Joel Hagen (Voice over guy, pp. 26-29) Initially eager to break out on his own by leaving his hometown of Minneota, Minnesota, to attend the University of Evansville, Indiana, Joel Hagen (voice over guy, p. 26-29) soon returned to be closer to family. Two years as a reporter in Fergus Falls drove him back to academic life, to earn a master's degree in creative writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He began work as a feature writer at North Dakota State University in January, and spends his spare time writing fiction and trying to get people interested in Norwegian history.
Michael J. Olsen (Dad, pp. 46-47 ) is a Fargo-based corporate communication strategist and occasional essayist for NDSU magazine and other regional publications. He has had a bee in his bonnet for 50 years, frustrated all this time that his father's famous picture of the Fargo tornado was cropped by the newspaper to exclude the children in the foreground, but this year as the Forum recalled the storm, the full shot was at last published. The anniversary of his father's famous photograph also generated this essay. When your dad is a photographer, you get your picture taken often, sometimes when you are having your nap, as shown here, Michael, circa age 4.
Shadd Piehl (H2 NDSU, pp. 30-33) is a frequent contributor to NDSU magazine, a rodeo cowboy and a cowboy poet. He also teaches English composition, literature and humanities courses at Rasmussen College in Bismarck. Piehl and his wife, Marnie, live in Menoken with their three sons, a dog and two horses.
Tom Riley (Thinking Lewis and Clark, pp. 6-9) is dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at North Dakota State University, and a professor of anthropology. Though his research has been focused on prehistoric agricultural systems in the Hawaiian Islands, American Samoa and Micronesia, he has, since moving to North Dakota in 1996, also become something of an expert on Lewis and Clark.