MSUM first campus in Minnesota utilizing BlueLight app

By Meghan Feir

In an effort to create an even safer environment, Minnesota State University Moorhead is the first campus (college or corporate) in Minnesota utilizing the BlueLight app, a safety feature for mobile devices that enables users to send immediate distress signals to Public Safety and 911 when in need of assistance. Continue reading

Planning underway in anticipation of major research and education initiative at MSU Moorhead Regional Science Center

Planning is underway in anticipation of a major research and education initiative at the MSU Moorhead Regional Science Center. A proposal to study the restoration of developed land to a natural state has been in the works for more than 30 years, and now a $527,760 grant application is working its way through the final funding process. If awarded, work will begin this summer.

The grant application says faculty and students working at the Regional Science Center will restore and monitor 160 acres of prairie and riparian forest habitat that will lead to developing new protocols for understanding long-term ecological recovery. Brian Wisenden, Biosciences, is the project manager. Others involved in the project include Anthony Borman, Regional Science Center, and Rinita Dalan and Kirk Steuve, GIS and GeoArcheology. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish Wildlife and Conservation Biology are also partners in the project.

“The Regional Science Center has been a tremendously valuable learning space since it was acquired in 1978, and soon it will achieve its true potential,” MSUM Interim Provost Michelle Malott said. “This project will provide faculty and students the opportunity to be involved in nationally significant research. This is a rare and wonderful opportunity. It is great to be on the brink of fulfilling the master plan that was written in 1983.

On Feb. 23, partners in Valley Golf Management, which operated the course under an annual lease, were told that the lease would not be renewed when it expires March 31. Golfers had asked that the 30 acres that make up the course be maintained for golf but Malott said this would be a threat to the integrity of the research project.

“This project is of special ecological value because it expands existing protected prairie habitat, while at the same time providing important data that will be a model for future restoration efforts both across the state and nationally. Having developed land interspersed with land that is being restored would make it impossible to isolate cause and effect, and, as a result, the scientific data from the project would be questionable. It is also important to remember that this research gives our students a unique opportunity to be engaged with the science of restoration ecology with a focus on the long-term impact of restoring all of the gifted Regional Science Center land to natural prairie habitat.”

“The university very much values the loyal support of all the players who have supported the course over the past four decades and, especially, the principals of Valley Golf Management who leased the course from the Alumni Foundation and provided the professional management that kept golf viable at the Ponderosa Golf Course,” Malott said.

The grant application and a description of the educational and scientific purpose of the project can be found at

Pasekas Donate $5 Million to MSUM

Business School Renamed Paseka School of Business

Rodney and Carolyn Paseka have donated $5 million to Minnesota State University Moorhead’s School of Business. Located in the Center for Business, the school will be renamed the Paseka School of Business in honor of this generous gift.

The Paseka’s philanthropy will extend beyond the naming of the Paseka School of Business. The Rodney and Carolyn Paseka School of Business Endowment will provide support for students into perpetuity, with at least 80 percent of this endowment to be applied to scholarships for Paseka School of Business students.

Other uses for the remaining funds could include student/faculty research, student competitions, applied learning experiences, faculty positions and development, program development and speakers series.

Paskeas“The School of Business has a long history of excellence; many graduates from the business programs are in highly successful and visible careers,” said Dean Marsha Weber, College of Business and Innovation. “The School of Business is accredited by AACSB, the premier accrediting agency for business schools in the world. This generous gift will help us elevate our tradition of excellence in student-centered education, community service, and innovative programs.”

The Pasekas believe in the power of education to transform lives, and they have consistently demonstrated that philosophy by sponsoring annual scholarships in the School of Business and in Nursing. Both have been awarded to single mothers, as the Pasekas believe an education is the surest way to break the cycle of poverty.

