March, 2015

Daily News: What happens when the prince is too afraid to fight?

March 26, 2015

By Matthew Liedke

In the spring production, ‘The Last of the Dragons,’ the Princess has to save herself

The North Dakota State College of Science Drama Department is marking the beginning of spring with princesses and dragons.

This year for its spring children’s play, the department is putting on, “Last of the Dragons,” written by Kristin Walter.

The story, according to Theater Director Melissa Frank, is set in a kingdom called Middlefield where it is a tradition to have a princess tied to a rock on her 16th birthday, be kidnapped by a dragon and rescued by a prince. This tradition is followed with the two living happily ever after.

“In this story, the prince is too afraid to fight, the princess wants to be rescuing herself and the dragon is nowhere to be found,” Frank. “It’s part comedy and part romance. We have sword fighting, chase scenes and are hoping to have some music during the show.”

The cast for the play is small, with only six members and just 10 people make up the crew, however, the group has still become close over the course of production according to Frank.

“Everyone has been really supportive and responsive,” said Frank. “We’ve had some really good ideas from the cast and it’s a fantastic cast to work with. Everybody gets along so well.”

The play itself is geared toward children and Frank explained that there will be daytime performances for schools. However, she added that she still hopes families will come out for the evening shows.

“I think the whole community will enjoy it,” Frank said. “We are really trying to build a strong drama department at the college so it would be great to see people come out and see the performances.”

“Last of the Dragons” will be performed on March 31 and April 1-2 with all times at 7 p.m. The shows will take place at the Bremer Bank Theatre in the NDSCS campus cultural center.

Admission to the plays is free, however, food pantry items will be accepted as well as monetary donations which will support the performing arts department.

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society: 50 New Century Scholars Receive $100,000 in Scholarships

March 05, 2015

Fifty community college students from the United States and American Samoa have been named 2015 New Century Scholars – receiving a total of $100,000 in scholarships. The New Century Scholars Program is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Phi Theta Kappa and the American Association of Community Colleges.

The New Century Scholars program and All-USA Community College Academic Team, which is sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group and presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa, share a common application and together recognize outstanding community college students. More than 1,700 students were nominated from more than 1,000 community colleges for recognition. Judges consider grades, leadership, activities and most importantly, how students extend their intellectual talents beyond the classroom.

New Century Scholars are the highest scoring students in each state, plus one student from among one of the seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa is represented internationally. Each scholar will receive a $2,000 scholarship and be presented at the American Association of College Presidents (AACC) Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

“We appreciate the support of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation to recognize the outstanding academic achievement and leadership accomplishments of these outstanding community college students,” said Phi Theta Kappa’s Executive Director, Dr. Rod Risley. “These scholarships provided by organizations like Coca-Cola make the goal of college completion possible – especially during these challenging economic times.”

The 2015 New Century Scholars are:

Alabama- Catherine Kennedy, Alabama Southern Community College- Thomasville Campus
Alaska- Gayle Kildal, Prince William Sound Community College- Valdez Campus
American Samoa- Leli'a Chang, American Samoa Community College- Pago Pago Campus
Arizona- Valerie Le Grande, Mesa Community College- Southern/Dobson Campus
Arkansas- Myrlinda Huff, Northwest Arkansas Community College- Main Campus
California- Sarah Taha, San Diego Mesa College- San Diego Campus
Colorado- John Whatley, Arapahoe Community College- Littleton Campus
Connecticut- Keri Renner, Manchester Community College- Manchester Campus
Delaware- Vernell Brown, Delaware Technical Community College- Wilmington Campus
Florida- Zeinab Noureddine, Miami Dade College- InterAmerican Campus
Georgia- Aemah Badri, Georgia Perimeter College- Clarkston Campus
Hawaii- Reschi Karla Ramo, Leeward Community College- Pearl City Campus
Idaho- Lisa Snyder, College of Western Idaho- Nampa Campus
Illinois- Ashley Williams, Illinois Valley Community College- Oglesby Campus
Indiana- Jacob Hornung-Betz, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana- Sellersburg Campus
Iowa- Janel Orton, Southeastern Community College- West Burlington Campus
Kansas- Thaina Dos Santos Jensen, Highland Community College- at Kansas Campus
Kentucky- Berniece Combs, Somerset Community College- Laurel Campus
Louisiana- Stephen Martinez, Baton Rouge Community College- Baton Rouge Campus
Maine- Saman Baghestani, Southern Maine Community College- South Portland Campus
Maryland- Mason Buran, Montgomery College- Rockville Campus
Massachusetts- Quan Nguyen, Bunker Hill Community College- Boston Campus
Michigan- Kathy Tahtinen, Northwestern Michigan College- Traverse City Campus
Minnesota- Audua Pugh, North Hennepin Community College- Brooklyn Park Campus
Mississippi- Jordan Davis, Meridian Community College- Meridian Campus
Missouri- Alina Ghulam Rasool, Cottey College- Nevada Campus
Montana- Tiffany Benner, Miles Community College- Miles City Campus
Nebraska- Ethan Nelson, Western Nebraska Community College- Scottsbluff Campus
Nevada- Ewelina Obrochta, College of Southern Nevada- Charleston / North Las Vegas Campus
New Hampshire- Evan Lawrence, Great Bay Community College- Stratham Campus
New Jersey- Rhonda Richardsen, Bergen Community College- Paramus Campus
New Mexico- Heather Kangas, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo- Alamogordo Campus
New York- Anastassiya Neznanova, LaGuardia Community College- Long Island City Campus
North Carolina- Paulette Gardner, Asheville-Buncombe Tech. Comm. College- Technical Campus
North Dakota- Sara Holcomb, North Dakota State College of Science- Wahpeton Campus
Ohio- Hannah Kiraly, Cuyahoga Community College- Western Campus
Oklahoma- Macie Gillock, Redlands Community College- El Reno Campus
Oregon- Tuong Hoang, Portland Community College- Rock Creek Campus
Pennsylvania- Aaron Rosengarten, Northampton Community College- Main Campus
Rhode Island- Allison Contillo, Community College of Rhode Island- Liston/Providence Campus
South Carolina- Caroline France, Greenville Technical College- Greenville Campus
Tennessee- Brandon Hayes, Walters State Community College- Morristown Campus
Texas- Jhoalmo Sibrian, Tarrant County College- Southeast Campus
Utah- David Godoy, Salt Lake Community College- Salt Lake City Campus
Vermont- Rachel Friedman, Landmark College- Putney Campus
Virginia- Brianna DiSanza, Germanna Community College- Fredericksburg Campus
Washington- David Yama, South Seattle College- South Campus
West Virginia- Jennifer Miller, New River Community & Tech. College- Lewisburg Campus
Wisconsin- Ryan Boyer, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- Green Bay Campus
Wyoming- Tessa Robinson, Gillette College- Gillette Campus

About Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, MS, is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1,285 chapters on two-year and community college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, Peru, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

NDUS: Students Named to the 2015 All-North Dakota Academic Team

March 04, 2015

Seven North Dakota community college students have been named to the 2015 All-North Dakota Academic Team, which recognizes the academic achievements of community college students. They will be honored at a dinner and awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4, at Bismarck State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence. North Dakota University System Interim Chancellor Larry C. Skogen will be the keynote speaker for this year’s program.

Members of the 2015 All-North Dakota Academic Team, their hometowns and the colleges they attend are:

  • Dylan Horner, Mandan, Bismarck State College
  • Patrick Thomas, Devils Lake, Lake Region State College
  • Brandon Tofte, Devils Lake, Lake Region State College
  • Sara Holcomb, Wahpeton, North Dakota State College of Science
  • Hunter Onchuck, Wahpeton, North Dakota State College of Science
  • Whitney Brandvold, Bottineau, Dakota College at Bottineau
  • Haley Mastvelten, Bottineau, Dakota College at Bottineau

"These students are outstanding examples of academic achievement and community involvement," said Skogen. "Being named to the All-North Dakota Academic Team is a significant accomplishment, one that reflects positively on both the students and their colleges. This is another example of how students who attend North Dakota's community colleges are well prepared to meet the evolving demands of the workforce or continue on for additional education."

In North Dakota, the community college awards are co-sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society and the North Dakota University System College Technical Education Council. The academic team recognition program is active in 37 states. Students named to the state team also are nominated for the All-USA Academic Team.

Nominations are based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community. Each member of the North Dakota team will receive a certificate of congratulations from Gov. Jack Dalrymple, an award certificate, a medallion and a monetary award. Team members are also eligible for scholarships from Dickinson State University, Mayville State University, Minot State University, Valley City State University, North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota. The University of Mary and University of Jamestown also offer awards to All-North Dakota Academic Team members.

Press Release from

NASPA: North Dakota State College of Science honored by NASPA

March 03, 2015

Grand Silver winner of the 2015 Excellence Awards for student success program

Each year, NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, recognizes the outstanding contributions of members who are transforming higher education through exceptional programs, innovative services and effective administration. The “Making Student Success a Priority” program at North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) was named as the 2015 Grand Silver winner of the NASPA Excellence Awards. The program was selected by a peer review process that was approved by the NASPA Board of Directors during its winter board meeting. Recipients will be honored in March at the 2015 NASPA Annual Conference in New Orleans, La.

Campuses, no matter their mission, size or student demographics, struggle to ensure that the students who start their academic path persist to graduation. In 2012, the Aspen Institute identified and included NDSCS in the top 10 percent of the most successful Community Colleges in the country. However, their retention rate had fallen from 18 percent from 2008 to 2012. That drop, coupled with an unprecedented workforce shortage in the state and declining state high school graduation rates until 2018, exemplified the need to rethink their approach to supporting our students’ success.

NDSCS is a unique two-year campus in that they have a majority of students living on-campus in college-owned housing. It was clear through student feedback and survey data that the students were not feeling supported in their learning – specifically, they indicated that they were not receiving support to cope with their non-academic responsibilities (work, family, etc.) and the support needed to thrive socially. Based on that information, NDSCS enhanced their acclimation and on-boarding activities, recognizing that literature indicates that the first three weeks on campus are critical to a students’ success.

Improvements were campus-wide through establishing faculty nominated peer-leader team and increasing the students’ acclimation time to the college. Shifting student move-in from Sunday to Saturday allowed additional time and opportunities for students to engage and interact prior to the stress of starting the academic year. The Registration and Orientation process was restructured to be two-part, to provide students and family members crucial information about the expectations and resources available to support them before, during and after their time as an NDSCS student.

Another shift was the development of the Wildcat Welcome Team, which afforded current students the opportunity to mentor incoming students – providing crucial peer-to-peer connections for new students. All campus facets were involved in most efforts, from facilities management to the President. This has been accomplished through traditional meetings and discussions – but also through using technology. Text alerts and heavy use of Facebook, Twitter and other social media were also developed to further engage students.

It is through these efforts that NDSCS’s retention has increased from 62 percent in 2011-2012 to 71 percent in 2013-2014; student attendance at welcome week has increased 19 percent from fall 2013 to fall 2014; and students living on campus (residence halls, family housing or apartments) has increased 9.3 percent.            

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy and research for 13,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries and 8 U.S. territories.

Daily News: NDSCS Officials Confident in ND Senate Funding Bill

March 02, 2015

By Matthew Liedke

NDSCS officials are confident the ND Senate will produce a better funding bill than the devastating bill from House

North Dakota State College of Science could be facing potential cuts in funding due to a bill moving through the state House of Representatives. School officials are remaining hopeful, though, that something different will come out of the Senate.

The legislation in question is House Bill 1003, which includes a section that would alter the state’s funding formula away from being based on a college’s credits.

The legislation from the House, according to NDSCS President Dr. John Richman, was significantly different than what Gov. Jack Dalrymple recommended in his budget. The reason for the difference, Richman said, was likely because of the governor working off a different revenue projection than the House did.

Richman explained that the session in Bismarck is still in its early phases and nothing is set in stone yet.

“We’re in the midst of the legislative session and nothing has been finalized,” Richman said. “We just got out of the House, so now it goes over to the Senate.

