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Campus news

STEM building opens

The STEM Classroom and Lab Building is the first of its kind at NDSU and in North Dakota. The concept breaks from the tradition of an academic building belonging to a particular discipline or department. It is a student-focused structure made up entirely of classrooms, labs and study areas, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses. It is designed for flexibility, interdisciplinary collaboration and teaching innovation.

9 classrooms   |   13 collaborative work and study spaces   |   23 labs

5,000 students can use the building daily   |   119,505 square feet

STEM building photo 1 STEM building photo 2 STEM building photo 3

Johnsrud awarded honorary degree

Myron Johnsrud photoMyron D. Johnsrud was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture at spring commencement. Johnsrud, a Watford City, North Dakota, area native, received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization from NDSU in 1957 and began his tenure with the NDSU Cooperative Extension Service in 1965 as an assistant county agent in Williams County. He took study leave to complete master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Wisconsin, then returned to NDSU in 1969 as director of personnel and program development for the Extension Service.

In 1971, he went to Washington, D.C., as director of staff development for Extension Service USDA. He returned to NDSU in 1973 as associate director of Extension and became director the following year. Johnsrud remained as NDSU Extension director until 1986, when he returned to Washington, D.C., as administrator for the Extension Service USDA, a position he held for more than seven years. He then joined the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, where he served as director of Extension and outreach. He retired in 2002, concluding a 37-year career in Extension.

He served on the National 4-H Council's board of trustees from 1985 to 1993. In 1990, at the end of the Cold War era, he was commissioned by the secretary of agriculture to establish the first major adult education program in Poland on managing a business in a market-driven economy. Among the many awards Johnsrud has received are the Meritorious Executive Award from President George H.W. Bush, induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education and National 4-H Halls of Fame, NDSU Alumni Achievement Award, NDSU Harvest Bowl Agribusiness Award and Epsilon Sigma Phi National Distinguished Service Ruby Award.

"Dr. Johnsrud had an exceptional career in leading Extension at NDSU and nationally at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges," wrote nominators Chris Boerboom, NDSU Extension Service director, and Ken Grafton, vice president, dean and director of agricultural affairs. "The impacts of his leadership are present with us today."

Myron Johnsrud receiving degree photo

Spring commencement

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photos from commencement

Friendly barista contributes
to supportive community at NDSU

photo of NDSU Barista - LaVon Whipple LaVon Whipple learned compassion from her mother, an elementary school teacher. She learned patience as a stay-at-home mom of two boys. She learned perseverance and persistence from her husband as he battled cancer. But by all accounts, she was born with radiant positive energy.

She has a great smile, and clearly gets great enjoyment from helping other people.

As the barista at NDSU’s Barry Hall Coffee Shop, she is the first face people see when they come through the door.

Her passion to make friends and take care of people at Barry Hall extends to her student coworkers. She often attends NDSU events to support international students who don’t have family in Fargo. She’s also had a few coworkers over for holiday meals when they are unable to make it home.

During this winter’s commencement, Whipple weaved her way through a crowded hallway to congratulate College of Business students on a job well done. She beamed with pride as she headed back down the hall to find her seat for the ceremony. Her students appreciated the gesture. “She’s the friendliest person I've ever met — not just at NDSU — but, in my entire life,” NDSU graduate Peter Turner said.

Whipple is an active member of the campus community. She volunteers to direct traffic on move-in day and helps serve a late-night breakfast at the Residence Dining Center during finals week. “I have the best job ever,” she says with a huge grin. “I love it at NDSU.”

To read class notes and obituaries, and to submit information, visit

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.