Minnesota State University Moorhead runs away with Fargo Marathon College Challenge

The MSUM Dragons scorched the competition as they become the winner of the 2015 Fargo Marathon College Challenge. 

The challenge was part of this year’s tri-college theme where runners made their way through each campus in the F-M area.

MSUM had more students, staff and faculty running in the marathon than any other university.

Steve Fox/MSUM Assistant Director of Leadership and Organizations, “Part of our university is about being involved in the community, and that we don’t, students don’t just come here and come to the MSUM bubble. It’s about getting active into the community.”

As the winner, the university will receive $5,000. The money will go toward student scholarships.

Article featured in The Forum.

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MSUM’s DECA Team Returns from International Competition as Champions

MSUM’s DECA Team returned home from the International Career Development Conference in Orlando with immense success.

MSUM students, Tony Roetzel and Joshua Wehseler, were awarded first place for their presentation at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Orlando, Florida. Roetzel and Wehseler are members of DECA, an organization sponsored by the Paseka School of Business at MSUM that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. DECA students qualify for the international competition by placing at the state level. Twelve other qualifiers accompanied the champions to Orlando, several distinguishing themselves in the process. Brandon Stacken received second place honors in Accounting and Devon Liljenquist captured third in Banking Financial Services. The team of Gavin Doppler and Lingfeng Lu reached the finals of International Marketing capturing an honorable mention for their effort.

The ICDC is an annual gathering of state and regional qualifiers from DECA chapters located around the country, and in Canada, Puerto Rico, and China. Hundreds of schools and well over a thousand competitors vie for recognition at the international level. With six of the fourteen MSUM students decorated at this year’s event, the chapter eclipsed the most optimistic forecasts. This is only the second international show for the MSUM DECA chapter in just its third year of existence.

Doppler, who founded the chapter in his freshman year at MSUM, could not have been more pleased with the results. “We are leagues ahead of where we thought we’d be at this point,” Doppler stated. “We went into the competition with a lot of confidence, but not in our wildest imagination did we think we’d bring so much hardware back to Moorhead. This was a team effort going back to the start of the year and everyone has a sense of ownership and pride for what we’ve accomplished.“

MSUM’s DECA chapter is already focusing on next year’s State and the ICDC competition slated for Washington D.C. Doppler is looking forward to passing the gavel as chapter president and working in more of an advisory capacity in his senior year at the University. He states that his focus will be given to recruitment, a job made easier by the program’s latest success.

“Outside of competing at the conference, it was heartwarming to see the relationships that were built from this club. MSUM’s diverse students from all over the world, different departments on campus, with completely different personalities and friends groups, now chuckle about the great times we had together. More than starting a professional development organization that student’s can boost their resumes with, the most rewarding thing to see was the ecstatic cheers and group hugs that former strangers were giving each other out of genuine pride for a fellow Dragon, and friend.”

From L to R: Devon Liljenquist, Tony Roetzel, Joshua Wehseler, and Brandon Stacken.

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Straw Hat Players enters 52nd season with four shows

Gooseberry Park Players take place of 5th show
Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Straw Hat Players Summer Theatre opens its 52ndseason with the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical revue Some Enchanted Evening, a PG-rated show with hits like “Climb Every Mountain,” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” and many more. The show runs from June 2 to 5 in Hansen Theatre.

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MSUM Professor Brian Wisenden co-edits fish ecology book

By Brittany Dunnigan

Ecologist. Teacher. Scholar.

All three of these titles can be used to describe Dr. Brian Wisenden, fish chemical ecologist and professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead. And as of late, he can also claim the title of book editor as Wisenden recently co-edited and contributed two chapters to a new book now available in bookstores and libraries worldwide.

Dr. Brian Wisenden in the MSUM fish lab.

Dr. Brian Wisenden in the MSUM fish lab.

Wisenden completed his university studies in Canada and has taught at MSUM since 1998. An accomplished researcher and writer, his published works have been cited over 2,792 times in various books articles and journals internationally. He is also the managing editor of Behaviour, an international journal interested in all aspects of animal behavior. His recent publication, Fish Pheromones and Related Cues, is the first book he has co-edited and is one of his proudest accomplishments.

Fish Pheromones and Related Cues takes an in-depth look at the biochemistry of fish behavior. Wisenden worked with Dr. Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota to compile the knowledge and research of leaders in the field of fish biochemistry to create this synthesis of the peer-reviewed literature.

“There is no other book like it, and it is exciting to see it come to life with the help of so many leaders in the field who submitted their work for this publication,” Wisenden said. “Many (of the contributing authors) are now retiring, so this is a compilation of the extensive knowledge they have gained throughout their 40-year careers combined with our research. We were able to synthesize it all into one volume, which is a big service to the field of fish biochemistry.”

Wisenden and Sorensen specialize in two different areas of fish ecology, which is why combining forces to write this book was so beneficial. Sorensen’s area of expertise is the study of chemical exchanges between fish regulating reproduction. Wisenden’s research focuses on chemically-mediated predator-prey interactions over ecological and evolutionary time scales.

“My area is basically how when a minnow gets eaten, the skin gets damaged by the teeth of the predator and chemicals are released only in that context, so other minnows know not to come near. By these chemicals, the other minnows can also tell what type of predator it is, the diet of the predator, and if it still poses a threat.”

Wisenden completes much of his research with the help of his students. The MSUM Biosciences Department expects faculty to engage students in faculty-mentored research, and Wisenden has gone above and beyond by successfully helping his students get their research published in international publications.

“The level of our undergraduate research distinguishes us from most private schools and research institutions,” Wisenden said. “It’s a graduate student experience at the undergraduate level.”

Wisenden is proud of the work he and his students have accomplished and credits his two-chapter contribution to the book as a reflection of their research and hard work.
Wiley.com describes the book as a must-read for those in this particular field of study. “With far-reaching economic, evolutionary and ecological implications, Fish Pheromones and Related Cues will be an essential volume for anyone working in the fields of chemical communication, fish biology, fisheries science, aquatic conservation, ecology, invasive species control, and aquaculture.”

Fish Pheromones and Related Cues is available through many online book retailers, including amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Global Innovation at MSUM

Asian Global FinanceDoing Business in China and Latin America

Minnesota State University Moorhead will host Global Innovation: Business in China and Latin America Wednesday, April 8 on the MSUM campus. The event provides an opportunity to learn from academics and area professionals in the field about business opportunities around the world.

Schedule of events

Noon to 1:15 p.m., Center for Business Room 109/111 


Panel discussion with visiting Chinese Professors Dr. Qi Chen and Dr. Lixin Yu, and MSUM faculty members, Dr. Ruth Lumb
and Dr. Peter Geib, and students who have visited China.

2 to 4 p.m., Comstock Memorial Union

Guest speakers on Doing Business in Latin America include:

  • Francisco Monaldi, Visiting Professor of Energy Policy, Harvard University
  • Osmel Manzano, Regional Economic Advisor, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Eduardo Pablo, Assistant Professor of Finance, MSUM
  • Greg Smogard, CEO of 4 Catalysts Consulting and CEO of Leading Edge Investments

4 to 5:30 p.m., Comstock Memorial Union

Panel discussion to include:

  • Dean Gorder, Executive Director, North Dakota Trade Office
  • Melissa Lage, Chief Marketing Officer, SJE-Rhombus
  • Don Aberle, Manager, Titan Outlet Stores

A 5:30 p.m. reception concludes the event.

The event is free and open to the public.

For additional details, visit www.mnstate.edu/cbi/globalinnovation/

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 www.mnstate.edu/ponderosa.

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 thisbuiltamerica.com/north-dakota.

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.