November 30, 2015
By Frank Stanko
North Dakota State College of Science student Austin Olin came in first place at the National Leadership and Skills Championships held by SkillsUSA last June in Louisville, Ky., and won a Harley Davidson motorcycle for the school. Olin, who majored in powersports technology and graduated from NDSCS in May, showed off his motorcycle servicing skills at the championships. He demonstrated servicing an engine, performing a 360-degree inspection of the vehicle, electrical diagnostic work, taking measurements and writing a repair order. The motorcycle, a custom built 2013 Street Glide, belongs to NDSCS, which will use it for student training. Olin won a toolbox with Snap-On tools, plus gift cards to Carhartt, which sells work clothes and home improvement chain Lowes.
November 17, 2015
By Frank Stanko
‘And Her Biggest Case Ever’
A fixture of bookshelves around the world. The focus of a display this month at Wahpeton’s Leach Public Library. Her adventures are told on TV, in movies and through video games. It doesn’t take a first class sleuth to know she’s Nancy Drew, coming to the stage at North Dakota State College of Science.
“Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever,” written by Jeff Frank and John Maclay, is directed by Melissa Frank and stars Mel Kompelien as the 1930s crime-solver, created by Carolyn Keene. It will be performed for one weekend only, starting Friday, Nov. 20 at NDSCS’ Bremer Bank Theatre.
Nancy takes the case of Laura (Lanae Ekberg) and Trixie Pendleton (Carly Eback), sisters convinced their guardian (Sam Sagvold) is more interested in their late father’s buried treasure than he claims. With best friends Bess Marvin (Tory Safranski) and George Fayne (Rhianna Kurtz) – and some judo skills – Nancy survives a ski chase, near-drowning, two kidnappings, a boat explosion and the worrying of housekeeper Hannah (Miranda Glenn), father Carson (Caleb Lee) and boyfriend Ned Nickerson (Daniel Paluck).
“She’s really smart, doesn’t take anyone’s stuff,” Kompelien said of Nancy. “She’s her own person, so it’s about being a powerful character.” Kompelien, a third-year student, has been involved with theater since high school, but admitted that when she tried out for “Biggest Case Ever,” she didn’t expect to get the lead role.
“Biggest Case Ever,” conceived in 2014 by Frank and Maclay of the First Stage Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is receiving its third production at NDSCS. It’s also the third show directed by Melissa Frank, who spent more than 10 years designing costumes for the Menomonie Theater Guild in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
“I have kind of free reign, I guess,” Frank said regarding the shows she picks. “I let (NDSCS) know what I’m thinking of and I think if they would object to anything, then I’d of course abide by that. The shows, the theater is for the students, because the student fees pay for all of our costumes and props and everything, but then, I also want to appeal to the community, so there’s a good balancing act.
“You know, do I want to do a show that everybody’s heard of, so that they’ll come, or do I want to push the boundaries with something no one’s heard of?” she asked.
Frank is mindful of the content of her plays, especially since she brings her children to auditions and rehearsals. “I try to do something that’s not specifically geared toward kids, but I hope that you can bring the kids and it would be OK.”
During “Biggest Case Ever,” an ensemble of actors in black clothing are used to manipulate props and set pieces. The cast affectionately refer to them as “kokens,” referring to an aspect of Japanese theater. The kokens are perhaps most prominently featured as Nancy’s roadster in a scene that allows Safranski the chance to show off her screaming skills.
Frank is open to theatrical newcomers.
“We can use you regardless of your experience,” she said. “It’s nice to have people who have lots of experience and will act professionally, but I’ve also loved having people who have never done it before. It’s hard to put yourself out there and as much as people may be surprised to find out, I’m kind of an introvert myself. Having to talk in front of a cast of 15 people, it’s not always easy. But it’s a great place to get to know people.”
The cast, Frank continued, has been so friendly and welcoming to all, a sentiment Kompelien agrees with.
“We’re drama kids, we’re accepting of our own,” Kompelien said.
Performances of “Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever” are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20, and 12 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. It will run approximately 90 minutes and for one of the performances, there will be an intermission. The Bremer Bank Theatre is in NDSCS’ Stern Cultural Center. Admission is free, with donations and non-perishable food pantry items appreciated.
November 13, 2015
NDSCS awarded Military Friendly® Schools Designation
North Dakota State College of Science announced today that the College was recently named to the 2016 Military Friendly® Schools list by Victory Media.
The Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and spouses as students, and to ensure their success on campus.
NDSCS offers a variety of online courses and programs to provide an educational opportunity to those who are placebound or timebound and cannot attend traditional classes. These courses and programs also provide an opportunity for current and former members of the military to enhance their education or seek new skills. NDSCS also has a membership with the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) Consortium and the SOC Degree Network System.
To find out more about specific military programs that may provide educational information and financial support visit www.ndscs.edu/military.
Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that has been serving the military community since 2001. Their data-driven Military Friendly® lists are published in G.I. Jobs®, Military Spouse and Vetrepreneur® magazines, republished in periodicals like USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Bloomberg BW and are frequently cited on national TV by NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and others. Further information about the Military Friendly® Schools list can be found at www.victorymedia.com.
November 12, 2015
North Dakota State College of Science recently honored a number of employees with the annual Steeple Award. The presentations were made in Wahpeton, N.D., to Building Services staff involved with the “Building Services Innovation and Teamwork” project and NDSCS-Fargo staff involved with the “Building for the Future at NDSCS-Fargo” project.
The Steeple Award, celebrated in October, honors those who have “Climbed New Heights” and is presented to an individual, employee group or committee for using new and innovative methods to accomplish the recipient’s role on campus. This year’s Steeple awards were presented to Building Services staff (Jim Barvels, Dennis Beyer, Jon Boll, Barb Coppin, Ben Differding, Darrel Essig, Christine Fillinger, Shari Fossen, Dallas Fossum, Joy Gerner, Bob Heitkamp, Billie Hendrickson, Kari Hickman, David Jacobson, Dean Kappes, Diane Mertes, April Meyer, Albert Neidviecky, Gloria Nelson, Andreas Neumann, Sue Pellman, Bryon Peterson, Allen Rensvold, Sheri Scheer, Darrell Schreiber, Dan Torgerson and John Walter) and NDSCS-Fargo staff (Nicole Ashe, Kathy Bodensteiner, Dave Dougherty, Ryan Hanson, John Lesch, Chelsie Meyer, Sharon Pressley, Trish Schrom, Carrie Stenseth and Tonya Stokka).
Building Services staff involved with the “Building Services Innovation and Teamwork” project developed a multi-pronged improvement approach to improve efficiencies in maintaining campus cleanliness. The three themes to the initiative included: implementing a pro-active planning and scheduling process, implementing and using the 5S methodology throughout College buildings and making several investments in new equipment technologies to improve processes.
NDSCS-Fargo staff involved with the “Building for the Future at NDSCS-Fargo” project made important strides in further developing NDSCS-Fargo. The overall NDSCS-Fargo environment has undergone a transformation which has truly enhanced the student learning experience, the culture and the community at NDSCS-Fargo. With the addition of staff, the Wild Grounds Coffee Shop, more comfortable lounging areas and the Bookstore during high-use times of the year, students are now finding the services they expect. A new approach to new student registration was also proposed and implemented for the summer of 2015.
November 06, 2015
By Frank Stanko
NDSCS Culinary Arts and Norwegian studies classes collaborate on menu
Norwegian studies at the North Dakota State College of Science is normally taught by professor Anne Taylor. Taylor introduces her students to many elements of the Scandinavian country’s culture. When it came to Norway’s cuisine, she had assistance.
Taylor’s students were taught this week by most of the first year students of culinary arts professor and chef Kyle Armitage. On Thursday, a Norwegian dinner was prepared, featuring creamed cabbage, parsley potatoes, meatballs, salmon with sour cream dill sauce, grilled lamb with currents and sour cream, gravy, sweet bread and for dessert, fattigman, a fried “poor man’s cookie” garnished with powdered sugar.
“This is our second year we’ve done a collaboration with the Culinary Arts department. It’s a win-win situation between the two departments. I love it, it’s just great, so fun. It’s my favorite week,” Taylor said. On Tuesday, her students made a full Norwegian breakfast with the rest of Armitage’s students.
The culinary arts students were excited for the opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
“We get to share our knowledge with other people and share our passion,” said culinary arts student Taisyn St. Claire, who led the fattigman cooks. “Culinary has always been a passion of mine, so being able to come to — I live in Bottineau, North Dakota, that’s five hours away — the only culinary school in the state, you get the culinary feel, while being kinda close to home, without paying a strenuous amount of money.”
And the Norwegian studies students were enthusiastic about trying something out of the ordinary.
“I would work with foreign cuisine at my house. It’s fun to try different things,” said Shania Mau, who prepared the cabbage and potatoes.
Culinary arts student John Madison agreed, saying he’d never worked with Norwegian food before, but “It went pretty smooth. I can’t be mad at that.” Madison, who is a running back for the NDSCS Wildcats, said culinary arts is something he would consider pursuing in the future.
“At first, I just took the class for the credit, but once we started actually doing stuff and learning about Norway, it was really cool,” said Norwegian studies student and fattigman cook Zachery Bellmore. Bellmore said he isn’t aware of any Norwegian in his family, but the class is doing an ancestry project, so he’ll find out.
The lamb was praised. “It’s so nice and soft in the middle, and that’s because we’re cooking it medium rare, so you still have that tiny bit of color,” said culinary arts student Charlie Jorgensen, who has experience with the meat through his job at Prante’s Fine Dining in Wahpeton. Norwegian studies student Tory Safranski agreed, calling what she was eating one of the best pieces of lamb she had ever had.
“A lot of times, the students or the community members who come in and take the class, they want to know about us, they want to know what (professional chefs) do, almost just as much as what we’re doing,” Armitage said.
“Last year was kind of our first year trying it out, and Anne and I spoke a couple of times through the summer, to make sure we wanted to do it again,” he continued. “It challenges my students a lot differently (than the usual assignment), because ultimately this was a community education cooking class. That’s how we approach it. Any of my students are going to be asked to do those, from almost day one after graduation to the end of their career, so they might as well have a good feel for what they have to do to become experts in a certain topic and to be able to answer questions, to decide what that does the community want to do and what do they not want to do. There’s a huge amount of learning on our end.”
November 03, 2015
66 percent of NDSCS graduates find employment in North Dakota
North Dakota State College of Science 2015 graduates are benefitting from the strong North Dakota economy. According to information recently compiled by NDSCS, upon completion of their program of study, the vast majority of NDSCS career and technical education graduates are employed in the state of North Dakota.
The NDSCS 2015 Graduate Placement Report revealed that 99 percent of 2015 career and technical education graduates are employed or continuing their education with 69 percent in a field related to their program of study. Sixty-six percent have accepted employment in North Dakota, while 88 percent of those pursuing additional education have chosen to do so at a college or university located in North Dakota.
Out of the 31 programs reporting, 26 recorded 100 percent placement. The annual average salary of a 2015 graduate is $38,844 which is just over a 7 percent increase from 2014 graduates.
“A 99 percent placement rate really illustrates how successful NDSCS graduates are at securing careers and how in demand they are by business and industry. The other part of our success is helping graduates who are seeking a four-year degree move on to another institution to continue their education,” said Dr. John Richman, NDSCS president. “Either scenario reflects positively and profoundly on our faculty, staff and students.”
The NDSCS 2015 Graduate Placement Report is compiled each year by the NDSCS Student Success and Career Services department. Statistics for this year’s report were based on information gathered from 531 graduates in December 2014, May 2015 and August 2015.
A detailed report can be found at www.ndscs.edu/placement.
November 02, 2015
The North Dakota State College of Science will be holding Open House sessions on Friday, November 6 and Friday, December 4 from noon – 5 p.m. at NDSCS-Fargo, located at 1305 19th Avenue North, for students interested in taking classes at the Fargo location.
These free come-and-go sessions are open to the public and will focus on NDSCS-Fargo and Online program options, curriculum and class schedules, tuition costs and financial aid, the application process and any questions. Current NDSCS-Fargo faculty and Enrollment Services representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. No pre-registration is required to attend.
Newer courses being offered at NDSCS-Fargo include: Criminal Justice Transfer, General Business Management (now being offered during the day) and IT Forensics.
November 02, 2015
By Frank Stanko
NDSCS president said student retention and enrollment primary focus in upcoming years
North Dakota State College of Science's President Dr. John Richman proudly announced in his State of the College address Thursday that the school has improved from 98 percent to over 99 percent in its career placement rate for students.
“As I represent you across the country, you make my job very easy, and I really do appreciate everything that you do for students and all your work to help the state of North Dakota continue to thrive in a social-economic position,” Richman said.
Richman explained a 3 percent rise in overall enrollment in terms of “buckets.”
“When I went to school here in 1971, there was only one bucket. Now we have five. We diversified our population, our students. We’re reaching more students and more diversified students. Used to be a 4 to 1 ratio, men to women, in 1971. That number is almost 50-50 now. Our students are getting older because we’re diversifying. All of that is good,” Richman said.
“We have NDSCS Wahpeton; we have dual credit, that's a high school student that's taking our college course; we have a hybrid, a student that's receiving their instructions in multiple ways or from multiple locations, so they might be in Fargo and Wahpeton, they might be online and in Wahpeton; then, of course, we have Fargo and last, but not least is our online (courses),” he said.
There was a significant increase in hybrid students, Richman said.
“We now have 500 of our students receiving their instructions in more than one way,” he said. And Fargo saw the biggest growth, 42 percent, compared to a 6 percent decline from last year for Wahpeton. According to Richman, there are approximately 300 students in Fargo compared to an official enrollment of 1,300 for Wahpeton.The number of online students has remained solid at 200, he said.
What Richman said NDSCS needs to work on, is Wahpeton's capacity, but he said a way to improve that is through not only marketing and recruitment, but continued efforts in retention. He praised the Student Success division, whose “efforts are paying off tremendously.”
“In a two year period, our retention rate grew 12 percent. We went from 60-some percent to over 70. That's a tremendous gain in a short period of time,” he said.
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