jim Benedict 3 pm | Science Lab 118

8 am | Moorhead Country Club

5K Fun Walk/Run

Variety Show

8 am | starts at Library

6 pm | Hansen Theater

Alumni Welcome Zone

Johnny Holm Show

10:30 am | Alumni House

8 pm | CMU


Friday, Sept. 23

10:30 am | Nemzek

Athletics Hall of Fame

12:00 pm | Nemzek

Football Game

4:30 pm | CMU

Volleyball Game

6 pm | Heritage Hjemkomst Center - Moorhead

Dragon Volleyball

THE RED TICKET – Premier Event for Alumni and Friends,

Burning of the M with Coronation & Fireworks

Students Formal dance

Athletics Social

For updates and more detailed information go to

Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner

4 pm | Nemzek

7 pm | Bluestem Center for the Arts - South Moorhead

7:30 pm | Nemzek

9 pm | Nemzek practice field 10 pm

9 pm | CMU

Jim Benedict Jim Benedict is this year’s Distinguished Alumni Lecturer. Benedict will present BISPHOSPHONATES AS A THERAPY FOR OSTEOPOROSIS; and Other Wonderful Stops on my Trip from MSUM to Today on Sept. 22 in Science Lab 118 at 3 p.m.

Alumnews Summer 2011


Dragons Name Student Athletes of the Year Angie Jetvig and Derek Bredy stand out among a sea of Dragons

Bredy claimed three titles during the indoor season while grabbing two individual titles in the Outdoor Championships and leading the 4x100 relay team to a first place finish.


n April the Dragon Athletics Department honored over 49 senior studentathletes, nine All-Americans, 53 AllConference selections and 93 All-Academic All-Conference honorees. And through all the awards, two current student-athletes stood above the rest as they were honored as the 2011 Dragon Athletes of the Year. Junior Angie Jetvig and sophomore Derek Bredy were named the 2011 Athletes of the Year after having successful seasons on the court and on the track.


The Dragons women’s basketball forward, Jetvig, led both the team and the league in scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game. This top number also ranked her 15th in the nation among NCAA DII women’s basketball players. Jetvig was an all-around player finishing third in the league in rebounding (8.2 per game), fifth in blocked shots (1.3 per game) and fourth in freethrow percentage (109-126, .865).

She scored 19 points on Feb. 19, against the Upper Iowa Peacocks, to reach the plateau. This was only the fourth time a junior had reached this achievement. Jetvig ended the 2010-11 season with 1,092 points. Following her impressive season, she was honored on three All-American teams including The State Farm Coaches’ All-American honorable mention team, Women’s Division II Bulletin honorable mention All-American team and the NCAA DII Daktronics All-American All-Central Region first team. She was also a two-time NSIC Player of the Week as well as a NSIC first team All-Conference selection.


Both the NSIC Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships were won by the Dragon men’s team this past spring, capturing the first title in over 10 years on the track. Bredy, who was named the High Point Scorer in both Championship meets, led the team in both endeavors. He complimented the honor during the indoor season by being named the NSIC Track Athlete of the Year as well as the USTFCCCA Central Region Track Athlete of the Year.

During the Indoor Championships, he had first place finishes by claiming the longest distance in the long jump as well as the fastest times in both the 60 and 200-meter dash. His speedy mark of 6.83 seconds took the top time in the shorter race and he ran the 200-meter in 21.90 seconds. He also competed on the men’s 4x400 relay team, leading that squad to the NCAA Championships, where he competed in four events. He earned two All-American honors at the NCAA Indoor National Championships. During the outdoor season, Bredy led the team with first place finishes in the 100meter and 200-meter dash at the NSIC Championships. He also had a second place finish in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump. His time in the 100-meter dash was 10.38 seconds, one-thousandth of a second shy of the NSIC record and the only NCAA DII automatic qualifier in the event hit by a league athlete. He also led the 4x100 relay team to set the MSUM school record three different times during the 2011 season and take the race at the NSIC Championships.

DRAG NS Jetvig also eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone in her junior season, a mark that has been reached by only 18 other women’s basketball players in the history of the program.


Alumnews Summer 2011

His year was capped by earning All-American honors at the NCAA DII National Championships as the anchor in the 4x100 relay. The team finished seventh in the nation.

Athletics thletics A Doug’s Year-In Review Dragon Athletics

MSUM Updates the Exploration of DI Hockey Minnesota State University Moorhead officials announced Friday, July 12 that they have set a goal of raising $37 million for an endowment to fund the addition of NCAA Division I hockey at the university. President Edna Szymanski confirmed that 40 percent of the goal has been committed and she is optimistic that the target will be reached. Once the goal is in sight, Szymanski said she hopes to present the plan to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. The board must approve the plan in order for the university to proceed. “I have always thought this opportunity is clearly worthy of exploration,” President Szymanski said. “We came to the endowment model as a way we believe we could make it work. The most important point in our decision was that there would be no risk to taxpayer or tuition dollars.” The endowment also would ensure that hockey was sustainable over the long run and would make the team more attractive to college hockey leagues, Szymanski said. Jan Mahoney, the university’s vice president of finance and administration, said two feasibility studies show that Division I hockey would create over $12 to 14 million in economic impact to the Fargo-Moorhead community. Athletic Director Doug Peters indicated that concurrently with raising funds for the endowment model, MSUM will continue developing relationships with various conferences and their members to position the Dragons for conference affiliation. The WCHA, CCHA and the NCHC released statements saying the future membership additions of each league have not been determined. Mahoney and Szymanski said they welcome the opportunity to speak with potential investors. To set up a meeting with them, contact the president’s assistant at 218-477-4321. Follow updates for NCAA DI Hockey at MSUM on The press conference can be viewed in its entirety at > NADEAN SCHROEDER

Do You Follow?! It’s no mystery—more and more people are fighting boredom by interacting on social networks, and why not? You’ve always got a friend to talk to, video to watch, blogs to read, and places to check in. Where are we exactly? Here’s a list of Dragon Networks: Foursquare: Alex Nemzek Stadium, Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse, Ron Masanz Track, & Alex Nemzek Hall

Athletics Season Recap at: WWW.MSUMDRAGONS.COM

Hello Dragon Alumni, Fans and Supporters, 2010-2011 was a terrific year for the Dragons. Our men’s track program won the NSIC Indoor AND Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which included the male coach of the year, track athlete of the year, and field athlete of the year. Women’s basketball continued its success with their 11th consecutive winning season and a spot in the NSIC Tournament, while Coach Blake led the volleyball team to its 12th straight winning season. Men’s basketball ended the conference season with only the third winning league record in the past 16 years and secured a spot in the post season tournament. With the entire team returning, look for Coach Walthall’s squad to have an even better year in 2012. We also dominated the Diving portion of the RMAC Conference Swimming and Diving Championships, while one of the divers was named the RMAC Diver of the Year. To top off the winter season, two wrestlers qualified for the NCAA National Championships. Equally exciting were a variety of events throughout the year. Two highlights came during the 6th Annual Dragon Fire Walk. I literally had goose bumps during the women’s basketball alumni game when Coach Nelson presented a former player with a ball and picture to replace the originals that had been lost in a fire. Another highlight was new Head Football Coach Steve Laqua’s meeting with about 30 football alumni after the spring game. This past year provided much needed momentum for the Dragons. I encourage you to come out and feel the excitement when we kick-off again this fall! It is a Great Day to be a Dragon! Sincerely,

Doug Peters Director of Athletics

Alumnews Summer 2011


Four Teams and 1970s Women Honored as 2011 Dragon Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees first Northern Intercollegiate Conference title since 1966, and the first of nine under coach Ross Fortier. The Dragons’ late season rush included a dramatic 6-0 upset of unbeaten Michigan Tech University, ranked fourth nationally. It has been 40 years since the first NIC title won under the Fortier regime.

> 1991 Men’s Cross-Country Team


our former teams and the women student-athletes of the 1970s will be inducted to the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragon Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

To join the Dragon Athletics Hall of Fame celebration, contact Gloria Riopelle at 218-477-5824 or You can also register for the event on www.

This year’s Hall of Fame celebration will honor four teams including the 1971, 1981 and 1991 Dragon football teams, and the 1991 Dragon men’s cross country team. The Distinguished Service to Athletics award will also be awarded for the first time in four years to the 1970s women student-athletes.

The 1970s women student-athletes will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award to Athletics, an award that has not been given out since 2008. The group of women were selected for their dedication and service to ensuring Dragon women’s athletics was started and supported, and their opportunities could continue and flourish for years to come. It is in their honor that the Distinguished Service Award is being named for 2011.

The group will be honored at the MSUM Dragon Athletics Hall of Fame Banquet on Friday, Sept. 23. Hall of Fame member Mike Berg will also be honored at the celebration. He was inducted into the NSIC Hall of Fame in July.