“We will actually go out to testify on March 23 to the Senate Appropriations Committee,” Richman continued. “Following that, the committee will produce its own version of the bill which will go to the Senate floor.”

Toward the end of April, the Senate is expected to release its version and Richman said he anticipates it will look different than the House version.

“That will put it in the third phase of the legislative process, in which a conference committee will find an agreement out of the two versions that will be voted on in both chambers,” Richman said.

If the final bill to come out of the legislature this spring were to look similar to the House version, though, it could have a profound effect on NDSCS.

“Based upon our current budget and our current planning, the House version would require us to eliminate 8-12 positions,” Richman said. “We’re not excited about that by any stretch of the imagination, it’s not a position you want to find yourself in.

“We feel that we are appropriately staffed. Based on our increased credits and we’ve also made some investments to attract and retain more students and we already see results,” Richman continued. “The funding model would have paid for those investments had the House not altered the formula.”

Additionally, a bill like the one produced by the House would remove all capital projects for NDSCS. The projects presented included one in Wahpeton for construction work on the school’s water and sewer system at the cost of $13.298 million and a sum of $5 million that the governor had set aside to improve workforce training in Cass County.

Despite what is included in the House bill, college officials are still looking for different results from the Senate.

“We’re optimistic that the Senate version will be an improvement, we’re optimistic that the legislators statewide understand our mission and what we bring to the state,” Richman said. “The Senate will be working off of another revenue projection which releases on March 18, and the Legislature is very anxiously awaiting that projection as it will drive the number of decisions on state funding.”

For now, it is a waiting game for college officials.

“North Dakota’s socio-economic status is at a tipping point. There isn’t likely a more critical time in the state’s history in which we have needed to invest in bringing in and training more people for North Dakota to abstain and improve that status,” Richman added. “Without a workforce, North Dakota cannot improve, and our mission is to educate and train the workforce of the state.”

Full article from the Wahpeton Daily News

INFORUM: N.D. Science men’s basketball team one win closer to national tournament

March 02, 2015

By Kevin Schnepf

Johnny Woodard was on his computer the other night watching the Dawson Community College men’s basketball team knock off nationally ranked Williston State on a last-second shot. That’s when Woodard called his coach.

“He didn’t believe me at first,” Woodard said.

Believe it. Instead of playing a National Junior College Athletic Association Region 13 championship in Williston Sunday, Woodard and the North Dakota State College of Science Wildcats played on their home floor in the Blikre Activities Center – where they claimed a 92-63 win over Dawson.

Avoiding any kind of letdown against Dawson, Science now gets another home game. This time, the Wildcats will host national power Indian Hills Community College of Ottumwa, Iowa, on Thursday for the right to advance to the NJCAA Division I national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

“We want to get to that stage in Kansas,” said Woodard, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Duluth, Minn., who was named the Region 13 player of the year. “Indian Hills is definitely a talented team. We just have to knock down our shots.”

The Wildcats were certainly accomplishing that on Sunday.

In the first half, the Wildcats made 10 of 15 3-pointers to build a 55-37 halftime lead. Jamal Davis, the only other sophomore for the Wildcats, made all five of his 3-pointers despite playing with a dislocated shoulder in his non-shooting arm.

“I was running on adrenalin,” said Davis, a 6-4 sophomore from Hopkins, Minn. “I was able to knock that out of my mind and hit some shots.”

Science, which made 18 3-pointers in one game this season, ended up making 13 of 26 treys for the game. The performance was an improvement from its 67-49 and 76-63 regular-season wins over Dawson – which ends its season with a 14-17 record.

“We were preparing for Williston,” Woodard said of the team the Wildcats lost to 93-83 at Williston. At home, the Wildcats needed five overtimes to beat Williston 127-122.

Woodard, who is getting recruiting looks from the likes of Missouri, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Minnesota and St. John’s, ended up leading the Wildcats with 25 points. Davis had 17 points and seven assists.

Now, the Wildcats prepare for Thursday’s national-qualifying game with Indian Hills – a rematch of last year’s qualifying game in Ottumwa, where the Wildcats lost 115-91. Indian Hills, national junior college champions in 1997, 1998 and 1999, boast a 27-4 record and a No. 13 national ranking – relying on full-court pressure and seven double-figure scorers who have the team averaging 101.4 points per game.

