News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

Archive for the ‘Points of Pride Alumni’

Jim Sturdevant to receive MSU Moorhead’s L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award

Posted on October 06, 2017

Jim Sturdevant, a third-generation owner/CFO in the Sturdevant Auto Parts business, has been selected to receive Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 35th annual L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award. An awards reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 12 on the MSUM campus.

The award is named in honor of the late L.B. Hartz, the founder of Hartz Wholesale Company headquartered in Thief River Falls. It’s presented annually by MSUM’s College of Business and Innovation to an individual who has created economic opportunities for others through innovation, entrepreneurship and community service.  Read the rest of this entry →

Register now for Distinguished Alumni Celebration

Posted on October 05, 2017

Register today!

Minnesota State University Moorhead will honor six alumni for extraordinary achievements in their lives and professions at this year’s Homecoming, which runs Monday, Oct. 2 through the following Sunday, Oct. 8.

The Distinguished Alumni & Outstanding Service Celebration will be Thursday, Oct. 5. The evening will begin with a social at 5:30 p.m. in the Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom on MSUM’s campus. The dinner and program will follow at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required by registering online or by calling 218-477-2143. Read the rest of this entry →

Film and animation students, alumni and faculty exhibit work in Minne Mini Film Festival

Posted on October 05, 2017

Film and Animation students, alumni and faculty exhibit work in the Minne Mini Film Festival. The sold-out event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Bryant-Lake Bowl & Theatre in uptown Minneapolis.

Short films made by MSUM Film Production alumni include Hipster Zombies created by Matt Eckholm, Welcome to the Future made by Paul Eckhardt, and World’s Best Axe Murderer by Eric W. Carlson.  Read the rest of this entry →

Faculty, students attend South Dakota Film Festival

Posted on September 28, 2017

Film Production and Animation students and alumni show work, win awards

Professors Anthony Adah, Don Clark, and Kyja K-Nelson of the School of Media Arts and Design, along with three vans full of students, represented MSUM at the 11th annual South Dakota Film Festival. Students participated in screenings, networking events, and Q/A sessions with filmmakers from around the world. MSUM students, faculty and alumni were also well represented in the Official Selections of the festival and honored with awards.  Read the rest of this entry →

Donuts with Dragons Celebrates Moorhead Public Schools

Posted on September 05, 2017

To celebrate the impressive number of Dragons working around the F-M community, the MSUM Alumni Foundation brought donuts to another area business.

In August, President Anne Blackhurst, Ok-Hee Lee, Shireen Alemadi, Gina Monson, Ashley Quinn, and Meghan Feir visited the Moorhead Public School System to bring donuts and swag to the hundreds of MPSS employees tied to MSUM.

From its inception, MSUM has been an educational leader in the community, training students to become educators. For many Dragons, teaching has become a family trade that continues to inspire younger generations to help and teach the world around them.

Janelle Frost-Geiser ’87 (history education), a social studies teacher, is a Dragon and the mother of three MSUM students. Each of her daughters has followed her in their plans to become teachers of art, history and mathematics.

“I started out as a mass comm student and worked at the radio station at the union for awhile, which was fun, but I eventually realized I loved education and went into history,” Frost-Geiser said. “I student-taught here at Moorhead High School and eventually came back here to work in 1990.”

As Dragons came up to the MSUM table to visit and get a sweet treat, one statement heard time and again was how meaningful their experiences were at MSUM.

David George ’14 (elementary inclusive education), a fourth-grade teacher, said the energy and open spirit was always palpable on campus.

“I’m proud to be a Dragon because they really made you feel at home,” George said. “You came to campus and felt the energy every day,” George said. “It was bright and positive. You felt like a family with everyone you were taking classes with, and I just really loved my experience there.”

SoMAD Hosts LA Film Alumni Event

Posted on August 23, 2017

On May 27, the School of Media Arts & Design hosted a meet and greet event in Los Angeles between 25 of its Film & Animation alumni and award-winning Horror writer/director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, HUSH, Absentia, Ouija II, Before I Wake, Gerald’s Game). The four hour event included a Q&A session led by Film professor Tom Brandau (Flanagan’s former film instructor at Towson University, in Baltimore), as well as a reception that followed. Flanagan, whose work has been lauded by author Stephen King as “Up there with HALLOWEEN…and even more, WAIT UNTIL DARK! White knuckle time!” was recently hand picked by Steven Spielberg to develop, produce and direct an upcoming Netflix series based on “The Haunting of Hill House.” Production is scheduled for this fall in Atlanta.  Read the rest of this entry →

Art faculty, alumni and students help create North America’s largest brick sculpture to celebrate community diversity 

Posted on August 17, 2017

For two years, MSUM Art Professor Brad Bachmeier has been leading a project to install several large-scale brick sculptures at a new skate and bike park in the Golden Ridge community at Madison Park in North Fargo. The community is one of the most diverse and economically challenged in the FM metro area. The project involved collaboration with the Legacy Children’s Foundation, City of Fargo, Fargo Parks and Madison Elementary school children to help celebrate diversity through art and create ownership for community members in the park. Over 300 community members, artists, school children and volunteers have participated in the project including dozens of MSUM alumni, staff and students.  Read the rest of this entry →

Alumna to enter Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus as postulant

Posted on August 02, 2017

Melissa Haas ’15 (communication studies) is entering the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus as a postulant on Aug. 27.

Haas is the third MSUM student to enter a religious vocation under the direction of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead, which offers room and board to students attending area higher education institutions.

