Reneé Rongen brings Sense of Humor and Power to Inspire to U of M Crookston on Monday, December 1, 2014; Presentation begins at 6 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium with free admission

By Elizabeth Tollefson on November 10, 2014 3:16 PM
“Be the Entrepreneur of Your Life” is the presentation topic of popular speaker and author
With messages transcending the barriers of age, gender, and occupation, Rongen’s entertaining, engaging and energetic style, coupled with customized rich content moves audiences to act, live, and work differently.  Reneé Rongen (in photo, right) on Monday, December 1, 2014 at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Rongen’s presentation begins at 6 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. All are welcome and admission is free.
Rongen’s presentation is sponsored by the Business Department and Communication program at the U of M Crookston along with Concerts and Lectures and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES). For more information, contact Megan Pederson at 218-281-8573.
Background on Reneé Rongen
Rongen is an award winning humorous and inspirational speaker, author, and business consultant.  She engages her audience with her “legacy living” philosophy.  Her comedic timing coupled with Rongen’s acclaimed gift as master story teller make her the perfect fit for organizations who want to inspire and grow their culture to be the best in the industry.
In addition to her speaking, she is an accomplished author of several popular books. Her newest work titled Fundamentally Female, released in October 2012, was included in the Oscar and Golden Globe swag bags for all female nominees. A second book in the Fundamentally Female series entitled I’m a Girl…That’s Why is set for release in 2015. To learn more about Rongen, visit reneerongen.com
Today the University of MinnesotaCrookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  ”Small Campus. Big Degree.”  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies at the U of M Crookston Seeks Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Interested in Potential Project Partnership

By Elizabeth Tollefson on November 10, 2014 3:09 PM
Entrepreneurs and small business owners can receive valuable help through an opportunity offered by the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota Crookston. CRES is seeking regional entrepreneurs and small business owners interested in forming a unique partnership that would include valuable consulting services by U of M Crookston students under the guidance of qualified faculty at no cost.

Each semester, both spring and fall, CRES integrates projects into courses offered on campus. These projects become an integral part of the course curriculum and are designed to benefit small business owners and entrepreneurs while providing students with real-world business experiences.

Applications for the program are accepted anytime; however, priority is given to applications received prior to the due dates. The spring semester application deadline is Friday, December 12, 2014. Applicants will be notified about their participation in the program no later than December 19.

The projects that best fit the mission of CRES and enhance the learner outcomes for the course will be contacted for a follow-up meeting to determine guidelines, client expectations, and to review other relevant information regarding participation.

For more information about the opportunity, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director of CRES at 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu) or visit the CRES Web site at www.umccres.org. The CRES office is located in Dowell Hall 117 on the Crookston campus.

Background
The Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies assists entrepreneurs in Northwestern Minnesota with the development and creation of their entrepreneurial enterprise. The services offered are based on the client’s needs.

The mission of CRES is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting. It engages the students, faculty, and research facilities of the University of Minnesota Crookston in order to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of northwest Minnesota.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. “Small Campus. Big Degree.” To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Rachel Lundbohm, director, CRES, 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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CRES and NW Minnesota Foundation Sponsor Entrepreneurs’ Luncheon at RBJ’s in Crookston, Minn.; Opportunity to Network and Learn on Monday, November 24, 2014, at Noon

By Elizabeth Tollefson on November 10, 2014 3:08 PM
Are you interested in turning your idea into a great business? The IDEA Competition provides training, business coaching, and capital to participating entrepreneurs who want to turn an idea into a business. The Northwest Minnesota Foundation, along with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota Crookston, are sponsoring an Entrepreneurs’ Luncheon on Monday, November 24, 2014, in the back room at RBJ’s Restaurant, 1601 University Ave, Crookston, Minn. The luncheon is an opportunity to network, learn more about the IDEA Competition, and the services provided by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and CRES.
The lunch is free for all attending. For more information about the sessions, contact Rachel Lundbohm, director, CRES, at 218-281-8595 or e-mail cres@tc.umn.edu.
Background
IDEA was launched through the efforts of several partners who pooled their experience, services, and knowledge to frame a program that would be effective for helping these new stars of our future. Funding for the program has been provided by the Blandin Foundation and the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, together with contributions from several other partners: 360º Manufacturing and Applied Engineering Center of Excellence, Arvig, Bemidji State University, Bremer Banks of Crookston and Warren, Headwaters Regional Development Commission,  Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation, Northwest Regional Development Commission, University of Minnesota, Crookston, and the Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center. To learn more, visit ideacompetition.org.
The Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies assists entrepreneurs in Northwestern Minnesota with the development and creation of their entrepreneurial enterprise. The services offered are based on the client’s needs. The mission of CRES is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting. It engages the students, faculty, and research facilities of the University of Minnesota Crookston in order to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of northwest Minnesota. For more information on CRES, visit umccres.org
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  ”Small Campus. Big Degree.”  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Rachel Lundbohm, director, CRES, 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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Fall Musical Production “Next to Normal” Runs November 19-22, 2014, U of M Crookston

