December 2011 Archives

UMC Named Among 25 Best Offering Online Degrees

SuperScholarSmartChoiceBestOnlineColleges.jpgThe University of Minnesota, Crookston has been named among the top 25 in SuperScholar's "Smart Choice" ranking of schools offering online bachelor's degrees.  For the full listing, visit
Based in San Antonio, Texas, SuperScholar is an organization that provides online resources geared toward students searching for information about higher education and career options.  The organization also ranks colleges and universities by various educational programs and majors.

According to SuperScholar, in order to be considered for its Smart Choice ranking of top schools offering online bachelor's degrees the institution had to be a regionally accredited college or university, be listed in the National Center for Education Statistics database, and offer online bachelor degree programs in multiple disciplines.  Specialty schools focused on a narrow range of subjects were excluded. Schools that passed the initial screening process were then ranked by SuperScholar's editors based on each school's perceived market credibility and prestige, academic quality, support for students, and student satisfaction.

The U of M, Crookston currently offers ten of its degree programs entirely online as well as on-campus: Accounting, Applied Health, Applied Studies, Business, Communication,  Health Management, Information Technology Management, Manufacturing Management, Marketing, and Quality Management.  Learn more about these programs at

Russ Severson Retirement Reception.jpgRuss Severson, Extension educator in crops, will be retiring on December 29, after 38 years with the University of Minnesota. A retirement reception, celebrating Severson's career took place on Tuesday, December 20, 2011, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. 

Severson began his career in 1973 as a Research Scientist at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston Minn, (NWROC). In 1986, he joined University of Minnesota Extension where he served as a county educator in Polk County, eventually serving both Polk and Red Lake counties. Since 2008, Severson has served as Extension educator for crops programs in the Extension Regional Office in Crookston.

Over the past 38 years, Severson has planned and participated in numerous educational programs and coordinated and conducted applied research in crops vital to the economic and environmental sustainability of the people in Northwest Minnesota.  He has been active in the West Polk County Crop Improvement Association and Soil and Water Conservation District and the Minnesota & National Association of County Ag Agents. He was the recipient of several awards including:  USDA Award for Superior Service from the Farm Credit Mediation Program; NACAA Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award; West Polk County SWCD Friend in Conservation Award and Minnesota Crop Improvement Association Honorary Premier Seedsman.

Photos (l to r): Beverly Durgan, Ph.D., Dean University of Minnesota Extension, presents certificate of appreciation to Russ Severson; Doris and Russ Severson; Albert Sims, Ph.D., director of operations at the NWROC, offers congratulations to Severson.

Jacob Pastoors Completes Private Pilot Training

Pastoors Private Pilot.jpgJacob Pastoors successfully completed his Private Pilot training, December 21, 2011, at the Crookston Municipal Airport. 

Under Federal Aviation Administration examining authority, University of Minnesota, Crookston students can complete all requirements for Private Pilot certification locally.  Jacob completed an oral examination and a 1.7 hour flight during which he demonstrated navigation, maneuvering, and communications skills as well as the most important skill of all:  Landings. 

Jacob is the first of the fall semester private pilot students at UMC to complete his training. Jacob is majoring in agricultural aviation, and has already worked one season as a loader man for an agricultural applicator in Olivia, Minnesota.

Photos (l to r): Jacob Pastoors in the airplane; MikeVivion, UMC's chief pilot, congratulates Jacob Pastoors upon the completion of his private pilot certification.

UMC Residence Hall and Apartment Network Downtime

IT Outage.jpgWe need to shut off parts of our network to do maintenance.

Evergreen Hall will have no network including phones from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20 

Centennial Hall (incl. Westside) will be down from 2 to 3 p.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 20

McCall Hall will be down from 9 to 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21

Skyberg Hall will be down from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 21

I'm hoping the actual down time will be substantially less.
Don Medal
UMC Tech Support Services

integrated_marketing_communication_class.jpgFor one class at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, the end of the semester meant sharing ideas to help strengthen and promote local farmers markets. Students in Rachel Lundbohm's integrated marketing communication class were involved in a service-learning project to help farmers markets in northwest Minnesota. Service learning combines academic classroom curriculum with meaningful community service, and the purpose of the project was to conduct research on farmers' markets, suggest ways to increase awareness, and devise options for helping to build the customer base.

Research results identified target markets and their characteristics including the demographics and psychographics of each. Students developed marketing slogans, logo suggestions, a methodology for advertising, and included a marketing budget. Recommendations were made ranging from sales promotions to reaching consumers through print, radio and other media. The students also addressed the use of social media as a marketing tool. In order to determine the effectiveness of the marketing, students suggested possible assessment tools to learn more about market customers.

The research project was the result of Lundbohm, who also serves as the associate director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES), connecting a need identified through the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) with students in the integrated marketing communication course.

