This week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

• President’s Column: Defining success — road warrior style
• Viking Golf Scramble set for Saturday
• Bluegrass jam at museum Saturday
• Game and Fish to sponsor pollinator workshop at VCSU
• Russi designs for Theatre B
• Staff participate in governor's ‘Walk at Work Day’
• What’s happening at VCSU and around Valley City…

The VCSU Hotline! online newsletter is published every other week during the summer. Deadline to submit articles (photos encouraged) is 3 p.m. the Friday before publication.

President’s Column: Defining success — road warrior style

President’s Column: Defining success — road warrior style
Five days and 2,100 miles. That was my road warrior tally from some exciting travel I enjoyed May 22-26.

I was one of many who made the trek to Springfield, Missouri, to cheer on our VCSU softball team. What an incredible season they had! They won both the NSAA regular-season and tournament championships, won the NAIA regionals in Columbia, Missouri, and then advanced to the NAIA World Series in Springfield.

Coaches Michael Mook and Janelle Trautman assembled a team that was highly productive in every aspect of the game. They truly dominated the sport in this part of the nation and are the pride of VCSU. If you’ve followed their season, you are aware of the great success they enjoyed. With a final record of 54-5 and nearly a 3.0 team GPA, they are a model for success in and out of the classroom. I was very proud to attend a part of the World Series, and while the final result was not a national championship, being on that stage was a fantastic experience for our student-athletes, university, community and state!

Although I didn’t travel to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I congratulate the seven members of the VCSU track and field teams who competed in the national championships there. Another tremendous experience for our student-athletes, with Kyle Odegard (javelin) and Dennis Gonzalez (marathon) adding frosting to the cake by bringing home All-American honors for the Vikings.

After returning to North Dakota from Missouri on Saturday, May 25, I made the trip to Devils Lake to speak at the high school commencement there. It was an honor to share in the special day for these high school graduates as they prepare to enter the next exciting phase of their lives. I felt especially connected to the parents, as my youngest daughter Lexi had graduated from high school just one week prior. The pride of the accomplishment, blended with a nervous excitement for the future, resonates with all on these special days.

My message was short and simple: Pursue your passion, no matter what it is, and always give your very best in an attempt to be the best you can be.

There really are no shortcuts to success. Regardless of their paths forward — whether attending a technical school, college or university; entering the military or workforce; or continuing to work on the family farm or in the family business — I encouraged them to search for ways to grow individually and improve continuously.
I have to admit that over 35 years ago when I decided to pursue graduate school and advanced degrees in music performance, I could have never anticipated that I would someday be a university president, but you just never know the direction your career path will take. Over the course of those intervening years, I focused on becoming the best musician, teacher, professor and administrator I could be. Along the way, opportunities were presented, and doors were opened (and sometimes closed!).

I encouraged the students to set ambitious goals and always strive to be the best at what they do. When the path becomes difficult, learn from the struggles and failures, and use those experiences to propel you to the next success.

I also explained to them that as they grow in years, their own definitions of success will change. This is a natural part of the learning and growing process, and whenever one is striving to build a skill set, the bar keeps rising as improvement and growth occurs. I encouraged them to live their lives with integrity, honesty and compassion, embrace the differences of others, and to follow their passion and stay true to themselves. By doing so, they will find what they like, and doors of opportunity, not even imagined today, will open for them.

Will they remember what I said? Probably not. But I hope they remember the theme — to pursue their passion, work hard, and constantly strive for success and improvement. It will be exciting, in another 30 years, to see and reflect on the successes of the class of 2019!

Go Vikings!

Viking Golf Scramble set for Saturday

Viking Golf Scramble set for Saturday
The annual Viking Scramble Golf Tournament is set to be played Saturday, June 8, in Valley City.

The 18-hole, 4-person scramble is open to the public and will be played at both golf courses in Valley City. Registration is $90 per person and includes 18 holes of golf, dinner, door prizes, hole prizes and an Under Armour entry gift.

Online registration is available at secure.vcsu.edu/vikingscramble/vp.htm?p=1452.

