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NATIONAL PROFESSOR of the YEAR Carnegie Foundation Teaching Award Steve Laqua named head football coach

Women in Science

> Laqua led the Fargo Shanley Deacons to two straight North Dakota championships

> New initiatives to increase interest in STEM careers

Alumnews Winter 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

2011: A Year of Challenges and Opportunities

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 Joan Justesen (

Director of Development Gina Monson (

Assistant Vice President for Development Laurie Wigtil (

Alumni Foundation Board of Directors President Darrell Rowe

President-Elect Evelyn 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 Thomas Proehl Mark Reed Tomi Sawyer Jason Sjostrom Greg Staszko Mark Voxland

The Great Recession is easing and economic forecasters are sounding more bullish about jobs and growth. While that’s encouraging, we still face a tough state budget for higher education; one that pits the reality of Minnesota’s ongoing revenue shortfall against higher tuition. Our mantra remains: “Plan for the worst and hope for the best.” The worst may not be as bad as our planning parameters, which means our plan to respond to another deep cut in our state appropriation will sustain us through the current budget cycle. Since the recession took hold, we’ve held many meetings within our campus community to share information and ideas. Some of our solutions are more popular than others, but all have been carefully vetted. While all of this was happening, we enrolled our largest freshman class since fall 2004 and our admissions data indicates that we’re trending even higher this year. Meanwhile, a major campus project, the renovation of Lommen Hall, is complete. Built in 1932, Lommen houses our education, social work, sociology and criminal justice departments. It’s now a 21st century teaching environment with state-of-the-art facilities. We have the taxpayers of Minnesota to thank and our legislators: Sen. Keith Langseth, and Reps. Morrie Lanning and Paul Marquart, who helped guide the project through the statehouse. We look forward to the naming ceremony for the Ann and Russ Gerdin Wellness Center. The Gerdins issued the $2 million challenge pledge that resulted in a successful fundraising campaign. When the date is selected, we will also pay tribute to dozens of donors who made major gifts to the Center—and, we will thank the thousands of students who supported the project through fees they imposed on themselves. These young alumni followed the example of alumni a half century ago who did the same thing to build a student union. The new facilities will help us continue our modest enrollment growth and maximize our efficiency while maintaining our close campus culture. Our university will have undergone the most comprehensive budget adjustment in its history, and we will be positioned to excel for the foreseeable future. Our state, our nation and our world need Dragons. Let me make a special plea for our Founders Week Needs-Based Scholarship fund. It is especially important to me because it is one of relatively few targeted to students with financial need. We have seen quite an increase in students whose life circumstances have changed as a result of the recession. Thus, we have far more applicants than current funds can support. Please know that every dollar contributed to this fund will make a difference for a student in need.

On the cover: Russ Colson is the first professor of a four-year university in Minnesota to receive the national honor.


President Edna Szymanski

Alumnews Winter 2011

Alumnews What’s Inside

profiles 8 Long-time educator, administrator Ron Jeppson retires 9 Dean Malott to emphasize faculty-mentored research 28 Laqua named head football coach



4 Russ Colson is MSUM’s newest superstar 10 MSUM promotes changing the culture of STEM education 24 Gifts to the College of Social and Natural Sciences 30 Get connected 41 Dragon mentors connect with current students



12 Tom Clark creates jobs 14 Megan Sawarynski sends astronauts to space 16 Barb and Duaine Goodno impact Afghan girls 18 Ryan Sylvester promotes human rights 42 Alumnotes


14 28 Alumnews Winter 2011


Russ Colson – Superstar Professor “My students and I do science together,” says U.S. Professor of the Year


f you came across Russ Colson on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus, you wouldn’t realize you were in the presence of a superstar. He’s an unassuming fellow who doesn’t look for the spotlight. Of course, first impressions can be deceiving, because Colson is a superstar professor. He’s No. 1 in the nation. It was a first for Minnesota when during a Nov. 18 ceremony in Washington, D.C., Colson was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as the 2010 Outstanding U.S. Master’s Universities and Colleges Professor. Colson is the ninth professor at MSUM to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation and the first professor of a four-year university in Minnesota to be chosen for the national honor. In his acceptance speech in Washington, D.C., Colson talked about his life’s work: “There are many great teachers pouring out


Alumnews Winter 2011

their hearts and minds to students; many without winning awards. But I hope this honor, this ‘thank you,’ gives me renewed energy for this great calling of teaching and provides everyone the renewed confidence that good teaching is indeed valued and that what we do, even when it sometimes flies beneath the radar, matters a great deal.” When he was hired in 1993, Colson joined the anthropology and Earth science department and shortly after that he started the university’s geology program. Three-quarters of his courses include field experiences. To date, more than 1,400 students have studied geology in the field from him, nearly half of them on multiday trips. His collaborative approach with students has been rewarded by their achievements. “To me, science was just some old boring book on the shelf. That is, until I met Dr. Colson,” former student Tabb Prissel (’09, geosci-

“In some ways, I had to be that senior player who demonstrates good play and sound technique, guiding my students by example through the reasoning, approaches and puzzle-solving techniques of science…” – Russ Colson ences) wrote in support of his selection. “I was awarded a University Fellowship into Brown University’s Department of Geological Sciences Ph.D. program beginning fall 2010. I have Dr. Russ Colson to thank.” In another nomination letter for the award, student Patrick Schuette wrote, “Mere memorization of the material is not sufficient, because he requires critical thinking and problem solving in all of his classes. Critical thinking is possibly the most essential skill for an individual to possess in the 21st century, and I know no one better at helping students master it.” He has published numerous research papers and he’s worked on projects funded by NASA. Colleague Michael Michlovic says, “I have been amazed at the level of training Russ

offers his students…He is concerned deeply with his students’ well-being, sensitive to their problems, eager to help them learn and willing to do whatever he can to bring them to graduation and success in their careers. He is the best teacher at a university that emphasizes teaching and maintains a faculty with many high-caliber teachers.” Colson studies his students and fine-tunes his lessons to motivate them to think critically and creatively. In the past, he described himself as a science coach. “A coach encourages, instructs and pushes to excellence – like a teacher,” he said. “As my teaching matured, I realized that coaching was not enough,” Colson said. “In some ways, I had to be that senior player who demonstrates good play and sound technique, guiding my

students by example through the reasoning, approaches and puzzle-solving techniques of science… “I love the sense of companionship that comes from working together with students excited to learn,” he said. “I love the light in their eyes when understanding dawns. And yes, I even love to coach students frustrated and discouraged when the material seems too hard. Each opportunity presents a chance to become better than we were, to learn something new, and to do it together.” On a wintry Monday before Thanksgiving, Colson spoke at a campus celebration honoring his accomplishment. He said his teaching philosophy can be expressed in seven words: “My students and I do science together.”

“Critical thinking is possibly the most essential skill for an individual to possess in the 21st century, and I know no one better at helping students master it.” – Patrick Schuette

> Colson takes his geology classes to look at the sequence of sediments exposed at the cutbank of the Regional Science Center.

> Colson lecturing about what causes geysers in Yellowstone National Park.

Alumnews Winter 2011


“A coach encourages, instructs and pushes to excellence – like a teacher.”

> Colson in the electron microprobe lab. This instrument analyzes the chemical composition of small samples of solid materials, such as rock, glass or metal.

More about the U.S. Professors of the Year Award The U.S. Professors of the Year program salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country—those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by CASE and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. All undergraduate teachers in the United States, of any academic rank at any type of undergraduate institution, are eligible for the award. Entries are judged by top U.S. educators and other active participants in education. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education launched the awards program in 1981. That same year, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching began hosting the final round of judging, and in 1982, became the primary sponsor. Each year the Carnegie Foundation selects one U.S. Professor of the Year in each of four categories: baccalaureate, community college, doctoral and master's institutions (Colson’s category). In addition, the foundation may select one outstanding professor for each state regardless of the type of institution. In 2010, 46 state Professors of the Year were selected. For additional coverage of Prof. Colson: For more information about the U.S. Professor of the Year program: > DOUG HAMILTON, Director of Public Relations


Alumnews Winter 2011

> David Mason

> Left to right: Ellen Brisch, Andrew Conteh, Mark Wallert and Martin Grindeland

MSUM’s Past Professors of the Year MSU Moorhead professors have been recognized with more Carnegie Professors of the Year designations than any college or university, public or private, in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin. MSU Moorhead is among the most honored campuses in the nation for this distinction. The university’s previous winners are Delmar J. Hansen, speech-theatre, (deceased), 1987; Evelyn Lynch, education, 1992; David Mason, English, 1994; Andrew Conteh, political science, 1999; Jim Bartruff, theatre arts, 2001; Mark Wallert, biosciences, 2005; Ellen Brisch, biosciences, 2007; and Martin Grindeland, mass communications, 2008. (Colson, Conteh, Wallert, Brisch and Grindeland are current faculty members at the university.)

> Delmar Hansen

> Evelyn Lynch

> Jim Bartruff

Thanks From a Student and Friend Tabb Christopher Prissel (2009, geosciences), a former student of Professor Colson, submitted a nomination letter for Colson’s award and delivered the introduction below for his friend and mentor at the national celebration in Washington, D.C.


should begin by telling you that throughout my K-12 education, I hated science. At least I thought I hated science. Even though much of my early childhood was spent outdoors collecting rocks and dreaming about volcanoes, these interests were never allowed to fully blossom in the classroom. To me, science was just some old, boring book on the shelf. That is, until I met Dr. Russ Colson. I’ll never forget my first course with Dr. Colson—Historical Geology. It was the first time I sat in a science class, both having fun and excited to learn more. And let me tell you, nothing jumpstarts the morning like watching your professor leap up onto the front table of the classroom and pretend to be a Velociraptor. I suspect Dr. Colson has always taught science in this way, with a wise mind and a youthful heart. His classroom, never void of participation, was a treasure trove of learning. I can still see the magmas ascending through the Earth’s mantle on his chalkboard. And I can still hear students chuckling about his uncanny ability to incorporate phase diagrams into every discussion. Whether he was empowering us to ask questions on field trips or he was a dinosaur on top of a table, Dr. Colson simply found a way to captivate each class and engrain each lesson in a unique and memorable way.

> Prissel in MSUM’s experimental petrology lab, where students study chemical behavior of magmas.

“To me, science was just some old boring book on the shelf. That is, until I met Dr. Colson.” – Tabb Prissel His innovation and dedication extends far beyond the classroom as well. Dr. Colson strongly encourages each student to participate in his research group. Here, students head their own projects in the Experimental Petrology and Electron Microprobe Labs that Dr. Colson singlehandedly built and facilitated. This is a rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience at an early undergraduate level. Furthermore, each project is linked in a collaborative environment, allowing us to not only seek advice from Dr. Colson, but also from each other. It’s a great feeling of independence while also knowing you’re contributing to a larger whole. I could go on about Dr. Colson’s credentials, which includes developing the entire geosciences program at MSUM. However, I believe that what sets him apart won’t be found on a list of accomplishments or curriculum vitae. What these things cannot accurately depict is his honest, caring and passionate heart for each and every student that walks through his door. This is the foundation for his success and also the successes of his students. He quickly becomes more than a professor, mentor, academic advisor and research advisor; he becomes a true friend. Most important of all, Dr. Colson has instilled in me the knowledge and confidence to take myself further than I’d ever dreamed. After finishing up an internship with NASA, I was awarded a university fellowship into the Geological Sciences Ph.D. program at Brown University where I am currently studying. I have Dr. Colson to thank for these accomplishments and more. While I may never be able to thank him enough for all that he’s done, I ask that you join me in congratulating Dr. Russell O. Colson as the CASE 2010 Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year!

> Prissel delivering his speech at the 2010 Professors of the Year Awards in Washington, D.C.

Alumnews Winter 2011


“The lifeblood of any institution is the faculty.” Highlights during Jeppson’s tenure

Former Dean Ron Jeppson Returns to Classroom ‘Faculty first’ was mantra as colleague, chair and dean “My role as a dean, and something I followed to the letter, was to put faculty first,” said retiring mathematics professor Ron Jeppson. “The lifeblood of any institution is the faculty.” > Ron Jeppson retires in May after a 31-year career at MSUM. His final bow will be teaching college algebra, the first class that he ever taught and the experience that inspired his career in education. “I wanted to end my career doing what I love.”


ong before advocating for faculty, Jeppson was a young man searching for his calling. The Vietnam War interceded. He entered the Air Force and was assigned to Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station in Colorado, a facility housed 2,000 feet into a mountain that is charged with collecting data from a worldwide system of satellites and radar. He repaired computers. “I do not like administrative work,” he admits. “In the Air Force I made a deal with a colleague that I would do all repair work if he did all paperwork.” It’s ironic that a man who loathed administrative detail ended up being the top administrator for MSUM’s College of Social and Natural Sciences for 12 years.

Discovering the right fit Upon his military discharge, he returned to college exploring the fields of psychology, chemistry and physics. “I was fairly good at math so I took a number of math classes, but I was never interested in it,” he said. However, it became his degree by default. His wife, Joyce, encouraged Jeppson to enroll in graduate school at Montana State University. The puzzle pieces fell into place. “Teaching was a requirement of graduate school,” Jeppson said. “The first class I taught was college algebra. I discovered I loved teaching, and my career was set.” He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Montana State University. “I had a vision of the type of place I wanted to teach: a midsize university that valued education and valued teaching. When I saw the job announcement at Moorhead State on a flyer, I thought this would be a nice place to be.” His visit to campus confirmed the family-friendly atmosphere, and he was the first of five new mathematics faculty to be hired in 1981.


Alumnews Winter 2011

> Instituted the College of Social and Natural Sciences student advisory board. “I learned a lot about what’s going on in the university and some of the things we can do to improve the college.” > Improved advising. “The student advisory board helped me see the holes we have in our advising program. There’s still some work to be done in that area.” > Enriched outreach programs. “Getting the Regional Science Center into the College and coordinating that with our ongoing outreach programs was a major achievement.” > Developed bioscience program at North Hennepin Community College. “Many faculty were involved in developing this program, but I reassigned Mark Wallert to do a lot of the heavy lifting.” MSUM/NHCC graduated its first bioscience major in 2009. > Supported Science Lab construction. > Reorganized the Anthropology and Earth Science Department. “The moves and new hires we did in that area turned out really well. I think it’s one of the best departments on campus.”

The caliber of students was “phenomenal,” Jeppson said. “They were often so bright I had a hard time keeping ahead of them.” In 1987, three of his students took first place in a national mathematical modeling competition.

Settling into administration He enjoyed teaching and was hesitant to go into administration, but department chair Milton Legg was retiring and thought Jeppson was the right person to lead the 26-member department. After much prodding, he was named chair in 1993. He became interim dean in much the same way—many faculty members urged him to fill in for Judy Strong, who took another assignment within the administration. “One of the ongoing issues in higher education is financial stability,” Jeppson said. “I became acting dean in 1997 and we had a $3 million budget cut. That seems like peanuts today.” He expected to return to the classroom, but Judy Strong chose to remain in her new post. Once again faculty sentiment encouraged him to apply for the permanent post, which he assumed in 1999. His focus as dean was to hire good faculty (he hired about half of the College’s current faculty) and support them, promote undergraduate research, and deliver outreach programs to K-12 classrooms. “Most of what I did in the college had to do with those priorities,” he said. Jeppson returned to the classroom last year. “It wasn’t hard to go back to teaching, because I never intended to be dean,” he said. Ron and his wife, Joyce, will take a year to travel and spend time with their four children and nine grandchildren. They will then do mission work for their church. > KRISTI MONSON

Dean Michelle Malott Brings Breadth to College Faculty-mentored research is top priority “I hired Michelle and was so excited about her coming to this university,” said former dean and retiring mathematics professor Ron Jeppson. “She had good qualifications and I thought she would be a wonderful fit for the department. As she grew in the position, I knew she would make a great dean.”


ust as Jeppson put faculty first, Malott will carry that torch as well. “If we’re going to continue a record of Goldwater scholars and CASE professors, we have to support the faculty, which translates to more opportunities for students,” said Malott, who assumed the College’s top administrative post in July 2009. She will continue to elevate faculty-mentored research. “We need to support research during the academic year as well as the summer months, including supplies and support for faculty and students,” Malott said. She also advocates incorporating more faculty-mentored activities into the curriculum. She values that experience because her undergraduate research was the linchpin for her career choice. “Prior to getting involved in research I wanted to quit school,” she said. “I was not an A student and I wasn’t sure about my career path, but I was always interested in science. I got a job in a lab washing dishes so I could be close to that field. I watched the research going on and asked if I could get involved. The accidental opportunity of engaging in research got me through graduation and inspired me to continue my education in the sciences.”

Delivering opportunities She passionately talks about that experience, saying MSUM students don’t accidentally fall into research. “We deliberately provide opportunities for students across all academic disciplines. They don’t have to rely on luck to get involved in research or other activities.” Malott earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from University of Windsor and a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Wright State University. After a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Cancer Research Division at Eli Lilly and Co., she applied to universities with a teaching focus. She joined MSUM’s biosciences department in 2001. Student-centered teaching was evident when she visited campus. “The department was clearly committed to providing students a quality research experience, but balancing that with teaching,” Malott said. “Faculty research programs were designed to teach and involve students. It wasn’t accidental.” Chairing the biosciences department (2007-09) helped prepare her for the deanship as did the breadth of her MSUM activities: Selfstudy team for Higher Learning Commission accreditation, IFO representative, numerous university committees, active grant-funded, student-focused research, and of course, teaching. She didn’t plan to move into administration, but says life expe-

> Dean Michelle Malott is responsible for the leadership and coordination of 10 academic departments, the Regional Science Center and the Planetarium. She has received both teaching and service awards from MSUM.

