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Class notes

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key: BA -Bachelor of Arts, BArch-Bachelor of Architecture, BS-Bachelor of Science, BSN-Bachelor of Science in Nursing, BUS-Bachelor of University Studies, DNP-Doctor of Nursing Practice, FS-Former Student, MA-Master of Arts, MEd-Master of Education, MPH-Master of Public Health, MS-Master of Science, PharmD-Doctor of Pharmacy, PhD-Doctor of Philosophy


David Bruce Bartholomew, BS ’54, agricultural education, was selected to receive the George Washington Honor Medal by the Freedom Foundation. The judges are from national patriotic, service and civic clubs, veterans and educational organizations. He was nominated in the Community — Adult and Youth category. He lives in Dallas.


Collette Folstad, BS ’62, physical education, was inducted into the West Fargo High School Hall of Fame. She coached West Fargo varsity girls basketball for 15 years. Her teams won two state championships, two state runner-up finishes, two regional titles and four conference titles. She was the first woman coach inducted into the North Dakota High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and also is a member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Gary L. Krapu, BS ’66, zoology, received the L.H. Walkinshaw Crane Conservation Award from the North American Crane Working Group. The award was presented in recognition of his commitment to better understand the needs of sandhill cranes during spring staging in the Platte River ecosystem. He is an emeritus researcher at the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, after retiring from public service in 2011.

Jay Edwin Buringrud, BS ’69, economics, retired as director of legal services for the North Dakota Legislative Council after 42 years of service that included positions as counsel, code reviser and assistant director of the professional staff of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly. He and his wife, Linda, live in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Mary (Struble) Amundson, BS ’69, sociology, received the Fredric Moskol Leadership Award at the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) annual meeting in Denver. The organization works to improve rural and underserved communities’ access to quality health care. She was a founding member of the organization and served two terms on its board. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Curtis W. Glasoe, BS ’69, agricultural engineering, was named "Surveyor of the Year" by the North Dakota Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He retired from the USDA-Forest Service in August, where he was the Dakota Prairie Grasslands Engineer in charge of engineering services for the four National Grasslands covering 1.2 million acres in North Dakota and South Dakota.


Patsy (Bredwick) Levang, BS ’71, psychology, wrote a book titled “The Bird Book,” which tells the story of a woman who found life can be fulfilling without material riches midst nature and the comfort of birds. She also is the volunteer chair of the centennial celebration for the city of Watford City, North Dakota. She lives near Keene, North Dakota.

Jon K. Jennings, BS ’72, civil engineering, received two Vistage international awards. For the third consecutive year, he, as Vistage chair in western North Dakota, received the Chair Excellence Award. A total of 95 chairs worldwide received the award for 2013. In addition, Jennings received the Master Chair Designation. Only 36 chairs worldwide received the honor in 2013. Founded in 1957 and headquartered in San Diego, Vistage assembles and facilitates private advisory boards for CEOs, senior executives and business owners. He lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Kathryn (Raymo) Kuhlman, BS ’72, home economics, MS ’83, textiles and clothing, retired from her position as Macon County’s Extension Agent in 4-H Youth Development with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. She was inducted into the North Carolina 4-H Hall of Fame in 2013. She lives in Franklin, North Carolina.

Rhoda P. Erhardt, MS ’74, human development and family science, received the 2014 Mensa Intellectual Benefits to Society Award from the American Mensa Education and Research Foundation for her work developing materials and programs relating to early childhood identification of disabilities. She is a pediatric occupational therapy consultant in Maplewood, Minnesota.

Jerry Doan, BS ’75, animal science, received the 2014 Agribusiness Award during the annual NDSU Harvest Bowl festivities. The award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of agriculture and business. He is a fourth-generation rancher and producer from McKenzie, North Dakota.

Marilyn (jelsing) Niewoehner, BS ’75, textiles and clothing, was the featured artist at the Prairie Arts Club’s Fine Arts and Craft Fair at the Metigoshe Christian Center near Bottineau, North Dakota. She lives in Rugby, North Dakota.

Ross L. Olson, BS ’75, animal science, was named vice chair of the board of American Federal Bank. With 39 years of banking experience, he is the bank's executive vice president and director. He lives in Fargo.