The event tees off with registration and a social hour from 8–9 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, at the Valley City Town and Country Club. A shotgun start is set for 9:15 a.m. at both the Country Club and Bjornson Park Public Golf Course.


Bluegrass jam at museum Saturday

This month’s Valley City bluegrass jam session is set for Saturday, June 8, from 1–5 p.m. at the Barnes County Museum. The acoustic-only jam is free and open to the public; all levels of bluegrass musicians are welcome.

The jam is sponsored by the Bluegrass Music Association of North Dakota (B.A.N.D.) and the Barnes County Museum. For more information, call John Andrus at 701-721-8296.

Game and Fish to sponsor pollinator workshop at VCSU

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is sponsoring a “Pollinators in the Classroom” workshop June 25-26 on the VCSU campus.

The two-day workshop for teachers, environmental educators and others who work with youth will be held in the VCSU Student Center Skoal Room. Participants will receive the new Urban Pollinator Curriculum; the sessions will include field trips to local pollinator gardens.

Cost to register is $15; a professional development graduate credit is available for $50. Visit gf.nd.gov/education/educator-workshops/schedule for more information.

Russi designs for Theatre B

Russi designs for Theatre B
Jenni Lou Russi, associate professor of communication arts, designed for two Theatre B shows in April and May. She served as prop designer/food stylist for “Cry It Out,” which ran through May 18, and sound designer for “A Beautiful Hell” through June 2. Russi has worked with Theatre B for several years. Theatre B is an ensemble theatre company employing “displaced professionals” in the Fargo/Moorhead area.

Staff participate in governor's ‘Walk at Work Day’

Staff participate in governor\'s ‘Walk at Work Day’
A number of VCSU staff participated in the governor’s “Walk at Work Day” on Thursday, May 30. Governor Doug Burgum invited us to step up for our health by taking a quick walk with co-workers to experience the benefits of incorporating physical activity into our work day.

As noted in this month’s “Dakota Wellness Newsletter,” “after just short bouts of physical activity, productivity, feelings of stress and anxiety are greatly improved.” So think about taking a quick 10 minute walk around campus on your breaks (yes, you need take breaks!) or schedule with co-workers to do a quick walk over your lunch break and reap the benefits of this exercise at work.

Check out this month’s Wellness Newsletter (ndpers.nd.gov/image/cache/employee-notification-June-2019.pdf) to find out more about breaking the barriers that may be preventing you from obtaining good health and how exercise can benefit you both physically and cognitively!

What’s happening at VCSU and around Valley City…

Saturday, June 1

Sunday, June 2

Monday, June 3

Tuesday, June 4
Eid al-Fitr begins at sundown
12:05 p.m. Rotary, Student Senate Room Student Center

Wednesday, June 5
noon Kiwanis, Valley City Town & Country Club
7:15 p.m. Music at the Park, City Park

Thursday, June 6
7 a.m. Optimists, Vicky’s Viking Room
New Student Orientation

Friday, June 7
New Student Orientation

Saturday, June 8
9:15 a.m. Viking Scramble Golf Tournament, Valley City Town & Country Club/Bjornson Park Public Course
1-5 p.m. Bluegrass jam, Barnes County Museum

Sunday, June 9

Monday, June 10

Tuesday, June 11
12:05 p.m. Rotary, Student Senate Room Student Center

Wednesday, June 12
noon Kiwanis, Valley City Town & Country Club
7:15 p.m. Music at the Park, City Park

Thursday, June 13
7 a.m. Optimists, Vicky’s Viking Room

Friday, June 14
Payday
Flag Day

Saturday, June 15
36th Annual Rally in the Valley

Sunday, June 16
Father’s Day

Monday, June 17

Tuesday, June 18
12:05 p.m. Rotary, Student Senate Room Student Center

Wednesday, June 19
noon Kiwanis, Valley City Town & Country Club
7:15 p.m. Music at the Park, City Park

Thursday, June 20
7 a.m. Optimists, Vicky’s Viking Room

Friday, June 21
First Day of Summer

Saturday, June 22

Sunday, June 23
Go to www.valleycitynd.org/calendar.php to see more events happening in and around Valley City.