By Elizabeth Tollefson on November 5, 2014 7:42 AM
The cast has been rehearsing since September, and for Senior Alissa Hernandez, that has
meant juggling rehearsal schedules as the director while learning the lyrics and lines as one of the characters in the fall theater production of “Next to Normal” at the University of Minnesota Crookston.
Described as a contemporary musical, “Next to Normal” runs Wednesday, November 19-21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 22 at 2 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. A live orchestra supports the performance, which showcases the vocal talent of the six-member cast. Admission is $8 for adults and all students are $5 with the exception of U of M Crookston students who are free with their U-card. The production is recommended for audiences in high school and older and not suitable for young children.
A focused student, Hernandez is a double major in equine science and animal science with a minor in ag business from Savage, Minn.  Musical performance has been a part of her life since she was in elementary school and a member of the sixth grade honor choir. Her love for acting grew as she took to the stage in junior high, and over the years, Hernandez has been involved in some 25-plus musical or theatrical productions since junior high–five of them alone as a student at the U of M Crookston.
“I am finding it challenging to direct and act,” Hernandez smiles. “When you are the director, you can sit and watch and see what your cast needs, but while you are on stage, you are focused on performing and it has been both interesting and fun to combine the two roles as actor and director.”
Hernandez and cast mate, Alex Conwell, are seasoned performers, but for a number of the others, “Next to Normal” is a first time experience in a musical, as part of a cast at the Crookston campus, or the first time ever on stage. Cassie Hagg, a sophomore majoring in health sciences from Pillager, Minn., joins Hernandez as the assistant director and together under the guidance of Associate Professor George French the musical is taking shape.
Other members of the “Next to Normal” cast are Michael Laurich, a senior majoring in biology from Lansing, Ill.; Jiwon “Peter” Park, a junior majoring in accounting from Changwon, South Korea; David Melichar, a freshman majoring in elementary education from Richfield, Minn.; Alex Conwell, a post-secondary enrollment student from Red Lake Falls, Minn.;Erin Rudstrom, a postsecondary enrollment student from East Grand Forks, Minn.
The production–serious, yet at times, humorous–has minimal props and focuses the audience on life in the Goodman family. “Next to Normal” tells the story of a mother, played by Hernandez, struggling with bipolar disorder and its effect on her family. Addressing such issues as grieving a loss, ethics in modern psychiatry, and suburban life, “Next To Normal” takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character as they cope with crisis and mental illness.
“This performance is different from anything we have done on campus before,” Hernandez says. “It is a story that everyone can relate to and in many ways, the family we portray has something in common with every family.”
French who leads the music and theater department on the Crookston campus describes the music as “sophisticated rock” and believes audiences will enjoy it.
Hernandez encourages audiences to see “Next to Normal” because as she explains, “it is real and raw with a fast pace that hits home.” To learn more about “Next to Normal, visit www.nexttonormal.com.
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  ”Small Campus. Big Degree.”  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
In the photo at right, left to right, back row, are Michael Laurich, Alex Conwell, Cassie Hagg, and Alissa Hernandez. In the front row are Jiwon “Peter” Park, Erin Rudstrom, and David Melichar. 

In the photo at left are, at top, Alex Conwell, and left to right on stage are Michael Laurich, Alissa Hernandez, Jiwon “Peter” Park, Erin Rudstrom, and David Melichar.

Contact: George French, associate professor, Music and Theater, 218-218-8266 (gfrench@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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Three Honored with 2014 Torch & Shield Award at the U of M Crookston

The highest honor awarded by the University of Minnesota Crookston, the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, and Extension is the Torch & Shield Award. On Wednesday evening, October 29, two individuals and an organization will be recognized with the prestigious award including Susan A. Hagstrum, Ph.D.; Pete Wasberg; and the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Along with the Torch & Shield Awards, a special donor recognition will also take place.

