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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


John Bollingberg, BS ’55, agricultural mechanization, was inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was a founder of the Northland Seed Company and a long-time member of the N.D. Ag Coalition, representing the North Dakota Edible Bean Growers Council. He has served on numerous state and national boards, including North Dakota Farm Bureau, National Corn Growers Association and American Oat Association.


Donald J. Homuth, BA ’70, speech, wrote a book, “Being Fargo,” that was released in Fargo in December. The memoir includes his time at NDSU from 1962-70, including the Zip to Zap, being Spectrum editor and other NDSU-related subjects. He lives in Salem, Oregon.

Steven Berseth, BS ’71, physical education, MS ’73, educational administration, was inducted into the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame during the 2014 National Athletic Directors Conference in National Harbor, Maryland. The award honors retired members who had exemplary careers in athletic administration. He was employed by the Brookings, South Dakota, School District for 39 years.

Robert Dalzell, BA ’74, philosophy, classical languages, was nominated for the 2015 California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Outstanding Chapter Leader Award by the Redwood Empire chapter of the organization. He is the chief financial officer of the chapter. He lives in Sebastopol, California.

Gregory Holte, BS ’74, agronomy, joined the Steffes Group, West Fargo, as a sales representative for online, live on-site and consignment auctions.

Curtis W. Stofferahn, BS ’75, social science, received the Thomas Clifford Faculty Service Award at the University of North Dakota Founders’ Day Banquet. A professor and chair of sociology at UND, he was recognized for his service to the university, Greek community and various rural and agricultural organizations. He was honored for his work as University Senate chair, chair-elect, past chair and senator; faculty adviser to Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity; board member of the Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society; and committee member for the Dakota Resource Council.

Kathleen (DeKrey) VanderVorst, BS ’76, home economics education, textiles and clothing, joined the West Fargo Public Library as the adult services librarian. She previously was displays coordinator and reference and teen librarian at the Bismarck Public Library.

Jill (Buringrud) Weigel, BS ’76, economics, retired as supervisor of taxpayer services for the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner after 38 years of service. She and her husband, Norman, live in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Alice R. Senechal, BS ’77, communication disorders, was appointed as a full-time federal magistrate judge, serving in Fargo and Grand Forks.


Julie (Newman) Rokke, BArch ’80, architecture, joined the board of directors at Creative Care for Reaching Independence, known as CCRI, in Moorhead. She is a principal and owner of YHR Partners in Moorhead.

Duane Maatz, BS ’82, agricultural education, was named executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, which represents 2,700 growers in the region. He has 17 years of experience in managing growers’ associations and lobbying in Washington, D.C. He spent six years as the executive director of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association and more than 10 years as president of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, Minnesota.

Robert William Fern, BArch ’85, architecture, formed the architectural firm of RW Fern Associates in Duluth, Minnesota. After graduation, he started work with Thomas and Vecchi Architects and, after retirement of one of the original partners, became vice president of John Ivey Thomas Associates in 1998.

Tim Dufault photoTim Dufault, BS ’86, architectural studies, BArch ’91, architecture, was named president of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota board of directors for 2015. He is president and CEO of the Cunningham Group in Minneapolis.

Stephen C. Glass, BS ’86, corporate and community fitness, published a book, “Kinesiology for Dummies,” that covers biomechanics, exercise physiology and sport psychology. He is a professor of exercise science at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

John Zetocha, BS ’86, agricultural education, was named president of the Oakes, North Dakota, market for Starion Financial. Since 1984, he has operated a corn, soybean and small livestock operation in the Oakes area.

Todd Cymbaluk, BS ’87, agronomy, was promoted to senior agriculturist for American Crystal Sugar Co.

Todd Fry, BS ’88, psychology, BS ’89, speech communication, opened a Sunbelt of North Dakota office in Fargo. The Sunbelt franchise specializes in sales aligning business buyers and sellers across a range of markets.

Kerry Meske, BS ’88, construction management, was promoted to senior project manager at Industrial Builders Inc., Fargo.

Steven J. Swanson, BS ’88, business administration, was hired as vice president/financial adviser for Bell Investments, the Cetera Investment Services program at Bell State Bank and Trust.

Kevin G. Nelson, BS ’89, civil engineering, joined Wenck Associates Inc. in Mandan, North Dakota.


Marc Connelly, BS ’90, agricultural mechanization, was named agriculture operations manager for American Crystal Sugar’s Hillsboro district. He has worked for the company since 1998 and lives in Hillsboro, North Dakota.

James Mercil, BS ’90, hotel, motel, restaurant management, joined the board of directors at Creative Care for Reaching Independence, in Moorhead. He is the owner of the Speak Easy Restaurant in Moorhead.

Rene Philippot, BS ’90, construction management, joined Ulteig’s Fargo office as a project engineer. He previously worked for Roers Construction, Fargo, as a senior project manager.

Daniel M. Olsen, BS ’91, electrical and electronic engineering, joined Packet Digital in Fargo as vice president of sales and marketing.

Richard D. Olson, BS ’91, mechanical engineering, was promoted to president and chief operating officer for Home Heating, Plumbing and Air Conditioning, Fargo.

Micheal L. Doeden, BS ’92, crop and weed science, joined American Crystal Sugar Co. as an agriculturalist in the Hillsboro, North Dakota, district.

Carla Kretchman, BS ’92, business administration, joined Intelligent InSites, Fargo, as director of engineering for applications.

Roy J. Martens, MS ’92, crop and weed science, was appointed to the Texas State Seed and Plant Board. He is the U.S. product development lead for RiceTec Inc.

Christopher Martin Toring, BS ’92, business administration, is president of EnVision Insurance Marketing, in St. Michael, Minnesota.

Lynn Buschette, BS ’93, microbiology, was promoted to lab analyst at American Crystal Sugar Co., Moorhead. She has been with the company since 1996.

Michelle Mongeon Allen photoMichelle Mongeon Allen, BS ’93, environmental design, BArch ’93, architecture, was named president-elect of the American Institute of Architects Minnesota board of directors for 2015. She is principal architect for JLG Architects in Minneapolis.

Deon Stockert, BS ’93, civil engineering, was named regional client program leader for the western region of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. He is a licensed professional engineer in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota and Texas.

Jason Eide, BUS ’95, university studies, was promoted to manager of Enterprise Systems at NDSU’s Information Technology Division.

Robert Trenda, BS ’95, statistics, was hired as an accountant for the RLE Group, Fargo. The firm is an architecture, interior design and marketing company.

Gregory Cooper photoGregory Cooper, BS ’96, environmental design, BArch ’96, architecture, was named secretary of the American Institute of Architects Northern Minnesota Chapter board of directors for 2015. He is an architect for TKDA Architects. He lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

Thomas Enander, BS ’96, plant protection, and Cornelia (Jonk) Enander, BS ’97, plant protection, received the National Potato Council’s Seed Grower of the Year Award. They operate the Enander Seed Farm at Grenora, North Dakota.

Brent Haugen, BS ’96, agricultural engineering, was promoted to maintenance engineer with American Crystal Sugar Co. at its Hillsboro, North Dakota, factory.

Kevin Holm, BS ’96, environmental design, BArch ’96, architecture, was named president of the American Institute of Architects Northern Minnesota Chapter board of directors for 2015. He is an architect and manager for LHB Inc. in Duluth, Minnesota.

Shelly Gustafson, BS ’97, psychology, was hired as payroll analyst for TMI Hospitality, Fargo.

Melanie Kay (Rosencrans) Cole, BS ’98, psychology, was certified as a wound ostomy continence nurse. She is a registered nurse for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Matthew Erickson, BS ’98, animal and range sciences, and his wife, Patricia (Seidler) Erickson, BS ’99, veterinary technology, of Fertile, Minnesota, were among 10 finalists for the National Outstanding Young Farmers Award. The Ericksons are partners in Matthew’s 2,730-acre family farm, which produces corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle.

Jennifer Hanley, BS ’98, civil engineering, was promoted to technical manager for the civil transportation team at Ulteig in Fargo.

David K. Martin, EDS ’98, educational administration, was named director of the North Dakota Small Business Development Center at the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration.

Jennifer (Karsky) Mehrer, BS ’98, business administration, joined Intelligent InSites in Fargo as a quality assurance engineer.

Ronald Offutt, honorary doctorate ’98, was inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame. He is the founder and Chairman Emeritus of the R.D. Offutt Company, the nation’s largest producer of potatoes. He also founded RDO Equipment Co., which owns the largest network of John Deere construction and agricultural dealerships in the country, with more than 80 locations in 10 states. Internationally, RDO Equipment has dealer partnerships in Russia, Ukraine and Australia.

Dr. Chad Vandrovec, BA ’98, zoology, joined the surgical and specialty care service line at the Fargo VA Health Care System.

Cody Eilertson, BS ’99, construction engineering, joined Houston Engineering’s Fargo office as the director of operations. He has more than 15 years of professional experience and has worked for the private and public sectors.

Randal Melvin, BS ’99, agricultural economics, and his wife, Kristi (Uglem) Melvin, BS ’04, elementary education, were national winners at the 59th annual National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The couple was among four national winners selected for an award based on progress in their agricultural career, extent of soil and water conservation practices and contributions to the well-being of the community, state and nation. The Melvins operate a 1,800-acre farm near Buffalo, North Dakota.

Michael Schellin, BS ’99, environmental design, BArch ’99, architecture, is president-elect for the American Institute of Architects Minneapolis Chapter board of directors for 2015. He is an associate with Kodet Architectural Group Ltd. of Minneapolis.

Rena Stenseth, BS ’99, business administration, was promoted to director of human resources and benefits for Choice Financial, Fargo.

Wade Whitworth, BS ’99, corporate and community fitness, joined KLJ, an engineering, surveying and planning firm, as a right-of-way agent. He is based in the firm’s Fargo office.


Clay Brosz, BS ’01, business administration, was hired as a business banker by BNC Nation Bank in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Ryan Perreault, BS ’02, MS ’05, mass communication, was inducted into the Fargo American Legion Post 2 Baseball Hall of Fame in January. He played for Post 2 from 1997-98. He is associate director of athletic media relations at NDSU.

Chad Engels, MS ’03, environmental engineering, received the 2014 Steamboat Award from the Red River Joint Water Resource District. He is a professional engineer and certified flood plain manager at Moore Engineering in West Fargo. He also is the engineer for the Southeast Cass Water Resource District and the Bois de Sioux Watershed District.

Andrew Erovick, BS ’03, agricultural economics, is a software engineer for Sundog, a Fargo-based marketing and technology company.

Lindsey Rendlen Latzke, BS ’03, mass communication, was promoted from manager to director of employment practices and policy for Graybar Electric Co. Inc., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis. She previously practiced management-side labor and employment law with McCarthy, Leonard and Kaemmerer L.C., located in St. Louis.

Shaun Rogers, BS ’03, mechanical engineering, joined Widseth Smith Nolting, a regional company that provides engineering, architecture, land surveying and environmental services. He is a coordinator and designer for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing projects.

Sheri Steidl, BS ’03, zoology, was hired as the residential and commercial closing officer at FM Title, Fargo.

Collin Auwarter, BS ’04, agribusiness, received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Professional Staff during the annual meeting of the North Central Weed Science Society. He is an NDSU research specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Justin Askim, BS, 04, natural resources management, was promoted to natural resources services leader in the Mandan, North Dakota, office of Wenck Associates Inc.

David Boll, BS ’04, computer science, BS ’06, software engineering, was hired as a senior developer at Stoneridge Software, Barnesville, Minnesota.

Erik Kantrud, BS, 04, management, joined CoreLink Administrative Solutions, Fargo, as a project manager.

Jon Kitzman, BS ’04, computer science, is a software engineer for Sundog, a Fargo-based marketing and technology company.

Kari Tews, BS ’04, mass communication, was hired by Gate City Bank as the training and development specialist at the bank’s corporate office in Fargo.

Construction engineering grad oversees $494 million medical center

Amy Trout and horse photo

Joanna Slominski is the construction executive overseeing the $494 million Sanford Fargo Medical Center being built in south Fargo. She’s the big-picture person keeping one of the country’s largest health-care construction projects on time and on budget in a region fraught with unpredictable weather.

Slominski graduated from NDSU in 2004 with a degree in construction engineering. She works for Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction.

She has several large projects on her resume: a $50 million expansion and renovation of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the $63 million Grand Casino Hinckley and Welcome Center in Hinckley, Minnesota; the $40 million renovation of Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis; and the $254 million TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota.

But the Sanford Medical Center is one of her biggest. It has enough doors that you’d need a key ring five feet in diameter to hold all of its keys. More than 500 workers, including dozens of NDSU alumni, are involved each day.

Slominski has overseen all of the project’s major milestones, from groundbreaking to completion of the central concrete elevator shaft to the final steel beam being welded in place.

The 11-story project is expected to be finished in 2017, but her day-to-day role is about much more than bricks and mortar.

“So much of our business is about people,” she said. “It’s not just about building. A lot of people have the talent to build. It’s about getting them to work together to produce a final product.”

Slominski is helping NDSU students use the project as an on-site learning lab. She has offered tours and mentors construction and engineering students. She also serves on the department of construction management advisory board.

In May, Slominski received the Horizon Award from the NDSU Alumni Association. The award honors a graduate of the past 15 years for early career accomplishments or exceptional service to their community.

Joshua Andres, BS ’05, accountancy, joined the NDSU Development Foundation and Alumni Association as controller.

Mark Glennon, BS ’05, civil engineering, joined Advanced Engineering and Environmental Service Inc. as a project engineer.

Neal Hines, BS ’05, child development and family science, was named a case manager for the New Life Center in Fargo. He recently worked as the pastor of congregational care at First Assembly Church in Fargo.

Jessica Hoppe, MBA ’05, business administration, has joined the board of directors for the Plains Art Museum in Fargo as treasurer. She is a relationship manager at Alerus Financial.

Jacinta Riedinger photoJacinta (Kuehn) Riedinger, BS ’05, human performance and fitness, MS ’07, health, nutrition and exercise sciences, was promoted to manager of Wellness Services in the marketing division at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in Fargo.

Amanda (Thieschafer) Smock, BS ’05, human performance and fitness, won her fourth consecutive indoor national title in the triple jump at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Boston. It was her seventh American title in the triple jump. Along with the 2012, 2013 and 2014 indoor crowns, she won the outdoor championship in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Samuel Wilke, BS ’05, civil engineering, earned his structural engineering license by passing an exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. He is the structural division manager for Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc., known as AE2S.

Kurt Krumwiede, BArch ’06, architecture, was promoted to vice president at Wild/CRG, an architecture and construction firm with offices in Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota. He has worked for the company for nine years on commercial, financial and residential projects.

Kurt Lysne, BS ’06, civil engineering, was promoted to project manager in the water resources department of Moore Engineering in West Fargo.

Jill (Dows) Stromsborg, BS ’06, child development and family science, joined Dawson Insurance in Fargo as a commercial lines account assistant.

Katie (Grosz) Grant, BS ’07, agricultural economics, joined Bell State Bank and Trust as a correspondent credit officer at the bank’s south Fargo office.

Christopher Gross, BS ’07, civil engineering, was promoted to project manager in the water resources department of Moore Engineering in the company’s West Fargo office.

Angela (Tucker) Mathers, BA ’07, mass communication, MS ’10, sociology, was selected for the 2015 United Way 35 under 35 Women’s Leadership Program. She is the director of student engagement at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Ashley Myhre, BS ’07, business administration, has taken on a new role as integration analyst at Discovery Benefits in Fargo.

Heidi Eukel, PharmD ’08, pharmacy, was appointed to the editorial advisory board of Pharmacy Today, a publication produced by the American Pharmacists Association. She is an assistant professor in the NDSU Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Nathan Safe, BS ’08, business administration, is the southeast area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His work focuses on youth-oriented areas of ministry.

Mark Honzay, MArch ’09, architecture, was named project architect and project manager at JLG Architects.

Aaron Volmer, BS ’09, civil engineering, was promoted at Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. to the position of operations manager of the firm’s Maple Grove and Eagan, Minnesota offices.


Christopher Heidrich, MArch ’10, architecture, was named project architect and project manager at JLG Architects.

Justin Marusak, BS ’10, electrical engineering, is an engineer in the power group of KLJ, an engineering, surveying and planning firm in Fargo.

Jacob Strombeck, BS ’10, civil engineering, MS ’14, environmental engineering, earned his registration as a professional engineer after passing the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam. He is a project engineer for Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc.

Ashley (Zirbes) Christ, BS ’11, accounting, joined the staff of Fiebiger, Swanson, West and Co. as an in-charge accountant in the firm’s Fargo office.

Stephanie Gramlow, BS ’11, human development and family science, MEd ’14, counseling, is the new bereavement specialist at Hospice of the Red River Valley, Fargo.

Leah Lehn, BS ’11, marketing, was promoted to manager/senior account management strategic partnerships at Discovery Benefits, Fargo.

Casey Thielges, BS ’11, finance, was promoted to assistant vice president at Gate City Bank. He is the personal loan officer at the bank’s Southpointe office in Fargo.

Steven Wood, BS ’11, accountancy, joined the staff of Fiebiger, Swanson, West and Co. as an in-charge accountant in the firm’s Fargo office.

Ari Anderson, BS ’12, environmental design, MArch ’13, architecture, joined the architectural design and planning firm of Sclater Architects in Seattle. He is an intern with the company.

Nathan M. Anderson, BS ’12, accounting, MAcc ’14, accountancy, received the 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award from the American Institute of CPAs. The honor is presented to candidates with a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination on their first attempt. Out of more than 91,000 individuals nationwide, only 60 candidates met the criteria for the award. Anderson is employed at Deloitte in Minneapolis.

Sara Bakken, BS ’12, marketing, joined Flom Property Group, Fargo, as a marketing coordinator.

Alisha Nord, BS ’12, agricultural communication, is the 2015 North Dakota Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet winner. She works at NDSU for the Ag Experiment Station doing public relations and marketing for researchers on campus and at research centers throughout western North Dakota.

Rachel Jacqueline Pond, BS ’12, criminal justice, is a 911 dispatcher for the Minneapolis Emergency Communications Center. She works directly with the Minneapolis Police Department, Minneapolis Fire Department, Hennepin County Ambulance Dispatch and North Memorial Ambulance Dispatch.

Tucker Richardson, BS ’12, industrial engineering, joined Appareo Systems, Fargo, as a business analyst.

David J. Booth, MArch ’13, architecture, received an honorable mention from the St. Paul chapter of the American Institute of Architects for The St. Paul Prize Design Competition. He works for LHB as an architectural designer in the Integrated Building Design Group out of the firm’s Duluth, Minnesota, office.

Laura Engelman, MEd ’13, educational leadership, joined the Rochester (Minnesota) Downtown Alliance in Rochester, as its community engagement manager.

Grant Koenig, MArch ’13, architecture, and Blain Mikkonen, MArch ’13, co-own Grain Designs, a West Fargo company specializing in custom reclaimed wood furniture and décor.

Austin Nguyen, BA ’13, computer science, is an online design specialist at Bell State Bank and Trust, Fargo.

Bergen Olson, BS ’13, business administration, appeared on the 26th season of the television show “The Amazing Race” on CBS. The show premiered on Feb. 25. He lives in Sunnyvale, California.

Elly Peterson, BS ’13, health communication, was promoted to government affairs and advocacy coordinator at the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber. She also will co-manage the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, a program designed to involve middle and high school students in the process of establishing and running their own business.

Natalie Leavitt Thompson, BS ’13, nursing, was named director of quality and education at Bethany Retirement Living, Fargo. She previously was employed as a certified nursing assistant at Villa Maria in Fargo.

Daniel Ugelstad, BS ’13, electrical engineering, joined John Deere Electronic Solutions, Fargo, as a software design engineer.

Paul Bervik, BS ’14, civil engineering, is a graduate engineer in the civil department in Ulteig’s Fargo office.

Cari Blommel, BS ’14, civil engineering, was hired as an engineer in the construction management group in the Fargo office of KLJ.

Erik Diederich, BS ’14, construction management, is an assistant project manager at Industrial Builders Inc., Fargo.

Kayley Erlandson, MA ’14, mass communication, is a WordPress and digital marketing specialist for Western Products, Fargo.

Jake Germundson, BS ’14, accounting, was hired at First International Bank and Trust in Fargo as a community banker. He works at the bank’s south Fargo location.

Sarah Kasin, BS ’14, hospitality and tourism management, was promoted to event services manager at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Norman Nicholson, BS ’14, agribusiness, joined First International Bank and Trust in Fargo as a community banker.

Kritika Sharma, BS ’14, economics, was promoted to participant services team lead, COBRA, at Discovery Benefits, Fargo.

Calvin Trauger, BS ’14, civil engineering, was hired as an engineer in the structural group at KlJ’s West Fargo office.

Kyle Veum, BS ’14, accounting, joined Widmer Roel, Fargo, as a staff accountant.

Dylan VonBank, BS ’14, management, was promoted to credit review analyst at Western State Bank in West Fargo, North Dakota.

Dana Wood, BS ’14, management, was named human resources and benefits administrator at Wanzek, Construction, West Fargo.

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