March, 2017

Science of Leadership program fosters student leadership skills at NDSCS

March 31, 2017

Fifteen students at the North Dakota State College of Science are participating in the College’s Science of Leadership program during the Spring 2017 semester.

The students, along with their hometowns and program of study, are:
Lane Berger; Bismarck, N.D.; Land Surveying and Civil Engineering Technology
Lizzie Brown; Wahpeton, N.D.; Liberal Arts
Breanda Bursheim; Buffalo, Minn.; Occupational Therapy Assistant
Georges Creve-Coeur; Stamford, Conn.; Diesel Technology
Sami Hasbargen; Wahpeton, N.D.; Liberal Arts
Shanda Hayden; Fargo, N.D.; Dental Hygiene
Cynthia Heinis; Plankinton, S.D.; Liberal Arts
Addison Helgaas; Jamestown, N.D.; Liberal Arts
Heather Heyerman; St. Michael, Minn.; Business Management
Kody Lohse; Fergus Falls, Minn.; Business Management
Logan Meyer; Wahpeton, N.D.; Liberal Arts
Mason Rademacher; Sauk Rapids, Minn.; Liberal Arts
Lee Reinowski; Anamoose, N.D.; Architectural Drafting and Estimating Technology
Riley Thoma; Bagley, Minn.; Dental Hygiene
Megan Wilt; Wheaton, Minn.; Dental Hygiene

The Science of Leadership program, in its fourth year, engages students in existing leadership roles to further develop the skills necessary to become life-long leaders. The program seeks to foster students’ skills related to critical thinking, problem solving, communication, planning and organization.

Any student who serves as an officer in an official NDSCS student organization is eligible to apply and, if selected, participate in the Science of Leadership program and receive a $3,000 scholarship. The scholarships were made possible through a generous gift from Edson and Margaret Larson foundation, the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Grant and the NDSCS Alumni/Foundation.

The program develops students’ leadership skills through an interactive and engaging leadership curriculum, provides experiential leadership learning opportunities and provides small-group mentoring from NDSCS professional staff members.

Wahpeton Daily News: They can handle the heat

March 28, 2017

By Frank Stanko

Jared Wick knows the pressures of competing and setting the best example for his teammates. His playing field just happens to be the kitchen.

Wick, a second year at North Dakota State College of Science, was one of eight culinary arts students who led the school to seventh place at the 2017 Central Regional Culinary Salon Competition. Not only did he represent NDSCS, but North Dakota itself.

“Every knife cut, you want it to be good, just to justify your being captain. It’s a pressure, but it’s a good pressure,” he said. “It taught me to strive more, to work harder and to be a leader.”

Held by the American Culinary Federation from Friday, Feb. 3-Saturday, Feb. 4, the 2017 competition took place in Joliet, Illinois. Thanks to the event’s point system, NDSCS qualified as a bronze-level winner.

“We’re going to a different kitchen that we’ve never been in,” said associate culinary arts professor Kyle Armitage, describing the situation. “We have to bring absolutely everything from whisks to tongs, pots and pans. The only thing they provided us was the stone and the oven. We were on equipment that had never been used before, in a $58 million culinary school.”

This year was NDSCS’ second time participating in the central region competition, facing states like Texas and Illinois. Armitage, the team’s coach, critic and confidence-builder, feels the team continues to make waves.

“We went in with confidence and we learned a lot. Next year is our time to shine. I think we’re going to make the top five,” he said.

NDSCS’ team was made up of competitors and highly organized support specialists, Armitage said.

“We found that the alternates were actually the most important people. The alternates are the field generals. They’re telling the competitors, ‘This is how much time you have left. Don’t forget to do this.’ They can do everything but touch food. They have to know what each person needs at each step,” he continued.

A skills salon was the main event of day one. Team members were tested on fabrication, or butchering, in addition to other knife skills and preparing pastry.

“A well built menu utilizes what you did on Friday into Saturday,” Armitage said. “If you asked them, they probably broke down 50 chickens each practice. They probably cleaned 10 fish. They probably went through 20-40 pounds of potatoes, must have made pastry cream 15 times each. We practiced and practiced and practiced.”

Day two was the team competition, where students created four dishes in 90 minutes. The first course, filets de sole Lady Egmont, follows the competition’s requirement of having a dish from classical French chef Auguste Escoffier.

“He was a revolutionary man in the food world. He took what was going on and organized it. Much of what we still teach today is still based on Escoffier,” Armitage continued.