Getting to know Dean Malott > Ph.D. Thesis: Initiation of DNA Replication in Mammalian Cells > Research interests: cancer, women in science, conservation > Cass County Emergency Services Unit Deputy, Member of N.D. Peace Officer’s Association (2004-08) > Red Cross Disaster Action Team Volunteer (2002-04) > Rescue a Golden of Minnesota volunteer (2005-present) > MentorNet Mentor (Science mentoring for women) (2006-present) > Fargo Forum Readers Board (2010-present) > Volunteer bird bander, MSUM Regional Science Center (2004-07) > Garnered more than $500,000 in grant funding > Supervised 40 undergraduate students in extracurricular research activities, resulting in more than 30 poster and talk presentations at local, regional and national meetings > Married to Fargo Police Officer Mike Benton > Family includes two golden retrievers and a foster golden retriever

riences and opportunities have equipped her for the role. “Career choices are not necessarily prescribed paths,” she said. “I believe in servant leadership and my role as dean is to benefit the students, maybe not as directly as being a faculty member, but perhaps in a broader way.” Among her priorities: science outreach. “I think it’s an easy thing to not do in times of difficult budget. We are trying multiple pronged approaches to support outreach and align it with our mission by involving students and the community,” she said. She also wants to increase the number of students taking STEMrelated courses and to better align MSUM’s general education program with the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. And of course, she will support faculty development. “The strength of faculty and the quality of what they do is dependent on them having time for professional development, so they give students the benefit of current experience,” she said. In times of budget cuts, she admits she’s not sure how it will look, but “I’m optimistic that the time of tight resources will give us a framework on which we embark on these discussions.” > KRISTI MONSON Alumnews Winter 2011


e c n e i c S n i n meen iin Wom Women Science n Science

MSUM promotes changing the culture of STEM education Faculty members present innovative strategies at National Women’s Studies Conference MSU Moorhead’s presentation by Women’s Studies faculty at the National Women’s Studies’ Association meeting in November received overwhelmingly positive feedback, indicating an urgent desire to change STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.


he presentation by Linda Fuselier, Claudia Murphy and Anita Bender, Inclusive Science: difficult dialogs between Women’s Studies and the Sciences, highlighted curriculum changes at MSUM, which were based on the research of MSUM Bioscience Professor Linda Fuselier and West Virginia University Professor J. Kasi Jackson. Their research focused on perceptions of collaboration, equity and values in science among female and male college students.

Why all the fuss? The advantage the United States has enjoyed in the global STEM economy is eroding and causing concern for STEM education, research & development, and our STEM-based economy. The U.S. share of global high technology exports has fallen from 30 to 17% in the past 20 years, and U.S. publications in STEM areas have remained constant while those from Japan, the European Union, South Korea and China have risen (NAS 2007). Top technology firms are going overseas for talented workers (Rosser & Taylor 2009). The U.S. is no longer producing competitive STEM workers and entrepreneurs (Rosser & Taylor 2008).


Alumnews Winter 2011

> MSUM Bioscience Professor Linda Fuselier.

Why are we falling behind? “Over the past 20 years the National Science Foundation has done much to get women in science, but they don’t stay,” Fuselier said. “The culture of science has to change.” A large body of research shows that small instances of gender discrimination accumulate and impede women’s progress in scientific careers. Fuselier’s research revealed that there are slight differences in support for gender equity among female and male college students. In a masculine-normative science culture these differences may emerge as unintentional gender biases that discourage women from pursuing or remaining in STEM careers. With the goal of producing graduates who are able to critique and change STEM culture, Women’s Studies professors plan new curriculum initiatives that will enhance science education among non-science majors and increase awareness of issues related to inclusivity in STEM culture among science majors. The research is shaping several new initiatives at MSUM emphasizing women in science.

What is inclusive science?

Women in Science

“The language used to describe events and observations would not be sexist, racist, classist or heterosexist; the examples used to illustrate concepts would be varied and appeal to a wide variety of learners and the applications would benefit all facets of society.” (Norton 2009) MSUM launched MnSCU’s first and only Women and Science Certificate, which is a formal study of the philosophy of science and equality issues in STEM. The goals are to increase knowledge of and interest in STEM careers in primarily female non-science majors, increase engagement in and interest in the study of science, and increase the likelihood of success and persistence in STEM curricula by new STEM majors. “We want our women’s studies students to view themselves as collaborators and contributors to the sciences and our science students to develop a richer understanding of science as socially and politically located,” Fuselier said. “The certificate is designed to get women into science and teach them that

Significant findings of Fuselier’s research

their voice is important,” Fuselier said. “The culture of science is hindering access and advancement of women. Our hope is to produce graduates who recognize inequity in STEM fields and who will begin to change that culture.” A newly proposed women’s health minor will be aimed at retaining women science majors who were considering medical or other professional schools, but dropped out of that track for various reasons. “We want those students to see other ways they can use their passion about health for positive change in the public arena,” Fuselier said. Finally, curriculum is being developed for some STEM classes to inform students about inclusivity in science. “Regardless of gender, increasing the number of students interested in STEM

areas is something we need to increase in this country,” said Michelle Malott, MSUM’s dean of Social and Natural Sciences. “This is a big issue nationwide.” MSUM clearly encourages students to pursue science careers. Seven of the university’s eight Goldwater Scholars were women. Many of our women alumni are successful scientists. Facultymentored research inspires students to continue on a STEM career path. And on average, student acceptance rates to medical school or other professional schools is 90 percent. “It’s indicative that we support and encourage women,” Malott said. “Our focus is to engage all students and help them discover their passion. It’s our mission.” > KRISTI MONSON

“Our hope is to produce graduates who recognize inequity in STEM fields and who will begin to change that culture.” – Linda Fuselier

> The differences between male and female attitudes toward women in science become more pronounced as students complete more science courses in their undergraduate program. > More female than male students feel the major purposes of science had social impact (i.e., live better, save lives). > Female students support gender equity significantly more strongly than male students. > Female students are more likely to recognize women’s contributions to science and have a more positive view of the life of a female scientist compared to male students. > Female students perceive science as a significantly more collaborative process.

> Chelsea Norman, Hawley, Minn., is a junior bioscience major and a women's studies minor working on the new Women and Science Certificate. Alumnews Winter 2011


Alumni Profiles Economic development is “doing social work on a large scale. You drive by a factory and know you were part of the team that brought those jobs.” – Tom Clark

The Developer Finding jobs and opportunities, Tom Clark ’72, does social work on a larger scale


om Clark graduated from Moorhead State College in 1972 with degrees in psychology and speech. So it may seem surprising that Clark credits his double major with giving him a leg-up in the career he has excelled in over three decades: economic development. Clark is the executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He is a sought-after and highly visible expert on economic policy in Denver and the state of Colorado. It’s a post he’s held, off and on, since 1985. He loves his job for its variety and problem-solving challenges and, most of all, for its payoff in jobs and opportunities. Clark’s birth in 1949 in Procter, Minn., raised the population to 105. He attended school in nearby Canby where he was active in sports and student government. His father was a depot agent for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad and active in DFL politics. Del Clark served as mayor of Canby for more than a dozen years and worked with party luminaries like Karl Rolvaag and Hubert Humphrey. “When your number is called, you have to stand up” he often said. Clark’s mother, Kathleen, and his father did not go to college, but they > Tom Clark

were intent on providing the opportunity to their sons. Clark followed his older brother, Jerry, to Moorhead and saw the campus for the first time when he started classes in the fall of 1967. “I had never been to a symphony or seen live theatre where the acting was actually good. I had never spoken to a black person. Everything was new and exciting to me.” He was involved in student government and was elected president of the student senate. That’s when he really got to know— and to appreciate—President Roland Dille. Amid the turmoil of the Vietnam War and civil rights demonstrations, they shared the goal of keeping the campus open, but not by clamping down on students or restraining academic freedom. Given the times, Clark’s education was much more than classes and exams. He left with deep experience in conflict management and a greater understanding of the complexities of civil society. He was given an opportunity to move to Chicago—the roughest political arena in the country—to take on the regime of Mayor Richard J. Daley. Clark was a Democrat, but he was decidedly not a Daley man. “It was very rough. I put people in jail for voter fraud,” Clark says. The Daley candidate, John A. D’Arco, Jr., won the contested state representative seat and went on to be convicted twice on federal corruption charges. Clark looked at the possibilities around him and decided to go back to school. He received his master’s in public administration from the University of Illinois and started work as a research economist and demographer. Clark says the combination of his undergraduate liberal arts education and

> Jerry Clark was a campus activist and a writer for The Mistic, the student newspaper at the time. He was the subject of a profile in the fall 2008 edition of Alumnews.

his more technical master’s contributed to his success. Along the way he’s learned there can be “10 or 12 or 15 different ways to use tools to solve a problem.” He moved to Colorado in 1982. He found opportunities in Fort Collins and Boulder and, finally, Denver. As Clark tells it, economic development is “doing social work on a large scale. You drive by a factory and know you were part of the team that brought those jobs.” Clark’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. He received the Arthur D. Little Award for Excellence in Economic Development and he has been chosen as one of the nation’s top professionals by the Council on Urban Economic Development. Clark and his wife, Donna Alengi, have five children between them. They’ve all earned degrees and found careers. Not surprising, considering the life example set by their father.

Extended version of Tom Clark's profile:

Tom Clark’s blog: > DOUG HAMILTON, Director of Public Relations


Alumnews Winter 2011

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

The Financial Guru

Leslie Chapman, ’76, manages financial risk for clients and company


ot many people can say it took only one interview to land a great job after college, but for Leslie Chapman it did. After interviewing with Securian Financial Group as a mathematics senior at MSUM, Chapman joined their team as an actuarial trainee and has been with the company ever since. During her tenure, she has worked in the business line and in the corporate area, rising to vice president, chief actuary and chief risk officer in 2009. “As vice president I am involved in a wide array of decision making,” Chapman said. “It fits my personality well because I love variety.” Chapman leads initiatives that are central to Securian, such as enterprise risk management, rating agency coordination and the corporate actuarial function. “I work with terrific, dedicated people on a wide variety of initiatives aimed at keeping Securian strong and vibrant,” Chapman said.

Chapman oversaw a five-year enterprise risk management (ERM) program that’s used daily in Securian’s business units and financial management departments. “The program allows us to institutionalize good risk management habits, making it more formal and quantitative,” Chapman said. Securian serves over nine million clients through insurance, retirement plans and investments. “Securian helps individuals provide financial security for their families,” Chapman said. “We make a long-term promise to pay benefits to our clients, sometimes over decades, and we honor that promise.” Nominated by Securian, Chapman was named one of the Top Women in Finance for 2010 by the Minneapolis-based Finance & Commerce newspaper. On Nov. 10, Chapman attended a dinner and program that honored these women, allowing her to meet others who are making a difference in the world of finance.

Chapman’s volunteer experiences enrich her life and career. She has volunteered for the tax section of the Society of Actuaries and served as its chair. She is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and is chair of the board of the Personal Finance Company. For 10 years she was board treasurer of the Stepping Stone Theater, leading strategic board development and helping fundraise for a new theatre location. She also co-led a Girl Scout troop, which led to a gold award. “It was my older daughter’s troop. It was a fun way to be involved in an activity my daughter was involved in,” Chapman said. “The Girl Scouts is an amazing organization that does great things.” Chapman continues to make a difference for Securian, and believes the company has a bright future. > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD, Marketing Intern

Leslie Chapman was named one of the Top Women in Finance for 2010. Alumnews Winter 2011


The Rocket Scientist

From SpaceCamp to space station, Megan Sawarynski, ’04, launches payloads into outer space.

> STS-121-Discovery home safe after a 13-day trip to the International Space Station.


he 1986 sci-fi adventure movie SpaceCamp follows kids who mistakenly get launched into space during summer camp. It launched several young actors’ careers, but it opened up a world of possibilities to a young Megan Sawarynski. “As cheesy as it sounds, after watching that movie I knew I wanted to work in the space industry,” Sawarynski said. The MSUM physics program helped guide her down that path. A stellar soccer player, she competed for the Dragons four years while earning a physics degree with minors in astronomy and construction management. She connected with faculty members Linda Winkler and Matt Craig. A summer research internship at Texas A&M and NASA-supported research with Russ Colson “gave me a strong connection,” she said. “Dr. Colson is a great professor and a very good life teacher.” Attending a conference with Colson and peers at Johnson Space Center propelled her interest in an aerospace career. “It made me think that this could actually happen,” Sawarynski said. “The faculty were so


Alumnews Winter 2011

interested in what they did and passionate about getting students involved. I’m so glad I chose MSUM.” She landed her dream job after graduation, working for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (, the nation’s No. 1 rocket engine provider with 36,000 employees supporting customers in 195 countries. “I worked on the Space Shuttle’s main engines for five years,” she said. As systems engineer, she ensured that engines were flight ready, testing from pre-launch all the way to main engine cutoff when the Space Shuttle reached its desired orbit. “We launched seven people a flight into space. That’s a huge weight on your shoulders to know that every decision you make about this engine is affecting people’s lives,” she said. “It’s a thrill nobody can take away from you.” She’s participated in about a dozen launches. “Every time the launch director wished the crew ‘Godspeed,’ I got goose bumps. It was so much better than the movie! But the movie did what was

> The RD-180 engine is used for Atlas II and Atlas V launch vehicles.

intended—inspired kids to dream.” With the Space Shuttle’s demise inevitable, (the program is scheduled to end in 2011, main/index.html), Sawarynski pursued a master’s degree in space studies through the University of North Dakota’s online program. She wanted to update her skills before the program ended. “I had the mechanical skills, but my master’s degree emphasis was on life support systems—basically how to keep astronauts alive while they’re in space,” she said. “It will be a sad day when the shuttle retires. It is a magnificent piece of work.” She says the U.S. will now have to rely on the Russian Soyuz to launch our astronauts to the space station. “We won’t have manned access to space for a few years, but we still have commercial access, which is what I work on now. It seems that as a country we are taking a step backwards, and it will certainly restrict our ability to do research in space.” Sawarynski changed jobs last year and works in Alabama with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne as a field representative working on the Atlas V unmanned launch vehicle on the booster engine RD-180, described as “one of the most robust, kerosene-fueled, liquid oxygen booster engines in production today.” “I’m basically the integrator for the engine to the vehicle and make sure it’s ready for flight.” She says they launch “payloads”—a craft that may be a satellite to monitor the sun, a contactor satellite or a military payload. Her work in the space industry is much more fun than she could have imagined. “My job is to launch things into space,” Sawarynski said. “To me that is so cool. I am like a kid in a candy store and there are days I think ‘I can’t believe I’m here.’” > KRISTI MONSON

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

The Surgeon:

The eyes of Texas are upon Lyle Thorstenson, ’70, to bring the gift of sight to the world


yle Thorstenson will never forget the assignment that opened his eyes to the wondrous gift of sight. A graduate student at the University of North Dakota Medical School, Thorstenson watched an ophthalmologist perform an eloquent surgery. “Within five minutes he had removed the cataract from the patient’s eye and restored his vision, and this was before the day of artificial implants. It seemed like a miracle to the patient,” he said. It left a lasting impression on Thorstenson, and led him to a rewarding career as an eye doctor. “The beauty of this surgical specialty is that patients are newborns up to the most senior citizens and everyone in between. It’s an exciting specialty.” After nearly 25 years of private practice in Nacogdoches, Texas, Thorstenson, 62, sold his office four years ago. It did not, however, diminish his ambitious workload. “The freedom from day-to-day practice permits me to help out around the state,” Thorstenson said. “I was the president of the Texas Ophthalmological Association in 1996-97 and got to know a lot of (eye doctors). I’ve maintained my contacts, so I’m available to substitute for them. I’ve done work in Harlingen, El Paso, Plano, Dallas and Waco.” His volunteer spirit is felt far beyond the borders of the Lone Star State, most generously to the Operation Giving Back campaign, an organization of the

American College of Surgeons. “For the past 20 years, we’ve provided cataract surgery to the remote provinces of China, to mostly rural farmers who wouldn’t have access to this if not for us. I spent about six weeks in Qinghai province last year, and this past summer I spent about a month in the province of Gansu. I did more than 100 cataract implant surgeries in China, about 400 in New Zealand, and close to 8,000 cataract surgeries in the U.S.” Thorstenson is a leader among his colleagues. He’s a delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates and vice chair of the Texas delegation. He’s also active in the Texas Medical Association—elected four times to the board of trustees and served as a vicechairman and chairman. “We have more than 45,000 members and a $25 million annual budget. I’m a candidate in May for presidency.” A graduate of Fargo Central High School, Thorstenson started at tackle as a senior but was largely ignored by college football coaches. “I walked on at MSU in 1966. I had an injury in my freshman year and wasn’t able to play much, but by the time I was a junior I was a full-time starter.” Graduating in 1970 with a mathematics degree, Thorstenson’s career soon shifted from education to medicine. “I taught math and coached football and hockey for three years at Ben

“For the past 20 years, we’ve provided cataract surgery to the remote provinces of China, to mostly rural farmers who wouldn’t have access to this if not for us.” – Lyle Thorstenson

Franklin Junior High in Fargo. “I went to the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and finished up there in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree. I transferred to Baylor University in Houston, Texas, and completed my M.D. degree in 1978.” Thorstenson is emphatic about how athletics parlayed into a life well lived. “Teamwork and hard work bring results. Perseverance is a key thing you get from football, and it served me well in my schoolwork. I also learned that unless you get hurt bad, you get up again. It teaches you to be prepared, to have courage no matter what your opponent is, and to never give up. I’ve been active in organized medicine, and I’ve found that to be the case, too. I’ve risen in the ranks of organized medicine because of my experiences in football.” > LARRY SCOTT, Athletics Columnist and Retired Sports Information Director

Alumnews Winter 2011


The Peacemakers

Alums Barb Goodno, ’73 & ’79, and Duaine Goodno, ’79, promote peace in the next village over > Barb and Duaine during a trip to Kabul with Razeiall and Yasamin.

> Barb with an Afgan girl.


hen Barb Goodno (early childhood education) landed in Afghanistan in 2003, bombed out aircraft and tanks littered the runway. Her husband, Duaine Goodno (school administration) omitted these details during the trip planning. As a retired Army officer now working in Public Affairs at the Pentagon, she wondered if he had failed to mention any other important facts. After retiring in 2002 from the Department of Defense, Duaine looked for ways to help in Afghanistan. He had often discussed the country with his former Afghan-American colleagues. He said, “On my first visit to Kabul, I immediately fell in love with the country and the people. I became the volunteer country director of the Afghan Center charged with establishing a traditionally maleoriented vocational training center. Instead, I collaborated with the country director of women for Women International and ended up with 760 of their sponsored women in my center receiving literacy, home health and rights awareness training.” In one of his women’s literacy programs,

he overheard two women discussing whether 9/11 really happened. One asked where America was. The other replied the ‘next village over.’ The comment inspired the development of a new Women of the World (WoW) program with curriculum for geography, social studies, world history and more. As Duaine wandered around Kabul, Afghans often invited him to their homes. He respectfully declined their offers but one day, he agreed to have tea with a family. Even though no one in the family spoke English and Duaine spoke little Dari, they managed to communicate. Two of the girls, ages 12 and 13, had started school for the first time, and Duaine learned there were many others like them. This visit inspired another WoW program for 10- to 18-year-old girls focusing on leadership. When the girls waited for rides home after school, they often played soccer. In 2004, an Afghan American woman, Awista Ayub, contacted Duaine to assemble a team of girls for a cultural exchange to learn leadership through soccer. Duaine was well equipped to help. However, the

[They] traveled through insurgent infested tribal regions to Islamabad, Pakistan, for visas. 16

Alumnews Winter 2011

arrangements were complicated. Duaine, the girls and parent chaperones traveled through insurgent infested tribal regions to Islamabad, Pakistan, for visas. Then, days before the U.S. departure, the stateside volunteer providing housing for the eight girls had a family emergency and cancelled. Barb said, “Duaine and the girls had worked too hard to let this challenge get in the way. I agreed to assist the escort of the Afghan girls to the United States, but now I was the only escort during the two-day journey from Afghanistan to Washington, D.C. I became their American sponsor for the Washington portion of their trip because our home in the U.S. was big enough, the parents knew me, and quite honestly, I was attached to the girls. Duaine escorted the girls as far as Dubai where we had some fun and did some team building. During the journey, my MSUM early childhood center work experience helped me keep track of the girls. I divided them into two teams, four with red caps, four with blue, so I could count them quickly.” That was the first of six cultural exchange groups the Goodnos sponsored over the past seven years. They have helped bring 19 girls here through cultural exchange programs. Each exchange group plays soccer and learns to read, write and speak English. Additionally, the Goodnos have brought hope to thousands in Afghanistan through their support of educational and social programs. Duaine still assists the Afghan Center and travels to various areas of Afghanistan. If anyone is interested in helping Afghan girls, visit for The Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund. This journey of cultural exchange through soccer was documented in a book by Ayub titled However Tall the Mountain, renamed Kabul Girls Soccer Club. An Afghan proverb says, “However tall the mountain, there’s always a road.” The Goodnos are helping young Afghan women scale man-made mountains, dream dreams and discover the power of hope and determination. > KRISTY (MAKI) OLSGAARD

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

The Peace Corps Volunteer From Turkmenistan to Minnesota, Billi Jo Zielinski, ’95, guides business and health care development > Marc and Billi Jo Zielinski


illi Jo Zielinski’s grandparents taught her a valuable lesson: Always give back to the community. Living that philosophy, Zielinski affects people’s lives around the globe through her volunteer service and career. Growing up in Redfield, S.D., Zielinski worked at a developmental center, where she helped people with disabilities. Little did she know she would later make important decisions in healthcare that impact facilities such as this center. A political science graduate, Billi Jo and her husband, Marc Zielinski ’94, history, embarked on their most rewarding volunteer service. After visiting Marc’s brother in Greece and seeing him thrive as an international teacher, they applied for the Peace Corps. Completing the 17-page application, gathering letters of reference, and writing essays about their philosophies on international development, the Zielinskis headed to Turkmenistan in central Asia in September 2000. In the former Soviet Republic, Billi Jo focused on business development by helping locals market and price products, and she taught English to neighborhood girls. Marc worked on similar efforts with agricultural cooperatives. The Zielinskis’ mission in Turkmenistan was cut short due to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Returning to the U.S., Billi Jo worked for the Minnesota State Legislature, and in 2003, she joined Governor Tim Pawlenty’s team in a federal affairs office in Washington, D.C. “There were only two of us in this office,” Billi Jo said. “Being a voice for state government, we worked closely with congressional members, advising policies and funding positions that would impact state programs like Medicaid and No Child Left Behind.”

Marc began working for the American Councils for International Education in Washington, D.C., and later moved to the St. Paul location. “I manage a number of programs that focus on bringing students from abroad to study in the U.S.,” Marc said. “We’ve had people come through our program that become presidents of their own country. They talk about their time in the U.S. as being key to their professional development.” Back in St. Paul, Billi Jo serves the governor and citizens of Minnesota as assistant commissioner for the health care administration at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. She oversees operations for all of Minnesota’s health care programs. “About 800,000 Minnesotans depend on programs that I help administer and oversee,” Billi Jo said. Looking back on her work experiences in South Dakota and how the decisions she makes today affect similar facilities, Billi

Jo has come full circle. “To be a part of the safety net that assists low-income individuals and people with disabilities is rewarding work every day,” Billi Jo said. The Zielinskis are grateful for the education they received at MSUM. “MSUM did a great job with our liberal arts foundation and being the launching pad for who we are today,” Billi Jo said. One of Billi Jo’s professional goals is to be a country director for the Peace Corps. “While I think domestic and civic responsibility is important, I continue to have a global interest,” Billi Jo said. “The Peace Corps changed our ideas on legacy.” The Zielinksis have two children. “What better impact can we leave on the world than teaching our children to be good people and contributors to the world? That’s the job I want to do the best,” she said. > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD, Marketing Intern

“About 800,000 Minnesotans depend on programs that I help administer and oversee.” – Billi Jo Zielinski

> Billi Jo Zielinski with two Turkmen girls, taken in 2000 during her time in the Peace Corps. Alumnews Winter 2011


The Globe Cotter

Ryan Sylvester, ’98, is on an international pursuit to advance human rights

> Sylvester at the pyramids for the Susan B. Kommen Race for the Cure.

> When in Sierra Leone, Sylvester participated in educational workshops at seven secondary schools.


cotter pin, in mechanical engineering, fixes parts tightly together. Ryan Sylvester could be considered a human cotter connecting human rights issues across oceans, and it all started on the prairie. Sylvester, a Little Falls, Minn., native, admits he spent much of his freshman year at MSUM socializing. His first campus friend was Matt Swanson, who challenged him about his purpose. “Matt asked why I was here. I told him to get a degree and a job, but he explained that the pursuit of knowledge is the purpose of getting a degree. That conversation changed my perspective. I became a better student and have remained a lifelong learner.” After graduating with a mass communications degree, Sylvester began his graduate studies here in educational administration and continued taking courses in international affairs from Dr. Andrew Conteh, who previously ignited this interest. While contemplating his practicum project, Sylvester recalled Dr. Conteh once saying, “Few students have the opportunity to present at a conference.” As an MSUM


Alumnews Winter 2011

residence life employee, Sylvester made several presentations and knew how much it benefited his professional development. So he began to think about how to provide a similar opportunity for more students. “I shared the project idea with Dr. Conteh, who immediately supported and advocated for my proposal to create a presentation experience for students. We developed the proposal further, presented it to MSUM leadership and received their support to implement the project,” Sylvester said. “I am proud to have helped establish this annual MSUM tradition: the Student Academic Conference (SAC). The SAC helps students develop presentation skills and gain research experience, which are highly valued by graduate schools and employers. It sets them apart from other students.” Since completing that master’s program, Sylvester secured a position as a community development educator at New York University, where he received a master’s in global affairs with a concentration in international law and conflict resolution. Then with Dr. Conteh’s help, he interned with the Sierra Leone Mission to the United

Nations. He also interned at the U.S. Department of State. As a law student at Fordham School of Law in New York, he traveled to Sierra Leone to conduct research on the community bylaw system in preparation to draft a by-law to prohibit female genital mutilation and also conducted educational workshops at secondary schools to discuss this and other issues. “This experience meant so much to me as Sierra Leone is Dr. Conteh’s homeland. A common critique of human rights is that it is a Western concept. My favorite moment was standing before hundreds of Sierra Leone students and telling them it was a Sierra Leonean (Dr. Conteh) who first introduced me to the concept of human rights.” Last summer, Sylvester worked in the Pentagon on various legal issues related to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq for the U.S. Department of Defense Office of General Counsel Student Honors Program. All of these experiences were instrumental in being awarded a National Security Education Program - David L. Boren Fellowship, which provided the opportunity to study during the fall 2010 semester in Egypt. While there he took an intensive Arabic course, three law classes from an Islamic/Middle East perspective, and completed an internship with the Resettlement Legal Aid Project. Sylvester believes his experience at MSUM was instrumental in preparing him for this journey of understanding human rights around the world. > KRISTY (MAKI) OLSGAARD

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

The Investigator

Searching for the truth, Bill Mitchell, ’99, helps to keep our country safe.


f you’re applying for a federal job, entering the military or working for a government contractor, you may cross paths with “The Investigator”— one of thousands of U.S. Investigative Services (USIS, researchers whose job is to uncover potential security breaches. Bill (William) Mitchell’s work directly impacts national security. “I’m the first line of screening,” said the political science graduate. “My work is part of the security clearance process and directly impacts national security through the hiring and the granting of security clearances.” He screens prospective military personnel, federal employees, and employees working for government contractors. Last year he conducted more than 200 investigations in a district that includes Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa, Upper Michigan and parts of Nebraska. “I interview people going through the security clearance process,” he said. “I corroborate and verify information through family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, former spouses—nearly all of them on-site visits.” With over 600 investigations under his belt, he’s astute at judging truth from fiction. He won’t divulge his secrets of how to tell if someone is hiding something, but admits that this line of work has made him more compassionate.

“When I come across rap sheets with people who’ve had difficulty with the law, often times there is a common thread of broken homes, abuse, addiction. It makes me feel fortunate to have loved ones who support me,” Mitchell said. Originally from Eagan, Minn., Mitchell entered MSUM through the Corrick Center. “The Corrick Center gave me the fundamentals to succeed,” he said. “I found my niche, and encouragement, in the political science department. Model UN and mock trial got me out of my shell and showed me that how you act and what you say can have profound consequences.” After graduation he worked in transportation and insurance before enrolling in the Marines. His goals? Travel, get fit, and hang out at the beach. He got his wish as he was stationed in Kanoehe Bay, Hawaii, and had deployments to Afghanistan and Japan. “I was a food service technician, which did not make me happy. It was one of those darker moments for me,” he said. But it did hone his organization and time management skills since he was responsible for supervising meal preparation for thousands of people. “While in Afghanistan and on the U.S. Navy ship, the job was very logistical in nature.” He returned to Minnesota after his discharge in 2006. His father, a retired federal criminal investigator, knew of a job opening in the USIS Minneapolis district.

“My work is part of the security clearance process and directly impacts national security through the hiring and the granting of security clearances.” – Bill Mitchell

“I interviewed and went through the whole testing and investigation process,” he said. His veteran status was a plus. “This industry looks favorably upon veterans who’ve served honorably, have a good work ethic and are adaptable. My skills and mindset are a perfect fit for this job.” Fact finding sometimes conflicts with safeguarding people’s privacy. “I believe my education as a political science major taught me to be a bit of a cynic, to not believe everything at face value and to look at both sides of an argument,” Mitchell said. “It definitely applies to my job in getting at the truth.” > KRISTI MONSON

Alumnews Winter 2011


The Culture-Changer

Curt Harris, ’77, provides education and healthcare resources to villages in developing countries to positively impact their world


he first time Curt Harris climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro was in October 2000. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa at 19,340 feet. He climbed to the top twice to complete pledges that raised money for Selian Lutheran Hospital, a nearby hospital outside of Arusha in northern Tanzania, East Africa. It's a poor, rural area comprised of the Maasai tribe, who according to Harris, “are nomadic; they don’t educate their girls very well and they don’t take care of their health.” The hospital was built in the late 1980s, and this successful fundraiser added a quarter of a million dollars to improve the facility. “A quarter of a million dollars in Africa goes a long way,” Harris said. “They purchased an X-ray machine and two ambulances and built a surgical ward for the children’s hospital.” In October 2003, Harris, a retired economics graduate and member of the Evergreens (Colo.) Rotary Club, led a Rotarian group to raise an additional $100,000 to help build Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre, which opened in 2008.

In addition to improving the healthcare of the region, Harris has been involved with the Maasai Girls Lutheran Secondary School (MGLSS). “Before that school was opened 15 years ago, there were fewer than 100 Masaii girls out of a tribe of half a million who completed secondary school. It was pretty awful,” Harris said. Sponsorships are required for all students attending the school, but enrollment is going up with the help of people like Harris. He adds, “Last September, my wife Barb and I attended a graduation of another girl we had sponsored for four years. They had a graduating class of 63, which is the largest graduating class ever.” The Harris’s have sponsored two girls to attend the school. The MGLSS website states: “Traditionally the Maasai girls received at the most a very basic elementary education. They are usually married by age 15 and are expected to build a home, care for children, milk cows and fetch firewood and water.” Harris met the first girl his family sponsored within her first few months at the school, describing her as shy and malnourished. After attending her

“A quarter of a million dollars in Africa goes a long way.” – Curt Harris

> Summit of Kilimanjaro in October 2000. L to R: Curt Harris, Sara Graff, Head Guide Joseph, Diane Kessel and Mark McCullick.


Alumnews Winter 2011

> Neema Samwel and her mother, both Maasai, and Curt and Barb, at last year’s graduation.

graduation four years later, Harris said, “She was a robust, energetic, outgoing young lady. It was a complete transformation. “Attending the graduations of the girls I have sponsored is the most rewarding experience of all, because that education will fundamentally change their entire culture for the better. Studies show that by educating the women in a society, the education of their children will become more important, the children’s health will improve and the well-being of the community or village itself will be enriched.” Elsewhere in the world, Harris uses his trusted international contacts to provide opportunities to other developing communities. “It’s important to have somebody you trust when dealing with international countries, he said. “Especially in East Africa, there is a lot of corruption engrained in the society.” As chair of Evergreens International Service Community, Harris oversees all of their international projects. He also is involved in other projects in Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, Peru and India to promote healthcare, education, community gardens, clean water and sanitation in areas they are needed, improving lives around the world. > KARI GULSETH, Marketing Intern

The Herpetologist

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

In an era of unprecedented amphibian extinctions, Jason L. Brown, ’03, works to save the world’s dart frogs


efore he graduated in 2003, Jason L. Brown majored in biology and chemistry with an emphasis in biotechnology to prepare for a medical career. His plans changed when he went on a university study tour to Costa Rica. Medicine gave way to research. After commencement, he spent over 28 months in the field studying and observing tropical amphibians, traveling much of Central and South America and Madagascar. His main research has focused on poison frogs, with their seemingly endless variation and complex mating, parental care and social behaviors. As a doctoral student at East Carolina University, Brown discovered and described 10 new species of poison dart frogs. He was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellowship to research the integration of geographic information systems, species distribution models and population genetics to better understand the distribution patterns of organisms. The project is in close collaboration with researchers at

Duke University, University of Michigan and Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany. A biography submitted to Conservation International for a book on poison frogs, describes the path Brown took to follow his passion: “As a youth, he explored the outdoors of rural South Dakota developing his love for amphibians and nature. He fostered these interests by majoring in biology at Minnesota State University Moorhead and stayed on the academic road, getting his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies in biology from East Carolina University in 2009. He currently is an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Duke University working to integrate geographic information systems and phylogeography.” He has published over 25 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and is a co-founder of, a website dedicated to the systematic observation and conservation of poison dart frogs. has been at the forefront of a campaign to promote a responsible and sustainable pet trade, focusing on widespread apathy

Frogs are especially important in the search of new pharmaceuticals. The National Institutes for Health discovered that the skin excretions from the poison dart frogs alone offer over 300 alkaloid compounds similar to cocaine and morphine…

> A new species of poison frog (Ranitomeya uakarii) recently discovered by Jason L. Brown from the Amazonian rainforest in Peru. (Photo Jason L. Brown)

> An adult Parson's Chameleon on Jason L. Brown's head near Ramanofana, Madagascar (Photo Sebastian Gehring, March 2010)

regarding illegal, wild-caught amphibians. In a 2004 Alumnews article, Brown said, “Most frog populations, especially tropical species, are declining worldwide. That’s why it’s important to understand their breeding behaviors. They haven’t been studied much.” Frogs are especially important in the search of new pharmaceuticals. The National Institutes for Health discovered that the skin excretions from the poison dart frogs alone offer over 300 alkaloid compounds similar to cocaine and morphine, offering the potential for creating new pain and anxiety medicines, cardiac stimulants and a host of yet unknown nostrums and remedies. The dart frogs Brown studies are tiny, very colorful and perfectly suited to their rain forest environment. Dart frogs produce toxins that keep predators at a distance; however, they’re more and more at risk, because their habitat is diminishing. Many of the rain forests of Central and South America have been disrupted by commercial activity and seemingly small changes in the local ecology have had devastating results over time. > DOUG HAMILTON, Director of Public Relations Alumnews Winter 2011


The Teacher From schools to churches—here and abroad— Bruce Olson, ’61, is a life-long teacher


ast November, Bruce Olson strolled through the campus he once frolicked in as a young boy, growing up one block from Moorhead State Teachers College. “I loved to walk through the MSTC campus and imagine going to school there. Little did I know then I would do just that,” Olson said. He served during the Korean War (1953-57) in the 28th Heavy Bombardment Wing, 54th Fighter Squadron at Ellsworth Air Force Base. After his honorable discharge, Olson used the GI Bill to earn a bachelor’s degree in math and science at MSTC and a master’s degree in counseling from St. Cloud State University. “MSTC was pivotal in my choosing to be a teacher. The professors wanted to see that “light of understanding” go on in their students’ eyes,” he said. “I will be forever thankful for the extra time my profs spent showing me the beauty and simplicity of math.” Olson taught 12 years in Cambridge, Minn., before becoming a counselor/

admissions director at a mission school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1973-76). He worked with students from 28 countries, in what was then a Christian nation. A Communist overthrow of the government in 1974 eventually forced all mission personnel to leave Ethiopia. He returned to the states to start Junction City (Ore.) Christian School and later taught in Meridian, Idaho. His membership with the Assembly of God Church catapulted a career change to associate pastor and pastoral counselor for the church’s southern Idaho district. “Pastors don't just happen,” he said. “They need to be brought along by someone who is experienced.” In 1985, he and his wife, Betty, worked for Youth With A Mission stationed in Kona, Hawaii. Their mission work took them to parts of Asia, including smuggling Bibles into Communist China. “Prior to taking the assignment, we were shown a New Testament handwritten in Chinese. The stack of papers was over five inches thick and tied together with string—the pages so worn it was almost impossible to read,” Olson recalled. “We decided that if the people were so desperate to have God's Word, we would bring them Chinese Bibles.” An international Chinese trade fair was scheduled in Guangzhou at the same time the Olsons arrived in that city with their smuggled Bibles, which likely made immigration officials less suspicious of their belongings because so many people were arriving from across the world with

> Olson smuggled 80 pounds of Bibles into China.

