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Student and Staff Spotlights

Ryan Boll outdoor portrait

Art through carpentry – Meet Ryan Boll ’00

Campus carpenter and artist, Ryan Boll is a lifelong Viking. His work on campus is many years in the making and shouldn’t go unrecognized. So, if you’re still making your way towards learning how to learn, don’t hesitate to stop and say hello.

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Carter Gill

Meet Carter Gill, History Education Major and SOAR participant

“I became interested in this subject through a historiography class I took in the fall semester of 2023. My research project in the class was on reconstruction, a period of American history after the Civil War when the federal government secured civil rights for the recently freed Americans in the South. The project examined what historians consider the successes and failures of reconstruction in the South. My SOAR project is an extension of the research I did for the historiography paper.”

Read More About Meet Carter Gill, History Education Major and SOAR participant

Emma Nielsen holding her diploma from VCSU

Meet Physical and Health Education Graduate Emma Nielsen

Many of my classes I took at VCSU helped me be prepared for my career based on being placed in schools for observations, teaching to my peers with feedback, and building those relationships with current educators in the field that you can reach out and share ideas with!

Read More About Meet Physical and Health Education Graduate Emma Nielsen

Bryan Delaney with a crab in Alaska

Meet Bryan Delaney, Fisheries and Wildlife graduate

“I have always had a passion for the outdoors, hunting, and fishing. After spending 10 years in the construction industry I decided to change careers and wanted to work with wildlife.”

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Madison Yoder

Meet Math Ed graduate Madison Yoder

“VCSU above everything teaches you to be a lifelong learner. I feel like that is something I’ll always have with me.”

Read More About Meet Math Ed graduate Madison Yoder

Cayden Rickard preparing to shoot a free throw

Meet Sport Leadership and Management graduate Cayden Rickard

“After graduation, I would like to get into Basketball skill development training while also coaching the sport during the season. I would like to eventually get into a Sports Information Director or Athletic Director type role.”

Read More About Meet Sport Leadership and Management graduate Cayden Rickard

Alex Klever

Meet Business Alum Alex Klever

“When Alex Klever began his college career, he had no idea it would lead to him traveling across the country for one of the best internship opportunities of his life. Now, as graduation approaches, he wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Read More About Meet Business Alum Alex Klever

Riley Perryman in cap and gown with diploma in hand

Meet Riley Perryman

“I owe a lot to this university. VCSU has provided me with so many opportunities to grow as a person. VCSU gave me the opportunity to self-discovery, intellectual growth, and personal development. VCSU offers a platform for students to thrive in many aspects while forming lifelong relationships.”

Read More About Meet Riley Perryman

Hope Ishizaka and her diploma

Meet Hope Ishizaka

“That tight knit community goes such a long way. In the past four years I’ve made so many great connections with so many great people because that family aspect is so huge here.”

Read More About Meet Hope Ishizaka

Scott Enyeart standing on sidelines

Meet Scott Enyeart

“Additionally, as History Education major there were several required classroom practicums I had to complete that I was able to satisfy while working as a paraeducator. I was also able to do my student teaching in the school at which I worked, which helped a lot.”

Read More About Meet Scott Enyeart

Beth Mehus family photo

Meet Beth Mehus

“I am not exactly sure which path I’ll take, but I feel confident that I’ll acquire the skills at VCSU for any career I want to pursue.”

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Grace Reep

Meet Grace Reep

“I was originally a student at NDSCS in Wahpeton, once I graduated there, I made the decision to transfer to VCSU once I learned how involved and well-known their education program was.”

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Amber Kologi

Meet Amber Kologi

“I had an amazing Biology teacher in high school that encouraged me to always keep learning. I also have always been interested with nature, since we lived deep in the woods I was always outside.”

Read More About Meet Amber Kologi

Tyler Manske portrait

Meet Tyler Manske

“Though my degree in music is not in line with my career,” he said, “that isn’t to say that the broad scope of my education didn’t help get me where I am today. Because I had such a solid educational foundation, I was able to take advantage of whatever career opportunities came my way.”

Read More About Meet Tyler Manske

Cora Potts: Unveiling Excellence

VCSU always felt comfortable in the sense that any time you were on campus you felt like you belonged.

I also appreciate the way that the Valley City community supports the university, taking Viking Pride beyond the campus and supporting the arts and athletics throughout Valley City.

Read More About Cora Potts: Unveiling Excellence

Tatum holding dog

Tatum Lundin

“I remember a final project of having to make a complete and detailed business plan and present it. It gave me insight to what it takes to plan something like this and how difficult it can be but it sparked my motivation to make it real.”

Read More About Tatum Lundin

Neeleigh Wollenzien

Neeleigh Wollenzien

“I knew it would not be an easy journey, but there are so many great faculty members in the science department who push me to be my best!”