The poached seafood featured a butter sauce, asparagus and puff pastry. It was followed by a baby greens salad with an orange vinaigrette dressing and a sweet beet relish. Dessert had two components: A lemon sponge cake with a raspberry mousse and chocolate ravioli filled with strawberry pastry cream topped with caramel. For the entrée, Armitage and his students prepared a pan-roasted chicken breast and forcemeat ballotine.

“A ballotine is a stuffed thigh portion,” Armitage explained. “What we did during the chicken fabrication was debone the thigh, take the leg meat, purée it with seasonings, stuff it with spinach in the thigh and then roast it. Ballotine is classic. Nobody does it anymore. But we know our judges are old school.”

North Dakota’s American Culinary Federation team formed in 2015, when chef Eric Watson, Fargo, contacted NDSCS and Armitage. Watson, Armitage said, knew how competitions teach new chefs the importance of confidence, teamwork and practice. Currently, NDSCS’ team is North Dakota’s only representative. In other states, teams must first win at the local and state level.

“We’re sponsored by the Red River Valley Chef’s Association,” Armitage said. “All of our students who compete (are members). The Chef’s Association was able to donate $1,000, which covers a lot. And we talked a lot about next year on the ride home. How do we get started, how do we prepare, how do we recruit new competitors?”

On Tuesday, March 21, NDSCS held its first Culinary Day. The school invited approximately 40 high schoolers from North Dakota and Minnesota to tour the Wahpeton campus, learn more about the culinary program, try out skills such as cake decoration and knife cuts and also prepare their own lunch. This time around, the meal was simpler, with sandwiches, salads and a cupcake dessert.

“I always loved watching my mom cook when I was younger,” said Addison Erickson, a high school junior from Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

Mary Uhren, coordinator of the culinary arts program and supervisor of Culinary Day’s skills competition, said she’s extremely pleased with the team.

“They worked extremely hard. Some of these students come in hours before a class and stay hours after a class,” she said. “Drive is essential in this industry. You can’t just show up. You have to come in with a passion and a real motivation to do your best everyday. It can’t be hot and cold.”

As for Wick, he plans to keep cooking, keep learning and keep pushing himself.

“I’m still striving to be better. I always liked cooking. It never felt like work. It always brought out something in me that made me want to work harder at it. It feels great to cook every day.”

Read the full article online at

NDSCS Concert Band and Concert Choir to Perform April 6

March 28, 2017

The North Dakota State College of Science Concert Band and Concert Choir will perform in the College’s spring concert at 7:30 p.m. on April 6 in the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton. The concert is free and open to the public.

Following the concert, the performance groups will embark on a tour in New York City from April 7-12. Funding for the trip is provided by the students and by private donations. No college dollars will be used, and donations are still being accepted to help students pay for meals during the tour.

“This is a big step for NDSCS,” said Poyzer. “We strive to offer the four-year college experience in a two-year setting, and this is part of that complete education.”

On the tour, the Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Adam Hollingsworth, will play on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, which is now docked in the Hudson River and includes the Space Shuttle Enterprise on its deck. The band will also perform in a combined event with the Concert Choir at Thomas Paine Park. The choir, under the direction of Bryan Poyzer, will have the opportunity to sing at the Statue of Liberty and tour Ellis Island.

The April 6 concert at NDSCS will feature many of the songs the Concert Band and Concert Choir will perform while on tour. The music selections will have a patriotic theme.

“These are still the kids of the September 11th era and they need a chance to view the memorials and see first-hand how music helps in the healing process and brings people together,” said Poyzer.

Other sites on the tour will include the newly constructed Freedom Towers, Broadway shows, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Plaza, St. Paul’s and St. Patrick’s Cathedrals, and attempting to be seen on TV during filming of NBC’s Today Show on the morning of April 11.

NDSCS-Fargo to hold Program Preview Event April 4

March 27, 2017

North Dakota State College of Science will hold a free Program Preview event on Tuesday, April 4 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at NDSCS-Fargo, located at 1305 19th Avenue North, for students interested in taking classes at the Fargo location.

Prospective students will have the opportunity to visit with admissions and financial aid staff, meet faculty, and learn about academic options in the Business Management, Liberal Arts, Information Communications Technology, Paramedic Technology and Welding Technology departments.

The Program Preview event is free, and no registration is necessary. Additional information is available online at, or by calling 701-231-6935.

NDSCS Performing Arts Department to present School House Rock Live! Jr.

March 21, 2017

The North Dakota State College of Science Performing Arts Department will present its spring play, School House Rock Live! Jr., at 7:00 p.m. on March 28 and 29 in the Bremer Bank Theatre in the Harry Stern and Ella Stern Cultural Center on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton. Admission at the door is $5 for adults, and $1 for students (with an ID).