“We don't usually circumvent the laws of a nation, but this was a case of following God’s direction, not man’s.” – Bruce Olson 22

Alumnews Winter 2011

books, pamphlets and other materials. “We were warned that the Chinese could put us in prison if we were caught, but we successfully brought in 80 pounds of Chinese language Bibles. I know God had a hand in seeing that we were in that group of travelers,” Olson said. “We were doing God's work in His way and He would be in charge of our lives. We don't usually circumvent the laws of a nation, but this was a case of following God’s direction, not man’s.” Olson is now a semi-retired associate pastor at The Chapel in Troutdale, Ore., where he teaches Bible classes, preaches Sunday evening services, and oversees the seniors. “Teaching is the driving force in my life.” Even though Olson didn’t become the college professor he expected, his teaching career has spanned ages, continents and professions. “I wouldn’t trade my life experiences for anything.” he said. > KRISTI MONSON

alumnifi profiles file Pro o r P les

The Superintendent Scott Staska, ’94, named 2011 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year


he Minnesota Association of School Administrators has named Rocori Superintendent Scott Staska the state’s top superintendent. He has been at Rocori, which includes about 2,150 students from the towns of Cold Spring, Richmond and Rockville, since 2002. Nominees are evaluated on leadership for learning, communication skills, professionalism and community involvement. “He's done a good, solid job of leading. He is really well respected by his peers,” said Charlie Kyte, executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. “It is a tremendous honor to be extended this award,” said Staska, who has a master's degree in educational leadership. “I don't consider my work to be extraordinary, but of a high level of professional effort. I know that we, as a district, have experienced a lot over the last few years and the recognition acknowledges that journey!” The district is in the middle of a $29.9 million high school and middle school expansion project. Staska was credited for his leadership as the school has gone through several crises during his tenure. The first was a shooting at the high school in 2003 that killed two students. In 2009, the district had the state's first reported case of the H1N1 flu when someone at the middle school tested positive for the virus.

“Although I am not sure you can ever be ‘prepared’ for crisis situations, MSUM’s coursework, programs and opportunities were challenging, thorough and thought-provoking,” Staska said. “My experiences helped me to understand that issues come at school administrators very quickly, priorities must be set, choices need to be made, and composure is an important element of leadership. Those elements have helped guide my approach to school administration.” One school board member said Staska deserves credit for implementing changes that improved district efficiency. "I think that is one of the reasons Scott was recognized. We tried different things to get better results with less money," board member Jim Hemmesch said. “We have been hard at work across the Rocori School District addressing the issues of a difficult economy, transitions that school districts are making, and efforts to strengthen accountability and academic programs.” Staska said. “I think the selection process is a recognition of the district’s effort to continually improve!” Staska is also mentoring first-year superintendent Joe Hill of Sartell-St. Stephen. “I am appreciative of Scott’s rapid response to my request for models of how he has organized his communications systems within Rocori Schools as well as his instructional leadership strategies used to build district achievement potential,” Hill said. “Scott is a self-

deflecting individual who emulates servant leadership at his very core.” The superintendent of the year candidates are nominated by their school board members and are selected by a panel from outside of the MASA’s membership. He is now a candidate for national superintendent of the year at the American Association of School Administrators' February convention in Denver. > KRISTI MONSON

“Although I am not sure you can ever be ‘prepared’ for crisis situations, MSUM’s coursework, programs and opportunities were challenging, thorough and thought-provoking.” – Scott Staska Alumnews Winter 2011


s t f i G i to the College of n m AGifts llu u ni GiftsSocial and Natural Sciences MSUM Honors Fallen Soldier

Endowment fund growing in recognition of criminal justice alumnus Joshua Hanson Staff Sgt. Joshua Hanson of Dent, Minn., was the 43rd soldier with ties to Minnesota to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Hanson died when a roadside bomb ripped through his Humvee near Khalidiyah, Iraq. The attack wounded six other National Guard soldiers from Minnesota, though they were able to return to duty. He was stationed with Company A, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry. On a website dedicated to Fallen Heroes, it was reported: “Josh was a wonderful and loving son and a great friend,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Gutknecht, reading from a family statement. “He was proud to serve his country as duty called. We can't express enough how proud we are that he was willing to lay down his life for all of us. He and his comrades are real heroes.” (Read more at http://livinglegendteam.blogspot. c o m / 2 0 0 6 / 0 9 / a r my - s g t - j o s h u a - rhanson.html)

Hanson earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2005 and completed law enforcement training at Alexandria Technical College in 2005. He planned to become a law enforcement officer and hoped to work as a sheriff’s deputy in Otter Tail County, where he grew up. “Josh was an extremely hard working student. Even in courses in which the subject did not come easily to him (such as my statistics course!), he never complained and never gave up,” said Deb White, chair and professor of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department. “I think our young college students can learn from him.” That’s why the faculty in the department initiated the Joshua Hanson Service Scholarship—to honor his service and sacrifice. “We wanted our students to continue to learn from the example that Josh set,” White said. “We specified that the scholarship, once the endowment is established, be given to a department major

who demonstrates excellence in service to his or her community. Each spring, Josh’s service to his country will be remembered when the scholarship is awarded. To date, $4,600 has been raised.

Recognize the sacrifice of Josh Hanson If you are interested in honoring one of Minnesota’s fallen heroes and supporting an endowment fund in Josh Hanson’s name, you may do so online. 1. Visit 2. Under “Donation Information,” find “Fund Area” and select “College of Social and Natural Sciences” 3. For “Department,” select “Sociology and Criminal Justice” 4. For “Scholarship/Fund,” select “Joshua Hanson Service Scholarship” Or mail your donations to MSUM Alumni Foundation, Joshua Hanson Service Scholarship Fund, 1104 7th Avenue South, Moorhead, MN 56563.

$10,000 for 10 years Donation to Regional Science Center uplifts recreation, conservation and education The recent gift of $100,000 to the Regional Science Center, pledged over 10 years, is a significant donation considering today’s economic climate. “It’s a testament to the importance of outdoor places to the health of people living in this area,” said Tony Bormann, public service specialist at the Regional Science Center. “I think this family’s support of connecting the public with outdoor spaces is a good example of paying it forward. They value what we have provided and they are committed to continuing that effort.” The donors wish to remain anonymous, but agree that the Science Center is a unique resource that partners with Minnesota’s Buffalo River State Park and The Nature Conservancy’s Bluestem Prairie Preserve.

No other state university offers these opportunities for students of all ages to be inspired by the natural world. The money will be used to deliver additional family friendly programming, educate the public on life-long outdoor recreation opportunities, and provide conservation education. The love of nature inspired this gift and the collaboration among many academic departments on campus that utilize the Regional Science Center sealed the deal. “This gift honors their family members who are avid outdoor enthusiasts,” Bormann said. “I hope this will serve as an example, and a motivation for others to consider giving their support as well.” > KRISTI MONSON

How will the Science Center gift be used? > Develop an astronomy observation pad and purchase updated telescopes to increase public astronomy programming. > Offer a robust family programming schedule and additional seasonal events. > Incorporate conservation education into citizen science programs. > Engage K-12/college students and community volunteers in biological monitoring programs (birds, dragonflies, damselflies and amphibians). > Host a 5K/10K trail run on June 4, 2011.


Alumnews Winter 2011

> Jerry Swanson, ‘73 BS chemistry and '74 MS chemistry, generously provided $10,000 along with a $5,000 3M match for chemistry student scholarships. Jerry worked 35 years for 3M, most recently in the dental products area, with expertise in new product development management and new business opportunity evaluation. > The College of Education received a $150,000 grant for scholarships to special education students from The Royce N. and Janice L. Sanner Charitable Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation.

2011 Regional Science Center Event Schedule > Full moon walks April to December > Public astronomy programs April to October > Monthly open houses at the interpretive center > Monthly citizen science events > 5K/10K Trail Run - June 4 > Seasonal natural history public events For updated schedule, go to

> A typical GeoDome show might feature a view inside the Earth from orbit. Photo courtesy of Joel Halvorson, Minnesota Planetarium Society.

> A group of kids steps out of a GeoDome. Photo courtesy of Joel Halvorson, Minnesota Planetarium Society.

Star-studded update needed for Planetarium Since 1972, students young and old have visited the MSUM Planetarium for astronomy and other MSUM and TriCollege classes, public planetarium shows, public group meetings (i.e., 4-H, astronomy, Scouts, church, Campfire), and elementary and secondary school groups. The facility received a long-overdue cosmetic facelift in the summer of 2008, including new theatre seats, flooring and carpet, a light-trap door, slide projector, video projector and video controls, and code-required improvements. Now it’s time to dream big for the future, including raising money for a much-needed update to the heart of the planetarium. The goal is to raise $555,000 for a full dome, or total immersion projector, which would include a new dome, sound system, cove lights, and a portable science theatre. (The university requested this amount for the 2012 bonding bill.) This system will improve planetarium shows and views of the night sky from any location on Earth and at any time in history. It will also project “total immersion” programs beyond astronomy, such as geological or weather maps, immersive views of anatomy or visits to European cathedrals. This system utilizes the latest digital data from NASA research satellites and seamlessly integrates data from many sources into one show. It’s becoming the standard in the planetarium field. “A new system would be a lot like the proposed Minneapolis Planetarium or the

planetariums at Mayo (Rochester) High School or Como (St. Paul School District) Planetarium,” said Planetarium Coordinator Dave Weinrich. “It could project moving images that cover the whole dome. Anything you can generate with a computer could be projected in the dome.” More importantly, because it’s portable, it will increase access to programming around the region, especially to budget-strapped school districts. About 10,000 students visit the Planetarium each year as part of an elementary, middle school, high school or college class. This system includes three separate projectors: a digital projector and a laser projection system that will be used at the on-campus Planetarium and a portable projection system that could travel to the Regional Science Center and elsewhere. It will enhance teaching for many subjects— sciences, technology, math, history, art and computer graphics, among others. “We also hope this is a tool that can increase awareness and interest in science, technology, engineering and math, in an effort to build a technically trained workforce,” said Michelle Malott, dean of the College of Social and Natural Sciences. If you are interested in giving to this effort, MSUM would greatly appreciate your support. You can donate online at or send donations to the MSUM Alumni Foundation, c/o Planetarium Project, 1104 7th Avenue South, Moorhead, MN 56563. Alumnews Winter 2011


s w e N s u p Campus News am C Lommen Hall Renovation Completed

English Professor Wins Fiction Prize

The home for the university’s education, social work, sociology and criminal justice departments reopened for classes spring semester. Lommen Hall was a major construction zone for two years. The interior was reconstructed to better serve its students and faculty, while the exterior was tuck-pointed, reroofed and fitted with new windows and a distinctive entrance. The $13 million project was scheduled in two phases over two years. The west end of the building was completed last year.

MSUM Professor of English and Senior Editor of New Rivers Press Alan Davis has won the Prize Americana for Fiction 2010 from Hollywood Books International for his collection of stories So Bravely Vegetative. The book is available locally or from online vendors. “So Bravely Vegetative is a marvelous collection of stories—beautifully written, daringly inventive, frequently disturbing. Each story draws us into a fresh and startling world, one chock full of unique characters and vividly imagined scenes. But what makes Davis’ stories so riveting are the kaleidoscope of inimitable voices. The stories here run a rich gamut: a son trying to understand a violent father, an imprisoned Afro-American convict struggling to survive his captivity, a British hobo making his way by freight train across a surreal American landscape, a man and woman being interrogated in a dark Huxleyian world, a father trying to save his cancer-stricken daughter. These stories will haunt you.” (Michael White, author of Beautiful Assassin)

Bioscience Labs Nearing Completion Construction has been underway in the basement of the university’s science facilities. Two new bioscience labs are intended to help train workers. Existing companies and start-up companies will need workers trained to function in the highly regulated biosciences industry environment. The City of Moorhead helped pay for the labs, which were identified by the Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation for a targeted growth area to develop pharmaceuticals.

Sen. Klobuchar takes a STEM Tour STEM is the abbreviation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The United States needs to educate more people in STEM disciplines to maintain its edge in research and development and, ultimately, to create new industries and jobs. So, STEM gets a lot of attention from policy makers. Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar recently toured MSU Moorhead's science education and research facilities in Hagen Hall and the Science Lab Building. She came to see how our campus is working to increase the number of STEM graduates.

Dance Team Places in National Competition The MSUM Dance Team recently traveled to Orlando, Florida, for the 2011 College Dance Team National Championship. The dance team competed in the jazz and pom categories. MSUM was 1st runner up in the Open Pom division.

Read Dragon News on Area Voices

A Time for Change Corrick Center to close at the end of spring semester 2011 When it opened in 1972, the Corrick Center served students who didn’t meet the university’s admission standards. Over almost four decades, there have been wonderful success stories—graduates who went on to great things, like earning doctorates. The Corrick Center will close at the end of spring semester. A specialized team of academic advisors has been assembled to assist current Corrick students in transitioning to their majors or other areas of the university. These advisors will meet individually with students and assist them in planning for the transition and any additional services that will support their success. Corrick Center tenure stream faculty members have been invited to request transfer to other departments in the university. The rationale for change is two-fold. First, when the Center was founded, there were few good options for students unprepared for university study. For many years, the Center gave students who needed additional support the opportunity for a college education. Since then, the landscape of public higher educa-

Doug Hamilton (’71, theatre), MSUM’s director of public relations, regularly posts Dragon News on The Forum’s Area Voices website. He has recently posted stories on art Professor Carl Oltvedt’s work in progress, the provost search, the human resources director hire, and the Corrick Center changes. Bookmark the page for timely updates featuring news, interviews, photos and videos relevant to the campus, its higher education partners and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Read more at


Alumnews Winter 2011

> Alan Davis

> President Edna Szymanski and Senator Amy Klobuchar

> Biosciences Lab

> Lommen Hall

campus news

> Doug Hamilton

> Jean Twetum (Kise Jean)

tion in Minnesota has been reshaped. We have become part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. An important feature of the system is the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum, which enables specific courses taken at community and technical colleges to transfer to system universities. In the system, community colleges specialize in access and in providing the support needed to help at-risk students succeed. Their tuition is lower, and they provide developmental programs along with options for technical training and associate degrees. Attending a community college can increase students’ success if they do decide to go on and complete a four-year degree. Second, the Corrick Center had an average six-year graduation rate of 24 percent, for the four most recent years available. Only one in four Corrick entrants left the university with a four-year degree within six years. “At this time, we salute the hard work of the Corrick Center in providing an important opportunity for students,” President Edna said in a message to the campus community. “And we thank the dedicated faculty members who have made a positive difference for many alumni. Change is never easy, and we will work to support our students and faculty in this transition.”

Kise Jean Retires After 33 Years at MSUM There’s one smiling face familiar to everyone who has ever been to Kise. That face belongs to Jean Twetum, more commonly known as Kise Jean, and she retired this semester. Jean started working in 1977, and in her own words, “loved every minute of it.” “When I started, I was extremely bashful,” she said, “When I had to get change I’d just about die.” However, Jean didn’t stay that way, and in her many years she left an impression on many students. “My sister went to school 10 years ago and she was talking about her,” junior Kate VanKempen said. “She’s such a friendly face and it’s sad that new students won’t be able to know her and appreciate her.” Jean also left an impression on Kise, sometimes in a physical sense. Every winter she would paint the windows of the cafeteria. Sodexho Production Manager

Dorothy Mellem explained that, at times, Jean would also decorate with stuffed animals and small toys. She would then give them away to students and coworkers. “She’s very, very giving,” Mellem said. “Not a selfish person by any means.” Mellem also talked about how Jean “always showed up and always had a smile.” If Jean was always smiling, it’s because she truly loved her job. Jean said that while some people have a problem of showing up late to work, she had a problem of showing up too early. Jean’s love for her job didn’t go unnoticed. “Jean was always so kind, always happy to see the students and genuinely enjoyed her job. I would always tell her to have a great day and she would always say, ‘Thank you, you too,’” senior Justin Nistler said. “Everyone loved her and will definitely miss her.” Other workers noticed it too. Sodexho General Manager Damian Lewis said that when asked about her drive to work, Jean would say, “Oh what a beautiful morning it is out there.” When leaving for the day, Lewis said she would thank him for letting her work there. Lewis smiled as he explained that Jean sometimes writes “Hello from Kise Jean” on car windows if she sees an MSUM decal. “She would chuckle and say, ‘I got another one this weekend,’” Lewis said. Talking about her favorite memories, Jean said she always enjoyed Halloween. “It was so much fun,” she said. “One year a boy came streaking in as fast as he could and everybody roared.” Jean repeatedly talked about how she misses her job, and mentioned that she sometimes looks at the clock and thinks about what she would be doing if she was still at work. Jean also said she misses the other workers and students a lot. While speaking of the students she said, “I do really miss them.” No one needs to worry about her keeping busy though. Jean stays close with her family, including her siblings and children, and visits them when she can. Jean is also planning a vacation in February. Jean will be missed by the students as much as she misses them. Junior Katie Winter said, “She’s such a sweetheart. One of the highlights of MSUM and I’m really sad she retired.” > DANE KIPP, The Advocate (Kise Jean is featured in the fall 2007 issue of Alumnews.)

> MSUM Dance Team

Alumnews Winter 2011


Laqua Named Head Football Coach “I want Dragon football to be one of the premier Division II football programs in our region. I am elated to take the position and can’t wait to make that happen.”


teve Laqua was announced January 28 as the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons head football coach. Athletics Director Doug Peters made the announcement in a press conference in front of the media, public, student-athletes and alumni. “I want Dragon football to be one of the premier Division II football programs in our region,” Laqua said. “I am elated to take the position and can’t wait to make that happen.” Laqua becomes the 17th head coach in the 92-year history of the program. He comes to MSUM after serving four-years as the Head Coach at Fargo Shanley High School. “I am excited to have Coach Laqua as part of our team,” Peters said. “He fits the mold of the other great coaches on our staff.” This past year, Laqua led the Deacons to their second consecutive North Dakota State Championship, capping a 20game win streak. Along with his coaching duties, he has played a role in fundraising for the high school. “Coach Laqua’s core values align with MSUM, Dragon Athletics and the NCAA DII Philosophy of Life in the Balance,” Peters said. “At the end of the day Coach Laqua knows how to build winning football programs.” Prior to his time at Shanley, Laqua was a college assistant coach for five seasons. He spent three years (two separate stints) at North Dakota State University as well as one season at each St. Olaf College and University of Minnesota-Crookston (UMC). While at UMC and NDSU, he was responsible for recruitment within the region that aided his relationships with coaches in the area. “My connections over the past decade with the regional coaches are a huge asset in creating confidence in the new vision and direction of our program,” Laqua said.

While at NDSU, Laqua was one of the team’s top recruiters, as he was heavily involved in recruiting players from North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota. He also served as the Bison’s academic coordinator, where he implemented a program that put an emphasis on study skills and a college degree. As a result, the team had 21-Academic AllConference players during his two-year stint at NDSU. For the 2004 season, Laqua was the Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles offensive coordinator, where he led an offense that led the NSIC in rushing yards, yards per attempt and least turnovers. During that season, he directly coached NCAA DII AllAmerican Freder Rollins, who was also named a National Player of the Week during the season. The Golden Eagle offense set school records for rushing yards in a season, as well as single game marks. He directed the Golden Eagle offense that led the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in rushing yards, yards per attempt and least turnovers per game. His coaching experience also extends to one season at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, Minn., where he was the outside linebackers coach. He also served his first stint at NDSU as a graduate assistant coach for tight ends in 2002-03. Laqua had a decorated career at North Dakota State as a Division II student-athlete, playing quarterback for the Bison. He was an Academic All-Conference member for three years and also as graduated with honors. He earned his master's of education from NDSU in 2007. Laqua resides in Fargo with his wife, Patricia, and their five children.


Alumnews Winter 2011

> NADEAN SCHROEDER, Assistant Athletics Director for Media and Public Relations

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Homecoming ’10 was a Huge Success Dear Alumni, Supporters and Friends;

As we settle in to 2011, it’s time to reflect on 2010. It was a year of higher enrollment and higher residency on campus than in the past five years and improvements around campus despite looming financial struggles for colleges statewide. Through the ups and downs of 2010, Dragon Pride roared louder than it has in years. No week can be more evident of the revamped spirit than Homecoming week. Current Dragons and MSUM alumni united to make Homecoming 2010 one of the most successful homecomings in MSUM’s recent history. This can be attributed to our strong-spirited and supportive alumni. Your attendance, contributions, support, donations, and spirit helped redefine what Homecoming is to a Dragon. > Tailgating at Homecoming

Homecoming 2010 reset the standard for what should be expected from Dragon Pride. Football games with nearly 4,000 in attendance, donations to support student organizations like the pep band, and your support at Hall of Fame banquets mark the significance that alumni bring to our campus. Turning toward the freshly turned year 2011, we would love to see the support continue with this next Homecoming. The dates tentatively are September 19 – 25, so keep your calendars open and Dragon spirit fired up! Thank you all for making 2010 a great year! Sincerely, with Dragon Pride,

> Royalty Aaron Lund and Kelsey Rehome.

Andrew McKenzie 2010 Homecoming Co-Chair (And now, Dragon Sports Marketing Intern)

6th Annual Dragon Fire Walk ~ April 15-16 Get on your walking shoes or your running gear and get ready to hit the pavement for the Dragons! This annual event is becoming one of the fastest growing events for friends and alumni of MSU Moorhead, and all funds raised go directly into the MSUM athletic scholarship fund. The 2011 Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics features a fun-filled weekend for all ages! Gather your family and friends and get started today by creating your team, registering for a race or making a donation to MSUM athletic scholarships at

Event Schedule Friday, April 15 ~ 5 - 7:30 p.m. at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse • Dragon Fire Walk Spaghetti Dinner • Opening Ceremony & Ceremonial Walk • Walk Team Recognition Awards • Door Prizes/Entertainment • Silent Auction • Race/Walk Packet Pick Up • Late Race/Walk Registrations

Saturday, April 16 ~ 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse • Race/Walk Packet Pick Up • Breakfast of Champions • 5K, 10K, Dragon 10-mile, Dragon 10-mile 2-person relay • Youth Fun Run • Youth Activity Area • Alumni Events To register or learn more about the 6th Annual Dragon Fire Walk for Athletics, visit or call the MSU Moorhead Athletics Department at 218.477.5824. Alumnews Winter 2011



Jenni Kannel

I’m a personal trainer, head of Human Development, and co-owner of MAX Training in Moorhead. > Soccer > 2009 Exercise Science Major, Strength & Conditioning Minor > I have a Facebook profile and a fan page for my business at > Using social networking has really helped my business. It's super easy and my clients love it!

I am currently teaching first grade in Brainerd, MN and I am married to Casey Kannel (who is also a 2007 graduate of MSUM). We met and were engaged at his last Dragons football game at the Metrodome in 2007. We were married in 2008 and we just had a baby boy, Braylon, in October 2010. > 2007 Elementary Education > Captain of the Cheer Team. > Facebook

Ann Gusewelle I am currently living in Andover, MN and training to qualify for the Olympics. > Swimmer for MSUM all four years. > 2010 Film Production. > I only use Facebook.

Barbara Pilla (Brooks) I’m a Health Educator in Oakdale, MN.

> Swimming > 2008 Exercise Science Major > Facebook > “I miss my all the wonderful people I met through Dragon Athletics!”

ARE Join Today. CONNE Craig Kutz I am in the MD/PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina located in Charleston, SC. > Football > 2009 Biology & Chemistry double major: emphasis in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Zoology minor > Facebook > “I wish the best of luck to all Dragon Alumni as we all go our separate ways and enter the real world. Way to do all Dragons proud!”

Brett Beeson I live in Pacific Palisades, CA. > Basketball > 1996 Marketing and Management Double Major > Facebook and Twitter


Alumnews Winter 2011

Carrie Hubbard

Jessica Fesenmaier

Living and working in Fargo, ND > Dance Team > Dec. 2008 in Comm. Studies & Minor in Mass Comm. > Facebook!

I live in West Fargo and work for A&B Business, Inc. Hoping to be a regional sales manager. > Women's Basketball from 2003-2008 > 2008 Business Administration and Management Major > Facebook

Jessica Myxter (Trautwein) I am a math teacher at Fargo South High School. > Women’s Basketball, Track & Field > 2007 Mathematics Education Major > Facebook > “Go Dragons!”

Dragon Athletics Expand Their Network Dragon Athletics wants to connect with you. Now more than ever, people want information at their fingertips. To meet this rapid pace, the Dragon Media and Public Relations staff has created many avenues for you—the fan, supporter and alumni—to reconnect and keep updated with all the happenings in Dragon Athletics (and with your former teammates, friends and coaches).

Nate Baker

The Dragon Athletics social network is growing by leaps and bounds allowing fans, students, parents and alumni to connect like never before. This year, Dragon Athletics developed sport specific Facebook fan page platforms with pictures, videos, stories, news, coach posts, blogs, event lists and much more.


I’m the Assistant Wrestling Coach at MSUM. > Wrestling > 2006 Construction Management Major > Facebook > I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. > “Stay connected to Dragon Wrestling at”

The new DragonAthleticsTV YouTube channel allows Dragons supporters to get game highlights, interviews and behind the scenes clips. For mobile phone fanatics, the SMS messaging system includes story links, score updates and reminders for upcoming events. These posts can also be found on the DragonAthletics Twitter page, follow the Dragons with the hashtag /DragonAthletics (a hashtag is everything that follows/in a social network site).

Join the Dragon Athletics network today and get reconnected to your alma mater! Here are some alumni who use social networking to stay in touch with fellow alumni, coaches and friends, and keep up-to-date on Dragon Athletics on one of the department’s social networks. Check us out online!

Laura Thompson (Benz) I am currently living in Fargo, ND. > Tennis > 2009 Elementary Education Major > I use Facebook. > "Once a Dragon, always a Dragon!”

Mariah Prussia I live in Fargo, ND. I’m the owner of Xtreme

Measures Women’s Health & Fitness. > Volleyball, Basketball and Softball > 2001 Exercise Science Major and Coaching Minor > LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and MySpace > Social Media has been a great marketing tool for my business and upcoming site

Hit the ‘Connect!’ tab on our Facebook pages to find: > Scorch – > Swimming & Diving – > Softball – > Women’s Basketball – > Volleyball – > Cheer – > Dance – > Wrestling – > Men’s Basketball – > Noize Factory (Pep-Band) – > Nemzek Noize (Pep-Club) – > Football – Alumnews Winter 2011


Woody Hayes would be Proud

“Our coaches were very receptive to having true student-athletes…Their fostering of my academic career really set a foundation for me to be successful in achieving admission to medical school and going on to my future career.” – Adam Vossen


trusty source of muscle and might on an active Dragon defensive front, Adam Vossen spent much of his collegiate football career trying to take people apart. Now he’s putting them back together. A three-year fixture on the MSU Moorhead defensive line, Captain Vossen is now a doctor in the U.S. Air Force specializing in internal medicine. He is stationed at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb. Vossen’s rewarding collegiate career ended in grand style when he was named recipient of the Woody Hayes Award as the top scholar-athlete in NCAA Division II following the 1999 season. Named for the legendary football coach at Ohio State University, the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award was presented to Vossen at a post-season banquet in Columbus, Ohio. Created as a living memorial to Hayes by the University Sertoma Club, the award salutes a special player with demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Vossen is the first and only winner from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. “It was a very humbling experience,” said Vossen, “and I had no idea I had been nominated for the award. It was a traditional awards ceremony, with recipients for all divisions, including high school. It was a great honor to be there and celebrate it with my family.” Vossen was impressed by the real reason behind the award. “We had an opportunity to tour Ohio State and talk with members of the Sertoma Club. It was a unique experience and I learned they use proceeds (from the event) to assist the hearing and visually impaired; I thought that was great.” A 1996 graduate of Robbinsdale Cooper High School and class salutatorian, Vossen declined an opportunity to join the University of Minnesota football program as a preferred walk-on and signed on instead at MSUM after a recruiting pitch by former assistant coach Dan Lind. It didn’t take long for Vossen to make an imprint at MSUM. “I started as a sophomore but got hurt and split time as a junior. In 1999 as a senior, I started all year at defensive end.” Vossen was credited with 50 tackles as a senior, including a club high 15 for loss. A three-time All-NSIC Academic choice, Vossen was

> Adam Vossen accepting the Woody Hayes Award as the top scholar-athlete in NCAA Division II.

named a first team CoSIDA-GTE Academic All-American. Following graduation in 2001, Vossen was accepted to the University of Minnesota Medical School. He graduated in 2005 and interned at St. John Hospital in Detroit, Mich., before moving to Offutt Air Force Base. Over a decade removed from his playing career, Vossen still looks back on his stay at MSUM with great fondness. “College football was my favorite experience,” Vossen said. “They were some of the most enjoyable four years of my life and taught me about hard work, dedication, teamwork and how to be a competitor. I have a lot of great memories from playing football and would go back and do it again in a heartbeat.” While football was a major piece of Vossen’s undergraduate experience, the blend between academics and athletics proved to be a perfect fit. While Vossen was anxious to find the right balance between textbooks and textbook tackles, Dragon coaches were more than willing to bring an even measure of understanding. “Our coaches were very receptive to having true studentathletes. By the time I was a senior, I was missing practice up to two days a week because of my class schedule, but that was fully endorsed by the coaches because they knew education was really important and that we still would be able to get our work done on the football field,” Vossen said. “Their fostering of my academic career really set a foundation for me to be successful in achieving admission to medical school and going on to my future career.” Adam and his wife Shari (Oslos), a fellow alum, have three children, son Jack (4), and daughters Kira (18 months) and Alex (nine months). Adam would be pleased if his son adds to the rich Vossen football tradition. “I think it would be wonderful to watch him play.”


Alumnews Winter 2011

> LARRY SCOTT, Athletics Columnist and Retired Sports Information Director

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

“At times, we drew a crowd as ‘the two girls’ beat all those tough guys. We ended the summer undefeated!” – Robyn Brady Borge

Two-sport Dragon still Playing Ball


he taxing journey that led Robyn Brady Borge to a rewarding career in medicine began with a trip across the Red River. An All-Eastern Dakota Conference basketball and volleyball selection at Fargo North High School, Brady was equally proud of her membership in the National Honor Society, and when she enrolled at MSUM in 1988, she was eager for the spike in academic expectations. Still, she was not about to abandon her passion for sports. “MSUM was the perfect fit,” Brady said. “It was a good school close to home and, I could play two sports.” Brady earned scholarships in both basketball and volleyball, and her sparkling athletic career generated a wealth of memories, but a rousing comeback victory in the NAIA BiDistrict Volleyball Championships may be the ultimate thrill. “During my sophomore season, we had a play-off game against Wisconsin-Oshkosh. The winner qualified for the national tournament, which was held in Hawaii! We were down 14-8 in the fifth and final game and scored eight straight points to win. The celebration that night was even better than the trip to Hawaii!” At the close of each volleyball season, Brady signed on with the basketball Dragons and lettered four seasons. Brady exited in style as a senior in 1992-93, averaging 5.1 ppg in a critical relief role during the Dragons’ 23-7 run. Brady was decorated with All-NAIA Academic honors in both volleyball and basketball and believes athletics helped her academic pursuits. One of a vanishing breed of two-sport athletes, Brady relished her challenging schedule, but insisted academic opportunities at MSUM paid huge dividends as well. “I

> Robyn Brady Borge is a family medicine specialist at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis.

received an outstanding education at MSUM. Dr. (Richard) Pemble and the biology department were instrumental in preparing me for a career in medicine.” “Finding balance was challenging at times, but the MSUM coaches truly believed in the importance of academics,” said Brady. “My teammates and professors were also supportive. Besides having great support, working hard and being well organized were key. Sports provided opportunities to grow as an athlete and as a student, set goals, keep a tight schedule, cooperate with others, prioritize tasks and be dedicated at every practice and game.” Brady (’93 biology-minors in chemistry & math) completed her M.D. degree from the University of North Dakota Medical School in 2000. While Brady’s collegiate eligibility has expired, her competitive fire burns brightly. “I spent a summer in Omaha, Neb., volunteering at a homeless shelter. One of my old teammates, “Bull” (Kari Farstveet) lived in Omaha, and we would challenge anyone at the shelter to some two-on-two basketball. At times, we drew a crowd as

‘the two girls’ beat all those tough guys. We ended the summer undefeated!” Today Brady is a family medicine specialist at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., where her husband, Karl Borge, is also a physician. “We met in medical school; he was my gross anatomy partner.” Despite a full professional and family agenda, athletics continues to be an integral part of Brady’s life. “I still play in volleyball leagues, and my nickname is ‘the volleyball doc.’ I sometimes wonder if I am asked to play just so I can help with potential injuries.” Brady will certainly encourage her children, son Kolter, 6, and daughter Kaitlyn, 2, to participate in sports. “I would love to see my children in sports if they want to compete. I would also love to coach them. My dad (Bill) was the best coach I ever had. He was wise, understanding and encouraging and never gave up on me. Following in my dad's footsteps with my children someday would be very rewarding.” > LARRY SCOTT, Athletics Columnist and Retired Sports Information Director

Alumnews Winter 2011


Pirates, Future Dragons, Grab a Little Gold > Larry MacLeod


ake no mistake, America loves the underdog, and nowhere are the unheralded and unlikely embraced more passionately than the theatre of sports. Hoosiers, the 1986 movie that documented the remarkable season of fictional Hickory High School, became the feel good story of the year. Based on the climb of tiny Milan High School to the 1954 Indiana High School Basketball Championship, it featured Gene Hackman in the lead role as head coach Norman Dale and a cast of gritty players. It’s a swell story for sure, but long before it hit the big screen, a special band of players from a tiny school in the Red River Valley made a marvelous run of their own and filled the small town of Halstad, Minn., with memories to last a lifetime. It’s a story that still resonates today, especially with serious Dragon fans. The exploits of those remarkable young men are detailed in Eric Bergeson’s Pirates on the Prairie, a look at the magical 1951-52 season at Halstad High School. Four of the characters central to the cast would continue their careers at Moorhead State College, including Larry MacLeod, a valued assistant to head coach Ray Kerrigan, and starters Darrel Hesby, Dale Serum and Don Thompson. While veterans were in plentiful supply, expectations were modest at best. Still, the Pirates’ bandwagon was gaining more support with each game. “We were used to winning,” said Hesby. “Our sophomore year we weren’t supposed to be very good at all, but we went 17-1 during the (regular) season before we lost in the district tournament.” Following a productive regular season, Halstad High braced for another major

