MSUM Alumna Receives AACSB’s Inaugural Influential Leaders Award

Border States CEO & Board Chair Tammy Miller joins 100 notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools who are making an impact in the world through their business acumen, leadership, or entrepreneurial success.

Moorhead, Minn…(September 22, 2015)—Today, AACSB International (AACSB), the global accrediting body and membership association for business schools, revealed that Tammy Miller, a Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate, has been recognized as one of the first 100 AACSB Influential Leaders. Miller’s work exemplifies the innovative mindset and meaningful contributions to society that MSUM graduates display around the world every day—whether they operate within large corporations, small businesses, or the nonprofit sector.

Tammy Miller, MSU Moorhead alumna and CEO and board chair of Border States Electric Supply.

Tammy Miller, MSU Moorhead alumna and CEO and board chair of Border States Electric Supply.

Miller graduated from MSUM’s Paseka School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration. She is the CEO and board chair of Border States Electric Supply, the nation’s 8th largest distributor of electrical products and services. She joined the company in 1991 as an accounting manager and worked her way through various management positions before being named CEO in 2006.

She is an innovative leader who has inspired this employee-owned company to enjoy unprecedented and continued growth. Since Miller became CEO, revenue has grown from $485 million to over $1.7 billion and the stock value growth has dramatically outpaced the market benchmarks. The company has an aggressive growth plan and now operates 81 branch locations in 16 states. She is extremely well-regarded in the industry and was the first woman in the 100-year history of the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) to serve as the board chair. She is also an active community volunteer.

Miller received the NAED’s Arthur W. Hooper Award and the Women in Industry Trailblazer Award.

Miller joins individuals such as the CEO of one of the world’s largest global relief services, a technology pioneer who is working to cure cancer, the founder of a global e-commerce powerhouse, and an enterprising president attributed with reviving an international toy industry favorite. More than 20 industry sectors, from consumer products to healthcare to nonprofits, across 21 countries, are present in this year’s group.

“I am honored by this award. My education at MSUM provided tremendous value, a solid foundation for my professional career and opened doors to unlimited opportunities,” Miller said. “Just as my experiences at MSUM influenced my success, I hope I have influenced people in a positive way, helping them grow, succeed and achieve more than they ever imagined.”

For the nomination process, AACSB developed a short list of open-ended questions that provided a framework for expectations for nominees. From April to June 2015, AACSB-accredited schools submitted notable alumni who have made (or are making) an impact in the world. From the nominations, a selection committee reviewed and chose stories that showed a sampling of the positive impact that business school graduates have made on society.

“It is my honor to recognize Tammy Miller for her contributions as an Influential Leader and to thank Minnesota State University Moorhead for its dedication to providing a business education environment based on engagement, innovation, and impact,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “If told, the success stories of all business school graduates would fill immeasurable volumes. AACSB is honored to celebrate Tammy Miller—and the collective 100 Influential Leaders—as a representation of how business school alumni have positively influenced society, as well as the management education industry’s, past, present, and promising future.”

“The Paseka School of Business is honored to be accredited by AACSB, which affirms MSUM is teaching students what employers need—the latest ideas in business, theories, and practical skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively,” said Marsha Weber, dean of MSUM’s College of Business and Innovation. “Tammy Miller’s education provided her with the skills and knowledge to be successful. We are very proud of her accomplishments.”

For the full list of recipients, visit
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Dragons Past and Present Get First Taste of Scheels Field

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Minnesota State University Moorhead junior linebacker Aaron Bohl couldn’t hide his anticipation.

“I’ve been waiting so long to get on this field,” Bohl said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bohl and several of his Dragon football teammates got their wish — stepping onto the new completed Scheels Field at Nemzek Stadium turf for the first time.  Former Dragon football players Tony Duerr and Brad Duerr — both employees of Scheels — and Matt Baasch (a current assistant coach for the Dragons) were on hand to throw the ceremonial “first pass” on the field to highlight the project’s completion. Each threw a pass to their child.

View the video and rest of the article here.

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.


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. 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 and

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

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