Spring 2022 grads share memorable NDSU experiences

Ten spring 2022 graduates share their plans for the future and what they will remember most about their NDSU experiences.

Andrew Christianson
Major: Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Fargo

My favorite experiences are centered around connecting with professionals to hear about projects, jobs and other opportunities happening within the engineering career field. This involved attending the career fair and guest presentations to hear from professionals in all walks of life and companies such as NASA, Boeing and more. This helped me grasp the true impact that I can have as an engineer and understand the infinite number of opportunities to create change in the world.

My greatest accomplishment is being selected to serve as the student commencement speaker and represent the class of 2022 at graduation.I know all the hard work and trials my peers have overcome to end up at graduation day and I cannot think of a higher honor than to send them off with words of encouragement.

Plans after graduation: My plan is to continue working at CNH Industrial as a product development design engineer for four-wheel drive Steiger Series tractors. I have worked part-time during school and full-time in the summer since the end of freshman year. I will continue to live in Fargo and advance my knowledge in aerospace engineering in my spare time.


Rose Yang
Major: Pharmaceutical sciences
Hometown: Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

My favorite NDSU experience would have is being able to meet and develop genuine relationships with the pharmacy faculty. They truly want you to succeed and they will find all and any opportunities for you. I loved being able to connect with the pharmacy faculty because they are interested in who you are and will go above and beyond for you to reach your dreams.

My greatest accomplishment at NDSU isn’t one moment or accomplishment. I believe it is the accumulation of accomplishments that have led me to where I am today. I am growing every day as an individual and I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished at NDSU equally. I’ve given my all and put in hard work to accomplish each goal I’ve chased. So, that’s why I believe there isn’t an accomplishment that outshines another.

Plans after graduation: I plan to continue my education within the pharmacy program. I am currently a second-year pharmacy student and will graduate in 2024. I hope to continue my education after 2024 with a residency program focusing on ambulatory care. I want to work in a setting that involves serving underserved populations because it will allow me to focus on certain disease states and become an expert. I believe it will make me more valuable as a pharmacist as well as allow me to work closely with patients. I value work culture and hold strong values in being an empathetic person. I know I will be able to connect with these patients on a deeper level while giving them the best care I can.


Cameron Dahlin
Major: Civil engineering
Hometown: Thief River Falls, Minnesota

My favorite NDSU experience was travelling to Guatemala with Engineers Without Borders in the summer of 2019 to construct a community center for a rural mountain village. This was a once-in-a-lifetime, exciting, challenging experience that enabled our group to serve a people in need.

My greatest accomplishment at NDSU has been leading others in various opportunities and seeing them grow, whether that is in classroom knowledge, industry skills, or ministry. It is a joy to see development and success in others.

Plans after graduation: I’m staying in Fargo and working at engineering firm HDR. I will be working primarily in the power sector with transmission/distribution line design.


Alaina Driscoll
Major: Health and physical education
Hometown: Saint Croix Falls, Wisconsin

I have too many favorite memories many to say just one. I have loved joining different clubs and organizations on campus and forming relationships that will last a lifetime. A unique experience was participating in a log rolling competition at the Wellness Center. I got third place and was the only girl participating. I also was a cheerleader on the cheer team for football and basketball games and travelled to Frisco and the March Madness basketball tournament. To see the pride of North Dakota firsthand and experience Bison gameday was very special. NDSU has given me so many opportunities to experience new and exciting adventures.

My greatest accomplishment at NDSU was conducting research with one of my professors on homework in physical education. I co-authored an article that will be published in a physical education peer-reviewed journal. I also was able to present and network at a National Physical and Health Education conference in New Orleans.

Plans after graduation: I plan to teach physical education at Kennedy Elementary School in Fargo.


Sophia Peña
Major: Sport management
Hometown: New Richmond, Wisconsin

It’s hard to narrow my favorite NDSU experience to just one thing. But travelling down to Frisco, Texas with some of my best friends to see the Bison win another national football championship is on the list. Watching them beat Montana State and running onto the field to celebrate with the team while confetti was falling down was definitely a core memory I will have for the rest of my life.

An honorable mention goes out to the NDSU baseball team singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me during my freshman year.

One of my greatest accomplishments at NDSU was being a Rising Scholar mentor. Being able to help my peers throughout their journey at NDSU was so fulfilling and seeing them succeed was very rewarding. Rising Scholars is an amazing program on campus and I hope those needing a little extra help reach out and take advantage of the program.

Plans after graduation: I hope to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree in marketing and sport management. I am very fortunate to have been accepted into several graduate schools, but I haven’t decided where I’ll go.


Jaylee Messmer
Major: Radiologic sciences
Hometown: Hettinger, North Dakota

My favorite NDSU experience is being part of the College of Health Professions Ambassadors. Not only did it help me connect with other health professions students, but it allowed me to network with prospective students of all ages. I am very grateful that I was chosen to represent my college alongside all the other ambassadors who inspired me to get involved and promote my own field of study.