> Front row, L to R: Darrel Hesby, Morris Holm, James Akason, Donald Thompson, Charles Bernhagen, Dale Serum, George Johnson > Back row, L to R: Coach R.E. Kerrigan, Dave Opgrand, Franklin Steenerson, Marlyn Aanenson, Albert Olson, Curtis Johnson, Donald Lervold, Larry MacLeod

tournament challenge and a trip to Thief River Falls. The Prowlers would be at home, and were quickly installed as sizable favorites. “We played Thief River Falls since we were sophomores,” remembered Hesby. “Of course, we had to play them up there; they weren’t coming down to a little place like we had. We played them early in the year and lost to them; they were good.” Halstad found satisfying revenge with a narrow victory at Thief River Falls and punched its ticket to the 1952 Minnesota State High School Championships. Hesby, who retired in 1991 after a long career in education, recalled the adventure vividly. “It was the winter event in the state of Minnesota, certainly for high school kids. The whole state would pour into Williams Arena.” Hesby and the Pirates were thrilled to be on the state’s biggest stage, but he insists they were not intimidated. “We were glad to be there and sure, you were aware of the huge crowd, but you didn’t go up there and take the gas. We

didn’t feel scared or nervous. Several us had played quite a bit, and we felt we could play with anybody.” Serum shared Hesby’s confidence. “We were having a good year and we relished that, but we had no real thoughts about a state tournament (appearance). We were such underdogs, and it was such a thrill to be there. I wasn’t nervous, and I don’t think the other guys were.” With a large chunk of the crowd roaring for the underdog Pirates, Halstad posted a one-point victory over Virginia in the opening round before falling to South St. Paul, 61-48 in the semi-finals. Despite the realization a state title was beyond their reach, the Pirates regrouped quickly and closed with a 6058 overtime victory over Austin in front of 18,962 adoring fans that provided Halstad with a third place trophy and well-earned state-wide respect. “Back in those days, if the game was tied after the first overtime, they played sudden death,” Hesby said. “Our game with


Alumnews Winter 2011

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Austin went to sudden death. I asked coach Kerrigan what should we do if we get the tip? Do you want us to go right down and shoot it? He said ‘shoot it.’ We got the tip, and I dribbled right down to the top of the key and made it. Game over. I was never bashful about shooting!” The coaching tandem of Kerrigan, a music major from St. Olaf, and MacLeod, a seasoned World War II veteran and skilled basketball and baseball player at Mayville State, was an unusual but highly productive blend. “They worked very well together,” said Serum. “Kerrigan was more of a psychologist than a tactician, and MacLeod came in and filled that void very well. Larry was very knowledgeable and did a good job.” “Jim Akason was arguably the star of the team, and later played at North Dakota State,” said Hesby. “Jim and I knew each other since we were four years old and both started in the ninth grade. He was always the mature guy and a good player.” Hesby had ample praise for Serum and Thompson as well. “Dale was a good player; he played smart. He was a late maturing guy with big hands, and he took advantage of that. He wasn’t an outside shooter, but he had a good senior season. Don played center at a shade over six feet tall. He was a tough center who could play with the bigger guys and score inside.” Hesby speaks lightly of his own role. “I guess I was an OK player. I could shoot the ball a little, and was quick enough. At 5-9 and 160 pounds you better have some quickness or you’re not going to play much. I was alright.” Athletics were always a rallying point for Halstad. “They started six-man football when we were juniors, so I played a couple of years,” Hesby said. “We were pretty good but didn’t get to play many games. Baseball was big stuff. We played town ball when we

were 15, and by the time we were in high school, we were pretty good and went to the state tournament in 1950. I played third base, centerfield, which I really liked, and later at MS, I played second. In high school we did a little track stuff, too. I kid people that I was the District 30 high hurdles champion.” Halstad was still relishing its role of Goliath at the basketball tournament when the Pirates added more luster to their trophy case by capturing the 1952 Minnesota State High School Baseball Championship. Ironically, Halstad defeated Austin 9-2 in the championship game and Hesby, who drained the winning field goal in the basketball showdown with the Packers, caught the final out on a fly ball to centerfield. MacLeod was appointed head basketball coach at Moorhead State College in 1954 and would soon be joined by a couple of his former players. Hesby left Valley City State after a brief stay and Serum, a transfer from North Dakota State, forged rewarding athletic careers and secured their degrees at State. For many, it was the best of times. “I enjoyed my time at Moorhead State; I had a chance to start a couple of years and had fun,” Hesby said. When MacLeod joined Moorhead State, it opened the door for Serum. “I was border line in basketball, but I wanted to play, and I thought I had a better chance over there. I was very happy to play for him, and one of the reasons I went there was because of Larry. I thought he was a very good coach, and he was also a close family friend.” Hesby and Serum filled starting roles with the Dragons in both basketball and baseball. Hesby spent 35 years teaching mathematics at Wayzata while Thompson retired after a lengthy teaching career at Mahnomen. A starting catcher for the Pirates’ state championship team and later a fixture in the Dragon starting lineup, Serum attracted serious attention from major league scouts.

“In college Joe McDermont of the Yankees had scouted me, and I was all set to go to Grand Forks and play for the Grand Forks Chiefs, but I had only one quarter of school left, and I turned it down.” Serum moved to Alexandria after graduation and served as both director of recreation and athletic director at Alexandria High School. While his dreams of a major league career never materialized, Dale later had the good fortune to watch son Gary become a member of the Minnesota Twins starting rotation in the late 1970s. John Haugo starred at nearby Waubun High School in the early 1950s and had a front row seat to watch the magic unfold at Halstad. Now, after nearly 60 years, he still vividly remembers those special Pirates of yesteryear. “They were a legend in their own time,” marveled Haugo, a 2006 inductee into the Dragon Hall of Fame. “They were true gentlemen. They went to State in baseball, too, but most of those guys also ran on the track team. They were wholesome kids, and even when you lost to them, you know they played it to the hilt and were very good sportsmen.” “Even today, I run into people who ask me where I was born and when I graduated,” Serum said. “When I tell them Halstad, they ask me if I was a part of that team. They (still) remember it.” The story never gets old. If Hesby has any regrets, it’s that his career unfolded too soon. “The three-point shot revolutionalized the game; it’s an entirely different game today. I would have loved to play with the three-point. Now, it’s encouraged; years ago outside shooting wasn’t.” Still, after all these years, he can still loft up an occasional long shot. “I’ll be 77 this summer, but I’ve been going to the Ridgedale YMCA close by where I live for 19 years, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I quit playing golf years ago; I can get five times the exercise in one fifth the time. I can hardly do anything, but if I’ve got room, I can still put it up.” > LARRY SCOTT, Athletics Columnist and Retired Sports Information Director

Alumnews Winter 2011


Swimmer Claire Caron Takes Aging Seriously Student leader makes an impact in the pool and in the lives of the elderly


ccording to the U.S. government, in 2030, 20-25 percent of the country’s population will be over the age of 65. With baby boomers leading the way, a looming question exists: Will there be enough medical workers to care for our aging society? Swimmer Claire Caron doesn’t take aging lightly. She’s a leader in the pool, and hopes to be a leader in the gerontology field, studying the process of and problems associated with aging. “Having students go into this major is very important right now,” said MSUM sociology Professor Sue Humphers-Ginther. “Claire has a passion for old people and the character attributes of someone who would thrive in this field.” Caron chose the major shortly after coming to MSUM, knowing she was interested in the field. “I took care of a resident when I did a clinical in high school and it impacted his daily life,” Caron said. “That experience made me realize that I enjoyed working and visiting with old people and that I wanted to go into a profession where I could continue to help.” Caron, from Knightville, N.C., joined the Dragons in the fall of 2008 after being recruited by head swimming & diving Coach Todd Peters. “Claire is not only a great student, she is a great leader on our team,” Peters said. “She elevates the level of competition and challenges those around her to do the same, most of the time without noticing it.” This season Caron has made waves in the pool, performing at the highest level of her career, leading the team and posting some impressive numbers.

“I learned a lot from the former swimmers, which allowed me to grow into a leadership position and to develop more as a swimmer,” Caron said. At the end of December, Caron was just shy of hitting the national Division II ‘B’ cuts in both the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley, which would qualify her for the NCAA DII National Championships in March. She swam her career-best times in each event during this season. “This year I decided to compete more for the team,” Caron said. “Having that mindset takes pressure off yourself and has made a difference for me in the pool.” The junior showed she is a prime example of being a student-athlete. Last semester she balanced her day-to-day life, which included putting up top marks in the pool, training daily, working, doing an internship, keeping her grades at top marks and planning a wedding. She is a nurse’s assistant in Fargo, and recently completed an internship called

‘Adopt a Grandparent’ at Bethany Retirement Living, which was required for a class she took from Humphers-Ginther. Caron spent more than double the time of the 12-hour requirement with her adopted “grandparent.” The students wrote papers at the end of their internships to review their experiences. “Claire’s paper was one of the most touching and meaningful papers in the history of the class,” Humphers-Ginther said. “Claire wrote about the meaning of old age, even in a long-term care setting that is usually seen as negative, stating that in that setting, people can find a meaningful existence.” Caron has found meaningful experiences at MSUM, thriving as both a student leader in the classroom and in the pool. To hear more about Caron, her major and the swim team, watch the complete video interview on the Dragon Athletics YouTube channel, DragonAthelticsTV.


Alumnews Winter 2011

> NADEAN SCHROEDER, Assistant Athletics Director for Media and Public Relations

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Leaping to New Lengths Coach Michael Thompson Trains for 2012 Olympics


gold medal sparkles around the neck of a familiar face in the Dragon Athletics hallways. Track and field’s jumping coach, Michael Thompson, a native of Colon, Panama, wears the gold medal he won at the Central American Games triple jump in April 2010. Now he’s attempting to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Thompson’s mark of 53-feet, 4-3/4-inches gave him the longest leap of the Central American Games as well as the second furthest jump in the history of the games, his personal best jump, and a national record for Panama. “I was excited and stunned by the results,” Thompson said. “It was the first time in my career that my parents watched me compete in the event so it made the experience more special.” A surprise to himself, but an honor for Panama, is what Thompson described the feeling of winning the gold medal to be. It was a shock to those who had picked the current Central American record holder to win the event since Thompson has only competed in the triple jump for the past five years before hitting the gold medal mark. Originally a sprinter, Thompson competed in the 400-meter dash since he was a youngster growing up in Panama. He moved to Texas for his last two years of high school. Out of high school, Thompson was recruited to compete in the sprinting events at the University of Texas at Arlington, competing his first two years as a Maverick and being named a two-time All-Conference

selection. He then transferred to Dickinson State (N.D.) University (DSU). “I transferred to Dickinson because a lot of guys from the Bahamas and the Central American countries were having success there,” Thompson said. “It was possibly the best decision of my life. After I transferred to Dickinson State, Coach (Kyle) White started training me in the (triple jump) event,” Thompson said. White is the current jumps and sprinting coach at Stanford. A two-year athlete at DSU (2007-08), Thompson was a 10-time All-Conference performer as he competed in the 400-meter dash, 600-meter dash, 4x400 relay and the triple jump. He was a two-time All-American in the triple jump, leaping to the second farthest mark in Dakota Athletic Conference history. He was also a member of Dickinson State’s 2007 National Championship team. During his tenure at DSU, he was a medalist at the Kansas relays in the triple jump. Since his collegiate days, Thompson began training for the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London, and joined the Dragons coaching staff. “I have always wanted to get into coaching,” Thompson said. “Having the chance to stay connected with the sport you love as well as give athletes opportunities like my coaches gave me is an amazing experience.” Thompson is currently the top jumper from Panama, making him the front-runner for the Olympics as long as no one else from

Panama hits a standard qualifying mark set by the Olympic committee. He is set to jump at the Stanford Classic and the Ron Masanz meet at MSUM this spring in attempts to hit the standard qualifying mark. To watch the complete video interview with Michael or see him in action training, visit the Dragon Athletics YouTube channel at > NADEAN SCHROEDER, Assistant Athletics Director for Media and Public Relations

Thompson’s mark of 53-feet, 4-3/4-inches gave him the longest leap of the Central American Games as well as the second furthest jump in the history of the games, his personal best jump, and a national record for Panama. Alumnews Winter 2011


> Mike Fitzgerald is second from the left, front row.


Former Wrestler gets ‘The Call’ from ‘The Hall’

hat makes some Dragon athletes truly legendary sometimes begins during their time at MSU Moorhead. Mike Fitzgerald’s work ethic and passion for wrestling cannot be overshadowed. After finishing his coaching career for good in 2005, Fitzgerald is now being honored with his selection into the Downstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Fitzgerald joined the Dragon wrestling family in 1965 and spent four seasons at Moorhead State. Before arriving at Moorhead, Fitzgerald was a New York State Champion (1965) and a Nassau County champion. In his second season with the Dragons, Fitzgerald placed fourth at 145 pounds in the NAIA tournament. In 1969, he advanced once again to nationals, this time placing fourth in the NCAA Division II National Championships at 145 pounds. His physical style, along with his mental and physical toughness, made him feared by opponents and admired by teammates. “Mike wasn’t the most talented wrestler,” former teammate Bill Germann said. “He was stubborn and very tough. He refused to give up. Mike’s work ethic was exceptional. When you practiced with him he took you to the limit every time and let you know about it.” Fitzgerald became an outstanding coach after completing his Dragon career. He spent 26 years at Hampton Bays High School, where he compiled a 205-127-3 record. During his tenure, Fitzgerald’s squad won the league dual meet title 10 times and won the league tournament championship nine times. What was more impressive was the champions he created. Fitzgerald coached 90 league champions and 35 All-Nassau County

Champions, sometimes having the minimum 13 wrestlers to coach. Seven wrestlers under Fitzgerald’s tutelage won county titles and six of those placed at the state level. Beyond the statistics, numbers or accolades was something more. Fitzgerald went above and beyond for his wrestlers, sometimes letting them live in his home when they fell on hard times. In 2001, Fitzgerald walked away from his love of coaching, leaving hundreds of admirers in appreciation of his many years of work and dedication. “It’s well deserved that he is getting in,” Germann said about Fitzgerald’s induction. “His wrestlers would run through a wall for him and he would do the same for them.” In 2004 Fitzgerald returned to coaching for one season when Southampton High School

was without a coach. Many in Long Island still regard Fitzgerald, a Dragon alum, as one of the most respected men in their history. “Mike is a really good personal friend of mine,” Germann said. “He is the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He was always there for his teammates at any moment.” Fitzgerald will be officially inducted into the Downstate New York Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame on April 29 at a special ceremony in Melville, N.Y. along with fellow inductees Mike Davey, Paul Kieblesz, Bill Knapp, Terry Phelan and Fred Recher. > ERIC HANSON, Athletics Media and Public Relations Student Assistant

DRAG NS > Mike Fitzgerald is standing far left.


Alumnews Winter 2011

Athletics thletics A Dragon Athletics

Athletics Website gets New Look The Dragon Athletics Department webpage,, revealed a new look on Dec. 6, 2010. The updated website was designed by SIDEARM Sports, a website management company based out of New York, that specializes in athletics websites. “The new look of was needed to improve the ever-changing needs of today’s information seekers,” Assistant Athletics Director for Media and Public Relations, NaDean Schroeder said. “The improved site is easier to navigate and provides more tools to help with the overall communications plan for the Athletics Department.” Included in the new design are a scores ticker, social media buttons, featured athletes, links to the Dragon Athletics Blog and other blogs that will be kept by individual sports. Dragon Athletics updates all social medias as well as daily website updates.

You’re Invited To Attend Scorch’s Birthday Party! WHO: Everyone is Welcome WHAT: Scorch’s Birthday Party WHEN: March 25, 2011 from 6-7:30 p.m. WHERE: Alex Nemzek Hall Room 113 on MSUM’s campus

DETAILS: There will be birthday cake, complimentary beverages, open swimming, games from Games Galore and an autograph signing with Scorch and Dragon athletes.

SPONSORS: Games Galore,

Scorch Goes Head-to-Head Against Cross-town Rivals

Hornbacher’s, Sodexo, CashWise, YWCA, Dorothy Day House

Raises money for Salvation Army Not only are MSUM’s student-athletes volunteering in Fargo-Moorhead, but Scorch the Dragon supported the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign in the third annual Mascot Challenge held Dec. 4.

All proceeds benefit the YWCA and The Dorothy Day House

In this year’s Challenge, Scorch went head-to-head-to-head with Thundar, North Dakota State’s Bison and Kernel, the Concordia College Cobber, at Scheels in Fargo. Although Scorch wasn’t the victor, the Dragons’ Red Kettle helped raise $4,400 for the Salvation Army.

Men's Basketball Locker Room Gets Facelift The men’s basketball locker room also got a facelift this past fall. The Dragons locker room features 15 lockers with steel nameplates, custom carpet and a 50-inch TV. “We are really happy with the way the locker room turned out,” Head Basketball Coach Chad Walthall said. “The overall look and improvements were a much needed upgrade that will help us in recruitment and camaraderie within the program.” The locker room was completed one week prior to the team opening the 2010-11 practice season and was unveiled to a group of alumni the day before opening. To watch a video tour of the Dragon men’s basketball locker room, visit the Dragon Athletics YouTube channel at

Alumnews Winter 2011


! u o Y k n Thank ha You! T Dear Friends,

The end of one journey is the start of another. My service as vice president of the Alumni Foundation will conclude at the end of February. It has been a profound pleasure to work on behalf of the university and its more than 60,000 living alumni. The time has gone fast! This transition has been planned for some time. A campus search committee deliberated over many candidates who applied for the position and the selection will be announced before I leave. It’s been a good run. Over the past three years, we successfully completed the fundraising campaign for the Ann and Russ Gerdin Wellness Center, raised our endowment by over a million dollars, recruited a highly efficient and effective board of trustees, and doubled cash and pledges from 2009 to 2010. Great challenges remain. The Alumni Foundation must remain on a growth curve to help secure a sustainable future for MSUM. Athletic and performance scholarships help attract bright new stars to the constellation of Dragons. A campus alumni center with gathering space would strengthen our connections and boost development opportunities. The wish list is quite long. The future will undoubtedly bring new challenges and opportunities. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve you and to work with President Edna and a wonderful staff. I intend to continue to volunteer for MSUM and will always share a connection to this place and a commitment to do what I can to make it better. It’s great to be a Dragon forever!