The 1971 Dragon football team, after beginning their season 0-1-1, closed with a seven-game winning streak to capture its

Arguably the greatest football team in the rich tradition of Dragon football, the 1981 team posted a 10-0-1 regular season record, finished No.1 in the final NAIA Division I regular season poll and made its first post-season appearance. MSU led the nation in scoring defense and set a national record with five consecutive shutouts. Pittsburg State (Kan.) rallied for a 14-13 victory over Moorhead State in the opening round of the NAIA National Playoffs at Pittsburg. The 1991 football team was the last of nine conference championship teams produced by Fortier. The team finished the regular season 9-1 and claimed the NIC title with a wild 30-26 last second victory over Southwest State. MSU whipped Iowa Wesleyan 47-14 in the first round of the national playoffs but fell at Central Arkansas 38-14 in the second round. In all, Moorhead State claimed seven AllAmerican awards. The men’s 1991 cross-country team is one of the most decorated distance squads in the history of the program. The team finished ninth at the NAIA National Championships and crowned four All-Americans. The Dragons captured the NSIC title and breezed to a near perfect finish at the NAIA Region 13 Championships with 16 points, one place shy of a perfect 15. > NADEAN SCHROEDER AND LARRY SCOTT


Alumnews Summer 2011

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Dragon Men Dominate

Track Team Earns Conference Indoor & Outdoor Championships The Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s track and field team proved they were a dominant team as they won both the 2011 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The men’s team won the indoor championships on February 26 with 161.5 points and was led by top performers Derek Bredy and Anthony Enyi. Bredy was named the NSIC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and was the highest point scorer by any NSIC athlete. Enyi was named the NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. In addition, Head Coach Keith Barnier was named the NSIC Male Coach of the Year. Bredy had three first place finishes during the meet winning the long jump championship, 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Enyi placed second in the shot put after he took first in the weight throw on day one of competition. The team continued to succeed in the spring, when they won the outdoor championships on May 14 posting a score of 162 points, beating their nearest competitor by 57.5 points. Laquone Robinson and Derek Bredy led the team as Robinson was named the NSIC Field Athlete of the Year and Bredy was named the NSIC High Point Performer of the Year. Robinson finished first in the 110-meter hurdles, third in the decathlon, third in the long jump, fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the high jump. Bredy placed first in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash, while being a member of the first place 4x100 relay squad. He also finished second in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump. The men’s 4x100 relay squad, made up of Skyler Jackson, Brock Keaton, Uchenna Ogbonnaya and Bredy won the event as they ran the race in 41.42 seconds. The men’s 4x400 relay team also took the top spot in the race, finishing in 3:20.10. The squad was made up of Cory Shufelt, Aaron Lund, Lincoln Arnold and Ryan Olson.

The Noize is Getting Louder Congratulations to Nemzek Noize!

Gameday has changed at MSUM ever since a small group of students decided to take their passion for everything Dragon Athletics to the next level by creating a student organization. That started the phenomenon called Nemzek Noize. In only two years, the group has gone from under 10 members to one of the largest student organizations on campus with over 250 registered members. Last spring, the Noize received the honor of being the 2010-11 Student Organization of the Year. You can watch them get the award by scanning the QR code with your smartphone or by going to Video of Nemzek Noize receiving their award: http://

Swimming Alumni Reunion Swimming alumni are invited to come back for the 15-year reunion of the program at MSUM. The annual Alumni meet is scheduled for Oct. 8 at 3 p.m.. There will be 50-yard backstore, 50-yard breaststroke, 50-yard butterfly, 50-yard freestyle and 100-individual medley races. There will also be multiple fun relays. There will be a gathering at Buffalo Wild Wings (Highway 10 in Moorhead), following the Alumni Meet at approximately 6 p.m. To register for the meet and/or the gathering, please contact Katie Diiro at 218-477-2313.

The team had 12 All-Americans between the NCAA DII Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships to cap their momentous season. > NADEAN SCHROEDER

Alumnews Summer 2011


Bruce Bausman’s Toolbox Earned Him a Rewarding Athletic and Business Career Patience and persistence opened doors for the resilient Bausman


early a half century later, it remains one of the greatest singular performances in Dragon lore, and for Bruce Bausman, the signature moment of a remarkable but often overlooked athletic career. It was opening day, 1963, when Bausman, a slender 6-2, 197-pound senior wide receiver, teamed with quarterback Kevin Wimmer for a record 203 receiving yards and three touchdowns in a shocking 31-14 smackdown of North Dakota State University at Dacotah Field in Fargo, N.D. While Dragon fans of today can only gasp at the thought of a romp over the Bison, to Bausman and his football pals at Moorhead State College, it was simply a non-conference win. “What’s often overlooked is that we beat them the year before as well,” Bausman said. “They brought in Darrell Mudra as head coach, and the press favored NDSU. “Those 203 yards came on only four catches. They didn’t expect it. We didn’t expect it. I was not known as a speedster. In fact, when I later played in the Continental League, one coach said I had 9.8 hands but 12.8 feet. “But Wimmer could lay it right in there; that was the secret. We hadn’t practiced it much. It was accidental. Coach (Dwaine) Hoberg liked to run the single wing, three yards and a cloud of dust. If you tried something else, it was for variety.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Bausman gained much of his football acumen from an unlikely source.

Rockets in the newly formed Continental League,” Bausman said.

“My sophomore year I wrote to Raymond Berry of the Baltimore Colts, and he sent me a whole slug of materials. We corresponded for several years, and I would go to sleep the night before a game reading his stuff. He was a self-made man, my hero and my instructor.”

“I started out as the 13th wide receiver on the depth chart, but I made the team and ended up starting. During the season, I had a shin splint and tailbone problem and spent the last half of the year on injured reserve.

A three-time All-NIC choice, Bausman received the Glenn Galligan Award, given annually to the league’s outstanding senior. Football may have been his greatest passion, but Bausman relished the entire collegiate experience. He participated on the hockey and track teams, was elected freshman class president and student council representative, and was a member of the Faculty Athletic Committee and Owl fraternity. > Bruce and Sandra Bausman

It was heady stuff for Bausman and the Dragons, but the good times soon evaporated. “I was second in the nation in receiving after the NDSU game and was getting letters from the NFL, including the Packers and Cowboys,” Bausman said. “But after I broke my arm in the homecoming game, the rankings and letters ceased.” A 1960 graduate of St. Louis Park High School, Bausman lettered in football and track but had few expectations of a rewarding collegiate career. “I was an average player,” Bausman confessed. “I was a blocking end, and there’s not much notoriety in that, and we ran the singlewing, which meant we hardly ever passed the ball. In college, we started throwing the ball, and I found out I could catch.” It didn’t take Bausman long to make an imprint. “I started my first game as a freshman, the first game ever played at (Alex) Nemzek Stadium,” he said. “I caught 32 passes as a sophomore—the was the most I caught in a season.”

Bausman’s diligent work habits weren’t limited to football. “I worked about 40 hours a week at a variety of jobs—assistant manager at King Leo’s Drive Inn; hockey referee, driver’s training instructor, and head hockey coach at Dilworth High School,” Bausman said. “I also was a park director for one summer; whatever it took.”

“I returned to Minneapolis and started with Red Owl stores in the human resources department. Later, I was the senior vice president of real estate for Musicland, the largest movie and music retailer in the world. But once digital downloading came in, I spent the last two years closing stores and negotiating reductions. It got tiring.” After leaving the music industry, Bausman relocated to a sprawling ranch in Colorado, where he still does consulting work. Bausman still relies on those trusty values that shaped his football career, and firmly believes patience, preparation and persistence ultimately open the right door. “If you have the right kind of tools they will work in any environment.” > LARRY SCOTT

The smaller stage was comfortable for Bausman. “When I started, there were about 1,250 students and a real intimacy about Moorhead State.” Bausman graduated in 1964 with a major in Spanish and a French and business minor, a rare combination that quickly paid dividends. “My first job interview was conducted in three languages. “I took a job with International MultiFoods in their overseas division, and my first assignment was in Madison, Wis. The weekend I got there, I saw a newspaper ad that they were starting a semi-pro team, the Madison Mustangs. I tried out and played successfully for them. Then I was invited to try out for the Charleston

> Bruce with his Moorhead paraphernalia. Alumnews Summer 2011


Bagley: Queen of the Hill Winning never gets old for Jen Bagley

Occasionally I threw a changeup, but speed was my strength. My pitches usually moved really well, but I didn’t always know where they were going. “I honestly believed every time I got on the mound I was going to dominate. I don’t know where that came from. I guess I was naïve; I had no fear. Pauline Stern was my catcher all four years, and we worked together calling the game. We worked to my strengths, setting hitters up depending upon what was working for me that day.” After completing a master’s degree at North Dakota State, she was an assistant softball coach at Humboldt State University in California, helping guide the Jacks to a 54-14-1 overall record and a third place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships. “I learned so much from coach (Frank) Cheek. He was a huge mentor who taught me a lot about the kind of coach I wanted to be.”


ne of the greatest players to ever grace a Minnesota State University Moorhead softball uniform, and arguably the greatest Dragon pitcher of all, Jen Bagley continues to add chapters to her sparkling intercollegiate softball career. Bagley completed her 10th season as head softball coach at Missouri Western State University in 2011, guiding the Griffons to a 40-15 record and a first ever MIAA regular season title. She was MIAA Coach of the Year for a third time and pocketed her 300th career collegiate victory in February. A product of Hoyt Lakes, Minn., Bagley once carried a laminated picture of Minnesota Twins legend Kirby Puckett in her softball uniform for good luck. She charted a rewarding career in volleyball, basketball and softball at Mesabi East High School. “I started playing softball in eighth grade. My PE teacher, Mr. (Tom) Gillach, said he would get the two biggest girls in class and teach them how to pitch. I was horrified. An eighth grade girl doesn’t want to be big. He took me under his wing, playing catch and taking me to clinics. “I ran high hurdles in track and was terrible; I still have the scars to show it. We played basketball and volleyball, and my family golfed and skied, so we were active.”