In the photo, Seated (l to r): Courtney Bergman, Linda Kingery, Chuck Schulstad, Barb Schulstad, and Sarah Reese. Middle row: Rachel Lundbohm, Stephanie Thomas, Josh Koch, Amoy Carty, Yu Cheng, Yuan Ding, Melissa Blawat, Xi Zhou. Back row: Lisa Loegering, Vaughn Loomis, Mike Boebel, Eric Fisher, Scott Steuck; Joann Blom (in front of Steuck); Tyler Roed, David Anderson, Jie Yang.
Not pictured: Kate Holmquist and Jean-Michel Habeck

Click for story

Holiday Hours for UMC Computer Help Desk Front Desk

Tuesday, Dec. 27 Through Thurs Dec. 29, 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 30, Closed
Monday, Jan. 2, Closed
Thea Holen
UMC Help Desk Manager
University of Minnesota, Crookston

UMC Mitten Tree Gifts Brighten the Holiday Season for Children

Mitten Tree Presents.jpgGifts were purchased for 40 children who are served by the Care and Share in Crookston.

Katie Nenn, UMC student coordinator of the Mitten Tree project, worked with Lisa Samuelson, director of the Sargeant Student Center, and Lisa Loegering, assistant director of the Office of Community Engagement, to sponsor and collect gifts for the University of Minnesota, Crookston's Mitten Tree Project.

Thank all of you for your support!

Photos (l to r): Lisa Samuelson and Katie Nenn load gifts to be delivered to the Care and Share; Carol Gregg, Director of the Care and Share, receives gifts from Katie Nenn and Lisa Samuelson.

Brantner_Jason.jpgJason Brantner, research fellow at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) located in Crookston, Minn., was recently recognized with the Sugarbeet Distinguished Service Award. The award is based on recent significant contributions to the success of the sugarbeet industry in Minnesota and North Dakota. The award was presented by the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association.

Brantner has been actively involved in the NWROC sugarbeet plant pathology project since January 1995.  He works closely with Carol Windels, Ph.D., in setting up and maintaining experiments; collecting data; summarizing research results; and helping to write reports.  He also helps coordinate trials with grower-cooperators, and other cooperating scientists at the NWROC, North Dakota State University, sugarbeet cooperatives, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) laboratories.

Link to story

UMC Post Office Box Keys and Change of Address

Post Office Keys.jpgStudents... are you GRADUATING or LEAVING the University at the end of the Semester?

If the answer is YES, please stop by the Sargeant Student Center Information Desk prior to leaving to turn in your Post Office Box Key so that you may receive your $5.00 deposit.

Also, please stop in at the UMC Post Office to leave a forwarding address if different from your permanent address. If you are returning to UMC for Spring 2012, please retain your key for next semester. 

Lisa Samuelson
Director of Student Activities/Sargeant Student Center

The Study Abroad Club's German Toast Brunch is Sunday

German Toast Brunch.jpgThe German Toast Brunch and Silent Auction (which will include homemade goodies for the holidays) will be held Sunday, December 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the American Legion, Crookston.

The menu will include:
- German Toast
- Pancakes
- Scrambled Eggs
- Sausage
- Coffee/Juice/Lemonade

The cost is $5 for advance tickets, and $6 at the door. Children (under 10) will be $3.00.

This event is hosted by the UMC Study Abroad Club.

"Pre-Finals Smash" was a Real Hit

Pre-Finals Smash.jpgFriday, December 9, students and the UMC community took out their stress and frustration by smashing a car and piano. The UMC Choir sold tickets for the Pre-Finals Smash. The funds raised went towards the Club's expenses.

Also at this event, the Choir held a drawing to see who got to use the "Jaws of Life" on the car after it is all smashed up. Members from the Crookston Fire Department (CFD) demonstrated proper technique for removing the top of a car.  The winner of the drawing assisted with the maneuver. The proceeds from this event benefits "Toys for Tots" which is also supported by the CFD.

Computer Returns for UMC Students Not Enrolled Spring 2012

HP computer_7037.jpgSTUDENTS,
If you are NOT returning to the U of Minnesota, Crookston for Spring Semester 2012,
you need to have your computer returned to the UMC Computer Help Desk no later then 4 p.m., Thursday, December 15. After that date you will be charged a $50 late fee and $31.25 per week until it is returned.
Remember that you need 6+ on-campus credits in order to use a UMC issued computer. 

If you have any questions please e-mail me at, or stop by and see me at the UMC Computer Help Desk.

Thea Holen
UMC Help Desk Manager

Pre-Finals Smash!

sledgehammer.gifTake out your frustrations and angst about the end of the semester the old fashioned way--by taking a few swings at a old car or at an old decommissioned piano.  You can even enter a raffle to get a chance to operate the Jaws of Life and benefit Toys for Tots with the funds raised. 

This event will take place Friday, Dec. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside of Sargeant Student Center with the winner of the raffle using the Jaws of Life at 1 p.m.  Cost is $1 for three swings or raffle ticket.  Presented by the UMC Choir with assistance from Student Affairs. 