“We know they are going to be tough,” said Woodard, who scored 34 points in last year’s game against Indian Hills.

A win would send Science to its first national tournament since 2009. The Wildcats have reached nationals eight other times in 1953, 1954, 1966, 1983, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 2005.

“They (Indian Hills) are awfully gifted,” said Science head coach Stu Engen, named the Region 13 coach of the year. “They probably have eight high-major players on their roster. But, if we shoot like we did today, maybe we can make it interesting. Hey, if Dawson can beat Williston, who knows?”

DCC (14-17 overall): Buck 6-10 0-1 13, Cappel 2-6 0-0 4, Herr 1-5 2-2 4, Busby 0-3 0-0 0, Stickel 1-2 0-0 2, Elbert Jones 2-12 6-6 12, Border 4-7 2-2 12, Evan Jones 4-7 2-2 12, Loy 2-4 0-0 4, Gable 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-56 (FG), 12-13 (FT).

NDSCS (26-6 overall): Walters 3-8 4-6 12, Goodwin 4-6 2-2 11, Woodard 7-15 9-12 25, Davis 6-8 1-1 17, Christensen 2-2 1-6 6, Gottsche 1-8 0-0 3, Vranes 6-11 0-0 14, Nickel 2-2 0-2 4. Totals: 31-60 (FG), 17-29 (FT).

Halftime: NDSCS 55, DCC 37. 3-points goals: DCC 7-21 (Buck 1, Elbert Jones 2, Border 2, Evan Jones 2), NDSCS 13-26 (Walters 2, Goodwin 1, Woodard 2, Davis 4, Christensen 1, Gottsche 1, Vranes 2). Total fouls: DCC 24, NDSCS 15. Rebounds: DCC 32 (Elbert Jones 6, Buck 5), NDSCS 36 (Vranes 7, Christensen 6, Goodwin 6). Assists: DCC 3, NDSCS 19 (Davis 7, Walters 5). Steals: DCC 2, NDSCS 7 (Walters 3). Turnovers: DCC 14 (Busby 3, Evan Jones 3), NDSCS 5 (Vranes 2).

Full article from

ND Commerce: Commerce Awards Grant to NDSCS for Workforce Training Program

March 02, 2015

The North Dakota Department of Commerce announced a $265,328 workforce enhancement grant for North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS). The grant will support NDSCS’s efforts to train students in their Robotic Welding Technician Training Initiative.

The grant will expand NDSCS’s ability to offer robotic welding training to students and incumbent workers. It also allows for the possibility for NDSCS to become an American Welding Society (AWS) Approved Testing Center for Certified Robotics Arc Welding.  Currently, there are six AWS Approved Testing Centers in the United States. This project will impact 100 students on an annual basis.

“We are excited to receive another Workforce Enhancement Grant as these grants encourage public and private partnerships that assist us in providing a world class educational environment at NDSCS.” Dr. John Richman, president of NDSCS said.

Workforce enhancement grants enable two-year colleges to apply for funds to help create or enhance training programs that address workforce needs of North Dakota’s private-sector employers. Projects require a dollar-for-dollar match of all state money with private funds.

“The workforce enhancement grants help increase the capacity of our higher education institutions like NDSCS to provide a consistent stream of qualified workers educated right here in North Dakota,” said Wayde Sick, Workforce Development Director at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The partnership of industry, education, and state and local governments is needed to meet the developing workforce needs of North Dakota.”

Grant funding may be used for curriculum development, equipment, recruiting participants, and training and certifying instructors. Funds may not be used to supplant funding for current operations.

The Workforce Enhancement Council reviews all proposals and provides funding recommendations to the commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The council consists of the private-sector membership of the North Dakota Workforce Development Council, the state director of the Department of Career & Technical Education, and the division director of the Workforce Development Division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, who serves as the chair.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.

For more North Dakota news and information subscribe to the Commerce News RSS Feed or go to

Full article from ND Commerce

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