Alumnews Summer 2011

MSU Moorhead head coach Katie Wilson won the recruiting battle and signed Bagley to a scholarship. The stroke of good fortune soon lifted the university to national prominence.

Bagley became head coach at Missouri Western in 2002, averaging 33 victories a season. The Griffs qualified for the NCAA Central Regional Tournament five times in seven years.

“I wanted to study paralegal. I attended Minnesota-Duluth pitching camps and had a close relationship with their pitching coach, but they didn’t have a paralegal degree. I looked at schools that offered it, including Moorhead. Katie Wilson called me; we visited, and it felt right.”

She’s also taken her act abroad as head softball coach at American International Sports Tours for four summers, coaching athletes in Prague, Holland, Italy, France and Belgium.

The most dominant pitcher in Dragon softball history, Bagley was a four-year starter and anchor of a pitching staff that led MSUM to NAIA national tournament appearances in 1993 and 1994. She was named to All-NSIC teams in 1995 and 1996 and also lettered in golf. “We played in two national championships in Columbia, Missouri. I thought our 1993 team was awesome with Jill Knisley, Kim Bieck, Missy Jaeb, Cheryl Johnson, Amy Tenute, Dana Gross, Deb Kazmierczak, Kailey Smith and Pauline Stern.” The rules were simple when Bagley took the mound—she was in charge. “I threw about 60 percent rise balls and 40 percent curve balls—my best pitches.

“I’ve loved every moment of it. Watching these kids in this period of their lives— being career women, getting married and starting families—it’s a special time in their life, and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.” Bagley welcomed the warmer climes of Missouri, but confesses she still misses Minnesota’s wacky winters. “I miss playing in the snow, but we can be outdoors practicing in February and still have the change of seasons,” Bagley said. > LARRY SCOTT

A 1970-80 Women Athlete’s Reunion is scheduled during the weekend of Homecoming to celebrate the important role women have played in the history of Dragon Athletics. To learn more, contact Kristi Kassenborg Trautwein, (Cell) 701-373-5461, e-mail or Karin Schumacher (Cell) 218-329-6922, e-mail

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Changing your FUNacular Some say we made great improvements last year, but Dragon Athletics marketing has that self-competitive personality that keeps you hungry for more. So for this 2011-12 season, keep an eye on our online network as Dragon Athletics tries to push the envelope even further.

Athletics decided to change it to Dragon Madness to allow the whole family to come and get excited about the start of the 2011-12 Dragon basketball season. Fans will even get a chance to compete against the Dragon hoopsters in the three-point contest!

Ideas have been floating around behind the obstacle of summer break, but when the floodgates open up in the fall, Dragon Athletics plans to rush you with a tidal wave of new and exciting content to quench your thirst for everything Dragons.

The biggest promotion last year was the Valley Imports Car Contest, where Dragon fans had a chance to win an all-new 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. This year, Valley Imports and Dragon Athletics have teamed up again for something even bigger!

New for next year will be weekly videos like ‘Run a Play with Laqua’ where Head Football Coach Steve Laqua takes you into the locker room, to the field and inside his own head while breaking down one play from the previous game.

Get ready for the Valley Imports Vacation Giveaway!

Another video that many are excited to see is the weekly ‘Doug Vs.’, where Athletics Director Doug Peters will take challenges from students across campus in activities ranging from rock climbing, ping pong or a ‘Dougie Dance-Off ’. Students who are ready to take their FANaticism to the next level will be excited to participate in the first ever Nemzek Noize Boot Camp. Before the football season, the reigning MSUM Student Organization of the Year, Nemzek Noize, will hold a half-hour boot camp for Dragon fans to get on the same page for cheers, actions and body paint. Dragon Madness will be upon us in October! Since midnight is slightly past most bedtimes, Dragon

Dragon Athletics will qualify 60 fans total, 15 each from volleyball, football, men’s and women’s basketball games. On the final basketball game of the year, which is now known as ‘Fill the Fieldhouse’ night, all 60 fans will compete for a vacation for two. To where, you ask? That’s the fun part! The winner will get to pick from five different locations! You must prequalify at a Dragon Athletics game, so the more games you attend the better chances you have at qualifying and being off to the destination of your choice. Be a part of Dragon Athletics this season and you could be rewarded like never before, but the online movement will keep you posted on all the action as it happens (so follow us on facebook or twitter). Nemzek athletic facilities are the places to be this year, join the movement and contribute your opinions to the Dragon Network for a season we will remember for years to come. > JON WEPKING

Meet the ‘Lunch Lady’ of Dragon Athletics Dragon Pride Behind the Blog

Dragon Athletics offers many opportunities for fans and alumni to catch up with the stats and the win column of Dragon teams. These staples keep you current with what’s going on at the home of the Dragons. However, there is more to the story. That’s where I come in. Consider me the cafeteria ‘lunch lady’ of Dragon Athletics. My name is Billy McDonald, and I am the voice of the Dragon Athletics official blog (http://blog. I offer a conversational-comedic writing style, always served fresh, hot and ready. I will have you coming back for seconds, as I serve you a surprise or two with a side of Dragon Pride.

My personal perspective will provide a look at what’s cooking in the kitchen of Dragon Athletics: the people. My lightly toasted, saucy (and sarcastic) writing style is coated in an overbearing love of all things Dragon Athletics, baked at 375 degrees until Red and White, leaving you with a few extra inches on your waistline and a smile on your face.

Whether it’s a coach that goes the extra mile, athletes making a difference in the classroom or alumni stepping up in the community, I’ll give you the scoop and a little humor as the cherry on top. This issue of Alumnews features a menu of Dragon Athletics appetizers. Dragon Athletics is kind of a BIG deal, so let your Dragon pride consume you as you read the blog. So if you like to laugh and you like sports, there’s no need to check your temp because my full-serving blogs won’t make you sick. However, I would prescribe a weekly helping of the Dragon Athletics blog written by none other than me, Billy McDonald. Keep in mind I am not a doctor…I am the ‘lunch lady.’ My blogs will be served directly to your email or go to and look for the blogger icon located in the upper right-hand corner. Stop on by. I would love to see you in my line; who knows what I’ll be serving next. > BILLY MCDONALD Alumnews Summer 2011


2011-12 DRAGON FIRE MEMBERSHIPS - Join Today! Dragon Fire is an organization committed to supporting student-athletes at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The mission of Dragon Fire is to raise scholarship dollars for student-athletes, allowing them the opportunity to excel in the classroom, as well as athletically, at the local, regional and and national levels. NEW Dragon Fire membership perks this year include: > 2011-2012 Wall Calendar for your home or office ~ never miss a Dragon game or event! > Tailgating at Homecoming

> Members-only Dragon Fire Monthly Newsletter

Tailgate with the Dragons!

> 20% Discount at MSU Moorhead Bookstore

The Dragon Grill will be scorchin’ hot and ready to serve all our Dragon fans before every home football game. Tailgating begins before kick-off with food, socializing, inflatable games and other activities for Dragon fans of all ages. Join us on Saturday, Sept. 10 (tailgating at 10:30 a.m. with kick-off at 12:00 p.m.) at Alex Nemzek stadium for the football season home opener and the first tailgating party!

> Dragon Fire Tent at tailgating and athletic sponsored events > Dragon Fire Website – > Payment options include payroll deduction (MSUM employees) and monthly automatic withdrawal Join Dragon Fire today at or contact the Dragon Athletics department at 218-477-5824 or e-mail

6th Annual Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics A huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated and supported the 6th Annual Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics! This year’s event was held at MSU Moorhead on April 15-16, 2011 and headed by Walk Leaders John Haugo, Kerstin Kealy, Ann Gusewelle and Anthony Enyi. Approximately 350 people attended the spaghetti dinner and enjoyed activities Friday night in Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse, such as inflatable games, a photo booth and bidding on their favorite silent auction items.

