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Hotline // May 10, 2023

May 10, 2023

Hotline Weekly Newsletter graphic

This week’s Hotline includes the following articles:

President's Column: End-of-year activities and accolades

Greetings from Valley City State University!

It’s hard to believe that this will be my final column for the 2022-2023 academic year. End-of-the-year concerts and events are nearly complete, recognition banquets are in full-swing, and students are amid final exam week. As this school year enters its waning days, we take time to recognize and congratulate students, staff and faculty for achievements, accolades and years of service. I’d like to take a moment to recognize just some of the outstanding accomplishments and end-of-the-semester activities.

Students show their server project to software engineering facultyOn Thursday, May 2, Valley City State University hosted the 2023 Scholar Symposium. After a three-year hiatus, students and faculty members, led by event coordinator and associate professor Emily Wicktor, showcased the research, writing, and other creative projects developed over the past academic year. More than 60 students participated and two recipients of the 2022-23 SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) Award – MaKenzee Stone and Alexa Walby formally presented their faculty-mentored advanced research projects. This event highlighted the substantial amount of research and scholarly activity occurring on our campus. Research is indeed alive and well at VCSU!

On Thursday, May 11 we will recognize retirements, years of service, Difference Maker, Staff Employee of the Quarter, degree and professional certification completion, tenure and promotion, Student Advocate of the Year, Teacher of the Year and faculty excellence award winners. More than 60 employees will be recognized at this event, representing more than 250 cumulative years of service!

Sixteen student-athletes have been recognized as All-Conference honorees at the conclusion of the spring sports seasons. In addition, our very own VCSU Trap Club earned first place at the North Dakota State Collegiate Clay Target Championship on April 29, in Jamestown! These 12 athletes are under the supervision of coach Nick Galt. Congratulations to all!

Finally, I’d like to recognize the 155 spring graduates who will be receiving their diplomas at our 2023 Spring Commencement ceremony on May 13 at 10 a.m. in the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse. December 2022 graduates will also have the opportunity to walk and be recognized since our Winter Commencement was canceled due to inclement weather. This event is such a special time for our entire campus community. Family members, friends, faculty, staff and members of the community will be present to recognize and honor this outstanding achievement and milestone in the lives of our graduates. Mark Hagerott, North Dakota University System Chancellor, will deliver remarks along with Angeline Gannon, a December graduate from Bismarck, N.D., and Taylor Mounts, assistant professor of business and Student-Senate-selected Teacher of the Year. The pomp and circumstance and ceremonial aspect of this event is a fitting setting for the celebration of these graduates!

Finally, I’d like to thank and express deep gratitude to the community of Valley City and friends of VCSU for their support and participation in our annual spring auction held on April 28 at the Valley City Eagles Club. This fun-filled evening was certainly one to remember! Once final accounting is complete, we will be sure to give a full update on the success of the event.

Go Vikings!

VCSU Hosts NDUS Traveling Exhibition

Pieces in the CFA art gallery

Valley City State University is hosting an art exhibition representing the cultural heritage of North Dakota. The show incorporates work from 24 different artists from multiple entities within the North Dakota University System (NDUS). The show has been traveling around the state this Spring and Fall.

The NDUS traveling show will be in the VCSU Center for the Arts Gallery through June 27. There will be a reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 10, in the CFA lobby.Pieces in the CFA art gallery

The exhibition was organized by Angela Mircsov, assistant professor for art and department chair. This show began as an idea after COVID-19 to bring back collaboration among visual art departments. In total five of the institutions are participating: Bismarck State College, Candeska Cinka Community College, North Dakota State University, Minot State University, and Valley City State University.

Each participating institution has students and faculty exhibiting what cultural heritage means to them. The exhibition will make its final travel to North Dakota State University in the Fall of 2023.


Pieces in the CFA art gallery

Pieces in the CFA art gallery

Wind Ensemble concert tonight

The VCSU Department of Music presents the Wind Ensemble concert tonight, Wednesday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Performance Hall. The public is invited to attend and admission is free. Wind ensemble concert graphic

The Wind Ensemble is also touring the state this semester. The schedule of events is as follows:

May 12, 2023
Wyndmere High School (Wyndmere, N.D.)

May 15, 2023
Dickinson High School (Dickinson, N.D.)

May 16, 2023
Bowman High School (Bowman, N.D.)

May 17, 2023
Dawson County High School & Makoshika State Park Amphitheater (Glendive, Mont.)

May 18, 2023
Circle High School (Circle, Mont.)


Employee Recognition Dinner on May 11

The President’s Office is pleased to announce that the VCSU Employee Recognition Dinner will be held Thursday, May 11, at the VCSU Cafeteria in the Student Center. The social will begin at 5:30 p.m. with meal to follow at 6 p.m.

Recognitions for the 2022–2023 academic year will include retirements, years of service, Difference Maker, Staff Employee of the Quarter, degree and professional certification completion, tenure and promotion, Student Advocate of the Year, Teacher of the Year and faculty excellence.

Those who will be recognized will be contacted by the President’s Office and offered two free tickets to the dinner. All other employees will be offered one free ticket. Additional tickets may be purchased for $25/person. Tickets can be picked up at the President’s Office, Business Office or Student Center Info Desk before April 26.

The following will be recognized that evening:

The “Difference Maker” Award 2022-23

  • Cory Anderson
  • Tony Wendel
  • Terry Jones
  • Nicholas Galt
  • Jacob Frey
  • Mitchell Silkman
  • Taryn Ceglowski
  • Sarah Wangrud
  • Kenneth Jimenez
  • Angela Mircsov

Employee of the Quarter Award 2022-23

  • Haley Jenrich
  • Julie Crist
  • Kay Johnson
  • Brandon Bouma

Completion of Degrees & Professional Certification 2022-23

  • Tammy Jo Anderson Taft
  • Michael Baughman
  • Taryn Ceglowski
  • Ann Dorman
  • Debra Dramstad
  • Jessica Gortmaker
  • Janna Kohler
  • Bonita Roswick

Faculty Awarded Promotion

  • Amber Ussatis Aberle
  • Greg Brister
  • Kenneth Jimenez
  • Tammy Katuin

2023 Student Advocate of the Year
Janna Kohler

2023 Teacher of the Year
Taylor Mounts

Years of Service
5 Years

  • Jerilyn Beckman
  • William Blunck
  • Brandon Bouma
  • Jason Dockter
  • Debra Dramstad
  • Erin Heide
  • Jerrold Heide
  • Carolyn Holen
  • Tammy Katuin
  • Alan LaFave
  • Chasity Lovell
  • Tim Michaelson
  • Angela Mircsov
  • Danica Tarabanovic

10 Years

  • Kari Bodine
  • Anna Bratsch
  • Emily Fenster
  • Nicole Kneeland – Sodexo
  • Jennifer M. Larson
  • Mark Potts
  • Bonita Roswick
  • Brenda Tyre

15 Years

  • Paula Larson
  • Leslie Kalmbach
  • Loree Morehouse
  • Jonna Reule
  • Jamie Wirth

25 Years

  • Diane Olson

Faculty Excellence Awards

Adjunct Faculty Award of Excellence:
Kai Western, Ph.D.

Special Appointment Faculty Award of Excellence:
Joan Klein, M.Ed

Junior Faculty Award of Excellence:
Gratia Brown, M.F.A

Senior Faculty Award of Excellence:
Teather Sundstrom, Ph.D.


  • Andre DeLorme (1996-2023)
  • Bradley Bakke (2022-2023)
  • Kelly Tabor (2019-2023)

Meet Angeline Gannon

Angeline Gannon, former student body president, speaks at the ribbon cutting event for the center fo rthe arts.


When Angeline Gannon was in sixth grade, she wrote a letter to her future self. She received the letter the day she graduated from high school and realized her sixth grade self had a vision for the future.

“’You want to be a teacher when you grow up,’ was the message,” Gannon said. It resonated. From that point, Gannon was committed to Valley City State University to pursue a career as an educator.

During her time as a Viking, she did more than just pursue an education. Gannon was notably involved in multiple clubs, sports, worked as a resident assistant and led multiple student efforts including homecoming and the Shatter the Silence walk. She served two years as student body president and helped support the effort to build the new Center for the Arts. Gannon was a part of the student athletic advisory council and on the board of student athletes. She was an active leader in Phi Alpha Theta, the history club on campus.

