Society news and notes

Aas named SVUW campaign chair

Kathy Aas, community relations manager with Xcel Energy, has been named the 2014 campaign chair for the Souris Valley United Way.

Aas has been a board member for 16 years, most recently serving as co-chair of the Campaign Cabinet.

“Giving back is so important,” Aas said. “What is so great is donations made to SVUW stay right here in our community.”

This year, Aas and the SVUW board will work hard to meet the growing demands for funds to make an impact in the community.

“We want to make sure we can continue to fund the local programs that provide at-risk children weekend backpacks of food, the gift of books to preschoolers, or assistance programs to ensure safe and healthy lives,” Aas said.

For more information visit ( or call 839-2994.

MHS senior Nelson wins French award

Else Nelson, a senior at Minot High School-Magic City Campus, has received the 2014 American Association of Teachers of French Outstanding Senior in French award.

The award is given to a student who demonstrates excellence in study of French and an exceptional commitment to the language. Recipients must have completed at least three years of French study at the time of graduation and be non-native speakers of French.

Nursing society inducts members

Minot State University’s Omicron Tau Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International Nursing Honor Society, inducted 17 new members at its annual ceremony last week.

Among the inducted are May 16 graduates McKenzee Kemper, Amanda Combs and Melissa Meigs, all of Minot; Erin Guerin from Minot Air Force Base; Ashley Fedorendko, Max; Leah Matthewson, Regina, Sask.; and Jenna Gerelus, from Brandon, Man.

The inducted members who will graduate in December 2014 are Danielle Anderson, Joey Kummer, Elizabeth Malnaa and Jessica Rovenko, Minot; and Jordana Kane from Minot Air Force Base.

Also inducted were, Kelsey Jo Rademacher-Hildenbrand, Minot, and Naomi Sterf, Albany, Ore. Both were in the RN to BSN online program through Minot State University.

Inducted Community Nurse Leaders were Heidi Okeson, Minot, faculty member at Minot State University’s Nursing Department; and Michelle Lauckner, Minot, and Alona Jamin, Bottineau, quality improvement specialists at North Dakota Health Care Review.

The chapter also installed officers for 2014-16. Installed were president Marita Hoffart, secretary Ashley DeMakis, and board members Janis Neumann and Sandy Boschee.

Best Practices awards were presented to Alyce Kilmer and Kiley Andreas.

The Orchid Award was presented to Janis Neumann for her enthusiastic support of the chapter.

Williston State faculty granted tenure

WILLISTON – Two Williston State College faculty members, Matt Peterson and Derek Vander Molen, were granted tenure at the last State Board of Higher Education meeting on April 24.

Peterson, an assistant professor of economics and native of northwest North Dakota, has spent six years teaching at WSC as a full-time instructor. Vander Molen, assistant professor of chemistry and a native of Kentucky, came to the Williston area from Illinois six years ago and has been teaching at WSC ever since.

“This recognition is well deserved for both individuals,” said Wanda Meyer, WSC provost and vice president to instruction. “You have made a difference and I am confident that you will continue to do so in the future.”

Peterson and Vander Molen will be elevated to associate professor status upon the start of their new contract in July.

Area students garner communication awards

Area college students won awards in the North Dakota Professional Communicators College Communications Contest on May 9 in Fargo. More than 60 college students and teams from North Dakota and Minnesota schools participated in the annual competition.

Michelle Holman, a student at Minot State University, received an honorable mention in news reporting and first place in the edictorial category. Jamie Council, Minot State, received second place in the editorial category, second place in the personality profile category, third place in sports writing, an honorable mention in general sports reporting , third place in the 30 TV sports photography category and first place in writing for the Web. Zachary DeMers received an honorable mention for editorial writing. Skylar Niebuhr received first place in the 15 single feature photo category.

Laudenschlager named Bush fellow

Megan Laudenschlager, finance and program director of the Minot Area Community Foundation, has been named a Fellow of the Bush Foundation in St. Paul, Minn. Since 1965, the Bush Foundation has worked to develop the leadership capacity of the region by making investments in more than 2,200 people through its fellowship programs. The Bush Fellowship is designed for people who have already demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, but who feel they could accomplish even more for their community with focused, intensive leadership development. To date, Laudenschlager is the third Bush Fellowship recipient from the Minot area.

Laudenschlager, who joined the Minot Area Community Foundation in November 2011, also holds several leadership positions in community organizations. She is a graduate of Minot State University and is a Dale Carnegie graduate.

Nearly 400 people applied for the 2014 Bush Fellowship. Laudenschlager will utilize her fellowship to acquire the skills and connections necessary to engage area residents in crafting the future of the community.

Fort Totten director gets NDCEC award

Hayley Ness, special education director of Tate Topa Tribal School and Four Winds Community School at Fort Totten, received the Humanities Award from the North Dakota Council for Exceptional Children for 2014 at their recent conference.