Friday’s events were highlighted when Greg Peterson, Walk founder and former Dragon Fire President, proudly presented John Haugo with the first annual Judy & Greg Peterson Legacy Award, for his continued support and contributions to the event. Saturday morning–with snow on the ground and chilly conditions–265 racers braved the weather to run in the Dragon races and were cheered along the route by student athletes, family and friends. The 2011 Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics raised $78,300 for athletic scholarships through the support of corporate sponsorships, team and individual donations, silent auction proceeds and race and dinner registrations.

Run the Dragon! Next year’s Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics is scheduled on April 20-21, 2012 at MSU Moorhead. Register TODAY for the Dragon Races (5K Walk, 5K, 10K, 10-Mile and the 10-Mile 2 Person Relay races). All proceeds support athletic scholarships! Register and learn more about the event at


Alumnews Summer 2011

MSUM Introduces New Academic Wordmark Alumni are among the first to see new logo > The new mark is a sans serif ‘M’ that is dark red and charcoal gray, and joined by two flames indicating the flames of illumination and passion ignited between students and faculty. The flame motif also complements the Dragon logo, which will be primarily tied to Athletics moving forward.

MSUM is excited to release a new, sophisticated look and design this fall, including a new academic wordmark to complement the Dragon athletics logo. Along with the wordmark, a new visual identity system will impact print, web and signage to give MSUM a consistent look and design across each medium.

While the quality of academic programs at MSUM was acknowledged as a benefit, the research proved that MSUM needs to uplift its perceived academic reputation by better communicating the success of students and alumni, and creating a more distinguishable academic presence separate from the ‘Dragons’ athletics moniker.

The new design is part of a major branding initiative led by the MSUM Marketing team. The objective of the brand strategy is to create stronger recognition through an identifiable, cohesive brand and to help better differentiate MSUM among competing schools.

The Creative Process

Research Findings

In Spring 2010, MSUM partnered with Stamats, a higher education marking company, to launch an extensive research project to identify the perceptions of MSUM, including its strengths, weaknesses and its position among competing schools. After surveying prospective students, current students, faculty, staff and alumni, MSUM’s top attribute recognized across every audience was its quality of faculty, who are known as experts in their fields, great mentors and accessible to students. Other strengths were its “just right” size that was considered ‘not too big and not too small’, a welcoming campus atmosphere, affordability and location.

In July 2010, MSUM partnered with Larsen, a Minneapolis-based professional design firm whose president and founder, Tim Larsen, is an MSUM alum, to translate the research findings into design. Nearly 500 hours of design work and hundreds of design concepts were explored to arrive at the new academic mark, which will complement the Dragon logo. A complete visual system was created around the academic wordmark with a common color palette, typography and graphic elements (most notably, a flame Academic mark Academic mark

icon and fire pattern) to be used across print materials, website and campus signage. The official ‘brand launch’ kicks off in August during Orientation, followed by a series of activities and events leading up to Homecoming. Alumni coming to campus during Homecoming will see new monument signs and additional signage that reflect the new visual design. Brand launch activities will coincide with the launch of a new website in September. The complete brand rollout will be a three- to five-year phased project as print pieces, materials and signs receive updates on an as-needed basis. MSUM is still and always will be proud to call themselves Dragons! Alumni can get their favorite Dragon apparel at the bookstore anytime. Thank you to those who participated in our research survey and continue to support the success of MSUM. Learn more about MSUM’s branding initiative at

Athletic letter Athletic letter

Mascot Mascot


MSUM’s lack of identity/visibility and its Athletics program were identified as the areas needing the most improvement. Both areas are currently undergoing significant enhancement – the Marketing team is uplifting the image of the University and shaping a stronger identity through the new branding initiative, and Athletics is bolstering their program through scholarships, fundraising, new coaches and a feasibility study to consider Division I hockey.


Alumnews Summer 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u Al 1940s Irma Vanderhoef Allen ’42 (English, music) teaches piano, directs a handbell choir, is her church organist, and a pianist for Rotary. She has two grown daughters, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Granddaughter Jennifer Uselman Bard graduated from MSUM in 1993 with a music degree. Her older sister graduated from MSUM in 1923. Irma lives in Wadena with her husband, Gene.

1960s Gordon Carpenter ’63 (biology, math) is retired and lives in Rochester. He taught for four years and then sold insurance and investments for 25 years. He plays the fiddle, square dances and plays softball. Diane Disse ’65 (English) is the museum educator at the Lincoln County Historical Society in Lincoln City, Ore. She recently co-authored a book on the history of Newport, Ore., and also wrote a book, published by Dancing Moon Press, titled The Edge: A Historical Novel. She lives in Lincoln City with her husband, James Murphy. Elizabeth Trogstad ’67 (elementary education) retired in 2010 after spending many years as a kindergarten teacher at Fargo Public Schools. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren. She enjoys spending more quality time with her seven grandchildren. She resides in Fargo. Andrew Anderson ’69 (geography) retired from the State of California. His hobbies are traveling, metal detecting, golf, art projects, painting, sculpture and mobiles. He lives in Alta, Calif., with his wife, Anna.

1970s Tom Hintgen ’70 (mass communications) spent 40 years in the communications business and is a writer for the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. He was a copy editor at the Fargo Forum for one year, spent five years as a copy editor and writer for


the Daily Journal, and then spent 25 years in public relations, writing and media relations for Otter Tail Power Company (OTP). After his retirement from OTP, he wrote for the Pelican Press and then came back to the Fergus Falls Daily Journal. He says, “I have great memories of my college classes in mass comm and other areas at Moorhead State University, as well as two wonderful years as a resident of Ballard Hall….many lifelong friends from college days.” Tom resides in Fergus Falls with his wife Sharon Voight Hintgen ’91 (mathematics). Annelee Woodstrom ’70 (English) is the author of War Child: Growing up in Adolf Hitler ’s Germany and Empty Chairs, which tell of her experiences growing up as a nine-yearold child in Bavaria during World War II and then as a young war bride traveling to America when she was 20 years old. She met her American “Gentleman Soldier,” Kenneth Woodstrom, and they were wed in Washington, D.C., in 1947. She did not speak English and he did not speak German so they faced many challenges as a young couple raising two children in America. After working as a sales clerk and secretary, she fulfilled her life’s dream by attending and graduating from Moorhead State College. She became a teacher in Twin Valley and in 1984 was selected as one of 10 Teachers of Excellence by the Minnesota Education Association. In 1990, she won the Northlight Award for Essay for the excerpt “Indoctrination” (Chapter 1) from War Child. She is also the winner of the Jeanette Fair Memorial Award. After 23 years of teaching she retired in 1992, and her husband, Kenny, died in 1998. In 2004 MSUM honored her with the Distinguished Alumni Award for excellence in professional and community leadership. During 2011 she was inducted into the Norman County East Teacher’s

Alumnews Summer 2011

Hall of Fame at Twin Valley. For the past few years she has spoken at different events accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation that includes 51 rarely seen color photos of Adolf Hitler’s activities during 1939-40. To learn more about her, visit She resides in Ada. Dean Harris ’71 (mathematics) retired from Computer Sciences Corp. in December 2010 after 31 years of service in the Washington, D.C., area. He sold his house in Virginia and moved to a new home in Vail, Ariz., where he lives with his wife, Elaine Schmid. They have one grown daughter who is a computer forensics examiner in San Diego, Calif.

Miller Named President, CEO of St. Alexius Medical Center G a r y M i l l e r, CPA ’73 (political science, accounting) was named president and chief executive of f icer (CEO) for St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, N.D. He has more than 30 years of healthcare experience and joined St. Alexius in 1984 as director of fiscal and information systems. In 1988, he became chief financial officer of the Medical Center. Most recently, he served as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Active in his community, Gary serves as a member of numerous agencies, among them the Bismarck Cancer Center, North Central Health Care Alliance (Primecare), Missouri Valley Family YMCA and North Dakota Hospital Association. He’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, North Dakota Society of Certif ied Public Accountants, North Dakota Healthcare Financial Management Association and National Healthcare Financial Management Association. Gary resides in Bismarck with his

wife, Kathryn Fischer Miller ’75 (special education, speech language hearing science), and their children. Kathryn is a speech pathologist for the Mandan Public Schools. Mike Berg, ‘71, (health & physical education), is one of seven inductees into the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) 2011 Hall of Fame. Founded in 1986, the Hall of Fame recognizes and honors those who made significant contributions to the conference. Mike Berg earned seven varsity letters in baseball (4) and basketball (3) at Moorhead State College from 1968 to 1971. The Wahpeton, N.D., native averaged 17.7 points per game during his sparkling basketball career and exited with 1307 career points, fourth all-time in school history. Berg was a centerpiece of remarkable club that finished the regular season 24-1, ranked fourth in the final NAIA national poll and captured the NIC Title in the 1970-71 season. He was twice voted Most Valuable Player in the Northern Intercollegiate Conference and was named an All-NIC selection three-times. In baseball he was a two-time All-NIC choice as he pitched and played in the outfield. He set single season records for games played (30), at bats (111), doubles (12), home runs (7-twice), RBI (29) and graduated with career records for games (107), at bats (343), base hits (99), runs (54), doubles (25), home runs (16), total bases (178) and RBI (70). In 1986 he was inducted into Dragon Hall of Fame. Berg currently resides in Stateline, Nev. His son Chris, played football at Stanford and currently lives with wife, Ajit, and daughter, Isabella in Fargo, N.D. Mark Hofstad ’74 (speech) is the 10th circuit judge in Bartow, Fla., overseeing felony cases at the Polk County Courthouse. He has been a prosecutor, a private lawyer and a judge overseeing cases of workers’ compensation claims. Prior to his career in law he had jobs as a

alumnotes steel mill worker, hospital custodian, emergency medical technician and safety manager. He also volunteered as a firefighter and ambulance driver. His hobbies include riding his motorcycle and traveling. He lives in Lakeland with his wife, Carol Burlingham.