Thank You! Joan Justesen, Vice President, Alumni Foundation

SUMMER SESSION 2011 FINE TUNE your professional proficiency. SHARPEN your edge. ENHANCE your teaching skills. EXPLORE your creative side.

MSUM Summer Session offers over 300 classes online and in the classroom. Earn credits toward your general or degree requirements. • Complete a course in as little as three weeks. • First session begins May 16. More classes begin in June. All classes done by August 4. • Many online and evening classes offered. • New affordable fee structure. • Learn valuable career skills or pursue a new interest. Registration starts March 7 at Minnesota State University Moorhead is an equal opportunity educator & employer and is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities System.

MSU Moorhead 40

Alumnews Winter 2011

p i h alumni mentorship s r o t n Mentorship e M Dragons Helping Dragons New program connects alums with current students


SUM’s Alumni Mentorship Program is the first program on any of the TriCollege campuses to connect alumni with current students. The program, which started last fall, builds mentoring relationships with graduates and current students. Mentors and mentees all have one thing in common: They are Dragons. Graduate assistant Jennifer Weil developed the program to keep past and present students connected. Mentor Warren Wiese said, “Mentoring is a very successful, proven method to use as part of a student's education. It allows for a mutual sharing of information that is often vital to a student's success and positive experience at MSUM.” Mentor David Martin, a 1976 health physical education and recreation graduate is vice president of community relations and business development at Choice Financial in Fargo.

> Mentor David Martin and mentee Chayanne Haley discuss their agenda at the end-of-year social.

“Helping students make a connection with career opportunities and get a better understanding of certain fields is rewarding for students and professionals,” Martin said. “It connects the campus and community.” Interacting with students allows mentors to meet future leaders, share career experiences and guide young professionals. Martin believes he gains valuable insight through his mentoring relationship with sophomore Chayanne Haley. “It helps us, as professionals, understand what students are learning, what their interests are and even what their learning gaps might be,” Martin said. For Haley, an aspiring reporter, the mentorship gives her an opportunity to learn beyond the classroom. “My mentor is in marketing, and I’m majoring in journalism, so it’s a chance for me to see a different side of the media,” Haley said. “It gives me another outlet through which I can learn.” For sophomore Nathan Hollatz, having a mentor in his field of interest helped him discover a career direction. “I’ve been thinking about getting involved in student affairs. When I found out Warren Wiese, MSUM’s vice president of student affairs, was my mentor he was able to give me advice and answer questions I wasn’t able to find online,” Hollatz said. Mentors and mentees meet monthly, working around each other’s schedules and meeting on or off campus. “If alumni have the opportunity to give a half an hour of their time once a month a lot of students would really appreciate it,” junior Chase Miller said. Miller’s mentor Amy Iler, producer at KFGO, recommended him for a job. “She threw my name out with The Fan 90 AM radio, and I’ve already produced a couple NDSU and Fargo Force games,” Miller said. “She’s given me more than I thought I could get out of this program.” For more information on becoming a mentor ,visit > COURTNEY WEATHERHEAD, Marketing Intern

“Helping students make a connection with career opportunities and get a better understanding of certain fields is rewarding for the students and professionals.” – David Martin Alumnews Winter 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u Al

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. (All towns are in Minnesota unless otherwise noted; Fargo is in North Dakota.)

1960s Gov. Dayton selects retired Major General Larry Shellito to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has appointed Larry Shellito, who recently retired as the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, to lead the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. Shellito ’68 (business administration/accounting), ’72 (distributive education), ’79 (MS business education) is widely regarded as a strong and dynamic leader who is respected for his dedication to our nation’s service men and women. During his seven years at the helm of the Minnesota National Guard, Major General Shellito helped build a national reputation for the Guard, which is the nation’s fifth largest National Guard formation with more than 14,000 members, operating 63 facilities across Minnesota. He was instrumental in establishing the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program, a nationally recognized program to reintegrate National Guard and Reserve military service members following deployments. As Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Major General Shellito’s years of experience and leadership will ensure this critical agency is both innovative and responsive to the needs of our veterans and their families. The Department is charged with assisting the state’s 381,000 veterans and their dependents. (Read more at http:// Roger Schwartz ’68 (physical education, health & recreation) ’74 (MS physical education) taught junior high and elementary physical education for 30 years in Rochester. He retired from teaching 11 years ago. After serving in Vietnam he earned


his M.S. in physical education from MSUM and a specialist degree in education from a group of schools: U of M, Winona, and Mankato. He and his wife, Martha, reside in Rochester.

1970s Larry Vezina ’71 (physical education & geography) is the director of student services at The British Colombia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, B.C. He received a masters of arts (education) from Central Michigan University and a doctor of education from The Ontario Institute of Studies in Education of The University of Ontario, Toronto, Ont. He is the 2004 recipient of the Art King Award, given annually by the Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario in recognition of outstanding service to students. He resides in New Westminster, B.C. with his wife, Stephanie ’74, and has three grown children and two grandchildren. Gary Miller ’73 (political science) ’81 (accounting) is CFO of St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, N.D. He has been in healthcare for 30 years serving as manager/controller for St Joesph’s Hospital in Minot, N.D., prior to his new role as CFO. He serves on numerous boards including Bismarck Cancer Center, West River Clinic Network Board, Prime Care PHO Board, among many others. He holds a CPA certificate and has received numerous HFMA Professional Healthcare Accounting Group awards for service. He resides in Bismarck with his wife, Kathryn Fischer Miller ’75 (special education, speech-language-hearing sciences), who has been a speech pathologist for the Mandan preschool program for 25 years. “We are proud to be Dragon alums.” Gail Hohbach ’74 (social work) is a probation/parole agent for the State of Michigan. She lives in Lakeview, Mich.

Alumnews Winter 2011

Kevin McGrew ’74 (psychology) ’75 (MA, school psychology) is the director/owner of Institute of Applied Psychometrics, research director for Woodcock-Munoz Foundation, associate director Measurement Learning Consultants, and visiting professor in educational psychology at University of Minnesota. He is also chief research consultant for Scientific Advisory Board for Interactive Metronome, a neurotechnology rehabilitation and brain fitness company. Most recently he has served as a psychological measurement expert in several federal habeas corpus “Atkins” mental retardation/ intellectual disability death penalty hearings. On September 17, 2010, he received the first Distinguished Alumni Award from the MSUM psychology department. He resides in St. Joseph with his wife, Lady Di, and together they have five children and six grandchildren. Barbra Bullis Westman ’77 (individualized studies, social work) recently became a licensed chemical dependency counselor for the Nebraska State Penitentiary. She has worked for the State of Nebraska for 32 years and previously held the positions of social worker and licensed mental health counselor. She and her husband, Mark, live in Lincoln, Neb. Her niece Marissa Dahl is a freshman at MSUM. “Go Marissa and go Dragons!” Kim Lind ’79 (mass communications) ’98 (nursing) is an ER nurse at Lakewood Health System in Staples. She published her first novel, The Tale of the Last American (Part 1 and 2) in June 2010. Since becoming a nurse she has gone on several medical mission trips and embarked on her third trip to Guatemala with HELPS, Int’l (as the charge nurse for the recovery room) in January 2011. She says this trip will be very reward-

ing since several BSN students and a couple MSUM professors will participate as part of the 75-person surgical team. Gregory Lof, ’79 (speech pathology) ’81 (MS speech pathology) was recently promoted to full professor and named department chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH Institute of Health Professions (a graduate school founded by Massachusetts General Hospital) in Boston, Mass. The department is rated in the top 10% of all graduate programs in the country. He was the keynote speaker at the national convention in Melbourne, Australia, and has spoken at many national conferences. He was elected to the national advisory council of the American Speech-LanguageHearing Association. He recently published articles rated as the most read articles in two different journals. He resides in Jamaica Plain, Mass. Rebecca Smidt Fredricksen ’79 (elementary education) is in her 31st year of teaching at Triton Public Schools in Dodge Center (18th year as a 6th grade teacher). In 2004 she was named Triton Teacher of the Year. She has two children and lives in Stewartsville with her husband, Buck.

1980s Elizabeth Glaser ’80 (English, mass communications) was named vice president of Dodge Communications in Atlanta, Ga. She has been with the company since 2002 and previously was an account director and senior copywriter. She has worked with numerous healthcare organizations, including the American Red Cross, Georgia Cancer Coalition, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, the Emory University Winship Cancer Institute, among others. She’s involved in the sorority P.E.O., which supports educational

alumnotes opportunities for young women. She lives in Roswell, Ga., with her husband, Jeffrey, and their son. Their eldest son graduated from Georgia Tech. She says, “My experience at MSUM provided a wonderful foundation for both my personal and professional development. I was given the opportunity to get to know my professors and they got to know me, which meant they could explain and motivate in ways that encouraged curiosity and excellence. MSUM also offered a rich selection of additional activities. I credit The Advocate with setting me on my career path, which has led to journalism, corporate communications, consulting and now public relations. Briefly put, MSUM was a great launching pad into adult life!”

current position in Dallas, where he is the regional warranty coordinator for the south central region in charge of warranty waste reduction, warranty audits and service issues. He and his wife, Cora, have two children and live with their three adopted children in Keller, Texas.

Diane Olivieri ’80 (elementary education) is a personal trainer/fitness director at Ultimate Fitness in Hudson, Wis. She recently became the chapter advisor for the Alpha Phi’s at UW Stout, Menomonie, Wis. She and her husband, Marc, have three children.

One Woman, One Kayak, 1007 Lakes

Jon Otto ’80 (industrial illustration) is the owner and CEO of Visions, Inc. in Brooklyn Park. Visions, Inc. is one of the largest Native American owned marketing services companies in the U.S. He is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe: White Earth Band of Ojibwe, sits on the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council and the National Minority Supplier Development Council, and is involved with the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce. Barbara Dauner ’81 (social work) is a probation officer at Ada County Juvenile Court in Boise, Idaho, where she has worked for 26 years. She is active with her church, leads cursillo workshops and is involved with Perpetual Adoration, Outreach Evangelistic Ministry and other organizations. She has two daughters and lives in Boise with her husband, Ted Cray. David Sanders ’83 (industrial technology) has been employed with General Motors Corporation for the past 27 years. He started as an area service manager in Minot, N.D., and has changed positions and states many times along the way, including Denver, Detroit, San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, and in 2008 he moved to his

Mary Shideler, ‘83 (speech-language-hearing sciences) documents her 15-year journey to kayak all of the lakes in Northern Minnesota’s Itasca County in the recently published book Mary, The Kayak Lady: One Woman, One Kayak, 1007 Lakes. Sometimes with the help of friends, but often on her own, she carried her kayak through brush, trudged across bogs in tall boots, and put up with hordes of mosquitoes and legions of wood ticks. In close-up encounters, she observed birds and animals in their forest and wetland habitats and became adept at identifying wildflowers. Along the way, she also learned to trust her own capacity to overcome obstacles, including her fear of being alone. The Kayak Lady is a collection of stories and photos—a mix of adventure and fun. Mary was featured in the Winter 2009 Alumnews publications/alumnews/.../AlumnewsWinter09.pdf She has visited six continents and says her next stop is Antarctica. For more information on her book, photos, presentations and massage therapy (yes, she is also a licensed massage therapist), go Robert “Duke” Schempp ’83 (anthropology) is the organizer of the People’s Press Project, the

newly formed nonprofit arm of the High Plains Reader. The purpose of the People’s Press Project is to support and conduct non-partisan research, education, training and informational activities to increase public awareness and use of media, technology and universal broadband and Internet access and to foster and provide equal access to media, technology and the arts to all economic classes and cultures. He has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years and has organized welfare recipients, the mentally ill, low-income neighborhood organizations, and apartment tenements. He has received awards for advocacy, organizing, mentoring, service learning and human rights, including Advocate of the Year from Freedom Resource Center for Independent Learning, The Father Bill Merkins Advocate Award from the Dorothy Day House of Hospitality, and The Friends of the YWCA. He lives in Moorhead and shares a home with Cindy Gomez and her daughters. Annette Brewer ’84 (business administration, physical education) is a physical education teacher at Albany Area Schools, where she has taught for 18 years and has been the varsity volleyball coach for the past 12 years. She has 286 varsity wins in 16 seasons. She has one son, Chris Brewer ’06 (mathematics). She resides in Grey Eagle with her husband, Stanley Brewer ’81 (accounting), who is a purchasing agent. A great Dragon family!

Bob Grinsell ’84 (mass communications) works in the IT Department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and recently earned an advanced professional certification in ITIL. He is the communications and marketing chair for the MN chapter of itSMF (IT Service Management Forum) and will present on Lean and

ITIL for the second year in a row at an international IT Service Management conference in Las Vegas. He also manages the MSUM alumni group on LinkedIn, and helps promote alumni events and get-togethers. He and his wife, Jody Lavelle Grinsell ’82 (business), recently celebrated 26 years of marriage by swimming with the Manatees in Crystal River, Fla. Jody is a bookkeeper for Joann Fabrics and volunteered this fall at Operation Christmas Child. They live in Apple Valley. James Hardwick ’84 (management, political science) is vice president for student life at Carroll College in Helena, Mont. He was named the national marshal of the Grand Chapter for Theta Chi Fraternity. The Grand Chapter is the administrative, executive and judicial head of the fraternity, and is charged with interpreting and enforcing The Constitution and Bylaws of Theta Chi Fraternity, developing the Fraternity’s strategic plan and working with the international headquarters staff. He is an alumnus of the Phi Chapter at NDSU. He has a master of education degree in counselor education and a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota. He lives in Helena, with his wife, Sharon, who is a member of Delta Zeta Sorority, and their daughter. Ginger Almer Lorentz ’84 (marketing, management) owns and operates Jack’s House Family Entertainment Center in Brainerd with her husband, Kevin. She has been operating bowling centers for 22 years and is president of the Bowling Proprietors of Minnesota and is on several national committees. She has also worked in Washington, D.C., to pass the recent food safety bills after her mom passed away two years ago from the peanut butter salmonella outbreak. They live in Brainerd with their three children. Allen Christianson ’85 (management) is the director of global sales operations at Dell in McKinney, Texas. He resides in McKinney with his wife, Julie Olson Christianson ’81 (social work).

Alumnews Winter 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u Al Michael Jacobs ’85 (finance) is a selfemployed farmer in Olivia. He has served on the township board for 20 years. He previously served on the Farmers Co-op Board providing farming inputs for crop production and was the chairman of this board for two years. He lives in Olivia with his wife, Judy. Donna Stacy Chalmers ’86 (nursing) is a retired nurse who is involved in medical mission trips to Africa. Since 2007, she has been involved with Operation Bootstrap Africa headquartered in Minneapolis. It’s a grassroots non-profit that partners with communities in Tanzania and Madagascar to help educate children. Grounded in a selfhelp philosophy, Bootstrap works in partnership with local groups, uses local resources and follows local priorities to improve the education of Africa’s children. In January 2011 she returned to Tanzania to visit the Ilboru School and to see the Maasai girls graduation in a school nearby. She resides in Alexandria with her husband Philip. They also have a home in Mesa, Ariz. Glenn Smith ’86 (accounting) is the program administrator for the State of Minnesota. He resides in Lakeville with his wife, Irina, and daughters. Jean Melicher ’87 (elementary education), a first grade teacher at Harwood (N.D.) Elementary, was n am e d We s t Fargo Public Schools 2010-11 Teacher of the Year. She has been teaching in the district since 1987. According to her colleagues, “In the wonderful world of education there are none more dedicated, committed or deserving of this award than Jean Melicher.” She lives in Fargo with her husband, Kevin, and their children. Steven Morben ’87 (social studies) is the principal of Detroit Lakes High School and was named West-


ern Division Principal of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals. He has been at Detroit Lakes High for 10 years and previously taught eighth grade social studies and was assistant principal at Moorhead Junior High. He received a master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas and earned his administrative credentials from TriCollege University. He has coached football, volleyball, basketball and track, and he now officiates JV and varsity football and JV baseball, softball and basketball. He lives in Detroit Lakes with his wife, Julie, and their children. Karen Schaan ’88 (finance) completed three years of service with the Peace Corps in Macedonia, where she was a business and community development director and trained the community on grant writing, graphic design, computer and software use and English education. She also holds a sociology degree from NDSU. She lives in Vancouver, Wash. Laura Downing ’89 (English) is the head of reference and periodicals at Dean B. Ellis Library, Arkansas (Jonesboro) State University. She received her master’s in library and information science from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 1995. She recently had an entry published in the online encyclopedia Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, and has two more entries in the works. She has participated in many 5K races and a half marathon as a racewalker, winning nearly all of her divisions. Injuries have sidelined her running, but continues to volunteer with races. Mike Worcester ’89 (history) is the museum director for the City of Cokato. He was named Section 5AA Coach of the Year for speech. He has coached speech for 17 years, spending the first 11 years at Dassel-Cokato High School and the past six years at Buffalo-HanoverMontrose School District. He says,

Alumnews Winter 2011

“I would not be the person I am today were it not for this activity and the people who coached me. The reason I am a coach is my desire to help students learn and grow.” He lives in Cokato.

Robert Beer ’93 (mass communications/print journalism) is the online editor for at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He resides in Moorhead with his wife Heidi and their children.


Ryan Christiansen ’93 (English) completed MSUM’s certificate in publishing and is now a graduate student enrolled in MSUM’s master of fine arts in creative writing program. He is a freelance writer through The Write Talent professional writing service. He lives in Fargo with his wife, Jodi, and two children.

Mary Pearson Kluck ’90 (elementary education) is a teacher at Stone Creek School in Roscoe, Ill. She received a master’s degree in education in 1999 from National Louis University. She was married April 12, 2010 to Brian Kluck. She has two daughters and lives in Roscoe. Sara Larson Stadtherr ’91 (theatre arts/speech communications) is executive director for Alexandria Hotel & Hospitality. She completed her master’s degree with a concentration in business communications from St. Thomas University in 2010. After living in other states and cities, Sara and her husband, Thomas, moved to Alexandria, where they are raising their two daughters. “We are living the dream!” The North Dakota Industrial Commission appointed DeAnn Leier Ament, ‘92 (accounting) to executive director of the North Dakota Public Finance Authority (NDPFA). She has been business manager of NDPFA since 1998. Prior to that she was employed with Eide Bailly LLP. A graduate of the Dakota School of Banking, she is a licensed CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She lives in Jamestown, N.D., with her husband, Brian, and three children. Melissa Hamilton ’92 (legal assistance/paralegal), a paralegal in the legal division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) in Bismarck, N.D., was recently named director of Region VI of NALA, The Association of Legal Assistants/Paralegals. She previously chaired NALA’s Professional Development Committee. She has been in the legal field for 16 years. She lives in Bismarck with her husband, Todd.

