NDSU’s Office of Admission’s Distinguished Education Professional program is honoring four area educators. This year’s DEP recognition event is scheduled for Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 on campus in conjunction with an Office of Admission’s NDSU Counselor Showcase planned for the same time.
The program identifies counselors and career center professionals who demonstrate leadership, commitment, excellence in their profession, support of student access to higher education and their support to NDSU.
“NDSU relies on the support of countless educators in high schools and throughout the community in order to guide and recruit the future Bison,” said Matt Henry, senior admission counselor. “The recipients of this award have shown how vital student support is throughout the college decision process, and have positively impacted the lives of many students. We’re thrilled to honor this year’s four recipients.”
- Mackenzie Tadych, director of college, career and life readiness at Northern Cass School in Hunter, North Dakota.
- Ann Kjorstad, college counselor at Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota.
- Kim Hruba, program manager for the Advanced Resource Center in Warroad, Minnesota.
- Kristi Voth, high school counselor at New England Public School in New England, North Dakota.
Tadych has been in her position since 2020 and has worked in education for seven years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in leadership and Christian ministry and a master's degree in leadership from the University of Jamestown.
“I love working with learners in my role because they really get to discover their passions, explore a variety of careers and figure out their next step in life,” Tadych said. “Once learners seek opportunities to explore, my advice is to follow what fulfills them the most. Wherever you are going, always be a learner in life and follow your passions and make connections. Find what fits your feet, not someone else's.”
Kjorstad has been in her position for 15 years and has worked in education for 31 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Creighton University.
“Students really need people to believe in them, forgive their mistakes, help them do better, watch them improve and celebrate it when they shine. It is a delight to watch students transform over their four years. My students have made me wiser, more joyful and they make me laugh every day,” said Kjorstad who advises students to not limit themselves.
“Be brave, believe in yourself and remember that the name of the school doesn't define you--what you do there is the most important thing about where you go to school.”
Hruba has recently started her position at Marvin in the Advanced Resource Center for Innovation and Education. She was previously a college and career readiness counselor at Warroad High School. Hruba earned her bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Minnesota and her Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate from Hamline University.
“I feel honored to help students articulate what they want to do next, help outline the steps to get there and then support them along the way until they launch,” Hruba said. “You don't know what you don't know, so you want to put lots of information in the bucket. If you visit a school and you don't like it - that's a win, and if you DO like it - that's a win. All of it is information you can put in the bucket. All of the ‘drops’ in the bucket will inform your final decision.”
Voth has indicated she cannot attend NDSU’s on-campus recognition events.
Lizzie McNamara, college and career counselor at Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is a returning DEP who was awarded in 2022, but was unable to attend the last year’s recognition events. She has been in her position for four years and has worked in education for seven years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at NDSU and master’s degree in college counseling and student development from St. Cloud State University.
“Over the course of their junior and senior year, students evolve and grow so quickly and are challenged to make some of their first really big decisions. Observing their development, both academically and personally, is incredibly fulfilling,” said McNamara, who advises students to be flexible with their plans.
“What's important is that they find a path that resonates with them at a place they see is a good fit socially, financially and academically.”
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