“Rodney and Carolyn have been loyal supporters of MSUM for many years. This generous gift to the School of Business is historic and truly transformative,” said MSUM President Anne Blackhurst. “We are honored the Pasekas believe MSUM is worth their investment. Our students will benefit from their gift for years to come. Fostering partnerships and growing relationships is an important priority of my presidency, and the Paseka gift demonstrates the momentum and excitement we are building with our valued alumni and business leaders.”

Rodney and Carolyn Paseka

Both Rodney and Carolyn have strong ties to MSUM stretching back many years.

Rodney, a Georgetown, Minn., native and Moorhead High School graduate, earned MSUM degrees in Accounting and Business Administration in 1971 before beginning his career as a salesman with Can-Tex Industries. He joined Hebron Brick as sales manager in 1978, and in 1986, became one of three company owners and its Chief Executive Officer.

FullSizeRenderRodney is a visionary credited with transforming an aging manufacturing company in a mature industry and revitalizing it to become a top 10 percent brick plant in the country in terms of technology. Today, Hebron Brick is the only manufacturer of brick in North Dakota and one of the most successful brick companies in the Upper Midwest.

After Rodney became sole owner in 1999, he took a huge technological leap by becoming one of the first North Dakota companies to significantly use robotics. His leadership and vision brought Hebron Brick into the 21st century and catapulted the company from $4 million in sales annually to more than $40 million in sales annually in 2014.

Under Rodney’s leadership, Hebron Brick emerged as a nimble and specialized player in a market of competitors with massive resources. In addition to introducing robotics to the manufacturing plant, he directed efforts toward providing architectural products for commercial projects and developing new product lines to grow the business. The company’s ancient veins of extraordinary clay and state-of-the-art brick plant continue to yield a distinctive variety of colors and enable Hebron Brick Company to offer a wealth of options in fine brick.

His commitment to quality and adaptability has secured the future of this 111-year-old company, which in its history has survived bankruptcy, fire, two world wars and the Great Depression. Today, Hebron Brick thrives—with 80 percent of its brick distributed to 40 states and Canada, and with seven retail centers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Learn more about Hebron Brick Company at

At 69, Rodney remains a dynamic CEO with an eye toward transforming the brick industry. He is an avid golfer and wine connoisseur.

Carolyn (nee Jacobson) is a Moorhead native and a graduate of Moorhead High School. She attended MSUM and also worked 10 years at Northwestern Bell before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She later began her career at MSUM as a senior clerk in the offices of Financial Aid, Affirmative Action, Philosophy and Publications. She retired from MSUM in 2001 after a 15-year career.

Carolyn is a volunteer with Heirlooms and enjoys Mahjong, book club, entertaining and photography.

Rodney and Carolyn married in 2001 and together have four children and four grandchildren. They are generous with their time and talent and are passionate world travelers, having visited all seven continents.


Some MSUM students will get free entry to Fargo Marathon

A number of MSUM students will have their Fargo Marathon entry fee paid by others.  President Anne Blackhurst, a veteran marathon runner, is offering to pay the entry fees for up to 10 student teams of four runners each in the marathon relay and Professor Deb White, another Fargo Marathon veteran, is offering to sponsor three MSUM students for the full or half marathon.

To qualify for this offer, MSUM students should register by Feb. 28 and agree to wear Dragon gear during the race. The Fargo Marathon is Saturday, May 9, 2015.

“This year, in particular, the marathon is a celebration of the Fargo-Moorhead community, including our higher education institutions,” Blackhurst said. “For the first time, the course will include NDSU, Concordia College and MSUM campuses. Encouraging our students to participate is one way to engage our students in the Fargo-Moorhead community while promoting MSUM and the sense of achievement that accompanies accomplishing a really big goal.”

Plans are being made to cheer runners on as they travel through the MSUM portion of the course. Community members, MSUM faculty, staff, alumni and students are all encouraged to show their support for the runners during the course of the race.

“I would love to see our school have an even stronger presence than last year,” said White.

Students interested in Prof. White’s offer for the full or half marathon should contact her at  Students interested in running on a relay team should contact Kathleen McNabb in the President’s Office at 218-477-4321 or

President Blackhust will run with a marathon relay team in the Fargo Marathon because she is running in the Boston Marathon on April 20.

Founders Scholarship recipient shows the power of perseverance

By Brittany Dunnigan

Rebecca Garvey may be a freshman at Minnesota State University Moorhead, but life experiences have made her wise beyond her years.

Originally from Balsam Lake, Wis., Garvey participated in a variety of sports and school activities throughout middle and high school. During pre-season training for volleyball as an 8th grader, Garvey noticed she was not playing at her typical pace. She went to the doctor and had a CT scan, which revealed tumors constricting her airway.

Garvey was diagnosed with cancer at age 13, but never let this keep her from being a normal and busy teenage girl

“I did a lot of chemotherapy and radiation during the school year, but I never took a break from my classes. I did as much as I could and never missed a beat,” Garvey said. “Forcing myself to think I was normal and healthy like the other students helped me get through it. I didn’t act any differently, so no one treated me any differently, which helped me stay positive.”

Garvey refused to let the disease take her freshman volleyball season. After the diagnosis, her coach called the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and granted Rebecca permission to wear a bandana during games. Although the cancer slowed her pace at times, she worked just as hard as the other girls to earn her spot on the team, attend every practice and play in every game.

“You don’t even think about giving up – it’s just not an option at that point when you are going through something like that. You keep living your life in the best way you can,” Garvey said.

An active member of 4-H since the second grade, Garvey also worked as a 4-H camp counselor the summer she was going through treatment. She would occasionally have to work around her treatments, but did her best to be a teacher and leader.

Garvey’s radiation ended in August 2010, and she is now a happy, healthy, and incredibly busy college student. She is pursuing a degree in music industry while also considering a minor in design and stays busy with various musical ensembles and performances. She dreams of moving to Nashville and building her music career there. In the meantime, Garvey spends her days completing schoolwork and her evenings in rehearsal rooms, giving her all to achieve her dream.

“Through my battle with cancer, I discovered how powerful the mind is and how strong a person can be,” she said. “I have worked hard to get to where I am, and I am so proud and honored to be here now. I couldn’t have made it without the support of my family and community.”

About the Founders Scholarship

Garvey is one of 12 MSUM students chosen to receive the Founders Scholarship. This scholarship is named in recognition of the founders of MSUM and is funded exclusively by the Founders Scholarship Gala. This competitive $2,500 need-based scholarship is given to students like Garvey, who came from modest means, work hard, and will leave MSUM with a brighter future. Students must express their dedication to success, service and citizenship through an essay, and the winners are chosen based on their submissions and financial need.

The Founders Scholarship Gala, an annual fundraising event, will take place Feb. 20, 2015. All proceeds from the evening support the Founders Scholarship.

This elegant evening includes a social hour with free champagne and hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, mystery wine sale, a delectable formal dinner and dessert, cash bar, and live music, as well as presentations from several of the scholarship students.

To attend the gala, register at If you are unable to attend, please consider donating to the scholarship fund. There are various levels of donation opportunities available through the event’s webpage.


Public Invited to GIS Day Nov. 19

The public is invited to celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day Wednesday,Nov. 19 on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus. GIS Day is a worldwide celebration of geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Library Porch (LI 100)

GIS and career information, GIS coursework at MSUM, an interactive GIS computer kiosk, Esri items (while supplies last), and GIS Day cake with edible campus map. Discover, explore and celebrate the benefits of GIS.

12 to 11 p.m., Library Auditorium (LI 103)

Speaker panel of community experts and former students talk about the importance of GIS in their careers and provide advice for students on how to prepare for careers in GIS.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Geospatial Studies and the Department of Anthropology and Earth Science.