See NDSCS students perform “Conjunction Junction”, “I’m Just a Bill” and many other songs from the award-winning Saturday morning cartoon on which the play is based.

School House Rock Live! Jr., originally conceived and directed by Scott Ferguson, is based on the book by Scott Ferguson, Kyle Hall and George Keating, with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg, Kathy Mandry, George Newall and Tom Yohe. The play is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Dreams Auction set for April 7th at North Dakota State College of Science

March 14, 2017

The North Dakota State College of Science Alumni Foundation will host the 22nd Annual DREAMS Auction on Friday, April 7th at the Clair T. Blikre Activities Center in Wahpeton, N.D.

The DREAMS Auction is the annual fundraiser for the NDSCS Alumni Foundation with proceeds benefitting a variety of programs, scholarships and activities of the NDSCS Alumni Foundation.  “The public is invited to enjoy this early spring event featuring a gourmet buffet, silent auction, and live auction activities,’ said Kim Nelson, Alumni Foundation executive director.

NDSCS Culinary Arts students prepare the strolling buffet complete with candied bacon and jumbo shrimp cocktail—two of the favorites of over 20 menu items.  Volunteers and student groups assist with this annual premiere event including the NDSCS Ambassadors who greet guests, assist with seating and explain the TEXT2BID, a silent auction bidding process. Guests are encouraged to bring cellphones or iPads to participate in TEXT2BID, now in its second year at the auction.

The 2017 DREAMS Auction features an assortment of Live Auction packages to bid on, some of which include vacation packages to Cancun, Florida, and Colorado, plane rides, a train ride and Vikings tickets. The DREAMS Auction Book featuring all the generous gifts provided by alumni and friends of the college will go live online on March 29th for pre-auction viewing.

New in 2017 is a photo booth for guests to document their personal DREAMS memories to share with friends, family and guests following the event.  LeMar Photography, Wahpeton, is providing the photo booth. Photos will be accessible for downloading the week following the event.

Reservations for a table of eight should be made by Monday, March 20th, or individual tickets may be purchased through Wednesday, April 5th by calling 701.671.2247 or going online at Tickets are not sold at the door the evening of the event.  The DREAMS Auction tickets include two games of chance, valet parking, a strolling buffet, and a photo booth. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Alumni/Foundation office at 701.671.2247 or visit  Follow the Foundation on Facebook at Wildcat Alum.

Fargo Monthly: NDSCS Culinary Students Compete in National Cook-off

March 10, 2017

By Samantha Stark

Hundreds of hours in a sweltering kitchen led up to this moment. Surrounded by stainless steel cabinets and appliances, five North Dakota State College of Science culinary students in matching chef’s jackets and toques hastily constructed four dishes in a short 90 minute time period.

A tip of the toque
In early February, the NDSCS chefs in training represented North Dakota in the American Culinary Federation’s 2017 Central Regional Culinary Salon Competition in Chicago, Illinois.

The team included Jared Wick, Joe Brunner, Cassie Witte, Taisyn St. Claire, Lexi Meuchel, Coach Kyle Armitage and two team support specialists, Brooke Thomas and Brittney Harty.

The regional competition consists of nine teams from different states in the Central United States all facing off for a chance to represent their region in the national competition held in Orlando, Florida.

“It’s a pretty intense situation,” Armitage said.

Start the clocks
The North Dakota team was created two years ago by local master chef Eric Watson, co-owner of Mezzaluna, Rustica and Mosaic Foods, with the mission to further the culinary industry in Fargo-Moorhead and surrounding areas.

“He knew that students are a big part of that,” Armitage said. “He was a competitor when he was a student and had become very passionate about it. He saw how the competition teaches beginner chefs confidence, teamwork and practice.”

Watson reached out to NDSCS and Armitage to help start and coach a North Dakota team. With a sponsorship from the Red River Valley Chefs Association, they were able to hold tryouts, construct a team and start training for the competition within months.

“He committed a lot of his time outside of work and away from his family to make sure the team was organized and ready,” Armitage said. “He gave a lot to get it started.”

To compete at the regional level, teams must first win local and state competitions. Since NDSCS’s culinary team is currently the only competitors in North Dakota, the members were able to participate by default. But that didn’t stop them from making sure they were just as prepared as their competitors. The team put in long hours behind the knife and even traveled out of state to Nebraska for practice critiques against other teams.

“This is an extracurricular activity for these guys. They all have jobs. They’re all full-time students, some are even active in other organizations on campus. There is a lot of other stuff going on for all of them. But they all found time to practice. As we got closer to competition, we started practicing all day Saturdays and Sundays,” said Armitage.

‘It’s a dance’
“You put all this time and energy into training and only compete for a little amount of time,” added Wick, the team’s captain.

