As spring semester year draws to a close, it's time to celebrate the sixth annual Fiesta in the 
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Spirit of Cinco de Mayo at the University of Minnesota Crookston. This year's event falls on Cinco de Mayo and celebrates local Crookston music artists and also pays tribute to local Hispanic community advocate Father Mario Prada. The celebration will take place on Monday, May 5, 2014, at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. All are welcome and there is no admission charge. 
 
The local artists featured at this year's event are Tony Diaz (in photo at left below) and Bryan Sanchez (in photo at right). Diaz is a native Crookston Guitar player and singer, who has opened for such acts as Ted Nugent, REO 
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Speedwagon and Styx. He is also a recipient of the Northwest Arts Grant. Sanchez is a 2014 Crookton High School graduate and has sung at all past U of M Crookston Cinco de Mayo Festival events. He is an active choir member, Knowledge Bowl state participant, and is involved in many other school events. 

This event will also honor Father Mario Prada (in photo at right below). Father Prada was the director of International and Multicultural Programs at the U of M Crookston from 1988-2005. During his time on the Crookston campus, he held annual Cinco de Mayo 
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Celebrations. Presently, he is the Father for Diocese of Crookston and works tirelessly as an advocate for the Hispanic community. 

The fiesta is sponsored in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Grant by the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment from the Minnesota State Legislature. Other sponsors include the U of M Crookston Career and Counseling services and the Concerts and Lectures Committee. 

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: Kenneth Mendez, office support assistant, Post Office, 218-281-8329 (mende089@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu); Steffanie Berg, communication assistant, communication (berg2140@crk.umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Crookston Choir under the direction of Associate Professor 
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George French will be joined by the U of M Crookston Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman for a spring concert. Along with the band a number of special soloists will also perform on Sunday, April 27, 2014, at 3 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The concert is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will follow the concert. 

The U of M Crookston Community Band is a new addition to the annual spring concert. Chapman is a teaching specialist in the Math, Science, and Technology Department and took on directing the band in September 2013. A wide variety of vocal and band music will be performed in this end of the year concert.

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: George French, associate professor, Liberal Arts and Education Dept. 218-281-8266 (gfrench@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The Class of 2014 will be honored during commencement exercises at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Saturday, May 10. Nearly 250 students will take part in the ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. in Lysaker Gymnasium. Graduates will represent 13 countries and 29 states and include more than 35 online graduates who are setting foot on the campus for the very first time. The ceremony also recognizes the 20-year anniversary of the Class of 1994, who were the first to earn baccalaureate degrees on the Crookston campus.

A reception in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, precedes the commencement ceremony from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend both events; no tickets are required. A special reception for international student graduates will be held following commencement exercises at 4 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the formal procession of faculty, candidates for degrees, and platform guests will begin from the Sargeant Student Center to the gymnasium led by Mace Bearer William Peterson, professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. The procession also includes Faculty Marshal W. Daniel Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus.

Bringing greetings from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents is the Honorable Clyde Allen, from Moorhead, Minn., who will also assist with the conferring of the degrees. 

U of M Crookston alumnus Tyler Grove '94 will give the commencement address. Grove was 
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one of the first to earn a four-year degree from the University of Minnesota Crookston. His major was in plant industries management with an agronomy emphasis. While at the U of M Crookston, he participated in the Crops Team and in NACTA (North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture) competition. In 2007 he earned his master's degree in agronomy from Iowa State University. In 1995, he was employed with American Crystal Sugar Company as an agriculturist for the East Grand Forks district, and in February, 2013, he accepted a position as the ag strategy development manager at the corporate office in Moorhead, Minn. He was named Outstanding Alumni during Homecoming 2013. 

University of Minnesota, Crookston Alumni Association (UMCAA) Board President Rory Held '11 will bring greetings from the UMCAA and welcome the new graduates to the alumni association. For the first time, the U of M Crookston Community Band under the direction of TJ Chapman will play along with selections during the ceremony by the campus choir under the direction of George French. 

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Graduating senior Alexmai Addo, Crookston Student Association (CSA) president, will speak on behalf of the Class of 2014 and pass the torch of education, a Crookston campus tradition, to Justin Goodroad the incoming CSA president. Addo, from Monrovia Liberia, is a communication major. 

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The 2014 commencement exercises mark the 106th graduating class to be recognized on the Crookston campus. A live audio stream of the commencement exercises will be available at www.umcrookston.edu/people/services/MediaServ/Stream.htm.  

For more information, visit the commencement Web site at www.umcrookston.edu/commencement.

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 photos are, top, left, Tyler Grove; center, right, Alexmai Addo; and bottom, left, Justin Goodroad. 

Contact: Andrew Svec, director of communications, marketing, and public relations, 218-281-8432 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Rare Visitor to Minnesota and First for Polk County

A  Eurasian Tree Sparrow made a stop on the University of Minnesota Crookston campus 
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this week. Known for its chocolate-colored crown and black throat and cheeks, the sparrow is commonly found around St. Louis, Mo. The sighting of the bird in the Nature Nook near Owen Hall is the first Polk County record and only the ninth in Minnesota. Vanessa Lane, a lecturer in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department noted that it is "unusual for this non-native species to be spotted so far from its home in Missouri." For more on the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, visit http://birds.audubon.org/birds/eurasian-tree-sparrow. 

Photo by John Zak, University Relations.  

In the photo the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is on the lower left and a House Sparrow is at the upper right. 

Contact: Vanessa Lane, lecturer, Ag and Natural Resources Dept., 218-281-8111 (vlane@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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