Mentor In Residence Program Kick-off at U of M, Crookston Features Author Dennis Weidemann on Wednesday, February 10, 2010; Presentation and Slide show and book signing at Evergreen Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m.; Refreshments will be served.

Author Dennis Weidemann is the first in a series of guests who are part of a new Mentor in Residence program at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Weidemann's presentation will be Wednesday, February 10, 2010. Author of the book This Water Goes North, Weidemann's presentation will include a slide show beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Evergreen Hall followed by a book signing. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served and copies of This Water Goes North will be available for purchase.

Weidemann's book, published by Manitenahk Books, chronicles the real-life adventure of four young men in two canoes who set out in 1979 to paddle 1,400 miles north to Hudson Bay. The foursome spent the first three weeks snaking north on the Minnesota's Otter Tail River and Red River to Canada, camping at farms along the way. Following old fur trading routes, they passed through another 400 miles of untamed backcountry to the remote York Factory outpost on Hudson Bay.

"The spirit of adventure is universal," says Weidemann, who hopes that the book will help others appreciate the value of an adventure of youth. "Everyone dreams of going somewhere, but often life gets in the way. I hope that for at least a moment, This Water Goes North will take readers to wherever they wanted to go. Maybe one day, they too will be worlds away."

The Mentor in Residence program, under the direction of Gary Willhite, director of residential life, is built around the idea of living and learning. The primary objective is to enhance academic learning by providing an opportunity for students to develop and to participate in a relationship and dialogue that provides for a more intimate learning experience.

An efficiency apartment located in Evergreen Hall, which opened in fall 2009, will house the guests and the hall's classroom and lounges will serve as gathering spaces for some of the Mentor in Residence events. There also will be opportunities for the guests to interact with students in their classrooms and add value to the learning experience.

"The Mentor in Residence program is designed as an opportunity for students to develop interests in tandem with their core curricular degrees. These interests may work in harmony or be completely different than their degree program," Willhite says. "We will work with academic departments to bring in mentors who will augment learning and enhance the student experience on our campus."

Future guests include John McKay, a musician/concert pianist; Andrew Miller, a sports recreation administrator; and Natalie McGuire, professional photographer. For more information on Weidemann and his book, This Water Goes North, visit

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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

Contact: Gary Willhite, director, residential life, 218-281-8530 (gwilhit@umn,.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (