MSU Moorhead will present alumni awards to seven of its graduates during its Homecoming celebration Sept. 18-26. Receiving Distinguished Alumni Awards: John Richman, president of North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS); Sal Haider, president of Haider Development Corporation; Jason Nordmark, a North Dakota newspaper publisher and printer; and Cynthia and Gary Nolte. Receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Kerstin Kealy Esterby, a WDAY television news anchor and producer. Receiving the Eva Vraspir Excellence in Nursing Award: Larry Dahlen, associate professor at Mount Mary College, Sioux Falls, S.D.
The seven will be recognized at a 6 p.m. awards banquet Friday, Sept. 25 at the Heritage Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. For ticket information, contact the MSUM Alumni Foundation office, 218-477-2143.
Richman, a Lebanon, Ind., native, earned MSUM degrees in 1975, health and physical education, and a master’s degree in 1980 in physical education. He also earned a Ph.D. in kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. His past experience includes three years as athletic director, teacher and coach at Ada (Minn.) High School, four years as an assistant football coach at MSU Moorhead, and three years as an assistant football coach at the University of North Dakota. He joined the NDSCS staff in 1986 as head football coach and instructor. He’s also held the positions of director of athletics for four years, and vice president for academic and student affairs for four years before being named president in 2007. His wife Marcia (nee Sederstrom) is a 1974 MSUM graduate. They have been married 35 years and have two grown children.
Haider, a native of Karachi, Pakistan, and a 1978 MSUM hotel, motel, restaurant management graduate, will receive the Business Administration Alumnus of the Year award. Founded in 1999, Haider Development Corporation specializes in hotel, resort, shared ownership resort, whole ownership condominium, and medical office building realty; hotel operations; and real estate financing. It is a fully integrated real estate acquisition, development, project financing, and asset management firm. Haider earned his MBA from Michigan State University and regularly devotes time to teaching and professional speaking engagements. He and his wife, Samina, have two children and live in Orlando, Fla.
Jason Nordmark, a Rolla, N.D., native, is a 1993 MSUM mass communications (print journalism) graduate. He will receive the College of Business and Industry Alumnus of the Year award. Nordmark began his journalism career at the Watertown (S.D.) Public Opinion and later moved to Mason City, Iowa, to work for the Mason City Globe-Gazette. He purchased his hometown newspaper in 1997—the Turtle Mountain Star in Rolla, N.D. In 2005, they purchased six additional North Dakota community newspapers in Ellendale, Oakes, Park River, Towner, Medora and Beach, and also started the Lake Metigoshe Mirror, a community newspaper serving Lake Metigoshe and Bottineau County. He and his wife, Audrey, (nee Bowers, a 1993 MSUM graduate) also are partners in the North Central Printing plant in Rugby, N.D. They have three daughters.
Cynthia and Gary Nolte, Moorhead, will receive the Distinguished Dragons Award. Both are Moorhead High School graduates, and she is 1996 MSUM nursing graduate and he is a 1972 MSUM mass communications graduate. Gary started his career at The Forum in various advertising management positions. He later was a stockbroker for Piper Jaffray and Hopwood and is now a senior vice president with UBS Financial Services in Fargo. Cynthia participated in a nursing preceptorship in Honduras. During her nursing career, she has worked in various nursing positions that include hospital, clinic, migrant health, home health and public health. Together, the Noltes have participated in Rotary and church medical and construction projects in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Haiti; hurricane relief efforts in Honduras and New Orleans; and polio eradication efforts in India, Nigeria, Niger and Ghana. In 2006, Gary received the Regional Service Award for a Polio Free World. Married for 42 years, the Noltes have two grown birth children—both Dragons—and five Vietnamese foster children.
A Buffalo High School graduate, Kealy Esterby received her MSUM mass communications (broadcasting) degree in 1997. She started working as a reporter at WDAY television right out of college and during the flood of 1997. Two years later she was named co-anchor and producer of the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. She also teaches an MSUM course in Campus News Writing. Kealy Esterby has been involved with the YWCA, Red River Zoo, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Dragon Athletics and Special Olympics, among many other volunteer activities. She and her husband, Matt, have one daughter.
Dahlen graduated from Elbow Lake High School and received his nursing and nurse anesthesia training at St. Luke’s Hospital and School. He earned his MSUM nursing degree in 1985, and a master’s degree from the University of North Dakota and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska, both in nursing. His past work experience includes 17 years as a nurse and nurse anesthetist at St. Luke’s Hospital and later Fargo Clinic, four years as director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Altoona (Pa.) Hospital, and two years as a nurse anesthetist at Sioux Valley Hospital, Sioux Falls, S.D. He joined Mount Mary College in 1994 to direct the Nurse Anesthesia Program there and this year was named associate professor and assistant director phase, II coordinator of the college’s Nurse Anesthesia Program. He and his wife, Dianne, have three grown children.