The regional competition has two phases: skills and cooking. During the skills phase, team members competed in a relay-style format with a total of 80 minutes to complete four skills: fish and meat fabrication, knife cuts and pastry skills.

During the cooking phase, each team had 90 minutes to prepare four pre-assigned dishes: classical fish starter called Filets de Sole Lady Egmont, salad, entrée, dessert and two appropriate side dishes from “Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery.”

“It’s a dance. You’re in a small location. You’re all moving. You’re all doing something different. It turns into this ballet dance of communication,” Armitage said.

‘To the next level’
”Last year’s competition was training” for the team, Wick said. Since it was their first time competing, the team focused on just testing the waters and gathering an understanding of the competition. This year’s focus: confidence.

“We didn’t want to walk in there scared like last year” Wick said, “but confident.”

Becoming confident in their team meant they had to practice even harder, improving their communication and culinary artistry.

“Doing knife skills in our own kitchen for practice compared to that competition room, it felt 10 times harder.” Wick said. “Last year, I shook when I was doing knife skills. This year, it felt really good.”

Designed to raise the standards of culinary excellence and professionalism among students, the cook-off provides an opportunity for learning chefs to have dishes critiqued by master chefs from around the nation.

“It’s like free advice,” Wick said. “The competition is really for people who want to take their culinary skills to the next level.”

Never stop improving
When the team received seventh out of nine, they didn’t dwell on the placing. They saw it as a driver to continue improving.

“When you go to these competitions, you realize how much work you have left. You feel sad because you’ve already put so much time into practicing, but also excited because it means you have room to become an even better chef,” Wick said.

Though four of the five members are graduating this year, the team is planning to recruit new members and compete next year.

“It feels good that we started something,” Wick said. “Hopefully, every class after us will take over and continue to challenge themselves to be better.”

Read the full article online at

NDSCS John Deere Tech program achieves Platinum ranking

March 09, 2017

The North Dakota State College of Science John Deere Tech program has received The College of Tomorrow award from the John Deere Company and a Platinum ranking for the third consecutive year.

The award serves as a ranking system for the 16 colleges in the United States that offer a John Deere Tech program. The four levels are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Among other criteria, rankings are based upon a college’s program image and professionalism, students, instructor development, facility, safety and most importantly, student learning.

“We are truly honored to receive this Platinum designation,” said Larry Ascheman, NDSCS associate professor and John Deere Tech program coordinator.  “It’s important for students who are considering college options to understand the significance that this premiere John Deere Tech program is offered right here in North Dakota.”

The NDSCS John Deere Tech program is designed to develop technically competent, professional ag equipment service technicians. The John Deere Company sponsors the program and NDSCS administers and operates the program. This unique and innovative program combines state-of-the-art, on-campus learning experiences with supervised occupational experiences at sponsoring John Deere dealerships. Students receive technical training on John Deere equipment and related products through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on laboratory experiences. Classroom and laboratory instruction at NDSCS covers the basics of each subject plus the latest developments in John Deere’s agricultural equipment. Work experience at the dealership reinforces on-campus training and exposes the student to real life failures and repairs as they occur on the equipment.

The John Deere Tech program is taught in Bisek Hall, a state-of-the-art diesel training facility which spans 125,000 sq.ft., and is located in Wahpeton, N.D. Graduates of the program earn an Associate in Applied Science degree (A.A.S.).

Prospective students can learn more by visiting or by contacting the John Deere Tech department (701-671-2213), Diesel Technology department (701-671-2330) or Enrollment Services in Wahpeton (1-800-342-4325).

PHOTO: (Left to Right)
Joe Plymale - Manager, John Deere Tech Partnerships – Western Region
Larry Ascheman – NDSCS – Program Coordinator – John Deere Tech
Tyler Slettedahl – NDSCS – Instructor John Deere Tech
Harvey Link – NDSCS - Vice President for Academic Affairs

NDSCS Students Participate in North Dakota Intercollegiate Band Festival

March 08, 2017

Three students from the North Dakota State College of Science participated in the North Dakota Intercollegiate Band Festival in Fargo in February. The students are:
Anna Danforth, string bass, Monticello, Minn.
Katrina Goodhart, flute, Hawley, Minn.
Dilan Kluver-Pasche, trumpet, Hoffman, Minn.

The students participated in a series of rehearsals with students from 11 colleges and universities across the state, followed by a concert.

This is the first year NDSCS has participated in the North Dakota Intercollegiate Band, which is in its 16th year. The North Dakota Intercollegiate Band is a joint effort of collegiate band directors to provide a high-caliber musical experience to student musicians.

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