Kathrina “Trina” Martin ’93 (English, speech/theatre) teaches broadcast journalism and theatre at Magnolia (Texas) High School. She was named Education Service Center Region VI Secondary Teacher of the Year following the same honor at her district and campus. She was one of 20 finalists vying for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. Her broadcast journalism class recently did a class project – a lip dub (a one shot music video with lip syncing). The project was filmed Dec. 8, posted on YouTube on Dec. 9 and had over 111,000 hits in the first two weeks. Singer Katy Perry even featured it on her site. She resides in Magnolia with her husband, Travis, and their children. Jeri Nomeland ’93 (social work) was named 2010 Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year. She has served the Northwest Regional Interdistrict Council School, which is made up of eight schools, for the past 16 years. Jeri lives in Thief River Falls with her husband, Wayne, and their children. Chad Nosbusch ’93 (psychology) is the associate director of financial aid for Graduate and Law Programs at University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He received a master’s degree from the University of St.

alumnotes Thomas in 2004. For the past 10 years he has been a companion/volunteer at a local nursing home for two residents each week. He says, “I worked in MSUM’s financial aid office for four years as an undergrad and that experience is what opened up my eyes to a career in higher education administration. I had a great time as a Dragon.” He resides in Woodbury. Angee Kosier Padgett ’94 (elementary education) is the manager of Closet to Closet in Aberdeen, S.D., where she lives with her husband Tim and three children. Shawn Michelle Christianson ’94 (business administration) is the new chief quality officer/director of quality improvement at Essentia Health St. Mary’s. She also holds an MBA in healthcare administration from the University of St. Thomas. Christianson is a member of the Medical Group Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Most recently, Christianson worked with Sanford Health as director of Pain Services and Behavioral Health, and also served as patient care manager for the neuroscience department at MeritCare Hospital. She lives in Fargo. Mike Cihak ’95 (mass communications) is the assistant director of marketing communication and design at University of Minnesota Morris. He and his wife, Jen, live in Morris, with their daughter and new son born July 2010. Michael Dean ’95 (music) is an assistant professor of music and keyboard studies at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla. He was named co-president of the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association East District. He earned a master of music degree at the University of Oklahoma and is pursuing a doctor of musical arts degree at UO. Brian Gramer ’95 (political science) is founder and CEO of Avenue Right, an advertising technology com-

pany founded in 2008 in Fargo. Avenue Right is Brian’s third software company, all of which were founded in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Gramer is often asked why he starts technology companies in Fargo, rather than Silicon Valley or New York City, and his response is always the same—commitment to the region and its people. Here is his response to that question in a forthcoming interview for IdeaMensch: “There’s a lot of technical talent in this area, and in general, the people are very hard-working. They’re dependable. They show up on time, and they work hard. These folks shouldn’t have to move away to advance their careers or make a decent living. It’s a global economy. We can serve our clients who are located across the country—from New York to California—from our offices in Midwest just as well as we could if we were located in one of the tech hotbeds.” Brian is frequently invited to present at industry conferences. He and his wife, Jamie, have three children and reside in Moorhead. Monte Helm, ’95 (chemistry) is an associate professor of chemistry at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. He is on sabbatical at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory working on a renewable energy project. He runs a research project at Fort Lewis College for undergraduates. He lives in Durango with his wife, Melissa, and son.

Alum’s photo named top wedding image of the year BRIDES Magazine and the Wedding Photojournalist Association teamed up to publish the 10 best wedding images of the year, and for the second year in a row, Milestones Photography, West Fargo, was a winner. Dave Arntson, ’96 (mass communications) had his image selected this year; Britta Trygstad’s ’05 (mass communications) image was featured last year. The WPJA/BRIDES Wedding Photojournalism Contest spotlights the finest images from the best wedding photojournalists on the pages of one of the most world-renowned wedding publications and the websites of the WPJA and BRIDES. There were 3,235 images submitted in the competition from studios around the world; the top 10 were chosen. Each photo represents the best in its category. Milestones Photography is a consistent winner in WPJA image competitions. Based on its award-winning performance, the studio is among the top 10 wedding photojournalism studios in the world. Owner Dave Arntson and lead photographer Britta Trygstad are market leaders in the wedding photojournalism industry. Milestones opened in West Fargo in 2004. lives in Breckenridge with her husband, Chris, and their four children. Michelle Kowal Douglas ’98 (English) is an English teacher at Columbia Heights (Minn.) School District. She lives in Coon Rapids with her husband, Brian, and daughter Morgan Shaye born June 2010. Dawn Gluth Fick ’98 (speech communications) is a senior financial analyst at Thomson Reuters in Eagan. She resides in St. Francis with her husband, Pete, and two sons, including Ryan born July 2010.


Jennifer Diekman Guzik ’96 (elementary education) ’09 (MS, reading) is a full-time stay-at-home mom and homeschools her three children. She lives in Kindred, N.D., with her husband, Vincent, and children.

Adam Hale ’00 (health education) teaches MS/HS physical education at Grantsburg (Wis.) School District, where he is also assistant varsity football coach and head girls basketball coach. After spending six years in Florida, he and his wife, Amy, moved back to the Midwest. They live in Grantsburg with their two sons, including son Archer born October 2010.

Tanya Weigel Kelsen ’97 (speech, language, hearing sciences) ’99 (MS speech pathology) is a speech-language pathologist at Fergus Falls (Minn.) Area Special Education Cooperative. She serves students preschool-12th grade in the Breckenridge and Campbell-Tinah schools. She

Cassondra Sweep Johnson ’01 (art & design) is the lead web developer at Absolute Marketing Group in Moorhead. She joined Absolute Marketing in 2007 and has more than 10 years of web development experience. She lives in Moorhead with her husband, Andrew.

Sarah Phillips ’01 (East Asian studies, history, political science) is the pire international initiative and education director at Rice University in Houston, Texas, working with International Programs for Engineers. She is pursuing a master’s in education in counselor education at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where she lives. Nancy Wessel Suelflow ’01 (speechlanguage pathology) is a selfe mp l oye d sp e e c h - lang uage pathologist who owns Word of Mouth, Inc. She was honored by the American Speech-LanguageHearing Association with her third ASHA ACE award (award for continuing education). She resides in Custer, S.D., with her husband, Dean, and their two children. Eric Leinen ’02 (English) ’09 (MS counseling and student affairs) is an associate program director in the Learning Abroad Center at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) and resides in Minneapolis. Melissa Martz ’02 (mass communications) is a photojournalist at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. She has been a TV news photographer for 10 years and was previously employed as a photojournalist at WDAF-TV in Kansas City, Kan. She lives in Hopkins.

Alumnews Winter 2011


s e t o N m AlumNotes u Al Ryan Nelson ’02 (accounting) accepted the position of senior financial analyst with Fidelity Exploration & Production Company in Denver, Colo. He also received an MBA from the University of North Dakota in December 2010. Patricia Holdvogt Lawlor ’04 (social work) is a stay-at-home mom and organizes a playgroup on Meetup. com for local moms and kids called “Ya Ya Motherhood” (www. She and her husband, John Lawlor, reside in Lehigh Acres, Fla., with their two daughters, including Marie Christine, born August 2010. Jeffrey Tickle ’04 (management) ’10 (MS public, human service & health administration) is the residence life director for McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. He married Elizabeth Cruse on October 2, 2010 and they live in St. Paul. Amanda Lindberg Eversley ’05 (elementary education) is the educational specialist consultant at Johnson Square Academy and the director of the Harford Heights after School Program at Boy’s Latin (a private school in Maryland). She is pursuing a master of science in school administration and supervision at John Hopkins University School of Education. She resides in Baltimore, Md., with her husband, Michael, and their daughter Rachel Mae Clarabelle. Jodi Kennedy ’07 (MS, reading teacher education) is the new principal of Bert Raney Elementary School in Granite Falls. She has 13 years of experience teaching and previously taught fifth grade at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School district in Glyndon and was head coach of the DGF volleyball team. She lives in Granite Falls. Ann Tiegs ’07 (mass communications) works in marketing at Essentia Health in Fargo. She is widowed and has five grown children, four who attended MSUM. She lives in Moorhead. A great dragon family!


Julius Kibe ’07 (biology and medical sciences, nursing) is an R.N. at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and is an acute care nurse practitioner student at Duke University. He was recently honored as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for work alleviating health disparities for the underprivileged. His inspiration for working with the underprivileged stems from his two-week clinical work in a Native American reservation, overseen by MSUM professor Jane Bergland. He lives in Durham with his wife Caroline. Joe Wollmering ’07 (graphic design) is a web designer with Fox TV in Minneapolis. Previously, he had a paid internship with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a web designer in their Interactive Services Department. He married Jennifer Voigt on October 3, 2010. The couple resides in Roseville. Brian Houle ’08 (anthropology) is an archaeologist in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota and Alaska. He is working as a geotechnical driller based out of Mandan, N.D. In January 2011 he moved to Antigua, Guatemala, to volunteer with the God’s Child project for the month. He has also been nominated for the Peace Corps and will most likely be placed in February or March 2011. Anna Rae ’08 (English) is a folk musician living in Cambridge, Mass. After graduating from MSUM she moved to the Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming to work for Paradise Guest Ranch, to write music and to work on a book idea. She says, “MSUM, and especially the English department, was a wonderfully close-knit community where I was encouraged to be in love with words and mentored in how to let these words influence and express my inner life. I was immersed in the expression of the

Alumnews Winter 2011

mind, in all its many forms, and also instructed in how to market that creative ability for entering a career. I am incredibly grateful to the faculty and staff of MSUM who invested their time and passion in my life and education. I am still in touch with many of them today.”

Rebecca Stevenson ’09 (elementary education) is a financial aid counselor for Graduate and Law Programs at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, where she is also pursuing a master of arts in leadership in student affairs. She lives in Minnetonka.

Patty Bradbury Heath Gordon ’09 (MA liberal arts) is a faculty member at M State, Moorhead and University of Phoenix online. She teaches computer concepts, computer technology, critical thinking, and humanities. At M State she has taught various topics for Call Center Service Representative Training. She teaches in Naytahwaush and appreciates the opportunity to teach in multi-cultural environments. She also hosts a live radio show each Sunday from 6 a.m. to noon on WAVE 104.1. She plays trumpet with a swing band called Doc and the Scrubbs, serves as a board member for the local Boys and Girls Club, treasurer for the Becker County Sheriff Posse, and vice president for Friends of the Wetlands. She resides in Detroit Lakes.

Leigh Wilson-Mattson ‘09 (communication studies) has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship for the coming year. She departed for Malaysia Dec. 31, 2010, and will work there for 10 months. Following a two-week orientation in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, she will teach in the Terengganu province. There, she'll teach conversational English to middle and high school students while learning about the region’s culture and travel the country. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program is the largest U.S. international exchange program offering opportunities for students, scholars, and professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools worldwide. Wilson-Mattson is one of 12 teaching assistants in Malaysia this year.

Brian Goodroad ’09 (doctor of nursing practice) is an associate professor at Metropolitan State University in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. He teaches primarily in the graduate programs and coordinates the nurse practitioner track. He received the 2010 JANAC Article of the Year Award from The Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) for “Integrating HIV-Related Evidence-Based Renal Care Guidelines into Adult HIV Clinics,” Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (JANAC), 21/(2), 113-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.jana.2009.11.001: Goodroad, B., Wright, T., & Rhame, F. S. (2010). He lives in St. Paul. Ben Hanson ’09 (political science) is a policy associate with Minnesota 2020, a non-partisan think tank. He recently finished working on Mark Dayton’s gubernatorial campaign as his political director for Congressional District 7 (western Minnesota). He lives in Fargo.

Thomas Berg ’10 (anthropology) is on a mission trip to Lesotho, Africa, with Growing Nations through Africa Inland Missions (AIM). His volunteer work consists of computer support and training, and agricultural experiment trial administrator/mapper (creating data charts and maps of experiment field). He plans to attend graduate school after returning to the U.S. and will major in geophysical archaeology and soil science. He is also working with high school science classes to speak to them through Skype while in Lesotho and in person after he returns home about pursuing careers in science with the aim to help create a better world.

baby dragons 1.


Just Married! 3.


1. Ashley Johnk ’06 & Casey Nowacki ’05 June 19, 2010 2. Valerie Barbie ’04 & William Bluemle June 5, 2010 3. Melissa Davis & Monte Helm ‘95 September 26, 2009 4. Sabrina Whiting ’07 & Russell Zimara May 19, 2010 5. Jennifer Voigt & Joe Wollmering ‘07 October 3, 2009 6. Heather Roos ’06 & Michael Blumberg ‘01 June 5, 2010 7. Andrea Daniel & Kevin Mattison ‘06 February 14, 2010



We Remember Remember John Aanden 1957 Dolores Aas 1946 Bernadette Adams 1958 Leona Anderson 1942 Richard Annis 1953 Elizabeth Ballard 1995 Dorothy Barnett 1995 Donald Bennett 1956 Joseph Blair 1991 Kathleen Borstad 1993 Robert Bruns 1947 Bruce Bueling 1993 Gary Burggraff 1972 Everett Colby 1959 David Cusey 1968 Sheila Deibler 1983 Kay Dinger 1965 David Dolence 1979

Joseph Drummond 1952 Claire Ellenson 1943 James Erickson 1977 Eunice Evenson 1944 George Farkell 1995 Barbara File 1987 Glenn Fogel 1973 Opal Forness 1962 Helen Fugere 1943 Glennys Giorgi 1960 Bernice Gosling 1966 Barry Halm 1973 Florence Hanson 1973 Walter Harlow 1961 Kathleen Hogan 1963 Keith Johnson 1954 Wilma Johnson 1970 Jeffrey Johnson 1998



Charlotte Mae


Kiptyn & Emry


Olivia Marie

Sophie Grace

Rachel Mae Clarabelle

Sullivan Elissa & Christopher Braaten ‘08 Brooke Lecy Jennifer (Brokke) ’99 & Daryn Lecy ‘99 Frances Elaine Valerie (Waldock) ‘03 & Michael Schoepf Kenley Katrina (Lotvedt) ’02 & Jason Weum ‘01 Ryan Graham Dawn (Gluth) ’98 & Pete Fick Sophie Grace Carolyn Vanderpol ’00 & Kris Mahoney Annika Lara & Jason Swenson ‘99 Hunter Sarah (Swenson) ’03 & Beau Brandner ‘02 Olivia Marie Alicia Stevenson ’07 & Dave Berginski Rachel Mae Clarabelle Amanda (Lindberg) ’05 & Michael Eversley Macie Dru Rachel (Phillips) ’09 & Andrew Kinneberg Jack Matthew Holly (Hogan) ’03 & Matthew Saarion ‘02 Dayton Sarah Spaulding ’99 & Andrew Bye Sophia Ester & Scott Moore ‘01

Roberta Johnson 1983 Gilbert Jorve 1972 Dean Knox 1964 Arvel Landsverk 1956 Paula Larson 1988 Sandra Lee 1990 Ruth Legg 1974 Harold Lund 1969 Irene Lysford 1956 Curt McCamy 1950

Kiptyn & Emry Nicole (Willander) ’07 & Douglas Jans ‘05 Noah Andrew Leah (Gustafson) ’98 & Jeremy Johnson ‘98 Ruth Ann Trina (Franck) ’06 & Craig Michels Alexa & Kira Shari (Oslos) ’01 & Adam Vossen ‘01 Jude Xavier Sara (Jarolimek) ’03 & Steve Schultz Greyson Melissa Davis & Monte Helm ‘95 Ramona Marie Elise DuBord ’98 & Jose Saavedra Stella Kara (Hendrickson) ’03 & Brent Pottinger Archer Charles Amy & Adam Hale ‘00 Charlotte Mae Candice Alcott ’00 & Brian Sellin ‘99 Dylan Jamie (Valley) ’03 & Andy Gassmann ‘01 Audrey Claire Susan (Kudelka) ’02 & Chris Kildahl ‘01 Landon Michael Jen & Mike Cihak ‘95 Morgan Shaye Michelle (Koval) ’98 & Brian Douglas

Donna Nelson 1970 Jean Porwoll 1971 Philip Seljevold 1970 Daniel Sperling 1980 William Sprung 1960 Roger Sterger 1988 Angeline Stice 1975 Walter Tollefson 1981 Rosemary Wegner 1982 Alumnews Winter 2011


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1104 7th Avenue South Moorhead, Minnesota 56563


Alumni Calendar 2011

> Dragon Fire Walk

> Fargo Marathon

> Twins Game

> Colorado Springs Reunion



7 12 13 20 26


Dragons Connect @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead Green Valley, AZ Reunion Phoenix, AZ Reunion March Madness, Gastropub, Fargo Palo Alto, CA Reunion

> Dragon Open Golf Tournament

Dragons Connect @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead 10 Minnesota Twins Baseball 30 Fair Hills Boat Cruise TBA Park Rapids, MN Reunion TBA Dragon Open Golf Tournament



1 4 16

4 Campus 4th of July 7 Donor Event @ President Edna’s 8 Retiree Event @ President Edna’s 21 Canterbury Park Event TBA Women’s Golf Scramble

Economics Reunion Dragons Connect @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead Dragon Fire Walk

May 2 12 13 13 21

Dragons Connect @ Dave’s Tap, Moorhead Legacy Event Graduation New York Event @ Carnegie Hall Fargo Marathon Cheer Section

August 18-19 New Student Orientation/Move in Crew

Events vents E

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 - Winter 2011


Minnesota State University Moorhead's Alumni Publications - Winter 2011