Arizona student finds the right fit at NDSU
Published October 5, 2015
A computer program told an Arizona high school student she was a 99-percent match for North Dakota State University. From her perspective, it should have been 100 percent.
Jamie Behymer chose NDSU for its affordability, challenging academics and welcoming campus community after collecting enough facts and statistics about the university to fill a 2-inch binder.
Behymer is one of 13 NDSU students enrolled this academic year from Arizona. She’s passionate about service, a quality that meshes well with an NDSU student population that spends hundreds of hours each year giving back to the community.
“I looked into everything, and I knew this is the school I needed to be at,” said Behymer, a strategic communication major. “I knew this was my school before I even visited the campus.”
Behymer knew NDSU was the right fit after a short trip to North Dakota, an exhaustive Internet search and a few conversations with the Office of Admission.
She scoured the university website for information about her major, class sizes, student organizations and Fargo weather. She loved everything she read. She put all of the information in a binder to use as a reference guide when people asked questions about NDSU. The binder now sits on a shelf in her residence hall.
Behymer started selling her parents on the idea of moving more than 1,600 miles from home with an NDSU-themed PowerPoint presentation. They were sold after official visits to campus.
Behymer became one of NDSU’s biggest fans and ambassadors when she was accepted into the university in 2014. She began wearing the school colors everywhere and even created her own green and yellow NDSU-themed shoes. She called a Fargo store every few weeks to buy new NDSU clothes. She cheered on the university’s football team to its fourth-consecutive national championship from her living room in Scottsdale.
NDSU’s reputation for challenging academics and a supportive campus community led an Arizona resident to enroll as a strategic communication major.
“Everything seemed to fall into place,” Behymer said. “The university was the size I wanted. Fargo is such a great town, and NDSU is a place I can leave my mark on campus while getting a great education that will carry me further in life.”
Behymer has already begun making her mark. She was selected as the student speaker – representing the entire freshman class – at this year’s Presidents’ Welcome. On one of her first days on campus, she got on stage and delivered a message to hundreds of people. She enthusiastically snapped an onstage selfie with her classmates as a backdrop to commemorate the event.
Behymer’s poise on stage is tied to her love of community service. She addressed a crowd of more than 4,000 as the keynote speaker at a national education conference, and been in front of a large audiences as a youth leader for Special Olympics Arizona.
Earlier this year, Behymer earned the Girl Scouts’ highest award for promoting respect, kindness and the pursuit of excellence at her high school. Her project included asking students to take an oath to treat each other with respect. More than 90 percent signed the oath, and the school administration is looking at making it a campus tradition. She also earned an anti-bullying award from the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation for developing the project.
“Jamie has the ability to challenge her peers to learn about themselves, discover their passions, strive in and out of the classroom and contribute to the greater world by helping others be the best they can be,” said Seinquis Leinen, assistant director of admission.
Now that she’s at NDSU, Behymer said she’s been impressed with the campus focus on student success. Professors, staff and fellow students have been available to answer questions and help ease the transition from high school to college.
After only a month on campus, Behymer has joined five student organizations. She represents the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on the Student Senate; serves on the Student Affairs Advisory Board; is secretary and treasurer for NDSU’s Special Olympics College program; represents her residence hall in the Residence Life LEAD Program; and is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
“I love the campus and I love being here,” Behymer said. “I’ve had an affinity for NDSU for so long. Sometimes when that happens you get disappointed. That hasn’t been the case. It’s been an overwhelming feeling of happiness for me. I can’t sleep at night because I’m still so excited that I’m here.”