Mary (Busch) Gregoire, BS ’74, MS ’76, food and nutrition, was named executive director of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or dietetic technicians. She is professor and chair of the department of clinical nutrition at Rush University Medical Center.

Curtis Stofferahn, BS ’75, social science, was presented with a certificate and plaque for outstanding service to the Rural Sociological Society at the organization’s awards banquet in New Orleans. He was secretary of the society from 2010-13. He is a professor and department chair of sociology at the University of North Dakota.

George A. Watland, BS ’76, mathematics, MS ’80, computer science, MS ’08, natural resource management, was named senior chapter director of the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter. It is the oldest and largest chapter with 120,000 members and supporters in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. He lives in Tarzana, California.

Julie Henderson photo

Julie Henderson, MS ’78, social science, was named Outstanding Educator of the Year   by the Public Relations Society of America. The honor recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of public relations education through college or university teaching. She is a professor of public relations at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and serves as faculty adviser to the university’s Public Relations Students Society of America chapter. Before joining the UW Oshkosh faculty in 1993, Henderson taught at NDSU for eight years.

Elisabeth (Gunderson) Goff, BS ’79, zoology, was promoted to senior special investigator with Westfield Insurance. She joined the company in 2000 after a career in law enforcement. She and her husband, John, live in Fargo.

Robert Littlefield, MA ’79, drama, was one of seven Americans among the 17 Lions from around the world elected to the position of international director at the 97th annual Convention of Lions Clubs International held in Toronto, Canada. He is a professor of communication at NDSU.


Edward Vance, BA ’80, architectural studies, BArch ’81, architecture, was selected as a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He is the only recipient from Nevada to receive the honor this year. He is the founder and design principal of EV&A Architects, a specialty design firm based in Las Vegas. The firm provides services to the hospitality, commercial and health care markets.

Jeff Topp, FS ’82, agriculture, was named to the American Federal Corp. board of directors. He is a partner in a family-owned farming enterprise that raises crops in Eddy, Foster, McLean and Stutsman Counties in North Dakota and runs a cow-calf operation. He also is a trustee on the North Dakota Future Farmers of America Foundation board and the National FarmHouse Foundation board.

Aldean Lee, BS ’83, psychology, retired after a 30-year career with the U.S. Marshal Service. She ended her career as assistant director for the Management Support Division in Washington, D.C. She and her father, Ordean Lee, were the first father- daughter marshals in U.S. history. She also was inducted into the Fargo South High School Hall of Fame.

Forrest W. Nutter Jr., PhD ’84, plant pathology, received the 2014 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award at Iowa State University. He was honored for the development of interactive software programs to teach principles of plant disease epidemiology and for his numerous teaching publications. He is a professor of plant pathology and microbiology. He lives in Ames, Iowa.

Frayne Olson, BS ’84, MS ’87, agricultural economics, was named 2014 communicator of the year by the North Dakota chapter of the Association for Communication Excellence and NDSU Agriculture Communication. He is an NDSU Extension Service crops economist/marketing specialist and an assistant professor in NDSU’s agribusiness and applied economics department.

Scott A. Peterson, BS ’85, zoology, is the new deputy director for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. He previously was the department’s wildlife resource management section leader for 22 years, based at the Lonetree district office near Harvey, North Dakota.

Stacia (Metzger) Heiden, BS ’87, accounting, was appointed vice president of finance and administration for Northstar Agri Industries, a canola processing company with corporate offices in Fargo.

Charisse Johnson Jensen, BA ’87, speech communication, graduated from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in May and was ordained for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She will serve as an associate pastor at Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Barrington, Illinois. She lives with her husband, Jon Jensen, BS ’85, MA ’91, in Naperville, Illinois.

Trisha (Reichl) Cyr, BS ’88, corporate and community fitness, BS ’92, medical technology, was inducted into the Albert Lea, Minnesota, High School Hall of Fame. Captain of her high school teams in basketball and volleyball, she was a first team All-America selection in 1987 for the Bison, leading the NDSU volleyball team to a 162-50 record during her four years of play. She was inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mark Thomas Reinhiller, BS ’89, mass communication, received the 2014 California State University San Bernardino President’s Distinguished Service Award. He is in his fifth year as the university’s associate athletics director for media relations. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Beaumont, California.