My greatest accomplishment at NDSU was being chosen to give a speech at the College of Health Professions 2021 Scholarship Recognition Program. It was a privilege to speak on behalf of students and thank the donors who generously invest in our education. I am also honored to have been nominated to speak at the commencement ceremony.

Plans after graduation: I am going to work as a CT technologist at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo during the summer. I’ll move to Rochester, Minnesota, in September to complete a one-year nuclear medicine technology program at Mayo Clinic.


Nathaniel Johnson
Major: Exercise science and nutrition doctoral program
Hometown: St. Anthony, Minnesota

I have had a great time as a Bison. Fresh in my mind is the fact that my Biomedical engineering lab group helped me throw a surprise party for my wife. There is nothing like a team of engineers to help you prep. They folded paper to create decorations, hung banners and brought food, games and all sorts of other gifts. It was wonderful. Another time, a classmate also gave me an entire container of baklava as a birthday present – delicious. NDSU is a very friendly place and I’ll miss that most.

I am most proud of my consistency, industriousness and perseverance. In addition to the many new challenges facing students over last few years, I have had six surgeries, spent over $20,000 in direct medical costs and had to isolate from others due to the use of immunosuppressive medications used to treat my illness. Despite this, I am graduating on time with a 4.0 GPA, won my department’s Research Award and I was a Three-Minute Thesis Competition finalist. Nonetheless, my greatest accomplishment is the many friends I have made and the smiles and good times we will always share together.

Plans after graduation: My mantra for these past few years has been, “one foot in front of another.” Unfortunately, I have been so focused on graduating and trying to get healthy that I have spent little time looking for what’s next. Here is what I do know: I want to keep learning, performing research and teaching. Hopefully, right-here in the region.


Brianna Maddock
Major: Biotechnology
Hometown: Davenport, North Dakota

Planning and executing Blue Key Honor Society’s Bison Brevities in 2021 was an absolute blast. I was able to grow closer to the amazing members of Blue Key while helping raise more than $2,000 for NDSU food pantry Goods for the Herd. The member of Blue Key are truly remarkable people and they remind me to be passionate about what I’m doing and constantly work to serve others.

Throughout my college career, I have learned how to live my priorities. I have grown into a person that is constantly working to prioritize my faith, family and friends over other things like grades or organizations. This is not to say that grades and organizations aren’t important – they are. I simply have grown to prioritize the more important aspects of life first. This is my greatest accomplishment.

Plans after graduation: I will be joining the mission-driven employees at Aldevron as an assistant scientist in the research and development department.


Kendra Klosterman
Major: Master of Business Administration
Hometown: Mooreton, North Dakota

As a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club at NDSU, I would have to say that my favorite NDSU experience was showing in the Little International. It’s a showmanship-based livestock show that happens every February in Shepperd Arena on the NDSU campus. Students get the opportunity to show a pig, sheep, dairy heifer, or beef heifer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve shown before, every member in the club gets the opportunity to show if they want to. So much hard work goes into making the show happen and it’s such a rewarding experience for everyone involved. I’ve shown every year during my time at NDSU and it’s always so much fun.

Apart from my academic success, something I’m very proud of is winning the Miss NDSU competition in 2020. The primary focus of the competition is to raise money for a selected charity. In 2020, the organization that we were raising money for was Down Home. At the completion of the competition, I also was the individual that raised the most money. It was such an honor to be able to share my love for NDSU while also helping to raise money for a fantastic organization and help them help others.

Plans after graduation: I have discovered a passion for public relations, while also staying true to my agriculture background at NDSU. In June, I will compete for the title of Miss Rodeo North Dakota. The Miss Rodeo North Dakota platform would allow me the opportunity to promote our beautiful state, the sport of rodeo and the agriculture industry. I love engaging with the public on all things agriculture and believe everyone should understand our industry and where their food comes from.


Jade Berg
Major: Psychology; Women and gender studies
Hometown: Foreston, Minnesota

My favorite NDSU experience has been getting to make so many connections to different students, faculty and staff on campus. The people here truly want to support you and watch you succeed. Specifically, I’ve loved being able to help put on different fundraising events like NDSU Homecoming Show and Bison Brevities. It’s a wonderful feeling watching the NDSU community come together to support local non-profits and causes.

My greatest accomplishment at NDSU has been helping to put on several large-scale events for NDSU Welcome Week the past two years. I’ve specifically focused on events that help NDSU students find a sense of belonging and community. It’s been very impactful watching the incoming Bison create long-lasting relationships during Affinity Dinners and NDSUbelong presentations.

Plans after graduation: I’ll attend graduate school at NDSU this fall for clinical mental health counseling.