Baenen Prison Photo Wins 3rd in Journalism Contest Jeff Baenen ’76 (mass communications) is a repor ter for the Associated Press. He won third place in the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists 2011 Page One Awards for Best News Portrait (Newspapers 50,000+ circulation), for his prison photograph of Koua Fong Lee, who raised a “Toyota defense” to win his release in a fatal 2006 crash. Jeff lives in Plymouth with his wife, Laura, and their son Christian. Glenn Gullickson ’76 (mass communications) is a managing editor of Echo Magazine in Phoenix, where he also lives. He joined the magazine in 2009. He was first runnerup for the Arizona Press Club’s Community Journalist of the Year Award for 2010. Naomi Johnson ’76 (individualized studies) is a retired college administrator who earned a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. In May she was named director of the Fortuna (Calif.) Senior Services. She also volunteers with the Sequoia Zoo Foundation and the Humboldt Botanical Gardens. She resides in Eureka, Calif. with her husband, Earl Jacobs. John Linc Woodbuy ’76 (health & physical education) is a counselor and coach at the Maple (Wis.) School District. He was named 2010 Wisconsin District Coach of the Year for girls. The girls and boys teams were conference champions and section champions. An avid skier, he completed the 50K American Birkebeiner crosscountry ski race in February. He resides in Maple, Wis., with his wife, Nancy.

Jan Lewis Baer (attended ’76-’79) is a workroom manager for Union Place, Inc., in Excelsior. She received a bachelor’s degree in textiles and clothing from the University of Minnesota in 1981. She plays trumpet in the Hopkins Westwind Concert Band. She resides in Loretto with her husband, John, and their dog, Curly.

1980s Barbara Licha Perkins ’81 (accounting) is an administrative law judge for Social Security Administration in Albuquerque, N.M. She received her juris doctor degree in 1984 from the University of North Dakota. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband, Charles and son, Alex.

Teri Kaminski Peterson ’83 (speech, language, hearing sciences) ’84 (MS, speech pathology) is a pediatric speech pathologist in private practice and president of Chatterbox, Inc., a small publishing company. She is author of the educational children’s book The Big Book of Exclamations. She lives in Brainerd with her husband, Bradley. Lori Hammel ’84 (theatre arts) is a multi-talented actress, artist and comedian based in New York City. She is touring as an actor/singer in Dolly Parton’s Broadway musical 9 to 5. She has appeared on 30 ROCK, AS THE WORLD TURNS, the Coen brother’s feature film BURN AFTER READING and AN INVISIBLE SIGN OF MY OWN (starring Jessica Alba, 2010 release). Lori plays recurring political pundit Leslie Hillerman on the Onion News Network series, IN THE KNOW, and performed on Broadway and in the national tour of MAMMA MIA! In the hit off-Broadway production of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, Lori created endearing comedic impersonations of Broadway’s finest

performers. Other New York theatre credits include I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE and BUSH IS BAD. Lori’s expressionist portraits have been exhibited in NYC and Washington, D.C. She recently co-authored a textbook for young actors that will be published this summer through Waveland Press. The book, Minding the Edge, presents potent strategies beyond what is taught in acting school for “making it” in the entertainment industry. Lori resides in New York City. Jeff Hart ’84 (social studies) completed his fourth year as assistant professor of wconomics and political science at the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D. Prior to this position, he taught and coached at Kittson Central (Hallock, Minn.) High School for 21 years. Jeff earned his M.A. at the University of North Dakota (’05) as a James Madison Fellow. He resides in Breckenridge with his wife, Shelly, and their Maltese dog. They have three adult children.

Alum on a Mission for African Children Donna Stacy Chalmers ’86 (nursing) is a retired nurse who is now involved in medical missions trips to Africa. Her passion for this cause began when she first served in the Peace Corps from 1962-1964 in Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika). She returned to Africa in 2006 when she traveled to northern Tanzania with a mission/medical group from Scottsdale, Ariz. The group went to a remote village giving medical and dental care to the Maasai tribe. On her last day there, the owner of the lodge in Aursha asked her if any of her team could visit a nearby school for children with disabilities. She was the only one who chose to go and the experience changed her

life. She witnessed 40 children who were deaf or mentally impaired and teachers asking for pieces of bread. When she returned to the U.S., she wrote her family and friends and spoke at her church, which was the beginning of her raising funds for these children. Since 2006, the children have received food, electricity, a well, and a new classroom (which she worked with Operation Bootstrap Africa; Read more at In January 2011 she returned to Tanzania with Operation Bootstrap Africa to visit the Ilboru School and to see the Maasai girls graduate. She continues to fundraise for the school and they are making progress toward building another classroom and purchasing educational and recreational supplies. She and her husband, Philip, divide their time between homes in Alexandria and Mesa, Ariz. Kathryn Carlson Noel ’86 (secondary education/mathematics) retired from a 25-year mathematics teaching career at Harlem (Mont.) High School. She is now director of the Harlem Senior Center. She enjoys spending time with her 15-year-old son, Trent. Duaine King ’87 (marketing) retired in 2004 and is happy to not have to work anymore. He was a bartender at Mick’s Office from 1981 to 1987, where he served thousands of MSU students. He says “thanks” to Roland Dille and Brian Grossman. He is married and resides in Austin, Texas. Kris Harty ’88 (mass communications/public relations) is a stickability specialist and thought leader on Perseverance, and is founder of Strong Spirit Unlimited. After 20 years in the corporate world with one employer, she is living out a longtime dream as an entrepreneur. Her first and newly published book A Shot in the Arm and A Strong Spirit: How Health Care Givers Help Patients Persevere…No Matter What! A Lifelong Patient Opens Her Heart and Journal is now available on Amazon. She lives in Colorado Springs. Her niece, Grace Ketelsen, joins the freshman ranks this year and is their family’s first secondgeneration Dragon!

Alumnews Summer 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u Al Corey Olson ’88 (speech communications) is a director of Show Services for LMG Inc., a national provider of video, audio and lighting support. He was worked with LMG for 13 years. Prior to working for LMG he worked at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. as a senior audio/visual producer and served as a video editor/operator for the Phoenix Suns. He resides in Las Vegas, Nev. Korvin “Kory” Auch ’89 (business administ r a t i o n) w a s recently named Commander of the 633rd Air Base Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. Colonel Auch commands three groups, providing installation support to more than 18,000 Air Force and Army personnel, including Headquarters Air Combat Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, three operational wings, two brigades and more than 20 major associate units. He entered the Air Force in 1989 after receiving his commission from the North Dakota State University Reserve Officer Training Corps Program. Prior to this new assignment as Commander of the 633rd Col. Auch was the Commander of the 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group in Southwest Asia. He has received the Bronze Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters and Joint Service Achievement Medal. He resides in Virginia with his wife, Kristin, and their children. Rhonda Evenson ’89 (physical education) is the rural development human resources manager for USDA Rural Development in Huron, S.D. She began her career in human resources as a training and administrative officer in 1996. Prior to her transfer, she held the position of supervisory human resource specialist for the Minnesota


National Guard. She has also accrued 28 years of military service and is a commissioned officer in the Minnesota National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel. She is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is pursuing a master’s in administrative studies from the University of South Dakota. She lives in Lake City, S.D. Mary Erickson Flesberg ’89 (MS, business education) has been a business education teacher at Moorhead High School for 28 years. In 2010 she received the Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to Business Education from Minnesota Business Educators, Inc. (MBEI). She lives in Moorhead with her husband, Dale. Darin Tysdal ’89 (music) is manager of the music department for Groth Music in Bloomington. He is also a piano soloist with the Metropolitan Symphony, Dakota Valley Symphony, MacPhail School of Music Orchestra, Minnesota Freedom Band, Minnesota Symphonic Winds, Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis and the Kenwood Symphony. He received a master of music degree in composition from Northwestern University. He competed in the Boston International Amateur Piano Competition in June 2011. He has competed in the Van Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition twice in 2002 and 2004 and won a spot in the semifinals as well as an award for Most Original Performing. He was also a semi-finalist in the New York Amateur Piano Competition. His piece “5 Haiku” will be performed by the Century College Orchestra with Naomi Karstad, Soprano, Erik Krogh, Baritone under the direction of conductor Elliot Wilcox. He has been an orchestral pianist with the Metropolitan Symphony for 15 years and recently performed “Carnival of the Animals” by SaintSaens and “Petruschka” by Stravinsky. He recently played two concerts at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis with the MSO playing the Cori-

Alumnews Summer 2011

gliano “Fantasia on a Ostinato” and Dave Brubeck’s “Elementals”. He is a piano recitalist at many venues in the Twins Cities and piano accompanist for choirs, instrumentalists and singers. Darin resides in the Minneapolis area with his wife of 13 years, Linda Joy Tysdal, and their cats Sunny and Sherry.