To read more about Haas’ journey, visit

Amy Ruley and Mark Hensrud Welcomed to MSUM Alumni Foundation

Posted on July 18, 2017

The Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation would like to extend a warm welcome to Amy Ruley and Mark Hensrud. Both Ruley and Hensrud have been hired in development positions for the foundation. Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM alumnus named news photographer, editor of the year

Posted on June 12, 2017

MSUM alumnus Chad Nelson ’07 (mass communications), a photojournalist with KARE 11 in the Twin Cities, won two top honors in the 2017 National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Video Best of Photojournalism awards, in what’s being called an “unprecedented sweep.”

Nelson was named both the Ernie Crisp News Photographer of the Year and Editor of the Year at a ceremony June 2.  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM alumnus named news photographer, editor of the year

Posted on June 12, 2017

MSUM alumnus Chad Nelson ’07 (mass communications), a photojournalist with KARE 11 in the Twin Cities, won two top honors in the 2017 National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Video Best of Photojournalism awards, in what’s being called an “unprecedented sweep.”

Nelson was named both the Ernie Crisp News Photographer of the Year and Editor of the Year at a ceremony June 2.  Read the rest of this entry →

Commissioner Larry Shellito receives Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Posted on May 03, 2017

On May 1, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), announced the recipients of the 2017 Ellis Island Medals of Honor. Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner and retired Major General Larry Shellito — a Minnesota State University Moorhead alumnus — was among the one hundred outstanding Americans in business, government, medicine, art and education, as well as honorees from all branches of the military, who will receive the 2017 medal.

Other honorees include legendary former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi, TV host and journalist Fareed Zakaria, CEO of HSN Mindy Grossman, former actress and film studio executive Sherry Lansing, and chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller.  Read the rest of this entry →

Graphic Communications student work wins regional Addy Award

Posted on April 13, 2017

Recent GCOM graduate Jonathan Calix recently received a Silver American Advertising Award (ADDY) for Best Website for the District 8 region, which includes Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Back in February, Jonathan’s fictional brand received awards including Best Catalog, Best Website and Best In Show for student work at the local Addy awards. This month the website will be submitted for award consideration at the National level. He created the company website and branded materials for his GCOM Senior Final project in May 2016.  Read the rest of this entry →

3 MSUM alumnae named Fargo Public Schools District elementary school principals

Posted on March 28, 2017

Three MSUM alumnae were named elementary school principals in the Fargo Public Schools District for the upcoming school year. Congratulations to Cathy Selberg, Karrie Rage and Leandra Ostrom!  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Hall of Famer Beeson Named to NSIC Top 25 Team

Posted on March 17, 2017

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference has announced that Brett Beeson, who starred for the Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s basketball program in the 1990s, has been selected for a spot on the NSIC’s Top 25 team. The team is part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the conference.


Alumna working to reduce violence globally

Posted on March 02, 2017


Mindy Grantham ’92 (mass communications) was recently at Flag Is Up Farms, home to the real-life horse whisperer, Monty Roberts and his wife, Pat Roberts, renowned sculptress, for the international launch of Lead-Up International. Lead-Up workshops are conducted with vulnerable youth with the goal of breaking the cycle of violence and creating the next generation of peaceful and powerful leaders through workshops with horses. Ten Monty Roberts instructors were certified to impart Lead-Up workshops in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Marketing & Communications wins ADDY Awards

Posted on February 27, 2017

The MSUM Marketing Team earned several awards at Friday night’s American Advertising Federation’s (AAF-ND) ADDY Awards. The annual ADDY Awards program honors excellence in advertising and cultivates the highest creative standards. It is the only creative awards program administered by the advertising industry for the industry. Each year, AdFed members from around the country enter more than 60,000 samples of their best work, making the ADDYs the world’s largest advertising competition.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dalan and MSUM alumna publish in Remote Sensing journal

Posted on February 02, 2017

Rinita Dalan, Anthropology and Earth Science, MSUM alumna Rebecca Wallace (Geoarchaeology 2017), and colleagues from the Midwest Archeological Center of the National Park Service and the University of Kansas, have had an article published in the online journal Remote Sensing. Their paper “Cutbank Geophysics: A New Method for Expanding Magnetic Investigations to the Subsurface Using Magnetic Susceptibility Testing at an Awatixa Hidatsa Village, North Dakota” forwards an approach for enhancing geophysical studies of archaeological sites.

Art alumnus to give artist talk, premiere film about Fergus Falls State Hospital photography project

Posted on January 24, 2017

Tuesday, Jan. 24 | 7 p.m. | Fargo Library Community Room

Ethan Smith ’14 (art) first was interested in the architecture of the Fergus Falls building that used to be the state hospital. The building was built at the end of the 19th century in the vision of Dr. Thomas Kirkbride, a psychiatrist that recommended mental hospitals with lots of sunlight, located in nature. The opportunity for Smith to further explore those interests began when he was selected to a one-month artist’s residency program that was sponsored by the Fergus Falls Springboard for the Arts. He lived on the grounds of the state hospital and using a large format film camera, documented interior and exterior spaces. During the project, while talking to local residents, the building came alive with the sense of humanity of the people who lived and worked there.  Read the rest of this entry →

MSUM Alumnae, Employee Named to United Way’s 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program

Posted on November 29, 2016

The United Way of Cass-Clay announced its 2017 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program participants, which includes seven MSUM alumnae and one employee.

MSUM alumnae include:

  • Beth Althoff, Doosan-Bobcat
  • Renee Charon, Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota
  • Jesika Jorgenson, Discovery Benefits
  • Yulia Murzaeva, Widmer Roel
  • Danna Nelson, Fargo Park District
  • Leah Trontvet, YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties
  • Jamie Wepking, Minnesota State University Moorhead

Wepking also works at MSUM as the Assistant Director of Admissions Campus Preview Program and Call Center.

Congratulations to these outstanding women!  Read the rest of this entry →

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