About GIS Day

The first GIS Day took place in 1999. Esri president Jack Dangermond credits Ralph Nader with being the person who inspired the creation of GIS Day as a grassroots effort, open to everyone, to learn about the uses of GIS. Learn more at






Free Eclipse Viewing at MSUM

The Minnesota State University Moorhead Department of Physics and Astronomy, in cooperation with the F-M Astronomy Club, will be providing an opportunity for the public to safely view a solar eclipse on the afternoon of October 23.

A view of the May 20, 2012 partial solar eclipse as seen from MSUM.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun. On October 23, the moon will start passing in front of the Sun (as seen from Moorhead) around 4:15 p.m., blocking a maximum of about half of the Sun at 5:30 p.m., with the eclipse continuing through sunset at 6:26 p.m. Safely viewing a solar eclipse requires the use of special eclipse glasses, a telescope with solar filters, or a pinhole projector. For instructions on how to view an eclipse visit

MSUM will be hosting an eclipse viewing party in the parking lot on 6th Avenue South between 10th and 11th Street South starting at 4 p.m. on October 23. Assuming the Sun is not blocked by clouds, we will be providing eclipse glasses and an opportunity to safely view the eclipse through a telescope. MSUM will also be offering free planetarium shows about the Moon at the MSUM planetarium during the same time.

Learn more about the eclipse at

NEW Leadership Institute receives Bush grant

The Tri-College University  (NEW) Leadership Development Institute, coordinated by Dr. Deborah White, MSUM Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, has been awarded a two-year, $40,000 Bush Foundation Leadership Network grant. NEW Leadership is a non-partisan intensive five-day residential program designed to provide leadership training, inspiration, and support for women.

“Our goal is to increase the number of women, particularly those from underrepresented groups, with the skills, knowledge, and support needed to serve as leaders in their communities.” said Deborah White, PhD, Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute Coordinator.

The Bush Foundation will award nearly $1.7 million to 12 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography, through its Leadership Network Grant program. The full list of Leadership Network Grant recipients can be found on the BushFoundation website.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities waive application fees for College Knowledge Month

St. Paul, Minn., September 26, 2014 – For a limited time, college and university application fees will be waived throughout Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in recognition of “College Knowledge Month,” a statewide effort to provide every graduating high school senior, especially underrepresented students, with the opportunity to apply to college.

“Our colleges and universities are committed to making sure every Minnesotan has access to an extraordinary education,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “College Knowledge Month is a wonderful opportunity for us to encourage more high school seniors to apply for college. It gives our colleges and universities an opportunity to show students who might otherwise think college is beyond their reach that resources are available to help them pay for higher education and complete their degree.”

During College Knowledge Month, high schools and postsecondary institutions work together to engage, inform and support students as they enter into the college application process. For example, staff from MnSCU colleges and universities attend events at high schools, assist students with completing applications, and share information about the college experience.

The culmination of College Knowledge Month is a period in which colleges and universities across the state waive application fees. This year, many colleges and universities are waiving their application fees for the week of October 27-31. In addition, some colleges and universities have waived their application fees for the entire month of October, and some do not charge an application fee at all. Application fees for qualified low-income students are always waived at all MnSCU colleges and universities.

Bemidji State University
Metropolitan State University*
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Southwest Minnesota State University
St. Cloud State University**
Winona State University
* Does not charge an application fee.
** Waiving application fee entire month of October.

Alexandria Technical & Community College
Anoka-Ramsey Community College*
Anoka Technical College*
Central Lakes College
Century College
Dakota County Technical College
Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College**
Hennepin Technical College*
Hibbing Community College
Inver Hills Community College*
Itasca Community College*
Lake Superior College
Mesabi Range College
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical
Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Normandale Community College
North Hennepin Community College
Northland Community & Technical College
Northwest Technical College
Pine Technical & Community College*
Rainy River Community College*
Riverland Community College
Rochester Community and Technical College*
St. Cloud Technical & Community College
Saint Paul College*
South Central College
Vermilion Community College

For more information, contact any of these MnSCU colleges and universities.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community, technical, and comprehensive colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.