Read More About Neeleigh Wollenzien

A headshot of Angeline Gannon

Meet Graduate Angeline Gannon

“Being at VCSU, you will develop strong relationships with your professors if you take the time to do it. There are people who genuinely care about you and want you to succeed.”

Read More About Meet Graduate Angeline Gannon

Isabel Grueneich

Isabel Grueneich

“Don’t overload yourself with the pressure of playing a key role in five different clubs. Experiment with different clubs, attend when you want to, and feel free to change your mind.”

Read More About Isabel Grueneich

Marcus Santos

Marcus Santos

“I started with an exercise science major at my junior college but once I transferred to VCSU, after getting my associate degree, I chose strength & conditioning because I wanted to work with athletes and put what I learned into practice, especially biomechanics and kinesiology.”

Read More About Marcus Santos

shelby kriewald

Shelby Kriewald

“VCSU is a place where I’ve felt very embraced by each of my programs and faculty. The professors seem to genuinely care about propelling your career and giving you the opportunity for success in your field. It’s a supportive and intimate environment that I couldn’t imagine would be replicable at a larger institution.”

Read More About Shelby Kriewald

Headshot of Chloe Anderson

Chloe Anderson

“I chose Human Services after realizing that not only did I want to help disabled individuals, but I wanted to help them in a bigger way than just their education. I wanted to help them in their everyday lives.”

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Hannah Gordon

Hannah Gordon

“I would tell a student looking to pursue a degree in MLS that it is a program that requires time and effort. It is also a program that will focus on many subjects like Hematology, Microbiology, Chemistry, etc. In the end, it is a challenging but rewarding profession with many job opportunities available.”

Read More About Hannah Gordon

Headshot of Alyssa Ames

Alyssa Ames

“With a History Education major, I would specialize in history and one other subject. The Social Science Education major provides a broader study of the social sciences and allows me as to teach more subjects and topics within Social Studies.”

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Keaton Kvilvang

Keaton Kvilvang

“Studying business here at VCSU provides a multitude of opportunities for future endeavors. The faculty and business department staff are always there to assist in any way that they can!”

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Tasha Piehl-Thomas

Tasha Piehl-Thomas

“My first visit on campus I remember meeting with various staff and advisors, and I could feel their encouragement as we sat down to look at what classes and extracurriculars were offered. The benefit of going to a smaller college, I knew I would get that one-on-one relationship with the faculty, and it really showed as time went on.”

Read More About Tasha Piehl-Thomas

Headshot of Jacob

Jacob Knapek: the Plant Guy

“Everyone has to nerd out about something. For me, it’s plants. I’m fascinated by how they operate, their ecosystems, their niches. There are just little things about different species that are really cool.”

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Ryan Lorenz

Meet Dr. Ryan Lorenz

“My most fond memories from VCSU are of working in the research labs over the summer and through the school year. Dr. Delorme and Louis Wieland lead research labs and field studies through a number of different grant programs. This provided students, including myself, an introduction to scientific methods and research which was an asset in graduate school.”

Read More About Meet Dr. Ryan Lorenz

Hilde van Gijssel

Nothing is Impossible

“…but to me, it’s all about the students. If they have an interest, they can join the team. We have had freshmen to seniors involved in research. When a student comes to me with an idea, my usual reaction is “let’s figure this out so you can do it.”

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Connor Aanderud talking with classmates and professor

Connor Aanderud

“The CSSE department and VCSU career services really does a phenomenal job in helping a student who wants to be proactive in the career hunt and search so I already have a job, that I am currently working, before even graduating and receiving my degree. I give all the credit to my department and career services for helping me achieve this.”

Read More About Connor Aanderud

dalvin simmons portrait

Dalvin Simmons

“VCSU has prepared me for real-world situations. Moving from Arkansas to North Dakota has been an adjustment, but for the type of work I’m considering, being adaptable is important. Especially if I plan to coach on the collegiate level for a few years. It’s also shown me the importance of creating relationships with individuals and getting out of my comfort zone.”

Read More About Dalvin Simmons

Lindsey Kiecker portrait

Lindsey Kiecker

“Let’s be honest, it’s hard to speak chemistry, and the ability to explain a subject you love and seeing the light bulb *click* in the student’s minds is what drove me to get my Chemistry Education degree, as well as a Physics Minor, and STEM ED certificate.”

Read More About Lindsey Kiecker

Derek Bear

“I chose VCSU because it has the major that I want, and I am from Valley City, so it was a no brainer when the opportunity came about. I was also grateful I could keep my many jobs around town some of which include a mowing business and my high school tech job.”

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Larimore Art Teacher Jamie Worden

Dual Credit Instructor Jamie Worden, ’19

“We have a lot of students involved with art. I tell the students that regardless of the career they choose, they will need a creative side of it as well. My students are doing art shows and the work necessary for college credit. Earning college course credits helps them to reach for the stars.”

