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This week’s Hotline! includes the following articles:

• President’s Column
• Celebrate full-moon summer solstice at Medicine Wheel tonight
• Historical Society annual meeting and lecture at museum on Thursday
• Dieken featured in Midwest artist project
• Tyre attends N.D. ag faculty meeting
• University group completes mental health first aid course
• What’s happening at VCSU and around Valley City…

President's Column

President\'s Column
by Tisa Mason, Ed.D., CAE
Valley City State University President

Recently we at VCSU had the privilege of hosting the North Dakota Legislature’s Interim Higher Education Committee on campus. It was an honor and joy to share our campus with our legislators.

During the meeting, we visited with legislators about the problem of the flood wall having to be constructed in front of (and nearly against) Foss Hall; how the city and county have worked with the university to create an impressive building and program blending academic and community-enhancing recreational space through the Gaukler Family Wellness, Health and Physical Education Center; programs, policies, and other VCSU initiatives addressing and enhancing student safety; the exciting work being accomplished through the $300,000 STEM Education Center grant for K–12 teacher development; and the announcement of our new three-year academic programs.

We are so proud of our students! They work hard and learn as much about themselves as they do about the fields they are studying. Indeed, they leave VCSU prepared to contribute to both their professions and their communities as engaged citizen-leaders.

Nationally, higher education uses five- and six-year graduation rates as benchmark, while at the same time expressing concerns about affordability, and in North Dakota, the need for college graduates remains critical. But did you know that in the past five years 43 VCSU students graduated in less than four years?

Let me introduce you to four of them:

Tarah Cleveland (Menagha, Minn.) graduated summa cum laude this May, finishing her degree in three years. She majored in software engineering, completing internships with Microsoft and Appareo Systems, and doing a capstone project for the Valley City–Barnes County Economic Development Corporation. Tarah was involved in a myriad of student activities, including serving as a resident assistant and tutor; she also published her undergraduate research study. This past fall she began her senior year of college with a signed employment contract in hand from Target Corporation.

Jenna Coghlan (Valley City, N.D.) graduated summa cum laude in December in three-and-a-half years, double-majoring in health science and exercise science, with a minor in chemistry. She was a member of the cross country and track and field teams, and served as a resident assistant, Viking Ambassador, member of Alpha Lambda Delta, and president of the Pre-Professional Club. Since graduation, Jenna has been working as a certified personal trainer; she will be attending graduate school in physical therapy this coming fall.

Shelby Hartman (Mandan, N.D.) graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education this past December. While at VCSU, she served as a Viking Ambassador and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She finished her course work in three years and completed her student teaching the following semester. Shelby is currently teaching summer school in the Bismarck Public School District.

Madelyn Zane (Newburg, N.D.) graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business process integration management (BPIM) in three years. She received the Business Department’s Outstanding BPIM Major Award. Madelyn served this past year as the VCSU Student Senate president. She also served as president of DECA, as a Viking Ambassador, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, and a United Way volunteer.

Throughout higher education students have paved new paths. Although several enrollment experts will tell you that students are far too interested in the social side of college to complete degrees faster than average, at VCSU we do not believe that to be the case. That is why we are pleased to shine a spotlight on the pathway these and other VCSU students forged by formalizing three-year degree programs in business administration, elementary education, English education, mathematics education, and professional communication. For more information, please visit or contact Charlene Stenson, director of enrollment services (

Preparing students to succeed as educators, leaders, and engaged citizens in an increasingly complex and diverse society—while maintaining affordability and helping them begin their post-college careers earlier—is just another reason why it is a great day to be a Viking!

Celebrate full-moon summer solstice at Medicine Wheel tonight

Celebrate full-moon summer solstice at Medicine Wheel tonight
Come to Valley City’s Medicine Wheel Park (205 Winter Show Road SE) to watch the rising of the rare summer solstice full moon. Tonight—Monday, June 20—we will be treated to the first full moon on the solstice since 1948. North America will bask in more sunlight than any day since Truman was president!