1990s Kevin Knutson ’90 (sociology, social studies) is the director of undergraduate academic advising for the College or Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University. He was selected as an Outstanding Advising Award Winner in the Academic Advising Administrator category from the National Academic Advising Association as part of the 2011 annual awards program for Academic Advising. He resides in Kalamazoo, Mich., with his wife, Lisa Deike Knutson ’90 (mass communications), and their children. Lisa is the director of marketing and creative development at Western Michigan University. Michelle Gelinske ’91 (music) is a private vocal instructor and owner of Michelle’s Studio of Music in Fargo. Michelle has been instructing lessons in piano and voice since 1991. She enjoys working with all ages and helping students improve in doing something they love. She is also the vocal instructor for the local chapter of Tremble Clefs Choir called HeartSprings Parkinson’s Choir. The choir is a therapeutic singing group for people with Parkinson’s Disease and their spouses, friends or partners. She resides in Fargo. Michael Herzog ’91 (mass communications) is a national accounts manager for Food Services of America. He oversees North and South Dakota and Minnesota for all their school/college, healthcare and national chain accounts. He resides in Alexandria with his wife, Linda, and their two daughters, Amanda and Mikaela. Eric

Johnson ’91 (business administration) is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, recently completing a tour as Commander of the 341st Recruiting Squadron in San Antonio, Texas. He has been selected as the next Inspector General for the Air Force Recruiting Service. He received a master’s in health services administration from Central Michigan University and a master’s in management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He and his wife, LTC Lisa Johnson of the US. Andrew Kunka, PhD ’91 (English) is an asssociate professor of English at University of South Carolina Sumter. He is a member of a comedy writing group known as the Bureau Chiefs, who recently came out with a book, Write More Good: An Absolutely Phony Guide to Writing (from Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, April 2011) which parodies writing guides like the AP Stylebook. Write More Good has received positive reviews from The New Yorker and the Chicago Tribune, among others, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, and Life magazine’s website. The book grew from their popular Twitter feed, @ FakeAPStylebook, which provides bad writing advice and journalism jokes on a daily basis. The feed currently has over 230,000 followers, and it frequently appears on lists as one of the best humor feeds on Twitter. Andrew resides in Florence, S.C. with his wife, Jennifer. Kenneth Nilson ’92 (art) is a successful furniture designer in New York City. His clients include The Smithsonian Institution, Paul Smith, Banana Republic, Kenneth Cole, Saks Fifth Avenue, Liz Claiborne, Jamie Drake, Scott Sanders and Anjali Pollack. Since beginning furniture design in 2001 his work has appeared in Interior Design, Metropolitan Home, Architectural Digest, Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, Time Out New York and Out and Paper. Kenneth lives in Brooklyn and makes all of his work by hand in his home studio.

alumnotes Aaron Doering, PhD ’93 (social studies) is an associate professor in learning technologies at the University of Minnesota. He holds the Bonnie WestbyHuebner Endowed Chair of Education and Technology, a Laureate of the prestigious humanitarian Tech Awards and is an IonE fellow. Doering has delivered education on sustainability and climate change to more than 10 million students by dog-sledding and pulking over 5,000 miles throughout the circumpolar Arctic since 2004. His current project, Earthducation, will investigate the intersection of education and sustainability on all seven continents over the next four years. Doering gives hundreds of talks each year on adventure learning and motivation; his academic writing is focused on how adventure learning impacts the classroom experience, designing and developing online learning environments, and K–12 technology integration. This past winter he was in Africa delivering his latest adventure learning project, Earthducation: Burkina Faso. To learn more about this project or get involved visit: Doering has received millions in grants; has published more than 60 journal articles, books, book chapters and conference proceedings; and is the coauthor of Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Currently, he is principal investigator for four grants: Earthducation, with support from IonE; Explore15, with support from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation; What’s Climate Change to You?, with support from the National Science Foundation; and GeoThentic, with support from the National Geographic Society. He resides in Minneapolis with his wife Cassandra. Thomas Adamson ’95 (English) is an editor for EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. Prior to his current position he was the associate managing editor at Capstone Press in Mankato. He lives in Sioux Falls, S.D., with this wife, Heather,

and their sons Harris and Calvin. Teddi M. Pederson de Beauvoir ’95 (psychology, criminal justice) is a MFT intern at the Ve teran’s Village of San Diego New Resolve program. She graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix master’s in counseling program in April 2011. She is a member of the Alpha Beta Honor Society and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). She is the proud mother of three adult children. She enjoys spending time at the beach, kayaking, swimming, boogie boarding and frequently visits the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. She lives in Escondido, Calif.

Dean Receives OBU Promising Teacher Award

Michael Dean ’95 (music & mathematics), an assistant professor of music at Oklahoma Baptist University, received this year’s Promising Teacher Award, presented to a junior faculty member who has taught at OBU less than six years, who has demonstrated outstanding potential as a teacher and who has the characteristics of one who may be a future recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. In presenting the award, OBU President David W. Whitlock said Dean not only invests in the learning of his students, but also in his own continued education. “He has provided quality, inspiring instruction for his students in a variety of ways while seeking to improve himself as a teacher,” Whitlock said. “He is an excellent example of a committed, caring professor who is a lifelong learner motivating his students to live worthy of the high calling of Christ.”

Dean recently received his doctorate of musical arts in piano performance and piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. He maintains an active schedule as a workshop clinician, adjudicator, solo performer and collaborative artist throughout the United States and Canada. Brady Burnside ’96 (criminal justice) was recently promoted to chief deputy of the Sheriff’s Office in Mahnomen County after spending three years as a criminal investigator. He recently resigned from the board of directors of Law Enforcement Labor Service, Inc., Minnesota’s largest peace officer’s union. He lives in Waubun with his wife, Jennifer, and daughters Lily and Sophie. Heidi Scheusner Leming ’96 (mass communications) recently was named assistant vice president for student life at the College of Coastal Georgia. This spring she completed her Ph.D. coursework at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia while working at the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in Atlanta. Heidi is the 2011 recipient of the Louise McBee Scholarship awarded by the Georgia Association of Women in Higher Education. She resides in Brunswick, Ga., with her husband, Marc. Shahab Ahmed ’98 (MBA, business administration) is the director of Legal and Corporate Affairs for Microsof t Corporation in Seattle, Wash. He recently finished his policy certificate at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. Since graduating from MSUM he has completed his Juris Doctor degree and has been working with Microsoft in various leadership positions. He resides in the Seattle area with his wife, Michelle, and children Farhan, Sheeraz and Layla Ahmed. Peter Colarich ’98 (finance) is a space technologist with Acosta Sales and Marketing. He received his MBA in May 2001 from Metropolitan State University, College of Management, St. Paul. He resides in Plymouth.

Michelle Kowal Douglas ’98 (English, English Teacher Education) is a 12-year teaching veteran at Columbia Heights High School. She lives in Coon Rapids with her husband, Brian, and their daughter Morgan. Leah Gustafson ’98 (Spanish) is a lead pharmacy tech at CVS Pharmacy. Her son Noah was born in August 2010. Her husband Jeremy Johnson ’98 (industrial technology) is a customer service manager for B&F Fastener Supply. They reside in Mounds View. Mike Harmon ’99 (psychology) is a major in the U.S. Air Force and an instructor at the United States Air Force Weapons School. He was recently accepted to the National Defense Intelligence College on Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., where he will be working on a master of science in strategic intelligence. He also holds a master of arts in military studies-air warfare from the American Military University. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Jessica, and their children Luke, Kaden, Gabriel and Josie. Wendy Bonach Vandeputte ’99 (English, English teacher education, speech communication/ theatre arts education) is a high school language arts teacher at Brainerd High School, where for the last 12 years she’s taught a variety of subjects including journalism, speech, American Literature and others. She was recently asked to teach advanced placement language and composition and attended a week-long training session at Carleton College in Northfield. In 2009, she received her master’s in educational leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. She has been married for 10 years to her husband, Steve. They live in Pillager with their two children, Kalina and Kyler. Sheri Zimmerman ’99 (finance) is a wealth management advisor with TIAA-CREF Financial Services in Seattle, Wash. She has been awarded for the third year in a row (2009-2011) Top Wealth Managers in Seattle. She spent three weeks in Italy this spring and loves to travel. She hopes to go to Greece next year. She resides in Kenmore, Wash.