Read More About Dual Credit Instructor Jamie Worden, ’19

gina burtness

Gina Burtness: Tech Trailblazer in Engineering Innovation

“With the skills I have gained and the people I have been fortunate enough to meet at VCSU, I am optimistic for the future. As of now, I hope to meld my two career paths together to help in the development and creation of accounting software.”

Read More About Gina Burtness: Tech Trailblazer in Engineering Innovation

Joe Wright

Joe Wright

“Whenever I see someone wearing my socks or shirts, it is pretty surreal. Wright Foot didn’t exist three years ago. Now it has customers and fans all over the world. I really enjoy making people laugh and now I get to do that for a living. I am grateful for that every single day.”

Read More About Joe Wright

Kyle Vareberg speaking

Dr. Kyle Vareberg

“Learn. But actually, take the time to learn. College is an atmosphere where ideas and high-level thinking surround each student. It’s a crazy atmosphere. To future students, take advantage. The best thing about a small university is the increased emphasis on single-student success.”

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Michaela Halvorson

Michaela Halvorson

“The science department has the best professors in my opinion, by talking to my professors I took their recommendations and took a newly offered hydrology course for fun, and now look… I’m a hydrologist!”

Read More About Michaela Halvorson

Bonita Roswick portrait

Bonita Roswick

“As an older than average student, I was worried that I would have difficulty transitioning back to being a student. However, with the small class sizes, I met some fantastic classmates who were always willing to lend me a hand.”

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Clara Wieland outdoor headshot

Clara Wieland

“When I toured campus myself, I instantly felt comfortable and knew this was the place for me. I loved how intentional everyone was when getting to know me and helping me envision myself as a student here.”

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Katie Juarez with cooperating teacher, Scott Roehrich

Katie Juarez

“I learned about different ways to challenge my students, but also learned about ways to modify activities for them to be able to gain confidence in their skills as well.”

Read More About Katie Juarez

Professor Hilde, Charisma, and Professor Kelly LaFramboise at VCSU

Thriving Through Struggle: Graduate Charismha Tsosie’s Insights

“Graduating wouldn’t have been possible without them,” she said, of her peers, teachers, staff and all those apart of her journey. “I hope others understand now that, with a little bit of help, anything is possible.”

Read More About Thriving Through Struggle: Graduate Charismha Tsosie’s Insights

Headshot of Macy Schlaht, with the Valley City Parks and Rec logo in the background.

Macy Schlaht

“My classes and internship are some of the biggest reasons I landed a full-time job just one month into my senior year of college.”

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Nicole Hurt working on art

Nicole Hurt

“Don’t let these things scare you or others put you down. Listen to what your heart wants to do and follow through because we are going to be working throughout the majority of our lives, so why not do something you love.”

Read More About Nicole Hurt

Headshot of woman (Erin Edinger)

Erin Edinger

My favorite part of my job is hands-down the students I get to work with. The change and growth students experience during their time in college is incredible to witness and be part of.

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Anne Volk

Anne Volk

I knew I wanted to be a teacher and it just turns out that some of the best teachers I had graduated from VCSU. The truth of the matter is: if you want to go into education in the state of North Dakota, your best choice is VCSU!

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Headshot of Kiara Radke, female VCSU student

Kiara Radke

It is a great campus that is welcoming to everyone, and the professors are all passionate about their work and ensuring that you get the best education possible.

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Darrien Cantelo Headshot

Darrien Cantelo

“Every minute I spent learning, every minute in labs, every minute in the AT room, every minute on the field, every interaction with professors, every interaction with student-athletes, every minute walking the VCSU campus—they all stand out to me.”

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William Egan student moments

Bill Egan

I knew that VCSU was a top institution for teacher education. I also really enjoyed working with the music faculty, and I felt like I could really grow and thrive as a musician here.

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Headshot of a man (Anthony Dutton)

Dr. Anthony Dutton

Every time that I drifted away from Valley City for a couple of years, I would just be drawn back. I have always just loved learning, and so it’s a real pleasure to be surrounded by other people who also are passionate about learning, teaching, and VCSU.

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Headshot of Saige Forseth

Saige Forseth

What I enjoy most about VCSU is the community-like involvement. I love the opportunities to get involved and know people! Everyone seems to be a part of something!

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Garret Fettig smiling

Garret Fettig

“I’d always enjoyed writing, reading, and editing for classes, and I figured I wouldn’t mind doing work with those skills in the professional world.”

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Emily Dafoe

Emily Dafoe

As the User Services Librarian at VCSU I have had the opportunity to connect with the students I serve and seeing their progress over their academic career is incredibly rewarding!

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Hannah Dockter portrait

Hannah Dockter

“When I first chose this major, it made sense because of my interests and hobbies. However, throughout my college experience, I’ve become excited about educating young students.”

Read More About Hannah Dockter

Kaitlyn Myrum portrait

Kaitlyn Myrum

“As I read more of the literature associated with both English and Spanish, my ability to write improves greatly. My short stories are more interesting, and my academic writing is well-developed.”

Read More About Kaitlyn Myrum