Having a full moon land smack dab on the solstice is a truly rare event, although we probably won’t push people off pyramids like the Mayans did. But we will very much celebrate this extraordinary day of light starting at 9 p.m. with a tour of the Medicine Wheel Park by professor emeritus Joe Stickler. Bring a blanket and perhaps some bug spray to watch the sun set and the full moon rise on the longest day.

Historical Society annual meeting and lecture at museum on Thursday

The annual meeting of the Barnes County Historical Society will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 23, at the Barnes County Museum. The meeting will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by “The Fur Trade in Pre-North Dakota,” presented by Steven Simonson. The lecture, open to the public free of charge, will focus on the history of the introduction of the European civilization into the Dakota Territory.

Dieken featured in Midwest artist project

Dieken featured in Midwest artist project
Karri Dieken, assistant professor of art, is one of the featured artists in the Midwest Artist Studios project. In July a team comprising a photographer, writer, social media expert and assistants will visit Dieken in Valley City to document her approach to art and art education.

The Midwest Artist Studios project was founded by Frank Juarez, art department chair at Sheboygan (Wis.) North High School. Over the course of three summers, his interview team is traveling the Midwest and visiting contemporary visual artists who embrace the importance of art education, creating a catalog, workbook and lesson plans. This summer the team will visit artists in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota from July 9–19.

More information about the project can be found at

Tyre attends N.D. ag faculty meeting

Tyre attends N.D. ag faculty meeting
On May 15–16, Brenda Tyre, assistant professor of business, attended the North Dakota University System’s Ag Faculty Meeting at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. NDUS agriculture and agribusiness faculty meet twice annually to discuss common course offerings and classroom techniques, and to discover what is happening in the industry through guest presenters and industry tours.

University group completes mental health first aid course

University group completes mental health first aid course
On May 25, Erin Klingenberg, Ph.D., LPCC, NCC, VCSU’s director of counseling services, presented a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) class on campus. MHFA is an 8-hour training certification course which teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions, and secure appropriate care of the individual.

The certification program introduces participant to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments.

Participants attending and completing the certification included LaDonna Anderson, Bridget Blunck, Anthony Dutton, Pat Egeberg, Emily Fenster, Victoria Hammel, Kelli Heath, Becky Holten, Ron Holten, Michelle Hoyt, Rachelle Hunt, Donna James, Sarah Larsen, Adam Longmore, Kaleen Peterson, Teather Sundstrom, Joe Tykwinski and Hilda van Gijssel.

Mental health challenges—such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use—are shockingly common in the United States. More than one in five American adults will have a mental health problem in any given year. This training helps the public better identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, helping rid the associated stigma and move more people toward recovery.

What’s happening at VCSU and around Valley City ...

Monday, June 20

First day of summer
Summer Youth Camp: Splashin’ Around, Prairie Waters Education & Research Center (June 20–22)
9 p.m. Summer Solstice Celebration, Medicine Wheel Park

Tuesday, June 21

Wednesday, June 22

7:15 p.m. Music at the Courthouse Lawn featuring Tim Kadrmas

Thursday, June 23

7:30 p.m. “The Fur Trade in Pre–North Dakota,” Steven Simonson, Barnes County Historical Society Museum

Friday, June 24

Saturday, June 25

Sunday, June 26

Monday, June 27

Summer Youth Camp: Fishin’ Around, Prairie Waters Education & Research Center (June 27–29)

Tuesday, June 28

Wednesday, June 29

7:15 p.m. Music at the Courthouse Lawn featuring Celebrate Recovery Praise Team

Thursday, June 30


Friday, July 1

Saturday, July 2

Sunday, July 3

Monday, July 4

Independence Day

Tuesday, July 5

Wednesday, July 6

7:15 p.m. Music at the Courthouse Lawn featuring Tucker Out

Thursday, July 7

Friday, July 8

Saturday, July 9

Fort Ransom Sodbuster Days (July 9–10)

Sunday, July 10