Alumnews Summer 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u l A 2000s Tamra Stenger Bigger ’00 (liberal ar ts) is a registered nurse a t t h e VA i n Fargo. In March Tami and her husband, Brant, received special recognition for their commitment to leadership and their community as volunteers for the Red River Valley Emerging Leadership Program. The program provides education sessions focused on personal leadership styles, communication, community leadership, legislative issues and personal vision and goal setting. Tami and Brant live in Lake Park with their children Hailey, Blake and Hannah. Sara Ward Haman ’00 (accounting) is a CPA in Monticello. She has one son, Anthony, and a baby due in September. She resides in Monticello with her husband, Kevin Haman ’00 (accounting), who is a staff accountant. Kathy Johnson ’00 (criminal justice) started a new business on Etsy, where she designs and creates bridal fascinators. She is able to stay at home and do what she does best, create beautiful headpieces at affordable prices for brides. Her Etsy website is www. Lori Gudmunsen Listopad ’00 (mass communications) is the director of residence life and new student orientation at Jamestown (N.D.) College. She is also the coauthor of She lives in Jamestown with her husband, Steve, and their son, Murray. Michael Riewer ’00 (accounting) is the office manager for Grouser Products, Inc. in West Fargo. His hobbies include NASCAR, motorcycling and snowmobiling. Anudeep Parhar ’01 (MS, computer science) is the vice president


of technology strategy and planning for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. He has more than 17 years of experience building and leading high performing technology and service organizations. He holds a bachelor of engineering and computer science degree from Gulbarga University, India, and is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management Minnesota Management Institute (MMI) Executive Education program. He resides in Eagan, with his family. Tanya Weets ’01 (theatre ar ts, mass communications) is the administrative assistant for Absolute Marketing Group in Fargo. She oversees the continuation of Absolute Marketing Group’s acclaimed Client Relations Internship Program, which was voted the “Best Place to Intern” in 2009 by the North Dakota Young Professionals Network. When not working, she pursues her passion for music in the studio and on stage. She resides in Moorhead. Tona Sauvageau ’01 (paralegal) is a commercial contract administrator at ShoreMaster, Inc. in Fergus Falls. She previously worked as a licensed abstractor in Minnesota and North Dakota for four years and at a law firm for six years. She says, “I feel my education at MSUM has helped me tremendously. I like that I have a wide variety of areas I can work in and have enjoyed all of my jobs since graduation.” She lives in Wendell. Kari Brady ’02 (English, mass communications, anthropology) ’09 (MLA) is completing her MFA in creative writing at MSUM and intends to graduate in Fall 2011. She recently accepted a shift manager position at Leaan Chin restaurant in West Acres and also works part time at the Holiday Inn in

Alumnews Summer 2011

Fargo. Outside of work she is finishing her memoir, a young adult novel, and drafting book proposals. She resides in Fargo. Erik Block ’02 (English, mass communications) ’08 (MFA) recently published his first novel, Just Jake. Sixteen-year-old Jake narrates his story of confusion and identity, of love lost and love found, with a voice that is equal parts bitter and innocent, tragic and witty, sarcastic and sweet. His story will resonate with any reader who has struggled with what it means to belong. Erik was raised in Ortonville, and his work is inspired by the landscapes, adventures, difficulties and memories of small-town adolescence. He works for Minnesota School of Business as an educational administrator and writing tutor and for Rasmussen College as a literature instructor. He lives in Fargo with his two cats, Monkeyman and Meatball, and spends his spare time filling his head with mixed martial arts trivia, and singing and playing guitar, drums and bass (though not all at once) in several Fargo Moorhead area bands. Amber Ferrie ’02 (accounting) is a business valuation manager at Eide Bailly LLP in Fargo. She recently completed the certification process with the Middle Market Investment Banking Association (MMIBA) and its affiliate, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA (r)) to earn her Chartered Merger and Acquisition Professional (CMAP) designation. Amber is a Certified Public Accountant, Accredited in Business Valuation and Certified in Financial Forensics. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; North Dakota Society of Certified Public Accountants; Young Professionals Network, FargoMoorhead Chamber of Commerce; and the Red River Valley Estate Planning Council. She resides in Fargo with her husband Joel. Angela Storts Swanson ’02 (special education) is in her ninth year

of teaching at St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) High School (STMA). She spends her free time reading, doing home projects and athletic activities, such as running and volleyball. Most of her time is spent with her husband, Greg Swanson ’02 (marketing), and their two daughters, Madilyn and Brylee. Greg is a marketing manager for Service Team of Professionals in Ramsey. He stays active in basketball and softball and has had recent ventures into real estate investments. Angie says, “Both of our experiences at MSUM were positive. We appreciated the professors and their focus on the student, rather than the research many colleges are focused on. We appreciated friendly staff throughout the college and I’ve been honored to refer my own students to MSUM, knowing they will also receive the hands-on, friendly experience we received.” Kerry Davis ’03 (mass communications) is working as a News21 Carnegie-Knight fellow investigating food safety in Washington D.C., this summer. She graduated in May 2011 with a master’s degree of journalism for the University of Maryland, College Park. She served as co-president to the Master’s Student Association during her time at Philip Merrill School of Journalism, and was a 2010-2011 Eleanor Merrill Fellow, 2010-2011 fellowship recipient of The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership for travel to Japan and a 2011 News21 Fellow. Prior to joining Merrill, Davis worked as a TV reporter at KVLY-TV in Fargo, N.D. and WPRI-TV in Providence, R.I. In spring 2011, she covered the environment and Chesapeake Bay beats for the Annapolis bureau of the Capital News Service. She resides in Washington, D.C. Frank Stegmaier ’03 (graphic communications) has spent the last six years at Flint Communications in Fargo as a designer/art director/creative working on both tra-

alumnotes ditional and social/digital tactics. During this time he also served on the board of directors for the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of North Dakota, where he previously held the position of president. Last year he was elected as First Lieutenant Governor and National Student Advertising Competition Chair of the Eighth District of the AAF, which includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In July he will take on the role of Governor and will be responsible for leadership and collaboration throughout the entire district as well as representing the region on the AAF Council of Governors. During this exciting transition, he is also making another move to start a new job with Campbell Mithun (Advertising Agency) in Minneapolis. His primary responsibility will be design/creative on all digital team for their General Mills account. “I am proud to be an MSUM alum and that I’ve had many opportunities to come back to MSUM and talk to students (both GCOM students with Mike Ruth and Trista Conzemius, as well as AdClub students, primarily MassComm), assist in portfolio reviews, review student work through Jody Mattern’s Portfolio class and judge on GCOM senior projects. I’ve even had the opportunity to help NDSU as their Professional Advisor, where they started their first AAF AdClub and NSAC team. NDSU even placed 4th in our district…yes a few steps behind the ever impressive MSUM (Tape and Glue) team who won 1st place in our district and went on to represent our entire district at the national competition! Proud to be a Dragon!” Rebecca Reuss Hilbrand ’05 (special education) teaches in Alexandria at the intermediate elementary level. She is attending MSUM for her master’s in special education and license in early childhood education. She resides in Alexandria with her husband. Bronson Lemer ’05 (mass communication, English) recently accepted an English lecturer posi-

tion at the University of Minnesota Rochester. His memoir, The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq, was published June 2011 by the University of Wisconsin Press. He began the memoir his senior year at MSUM. He resides in Bottineau, N.D., but will move to Rochester in August.

ager with Whirlwind Building Concepts in Sioux Falls, S.D. Blake played basketball with the Dragons for four years. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Angie Klosner Strouth ’08 (elementary education), who is an operations specialist at Great Western Bank in Sioux Falls. The couple was married on September 24, 2010. Congrats!

Scott Swanson ’06 (paralegal) is an attorney at Swanson Law in Crookston. He also recently accepted a part-time assistant Norman County attorney position. He lives in Crookston.

Cor y To llive r ’08 (mass communic ations) is the assistant programming director for WDAY/ WDA Z a n d K B M Y/ KMCY TV. He also manages the production and creative services departments at WDAY-TV. He resides in Fargo.

