May 8th, 2014 @ 3:47 pm | Author: Greg Vanney
Valley City State University alumnus Paul Sandness—general counsel and corporate secretary of MDU Resources Group (MDU) in Bismarck, N.D.—will deliver the keynote address at VCSU’s 122nd commencement exercises, to be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 17, 2014, in W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse on the VCSU campus.

Sandness grew up on a farm near LaMoure, N.D., and then attended VCSU, graduating in 1976 with a major in English education and a minor in German. He went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in 1979.

After serving one year as a law clerk to Justice Gerald VandeWalle of the North Dakota Supreme Court, Sandness began his career at MDU in 1980. MDU, founded as an electric utility in 1924, provides value-added natural resource products and related services essential to energy and transportation infrastructure.

Through the years Sandness has held positions of increasing responsibility with MDU. He was elected to his current position in 2004.

Representing the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education at VCSU’s commencement is Doug Munski, elected by the Council of College Faculties to serve as faculty adviser to the board. He is professor of geography at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Munski’s research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, the improvement of academic advising, Canadian historical geography, the historical geography of North Dakota, and transportation geography. He holds the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

Emily (McDaniel) Kracht will present the graduate student address. A Spanish teacher at Loyola Catholic School in Mankato, Minn., Kracht completed the requirements for a master’s degree in education with a concentration in teaching English language learners at VCSU in December 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education with minors in Spanish education and mathematics education from VCSU.

Harrison Weber will present the undergraduate student address. A business management major from Casselton, N.D., Weber has served VCSU as a member of the Environmental Task Force and the Drug and Alcohol Task Force; he was also a Viking Ambassador, orientation leader and member of the EBC fraternity. Weber played basketball for three years for the VCSU Vikings.

Approximately 263 graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to participate in the VCSU commencement exercises. The public is invited to attend the ceremony and a reception immediately following in the VCSU Student Center.