Michael J. Olsen (The king of old Broadway, p. 46) is a storyteller. The rest of us had to be taught about observation, analysis and presentation, but Olsen is the kind of guy who naturally makes fascinating things the rest find mundane. Some of us would, for example, just get a flat tire, but Olsen's flat has flair; comes complete with a set up, development, conflict, and a symbol-crashing resolution. He was a theatre major at North Dakota State University, and has spent most of his professional life as a corporate communication strategist. One of his most cherished stage roles, which he portrayed in two productions, was Charlie Brown.
Becca Stich (Welcome to the real world, honey, p. 10) was in the right place at the right time when NDSU Downtown opened last fall. The ink on her diploma was still drying when she was given the title NDSU Downtown public relations coordinator and asked to create a position to fit it. She since has become the face of the downtown campus, giving tours to prospective students, alumni and friends of North Dakota State University, coordinating events and meetings and managing the everyday happenings of the newly-renovated building. She also writes for NDSU publication services. Stich graduated from NDSU in 2004 with a degree in mass communication.
Catherine Jelsing, (Drama kings, p. 41), a staff writer at North Dakota State University, has spent a good portion of her professional career writing about the arts. One piece of regional theatre lore that's always intrigued her is NDSU's Lincoln Log Cabin. So, in reporting for this story, she was thrilled to tour the historic hideaway where NDSU drama club members once entertained international celebrities. Little Country Theatre artistic director Don Larew provided the tour, and, more importantly, full access to his research on the history of dramatic arts at NDSU. He's spent a year's leave of absence gathering reams of material with the notion that someday he'll write a book.
For someone who can barely see the big "E" on an eye chart without her glasses or contact lenses, Carol Renner finds it amusing that she contributed the article about visual neuroscience research (In depth, p. 26). In the Office of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer at NDSU, Renner serves as a conduit for translating scientific research information into understandable language for general media channels. Although new to NDSU, her award-winning writing career spans multiple years in multiple settings - first as a reporter and anchor at radio stations in the Upper Midwest, then in public relations across a variety of sectors including healthcare, utilities, financial services and Capitol Hill. The genesis of her writing career can be traced to her very brief stint as a playwright at age 10, when her touching, dramatic, yet playful story about elves was published in a local high school newspaper in Richardton, North Dakota. She still corresponds with her fifth grade English teacher.
(Best of show, p. 12) seated Tessa Pelkey, Lourdes Hawley, Arion Poitra standing Andrea Fagerstrom, Amanda Henderson, Jennifer Brandel, Kathy Hagstrom