Hosting the recognition event are University of Minnesota Crookston Chancellor Fred Wood and Albert Sims, director of operations at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center. Music will be provided by the U of M Crookston choir and special guests include Kathy Schmidlkofer, president and CEO of the University of Minnesota Foundation, who will bring greetings on behalf of the Foundation. Senior Jesse Jennings will speak on behalf of student scholarship recipients and Brian Dingmann, Ph.D., will present his research featuring three of his student research assistants: Julia Rinn, Serena Stoeck, and Brooke Vatthauer

Susan Hagstrum holds a B.S. in speech pathology from Northwestern University and an M. A. in speech pathology and a Ph. D. in education policy and administration, awarded by the University of Minnesota. She enjoyed a 27-year career in preK-12 public education in Minnesota before establishing her own small business to provide leadership to non-profit organizations as they worked to improve results.

She placed her business on hold in 2003 to devote full-time attention to serving as one of University of Minnesota’s ambassadors and major volunteers. Her husband, Robert H. Bruininks, served as the fifteenth president of the University of Minnesota from 2002 through 2011. She hosted University groups and guests at Eastcliff, the historic home of the University president, and served in a major role in publicly representing the University, and in fundraising with friends, community groups, alumni and staff of the University.

Susan enjoyed her visits to the University of Minnesota’s statewide campuses during her husband’s presidency and worked to raise funds on behalf of students and programs on the Crookston campus. She served on several University museum boards, including the Weisman Art Museum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and the Tweed Museum on the Duluth campus. She was a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle in the College of Education and Human Development. Susan also served on several University boards of advisors for the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Design, and the Medical School on the Twin Cities campus.

Susan is currently a board member of the Minnesota Orchestra. She is also a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable and is a past board member of the Tyrone Guthrie Theater. Her University of Minnesota volunteer activities include serving on the Advisory Council of the University Libraries and the Neuroscience Advisory Council of the Academic Health Center.

Peter Wasberg

Pete is the director of Human Resources & Safety, and has been a member of the executive team at Otter Tail Power Company since 2008. Pete was the human resources manager for three years prior to being named to his current position. Before moving to the Human Resources Department in 2004, Pete spent the first fourteen years of his career in various positions with Otter Tail Power Company in their Milbank, S.D., Bemidji, Hallock, and Crookston Customer Service Centers, and was promoted to division manager in 1997 and area manager in 2002. Pete also spent a legislative session in the company’s Legislative Affairs Department.

Along with his work at Otter Tail Power Company, Pete has been active in community and area activities. Currently, Pete is a member of the board of directors for Crookston National Bank, a member of the Fergus Falls Noon Day Rotary Club, and serves on the College Advisory and Advancement Board for the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Pete has served on the executed committee of UMC Teambackers; the Enactus Advisory Board, an organization for students in business; chancellor search committees, and the Valley Technology Park Board of Directors. He is a past chairman of the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Crookston Rotary Club, served on the Riverview Healthcare Board of Trustees and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce Board. Pete also completed two terms on the Lake Region Halfway House Board of Directors.

Pete has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, where he majored in business administration and psychology.

Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council

Established in 1978, the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council is a non-profit organization that invests wheat check-off dollars for the benefit of wheat producers. The Council is directed by a nine member board made up of wheat producers, elected by their peers. The Council’s activities are funded from a 2-cent assessment on all wheat bushels sold and stored in Minnesota. About 50 percent of the check-off funds are allocated to research, 25 percent to promotion and 25 percent to communication of information to growers. The Minnesota Wheat Council offices are located in Red Lake Falls, a central location to 90% of the wheat grown in Minnesota.

Throughout Minnesota Wheat Council’s history they have worked closely with University of Minnesota, NWROC, and U of M Extension to advance wheat production efficiency and profitability in Minnesota through research and education. The Council worked with U of M Extension and NWROC staff to start the Small Grains Institute which continues today as the International Crops Expo.

The Council was a supporter and promoter of the NWROC plan to create a center of excellence in small grains at the Crookston location. The Council helped advocate for and fund four key research and extension positions at the NWROC. These positions continue to contribute to the economic viability of the region and state. Some of these positions help educate students at U of M Crookston. The Council worked with local and regional extension educators to start an annual educational workshop called “Getting it Right”; it continues today as “Best of the Best in Wheat and Soybean Research”.

Over its history, the Minnesota Wheat Council has contributed over $6.5 million to research. Of that, over $4.8 million went to U of M and U of M Extension. The Northwest Research and Outreach Center and NW MN Extension received approximately $1.5 million.