Nicholas Achina, BS ’90, electrical and electronic engineering, was named director of electrical engineering at ATS&R, a Minneapolis-based architectural and engineering firm.

Jodi (Moch) Koski, BS ’90, business administration, is the information technology manager of business intelligence for the Enterprise Data Warehouse at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota in Eagan.

Thomas Lothspeich, BS ’91, mechanical engineering, was elected vice president for Stanley Consultants, a global consulting engineering firm. He is a senior project manager and manager of the Power General Group of Energy Business in the firm’s Muscatine, Iowa, office.

Debra (Quigley) Sahlstrom, BS ’92, athletic training, has opened a birth center in Milaca, Minnesota, called A New Story Birth Center. She has experience as an emergency medical technician, registered nurse and certified professional midwife.

Mark Azure, BS ’94, electrical engineering, was promoted to partner at Dunham Associates Inc., Minneapolis. He and his wife, Michelle, live in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, with their two children.

Jodi Rae (Burkhardt) Bruns, BS ’94, mass communication, MEd ’10, educational leadership, was named the first area Extension specialist in community vitality. An Extension agent for Dickey County, she also has been involved in numerous community vitality-related projects, including housing, customer service programs, strategic planning efforts and community marketing. She lives in Oakes, North Dakota.

Lonnie Wangen, BUS ’95, university studies, was named the 67th president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs. He has served as North Dakota’s commissioner of Veterans Affairs since 2008, and is only the third North Dakota director to be named to the national post. The association is comprised of directors, commissioners and secretaries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Samoa Islands. He lives in Horace, North Dakota.

Jerome Differding, BS ’96, corporate and community fitness, has taken a position at Sanford Health in Fargo as trauma research program manager.

Jean Ostrom-Blonigen, BS ’98, management information systems, PhD ’13, communication, was named project administrator at NDSU for the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Shane Waslaski photo

Shane Waslaski, BS ’98, zoology, was named president and CEO of Intelligent InSites, a software development and solutions company providing business intelligence in health care using real time location systems. Previously, he was a senior vice president for Otter Tail Corp. and president of Varistar in Fargo.

Calie (Balvitsch) Larkin, BS ’99, accounting, was promoted to vice president/business banking officer at Bell State Bank and Trust in Fargo. She has been a commercial credit officer at the bank for more than 12 years.

Stacey (Bakke) Majkrzak, BS ’99, mass communication, was named the first executive director of the Grand Forks Downtown Development Association. She lives in Thompson, North Dakota, with her husband, Brent, and their three children.

James M. Peterson, BS ’99, agricultural economics, joined First Community Credit Union as vice president for its Jamestown, North Dakota, market. He has 15 years experience in the financial services industry.

Trainer to the stars

Amy Trout and horse photo

Amy Trout runs the prep school for the world-renowned Budweiser Clydesdales. “I get the babies once they are weaned from their moms and I do all the basic farm manners training, if you will, until they’re around four years of age,” she says. “I then send them off to training farms where they actually put the harness on them and start driving them.”

Adult Clydesdales are more than six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh more than 2,000 pounds. It’s a sight and experience Trout loves to share as a supervisor and trainer at Grant’s Farm, the Budweiser Clydesdale Stable near St. Louis. “The horses are spectacular. It’s truly the equivalent of traveling with a rock star band. Everyone wants to get to know you, meet the horses and be part of your world. It’s really rewarding.”

Trout earned her NDSU degree in animal and range sciences in 2000, and began working for Anheuser-Busch in 2002 as a handler for the Clydesdale team based in San Antonio, and later with another team out of Merrimack, New Hampshire. For eight years, Trout’s suitcases were always packed, as she spent about 320 days per year on the road showcasing the animals.

In 2010, she was promoted and transferred to Grant’s Farm, and she adopted a more normal workday. Recently, however, Trout has been traveling again, participating in a special four-month trip with the Clydesdales across China. In a way, she serves as an ambassador.