Carin Hinman ’07 (elementary education) is a teacher at Fargo Public Schools. This past school year she taught Title 1 reading and ESL. This summer she taught English overseas in Cambodia. She resides in Fargo. Eric Eager ’08 (mathematics) is a graduate student and graduate teaching assistant in the Mathematics Department at the University of NebraskaLincoln. He received an Emeritus Faculty Fellowship at the University of Nebraska Math Department in last December; served on UNL’s Student Senate and Committee for Fees Allocation during the school year 2010-2011; published a paper in the Theoretical Ecology http:// q2504204w1382x45/; served on short-term missions trip in May to Hungary with River Valley Christian Church in Stillwater; and served on the first-ever alumni service tour with Students Today Leaders Forever in April. During his time at MSUM he was starting tight end on the football team in ’06-’07, won the Math Department’s Outstanding Junior and Senior Awards and Bill Ritche Fellowship in Mathematics and was also selected to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Football Team in 2007. He also was one of the first members in MSUM’s chapter of Students Today Leaders Forever. He resides in Lincoln, Neb., and is engaged to be married July 30, 2011. Blake Strouth ’08 (business management) is a regional sales man-

Christopher Haskell ’09 (film studies-production) is a runner/production assistant with Workshop Creative in Los Angeles. Originally from Minnesota, he recently moved to Los Angeles to follow a career in film and music. He hopes to be editing movie trailers soon at his current employer and ultimately, his end goal is to write, edit or direct feature films. He keeps in contact with most of his film professors at MSUM who were strong motivators in getting him to follow his career path and make the move to Los Angeles. His family has also been a huge role model to him. He lives in Studio City, Calif., and hopes to be a flood gate for other Dragons who are on the fence about making the big move to a larger city. “I feel that the larger the congregation of alums that grows here (LA), the easier it will make it for graduates to make the leap of faith. From opening up our living room to helping out with the job hunt, I really just want to pay it forward what was done for me.” Nicole Haverland ’09 (biochemistry, biotechnology) is a graduate student studying v ir o l o g y a n d immunology at

University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Haverland is the first in her family to attend graduate school and admits she is a science nerd. She was Miss Nebraska 2010. She took over as Miss Nebraska in January 2011 when then Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan was crowned Miss America. Haverland was the third runner up in the Miss Nebraska pageant a year ago. Her platform presentation, Grab Life by the Protons – Encouraging Science in our Schools, has kept her busy all over the state. After graduate school she plans to work in Germany and Australia. She lives in Omaha. Anne Kaese ’10 (international business) is a Fargo calligrapher and teacher, who was named the 2011 “Woman of the Year” for Art and Communications by the YWCA Cass Clay. She was nominated by the Red River Watercolor Society with recommendations for nomination from the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and Northern Pines Retreat Center for her work promoting and educating over 1,500 people with 30+ presentations on the St John’s Bible when the print edition was on display at the Hjemkomst this winter; and for her work creating new retreat and learning opportunities for artists and calligraphers in the area. She has been doing calligraphy for over 30 years. As a young adult, she took formal classes and has had the privilege of studying with wonderful teachers from England, the U.S., Australia and South Africa. She enjoys teaching calligraphy and related art subjects focusing on lettering, color, illumination, fine detail painting, using a wide variety of media. She does calligraphy and art commissions for special occasions out of her home studio in Fargo. For more information visit Danielle Gohl Olson ’10 (art) was accepted into the MFA in collaborative design at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Ore. The program consists of 15 students. She currently resides in Stillwater, with her husband, Robert Olson ’10 (psychology).

Alumnews Summer 2011


s e t o N Alum

Your classmates want to hear about you! Share your news here, whether it’s a new job, a volunteer experience, an exciting hobby, a move, or anything else you want to tell us. Email your news to with a note that your story is for AlumNotes, or mail it to MSUM Alumni Foundation, AlumNotes, MSUM Box 68, Moorhead, MN 56563.

Name:_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ City:______________________________________________________________________ State:_____________ Zip: __________________ Phone:________________________________________ Email:_______________________________________________________________ Occupation:___________________________________ Employer:____________________________________________________________ Spouse/Partner______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Family: (names and ages)_____________________________________________________________________________________________ My Alumnotes update (feel free to include on a separate sheet. Photos encouraged.): __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for making a difference! No matter the size, your gift joins with contributions from others to

impact MSUM students! Ask your employer/spouse’s employer about matching gifts and double or triple your gift! Let us know your interests below or at I would like to support the University’s Greatest Needs Other: I would like to support_____________________________________________ Enclosed is my gift of $__________________ Please send me planned giving information Please make checks payable to the MSUM Alumni Foundation. Credit Card #_______________________________




Signature:________________________________________________________________________ Exp:_________/_________


Alumnews Summer 2011








baby dragons


Just Married! 1. Charmaine Schmidt ’03 & Corey English March 7, 2011 2. Elizabeth Luhman ’06 & Shane Evenstad February 19, 2011 3. Dana Nicholas & Kyle Swanson ‘05 April 4, 2011 4. Jenna Balken ’07 & Tyson Trosvik December 30, 2010 5. Brenda Scholten ‘98 & Greg Tappert August 7, 2010 6. Summer Bieber ’00 & Derek Hanson December 3, 2010 7. Mandy Stockstad ‘06 & Robin Finke December 6, 2010 8. Jamie DeKrey & Riley Rude ‘08 July 24, 2010 9. Ashley VanBuren ’08 & Kelly Meslow ‘07 August 28, 2010 10. Angela Klosner ‘08 & Blake Strouth ‘08 September 24, 2010



We Remember Remember Theodore Butenhoff 1978 Timothy Cartwright 1944 William Corcoran 1939 1942 Phyllis Cossette 1954 Ellaine Craig 1993 Nellie Esselman 1931 1968 Merilyn Fischer 1965 1968 Harold Foley 1978 Barbara Hexum 1969 Luella Jensen 1942 Karen Johnson 1973 Karen Klimek (retired staff) John Klug 1950 Charles Kuehn 1959 Ryszard Landowski (retired staff) David Larson 1978 Rema Lee 1979


Morgun James

Ella Michelle & Hunter Dustin

Frances Elaine


Charlotte Esme

Murray Patrick

Madilyn Rose

Dominic Thomas

Angela (Storts) ‘02 & Gregory Swanson ‘02

Stephanie (Skulstad) ’07 & Tom Drietz

Brylee Jeanne


Angela (Storts) ‘02 & Gregory Swanson ‘02

Jamie (Valley) ’03 & Andy Gassman ‘01


Frances Elaine

Tamra (Stenger) ‘00 & Brant Bigger

Valerie (Waldock) ’03 & Michael Schoepf

Kannon Robert & Cade David

Morgun James

Kimberly (Nelson) ’03 & Chris Savageau

Crystal (Rustand) ’06 & Aaron Kloos

Samuel Christopher

Murray Patrick

Sara (Diede) ’03 & Christopher Nulle ‘03

Lori (Gudmunsen) ’00 & Steve Listopad



Melissa (Truscinski) ’02 & Kyle Anderson

Dawn (Gluth) ’98 & Pete Fick

Charlotte Esme

Ella Michelle & Hunter Dustin

Bethany (Lundgren) ’06 & Joseph Yard ‘07

Michelle (Ludvigson) ’07 & Dustin Henkelman ‘07

Liam Diane (Thomes) ’03 & Russell Erkens

Thomas Lynch 1966 Robert Maneval 1973 1974 Donovon Nelson 1945 Leonard Olson 1948 Thomas Proehl 1988 Nancy Rees 1990 Larry Saarela (former Staff) Royce Sanner 1953 Lyle Schulz (retired staff) Leveta Scott 1933 1956 Sol Shulman Judith Strong (Retired Faculty and Associate VP of Academic Affairs) Martin Stutlien 1994 David Wallace 1973 1981 Helen Waedeberg 1939 1945 Alumnews Summer 2011


Non-Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID MSUM

1104 7th Avenue South Moorhead, Minnesota 56563


Alumni Calendar 2011

> The Second City

> Red Ticket

> Takács Quartet

> Red Ticket



17 Welcome Tent/Move In Crew 30 College Night @ FM Redhawks


Connect with the Dragons @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead Colorado Springs Regional Alumni gathering Chicago Area Regional Alumni gathering


3 3

8 13


The Second City comedy troupe (Performing Arts Series) Los Angeles Regional Alumni Reunion

Homecoming 2011 (full schedule and details inside) 22 Distinguished Alumni Speaker, Jim Benedict ’66 Chemistry 23 Distinguished Alumni Awards Banquet 24 Homecoming Parade & Tailgating at Nemzek 24 Red Ticket Event (

Events vents E

> Cantus and Theatre Latté Da


Connect with the Dragons @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead 7 Phoenix Regional Alumni gathering 17 Takács Quartet (Performing Arts Series) TBA Merrymaking III Event TBA Guthrie Event

December 5 8 15

Connect with the Dragons @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead Cantus and Theatre Latté Da (Performing Arts Series) Commencement

For more events and additional information, go to and click on “Event Calendar.” (Dates are subject to change, so check back often.)


Minnesota State University Moorhead's Alumni Publications - Summer 2011