Common goals and a desire to help wheat growers succeed have led to many long lasting connections and relationships between the MN Wheat Council

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Homecoming Royalty Crowned at U of M Crookston

Seniors Kevin Bunde and Mikala Guidinger were crowned king and queen on October 15

in the group photo:
Back row, left to right, are Marcus Cheatham, a senior majoring in sport and recreation management from Stockton, Calif.; Justin Goodroad, a senior majoring in horticulture from Lindstrom, Minn.; Tomas Parker, a senior double majoring in management and marketing from Pequot Lakes, Minn.; Tyler Lowthian, a senior majoring in management from Richfield, Minn.
Middle row: Natalie Tym, a senior double majoring in animal science and equine science from Bristol, Wis.; Ebony Livingston, a senior majoring in sport and recreation management from Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Joanie Melichar, a senior majoring in early childhood education from Richfield, Minn.; and Laura Gabrielson. a senior majoring in software engineering from Orr, Minn.
Front row: Queen Mikala Guidinger and King Kevin Bunde.

during homecoming at University of Minnesota Crookston. The coronation was held in the Keihle Auditorium.

Guidinger is from Rochester, Minn., and majoring in management, and Bunde from Parkers Prairie, Minn., is majoring in ag-systems management.

Other Candidates included:

Marcus Cheatham, a senior majoring in sport and recreation management from Stockton, Calif.; Justin Goodroad,  a senior majoring in horticulture from Lindstrom, Minn.; Tomas Parker, a senior double majoring in management and marketing from Pequot Lakes, Minn.; Tyler Lowthian, a senior majoring in management from Richfield, Minn.

 

Natalie Tym, a senior double majoring in animal science and equine science from Bristol, Wis.; Ebony Livingston, a senior majoring in sport and recreation management from Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Joanie Melichar, a senior majoring in early childhood education from Richfield, Minn.; and Laura Gabrielson. a senior majoring in software engineering from Orr, Minn.

Homecoming week started off on Monday October 13, 2014. The theme for this year was Paint the Town. Businesses also participated in homecoming activities, by showing their maroon and gold sprit. They were to decorate their business according to the theme. There were many activities to be enjoyed by all. The students had lots of fun tie dyeing shirts and splatter paint. Powder-puff football game was held on Wednesday with a Tailgate for faculty and staff. Lots of sporting events throughout the weekend with volleyball, soccer, and football. Regale the Eagle cookies were also available to decorate on Friday. This sums up the many wonderful activities held on campus during homecoming week.

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Wellness Center at U of M Crookston Receives $1 million Gift Naming Entrance/Lobby in Memory of Mitch Nielson

By Elizabeth Tollefson on September 22, 2014 8:04 AM

The University of Minnesota Crookston announced a $1 million gift to name the entrance/lobby of the new campus wellness facility, which will begin construction next year. The gift, from Les and June Nielsen, will name the area in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen. The announcement was made on Monday, September 22, 2014, at a press conference followed by a ceremonial groundbreaking for the wellness center.

Les Nielsen graduated in 1958 from the Northwest School of Agriculture, a residential high school located on what is now the University of Minnesota Crookston. He went on to earn a degree in business from the University of Minnesota. In 1968, the Nielsens along with long time friend, Gene Ellingson, started Herc-U-Lift Incorporated, a forklift truck and material handling equipment distributorship. Les served as the company’s president for thirty-six years, and June worked alongside her husband in the business. Les remains as the company’s chief executive officer.

“The Nielsen family has always placed a high priority on education,” says Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M Crookston. “They are incredibly grateful for what the University of Minnesota has done for them, and in turn, have established scholarships to benefit students at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

“This most recent gift demonstrates once again the Nielsen’s appreciation for the University and their wish to support the Crookston campus,” Wood continues. “They are making a difference in the lives of our students today and tomorrow.”

Background

Les Nielsen was raised near Euclid, Minn., in a home where reading and studying were encouraged. The Northwest School of Agriculture, established as part of the land grant mission of the University of Minnesota, offered rural Minnesota students a residential, agricultural high school designed to meet the needs of the region.

Along with Les, three of his brothers attended the Northwest School of Agriculture, and three of them went on to the University of Minnesota: Andrew graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Richard earned a degree in business and worked for the Internal Revenue Service spending years in management. Les also earned a degree in business from the U of M.

The Nielsens have established two scholarships in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen, who was taken from them in 1989 in a motorcycle accident.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  ”Small Campus. Big Degree.”  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

 

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U of M Crookston Celebrates New Wellness Center With Ceremonial Groundbreaking Monday, September 22, 2014

By Elizabeth Tollefson on September 22, 2014 8:04 AM

A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center at the University of Minnesota Crookston took place on Monday, September 22, 2014. The day began with an announcement of a $1 million gift for the wellness center project by Les and June Nielsen and names the lobby of the building in memory of their son, Mitch Lien Nielsen.

Guests for the ceremony included University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, members of the U of M Board of Regents Clyde Allen and Thomas Devine, and several members of the Minnesota Legislature. Construction of the facility will begin next year with anticipated completion in 2016.