“The reason we’re here is because 2014 is the ‘Year of the Horse’ in China,” Trout said in a telephone interview during a stay near Shanghai. “The turnout has been spectacular. People here have no idea what the Budweiser Clydesdales are all about — they’ve never seen a Super Bowl commercial. When these magnificent animals show up, the people are awestruck. It’s cool to be part of that.”


Gwen (peterson) McCausland, BS ’01, sociology, was named director of the South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum in Brookings, South Dakota. She previously worked for the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Steven Weninger, BS ’01, construction management, joined Wanzek Construction, Fargo, as senior project manager for industrial, power, oil and gas. He has 15 years experience in the construction industry and was previously employed as a construction scope change manager/lead estimator for Fagen Inc.

Garrett Lee, BS ’02, mechanical engineering, is a mechanical design engineer for Appareo Systems in Fargo. He previously worked at Cardinal IG.

Jacob Thielbar, BS ’02, electrical engineering, was named to the Faribault, Minnesota, Sports Hall of Fame. In high school, he played football and was a two-time state tournament wrestler. He also wrestled at NDSU.

Lindsey D. Rendlen, BS ’03, mass communication, has assumed the role of Corporate Human Resources Manager of Employment and Labor Relations for Graybar Electric Co. Inc., a Fortune 500 Company headquartered in St. Louis, with locations across the U.S. She previously practiced management-side labor and employment law with McCarthy, Leonard and Kaemmerer, L.C., located in St. Louis.

Andrew Gress, BS ’04, history, was appointed academic dean of the Des Moines, Iowa, campus of Kaplan University. He serves as the chief academic officer to the campus, managing academic administrative operations as well as faculty and academic support services. He lives in Clive, Iowa.

Kent Theurer, BS ’04, emergency management, was named emergency manager in the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. He previously was the emergency management coordinator at the Jamestown (North Dakota) Regional Medical Center.

Kelly (Holtman) Griffin, BS ’05, apparel and textiles, was inducted into the 2014 Accessories Magazine Hall of Fame. She was honored at the Fashion Accessories Benefit Ball in New York and received a full-page profile in the Accessories Magazine February issue. She is the accessories merchandise manager for Christopher and Banks Corp.

Robert M. Jentz, BS ’05, business administration, was promoted to chief compliance officer of Carlile Bancshares and its subsidiary banks, Northstar Bank of Texas and Northstar Bank of Colorado. The banks have combined assets of $2.3 billion. He lives in Addison, Texas.

Sneh Patel, BS ’05, zoology, joined the Essentia Health Clinic in West Fargo. She is a family medicine physician.

Amanda (Thieschafer) Smock, BS ’05, human performance and fitness, won her third outdoor national title in the triple jump during the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California. Earlier this year, she won her third consecutive indoor title in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was a 2012 London Olympian.

JoVal (Schneibel) Wettlaufer, BS ’05, human performance and fitness, MS ’09, history education, was hired as a member education consultant at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Fargo. She previously worked at the NDSU Wallman Wellness Center.

Cheryl (Dziadul) Duvall, BS ’06, agricultural economics, was named executive director of the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society. She manages Chirping Tree Farm, a Greenhouse and Ag-Education farm in Lisbon, North Dakota.

Kelsey Smith photo

Kelsey (Dockter) Smith, BS ’06, business administration, was promoted to manager of Total Rewards in human resources at Noridian Mutual Insurance Co., Fargo, which offers health care coverage as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. She joined the company in 2012 and was promoted to compensation analyst in 2013.

Jodee (doll) Downs, BS ’07, zoology, joined Nokken Chiropractic Clinic in Moorhead, Minnesota. She earned a doctor of chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minnesota.

Kali (Rheingans) Mork, BS ’07, business administration, was named director of the Fargo-Moorhead Athletic Commission. She previously was assistant general manager at Scheels Arena in Fargo.

DeAnn Wagenman, BS ’07, accounting, joined Noridian Mutual Insurance Co., a licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, as manager of its internal audit department. She previously worked as an audit manager at Widmer Roel, a public accounting firm in Fargo.

