Challey Spotlight: Tayt Rinehardt

|   Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth

The Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth is highlighting the impact of our faculty and students at NDSU and in the community. This month, we are shining a spotlight on Challey Employee, Tayt Rinehardt.

Challey Spotlight: Tayt Rinehardt

Challey Employee

Tayt Rinehardt is the Business Coordinator for the Challey Institute and Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business. He has worked at NDSU since 2011, and has been with the Challey Institute for 4 years. Tayt is our behind-the-scenes expert coordinating event details, handling the institute's budget and finances, and overseeing all our logistics.

Why do you enjoy working at the Challey Institute?  
I enjoy working at the Challey Institute as I get to see the great work our faculty are doing in the classroom and in their research, and its impacts on our students and our community.  My master's degree is in counseling, I spent a decade advising students, and I think it is very interesting to observe students learning from our faculty and speakers.  The transformational change that occurs in students through the classroom, reading groups, and speakers is exciting.  It makes me more optimistic about the future knowing students are having these experiences at NDSU. I wish I could have had that opportunity as an undergrad student, but I’ll soak up all I can as an employee of the Institute.  

Tell us about a favorite Challey event or experience you've had.    

I think a couple come to mind regarding my favorite Challey events:  

During the first year of the Human Progress & Flourishing Workshop, we had Marian Tupy as a virtual speaker.  He really put into perspective that we live in the greatest time period of all, as life expectancy, income/wealth, etc. is the best it’s ever been compared to the last 4000 years of human history.  It was very inspiring to me and gave me hope for the future.  

One of my favorite Menard Distinguished Speakers was Alice Marie Johnson.  Her life story is remarkable and working with her behind the scenes on logistics was great.  She’s a very kind person and easy to work with.  Another favorite was John List because of the way I saw him interacting with students after his presentation.  He spent almost an entire hour talking to students while signing his book after he spoke.  You could tell he was interested in each student interaction and spent time asking follow up questions of the students and their experiences.  It was quite incredible to watch a speaker interact that way with undergraduate students.

I also never thought I would look back on my work experience and say that I emailed a Nobel Prize Laureate or a future U.S. Senator and they both emailed back!  It’s been fun to work with and get to know Vernon Smith and his wife Candace during their two visits to NDSU. J.D. Vance’s Menard Speaking engagement was also very interesting, given his background growing up in the Appalachian region of Ohio.  

In what ways do you see philanthropy making an impact?    
I have seen donor philanthropy making a huge difference for students through the scholarships we are able to offer, as well as the high-caliber speakers that come to NDSU and the research support for our faculty.  We have an event each fall for students that receive the scholarship and most usually start off a conversation by thanking us for the scholarship. Philanthropy can truly impact a student and their financial ability to attend NDSU and I’m proud that I get to hear those thank you’s on behalf of our donors. The breadth and depth of speakers we are able to invite to NDSU is outstanding and only possible with the generous support of donors. I hope we can continue to attract high-level speakers whose messages resonate with our mission and vision.  The research our faculty conduct also wouldn’t be possible without our donors. 


The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth aims to advance understanding in the areas of innovation, trade, institutions, and human potential to identify policies and solutions for the betterment of society. Learn more at
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