The Annual UMC Poinsettia Sale is Wednesday and Thursday

Poinsettia Sale.jpgUMC Community: We will be having our Annual Poinsettia Sale this week
Where: Sargeant Student Center 
When: Wednesday, December 7, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and
Thursday, December 8,  10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.        

There is a great selection of beautiful poinsettias plus candy bouquets. If you would like to order a candy bouquet you can e-mail Therese Helgeson at The candy bouquets can be picked up at the Poinsettia Sale or they can be delivered for a $1.00. Christmas wreaths and floral arrangements will also be available at the Poinsettia Sale.

Photo (l to r): Kevin Coyne and Mitch Allore with some of the poinsettias grown on campus.

Discounted Computer Software for UMC Students

Buy Software2.jpgUMC Students,
The University of Minnesota has an amazing offer on computer software
. These discounts are for UMC students only. If you are graduating this Fall, please make sure you don't miss out!
Windows 7 is only $35, and
Office 2010 (Word, Excel, Outlook) is $40
All you have to do is go to, log in with your user name and password and select the software you would like. The software gets charged to your student account and you can pick it up here at the UMC Help Desk the same day.
If you have questions or would like help ordering, please stop by the UMC Help Desk, and myself or any of the staff will help you out.
Thea Holen, UMC Help Desk Manager

Mitten Tree.jpgThere are a few Mittens left on the tree.  You can still help a child have a happy holiday. The UMC Mitten Tree is in the International Lounge. Please select a mitten and record your selection at the Sargeant Student Center Information Desk. Bring the gift(s) back to the Info Desk by Friday, December 9, 2011.  Please do not wrap the gift(s), put them in a plastic bag and make sure the mitten is either attached to the bag or inside the bag.

Also, if you'd still like to help out a child in the community, here are a few ideas:

Gifts listed on the mittens go to that specific child; however, the Care and Share still "fills in" with other donated items.  If you happen to run across any "really great deals" that might be appreciated, please feel free to donate.  (Those gifts can be dropped off in my office.)

Specifically, there is a HUGE need for snow pants.  Although parents usually can come up with money for jackets, they often can't afford snow pants.  Children without snow pants are not allowed to go outside for recess when it is really cold.  If you find a great sale on snow pants, all sizes will get distributed to children who need them.

If you happened to purchase items at Kohl's and earned Kohl's cash, consider purchasing warm clothes for a child with that cash.

Thanks for all of your generous donations to the Mitten Tree Project!

Lisa L. Loegering
Assistant Director
Office of Community Engagement
240 Sargeant Student Center

Welcome Students and Families to Campus Preview Day

Regal cut out.jpgUMC Campus Preview Day is Saturday, December 3, 2011

New and prospective students are invited to visit the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) on Saturday, December 3, 2011, to learn more about the campus during Preview Day.  Students are encouraged to bring their families along for the in depth look at campus. 

Students may go online to register for the Preview Day on Saturday, December 3 by visiting or by contacting the Admissions Office at 218-281-8569. The welcome and admissions presentations begin at 10 a.m.

During Preview Days, students have the opportunity to interact with current students, faculty, and staff as they learn about the U of M, Crookston. Throughout the day the students will be able to receive detailed information about the various opportunities available on the Crookston campus, participate in a question and answer session, tour the beautiful campus, and enjoy lunch in Brown Dining Hall.  Preview Day is designed to help students and their families as they make decisions about college.

For more information, visit

The Mitten Tree is UP in the International Lounge

Tree.jpgFor those of you waiting to grab a mitten with requests from local children living at or affiliated with the Care and Share, the mittens are now on the tree!

Interested in helping a child who is in need of a gift for Christmas? There is a Mitten Tree in the International Lounge of the Sargeant Student Center. Take a mitten from the tree in the and then sign your name on the sheet at the Info Desk by the corresponding number.

Bring the gift(s) back to the Info Desk by December 9, 2011.  Please do not wrap the gift(s), put them in a plastic bag and make sure the mitten is either attached to the bag or inside the bag.

Thank you.

UMC Club Food Fight Results are Announced

Canned Food.jpgThe results of the Club Food Fight are in:

1st Place: UMC Lions
2nd Place: Delta Theta Sigma
3rd Place: Alpha Lambda Delta

Thank You to all participating clubs and congratulations to our winners! With the total food and monetary donations given to the North Country Food Shelf they will be able to provide 900 meals to those in need!

Thank you from the North Country Food Shelf and UMC Peer Connections

Ag Business Students Present Poster Research Topics

Attention smiley.jpgStudents in the GNAG 4652  senior seminar class will be in the Prairie Room on Thursday December 1 from 4-6 p.m. with their poster presentations on their research topics.  Please stop by to view the posters and ask questions.

GNAG 4652 Senior Seminar Poster Presentation Open to Everyone

Margot Rudstrom, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Agribusiness