Lisa Benz, BS ’08, business administration, joined NDSU’s Information Technology Division in its Telecommunications and Emergency Support Technologies Department as a telecommunications analyst. She was most recently with AT&T Mobility in Fargo.

Tyler Mohr, BS ’08, hospitality and tourism management, was named 2013 Air Force Reserve Command Outstanding Airman of the Year. He is a 445th Airlift Wing command post airman at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kayla Thompson, BSN ’08, nursing, DNP ’14, advanced nursing practice, joined the emergency medicine department at Essentia Health, Fargo.

Joshua S. Kueber, BS ’09, civil engineering, joined Ulteig in Fargo as a civil engineer. He most recently worked for SRF Consulting in Fargo as a senior engineer.

David Joseph Sperl, PharmD ’09, pharmacy, was promoted to pharmacist- in-charge at Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, Minnesota.

Technology in patient care

Patient Care photo

Andrea Wald is an interventional radiology technologist at Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

She uses sophisticated imaging technology such as biplane fluoroscopy to help guide catheters, vena cava filters or stents through patients’ bodies to treat disease without open surgery. The procedures are often completed through a small puncture in an artery.

“The technology has gotten amazing,” Wald says. “Someone can be bleeding internally, and by accessing the femoral artery we can guide catheters into the area where they are bleeding and put in some coils that will embolize or occlude that vessel. The patient basically ends up with only a tiny puncture wound that is closed with some skin glue.”

Wald earned her bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences in 2009 and began her career as a radiographer, but she was introduced to interventional radiology during a clinical rotation. She immediately knew it was a perfect fit. “I absolutely love what I do. I wanted something in the medical field, but I also liked technology,” she said. “It clicked.”

“I like the direct feeling of making a difference in patients’ care,” Wald says.

Wald grew up on a farm near Baldwin, North Dakota, and now lives in Sioux Falls.


Chelsie (hvidsten) Camp, BS ’10, sociology, was promoted to benefits supervisor/account specialist services at Discovery Benefits in Fargo.

Stephanie D. Brost, BS ’10, management, joined Houston Engineering’s Fargo office as a human resources recruiter. She previously worked for Volt Workforce Solutions in Minneapolis as an on-site recruiter.

Stephanie A. Gramlow, BS ’11, human development and family science, MEd ’14, counseling, was named volunteer coordinator at Hospice of the Red River Valley, Fargo.

Katie Roesler, BS ’11, industrial engineering and management, is a production supervisor at John Deere Harvester Works in East Moline, Illinois. She previously worked as a lead manufacturing engineer for John Deere.

Casey Thielges, BS ’11, finance, was promoted to personal loan officer at Gate City Bank’s Southpointe location in Fargo.

Michael Arens, BS ’12, accounting, was promoted to internal auditor at Bell State Bank and Trust in Fargo. He has eight years experience in the banking industry.

Micah Tengesdal, BS ’12, electrical engineering, joined the Fargo office of the KLJ engineering, surveying and planning firm. He is an engineer in the power group.

Spencer L. Nordman, BS ’13, accounting, earned the certified public accountant designation. He works for the public accounting and business advisory firm Widmer Roel in Fargo.

Hannah Reichel, BS ’13, public relations and advertising, joined RDO Equipment Co. Field Support Office in Fargo as a marketing assistant.

Nicholas Taralson, BSN ’13, nursing, joined Lillestol Research in Fargo as the clinical research coordinator.

Jordyn T. Geisenhoff, MPH ’14, public health, joined Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health as a tobacco prevention specialist.

Jalen Getting, BS ’14, agricultural and biosystems engineering, was hired as a test engineer at Appareo Systems in Fargo. He previously worked for AGCO in Jackson, Minnesota.

Amanda (Halverson) Johnson, DNP ’14, advanced nursing practice, is a nurse practitioner and joined the neurology department at the Essentia Health Clinic in south Fargo.

Misty J. Rappuhn, BS ’14, accounting, joined regional certified public accounting and business advisory firm Eide Bailly. She is working in the firm’s Fargo office.

Jordan R. Stiefel, BS ’14, art, joined the RLE Group, Fargo, as a graphic designer.

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