Gannon’s time on campus was also marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a resident assistant, she was asked to become the coordinator for a semester helping ensure students who became ill or quarantined were cared for.

“That was rewarding in a different way,” she explained. Rewarding is one of the adjectives Gannon used to describe her experience at VCSU, and is also one of the reasons she recommends it to those interested in attending college.

“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,” she said.

Now, as a VCSU graduate Gannon is preparing to embark on her career as a social studies at teacher Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School in Galesville, Wis. She credits the class size and campus environment for contributing to her success.

“With a small class size it’s much easier to make friends and do group work together,” she explained. “The small class size helps socially. In high school I was not this outgoing. I never would’ve imagined what I could do in college.”

Gannon will be the student speaker at Spring Commencement at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 13, at the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse in Valley City.

VCSU Hosts 2023 Scholar Symposium


60+ students and faculty present academic research and projects


Valley City State University’s (VCSU) hosted the 2023 Scholar Symposium on Tuesday, May 2. The Symposium featured the work of more than 60 students and faculty across multiple disciplines.

The Symposium gave undergraduate students the opportunity to showcase their research, writing, and other creative projects developed over the past academic year. The student-designed projects represented seven departments across campus.

“This event gives students the opportunity to display their research and present on the research activities that they’ve done over the last year,” President Alan LaFave said. “This helps students advance in their disciplines and put theory into practice.”

“The symposium is a celebration of student research across campus,” event coordinator and associate professor Emily Wicktor said. “We wanted to highlight the wide range of scholarship VCSU’s students produce individually and collaboratively.”

Recipients of the 2022-23 SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) Award also formally presented their faculty-mentored advanced research projects.  VCSU had two SOAR Students this academic year: Makenzee Stone and Alexa Walby.

Walby said, “I did a psychoanalysis of the movie Joker and I just kind of studied the character of Arthur Fleck and how he came to be this infamous villain.”  The research was done with the mentorship of Associate Professor J. Gregory Brister.

Stone studied the cadet nursing program at the beginning of World War II. “I’ve always been interested in World War II, seeing how people found careers and how women took over the workforce,” Stone said. “I’ve always been interested in this topic and I got to explore it further.” Stone’s mentor was Professor Steven King.

For more information about the scholar symposium or to schedule an interview, contact Tammy Jo Anderson Taft at or by calling 701-845-7227.

Alyssa Ames speaks about her history research project

A VCSU computer programming student presents his project to a faculty memberBusiness students explain their research project during the scholar symposium

A SOAR student presents to the scholar symposium

Professor Emily Wicktor speaking at the podium


Viking Sports Update


VCSU Softball won the NSAA Postseason Tournament this past weekend in Dickinson. The Vikings now have a 28-21 overall record and have qualified for the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round, which will be played May 15-17 in Baldwin City, Kan. VCSU will face No. 6 ranked College of Idaho in the first game of the National Opening Round. softball celebration

VCSU baseball went 1-2 this past weekend at the NSAA Baseball Tournament in Dickinson. Valley City State finished the season with a 13-34 overall record.

Track & Field
VCSU Track & Field will compete Thursday and Friday at the NSAA Conference Championship Meet in Dickinson. Events begins at 3 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on Friday.

Upcoming Events
May 11-12: Track & Field at NSAA Championships (Dickinson, N.D.)
May 15-17: Softball at NAIA National Opening Round (Baldwin City, Kan.)

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

What's happening on campus - in town

Wednesday, May 10
4-6 p.m. NDUS Traveling Exhibit reception, Center for the Arts lobby
7:30 p.m. Wind Ensemble Concert, Center for the Arts Performance Hall

Thursday, May 11
5:30 p.m. Employee Recognition Dinner, VCSU Student Center Cafeteria

Friday, May 12
1 p.m. Senior Awards Ceremony, Center for the Arts Performance Hall

Saturday, May 13
10 a.m. VCSU Spring Commencement, W.E. Osmon Field House

Find out what’s happening in the community on the Valley City Community Calendar:
Find out what’s happening at the VCSU Center for the Arts: