HSE alumni spotlights

From leading middle school-age girls backpacking in the wilderness to earning a spot on the Olympic team, HSE alumni are doing amazing things. Read more about these stories below.

If you have an inspiring story or accomplishment to share, please get in touch with us. We enjoy talking about the successes of our alumni.

Leading female youth through the wilderness

Johanna Weber coordinates a staff of 10 and 30 middle school-aged girls at a wilderness summer camp in Durango, Colorado. A large part of her job is leading four-to-five-day backpacking trips in the San Juan mountains.

Weber is a 2021 graduate of nutrition and dietetics. She explains that she uses a lot of her food service management knowledge in her current role as program coordinator at Colvig Silver Camps. When COVID restrictions were in place, she was able to offer guidance on how to best serve meals safely at camp. Advocating for nutritious meals with enough calories and the correct balance also is important to her, along with working with various dietary restrictions.

She is pictured above making tortilla pizzas on the trail.

“Cooking is always my favorite part of the day after hiking,” said Weber. “Food is a necessity anywhere you go and especially at an active camp, every person needs fuel to get them through their day.”

Earning a spot to compete in Tokyo

Payton Otterdahl competed in the Olympic trials last month and earned himself a spot at the Tokyo Games. He logged a personal record of 71-feet, 11-inches on the fifth of six throws in the shot put.

“Making the Olympic Team for the USA is me realizing my ultimate goal, one that I have had ever since I started competing in track and field as a middle schooler,” said Otterdahl. “Now I am able to coach young athletes and, in turn, look more critically at my own throw and focus on improvements.”

Otterdahl graduated from NDSU in 2019 with degrees in both health and physical education. He broke the all-time collegiate indoor shot put record and won the NCAA Division I national championship that year.

Currently a volunteer assistant coach for the Bison throwers, Otterdahl remains committed to the athletes of NDSU and connected to his alma mater.

Dr. Jim Deal, Interim Dean

Email:  Jim.Deal@ndsu.edu

Dr. Jill Nelson, Interim Dean

Email:  Jill.R.Nelson@ndsu.edu

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