“This project is a testament to the ‘can do’ collaborative partnerships that are a hallmark of this remarkable region, community, and campus,” said Fred Wood, chancellor of the U of M Crookston. “The Wellness Center will assist with student success by helping us recruit, retain, and graduate our students. It will strengthen our academic mission and teach our students to be well-rounded individuals.”

The wellness facility will be transformational for the campus as well as an asset for the community. When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus.  An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Background

The UMC Sports Center was originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school. It was significantly updated only once–in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area.

The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students. In addition to overcrowding and age, the inadequate size of the UMC Sports Center has meant limited space for equipment–there are only 15 cardio machines and a small weight room for a campus population of roughly 1000.

Winters, especially those like this past year’s severely cold and long winter, make it difficult if not impossible for students to exercise outdoors for much of the academic year, and the need is great for students to have access to healthy recreation year-round.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor’s degree programs, 20 minors, and 36 concentrations on campus–as well as 13 degrees online–in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  ”Small Campus. Big Degree.”  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

 

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Ceremonial Ground Breaking for New Wellness Center at U of M Crookston on Monday, September 22, 2014, with U of M President Eric Kaler

A ceremonial ground breaking for a new wellness center will take place on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The ceremony, which begins at 12:15 p.m., will be held on the site of the new wellness center just west of the Sports Center. All are welcome and parking is available in Lot G near the Kiehle Building on campus.

Prior to the ground breaking there will be a major gift announcement for the project by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations. The announcement will take place in the Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center at 11:30 a.m.

Guests for the ceremony include University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with several members of the U of M Board of Regents and the Minnesota Legislature.

When completed, the new wellness center will be approximately 36,000 square feet featuring a two-court recreational gymnasium space, workout and fitness spaces, locker rooms, public spaces, a classroom, and a multipurpose room.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed the 2014 Legislative Bonding Bill last May. The bill included state funding for several projects for the University of Minnesota system, one of which was a $10 million allocation for a Wellness Center at the Crookston campus. An additional $5 million will be raised for the project through philanthropic efforts.

Background

Originally built in 1930 when the campus was a residential high school, the current recreational facility, the UMC Sports Center, has been significantly updated only once–in 1980 when Lysaker Gymnasium was added along with some additional office space and training rooms. The central core of the facility, Knutson Gymnasium, is more than 80 years old and houses the current fitness and exercise area.

The Sports Center is shared by varsity athletics, intramural sports, and the student body. Because of the need for student-athletes to use the facility for conditioning, practice and training, it is overcrowded and virtually inaccessible to most other students.

Studies indicate that college wellness facilities have a positive impact on successful student persistence, grade point average, and graduation rates. These studies also show that habits related to wellness directly impact lifelong health and are connected to a stronger workforce. In addition, the Wellness Center will help enhance academic programs such as UMC’s sport and recreation management, and develop new opportunities to meet workforce needs for training in the areas of health and wellness.

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Award Winning Musician Mike Farris to Perform at the U of M Crookston on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium

Award-winning musician Mike Farris will perform at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Farris, whose diverse music rooted in early American gospel and blues, will perform on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, in Kiehle Auditorium at 7 p.m. The concert, which is part of Recovery Month, is free and all are welcome.

Farris has performed with the who’s who of American music legends including Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Dave Matthew’s Band, Sheryl Crow, and Bob Dylan. He won an Americana Music Award for New/Emerging Artist in 2008 followed by a Dove Award in 2010. With a personal history that includes alcohol and drug addiction, Farris’ music celebrates his freedom from chemicals and his faith in God.

He is set to release his newest studio album, Shine for All the People, on September 16, 2014. This upcoming album pushes beyond Salvation in Lights in that it reveals hope not in any glory to come, but in the failures and suffering of the present.

He said in a recent interview, “I was a destructive person. I was a drug addict and an alcoholic, so being where I am now and being able to share this spiritual music, this great musical heritage from America, and being part of a healing force is great.”

It was in 2005 that Mike Farris cracked open the hallway door when, for the first time since the age of 15, he was clean and sober. Recording what would become the critically acclaimed Salvation in Lights (2007). He played the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s 16th Annual American Music Masters concert honoring Aretha Franklin, then TEDx Nashville, and then to the inaugural Austin City Limits Hall of Fame with Double Trouble.

Last year, he travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark and in an interview there he talked about the diverse music genres that have influenced his style and he cited African American spiritual music as the foundation of his music. To learn more about Farris and his music, visit mikefarrismusic.com.

Recovery Month is a national observance each September that spreads the positive message that chemical dependency treatment is effective and people can and do recover. Events will be held across the country throughout the month.

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