Three U of M, Crookston Students Selected to Attend Luncheon with U of M Board of Regents

Three students from the University of Minnesota, Crookston were selected to represent the campus at a luncheon with the U of M Board of Regents on Thursday, February 10, 2011. Junior Yangchen Gurung, Mustang, Nepal, and seniors Heather Donati-Lewis, Narcoossee, Fla., and Derek Ricke, Menahga, Minn., were selected for their high academic standing as well as campus involvement and leadership.

High Achievers.jpgAlso attending the luncheon was the Crookston Student Association representative to the board, Lauren Snively, a junior majoring in communication from Herndon, Va. The luncheon was held in the Maroon & Gold Room, McNamara Center on the Minneapolis campus.

Yangchen Gurung, a business management major with a communication minor, is a member of the UMC Lions Club, and Multicultural and International Club. She has been active in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) serving as vice president of business ethics and vice president of fundraising for the club. This spring Gurung was selected to be part of SIFE's presentation team, which will compete at the regional competition later in the spring semester.  She is a tutor in the Academic Assistance Center as well as a community advisor for Residential Life. She is one of several students representing both SIFE and the campus to offer computer training to elderly residents at the Villa St. Vincent in Crookston.

Heather Donati-Lewis, a pre-vet major with a minor in chemistry, served as a student orientation leader, and is active in many clubs including serving as president of Alpha Lambda Delta, the student honor society. A member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, Donati-Lewis also presented at the 2010 National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) on research conducted with Associate Professor Brian Dingmann and Assistant Professor Venu Mukku on the anti-fungal properties of thirty-seven different but common spices and herbs. She has also been active as a member of the communication working group on sustainability.

Derek Ricke, a sport and recreation management major with a minor in coaching, is the co-founder, captain, and president of the Hockey Club on campus. He also serves as president of the Sport and Recreation Management Association, and presented on his undergraduate research project titled: "The Recruitment of Student-Athletes: College Selection Factors." He has been on the Chancellor List numerous times for a 4.0 grade point average, volunteers as a youth hockey coach, and assisted with youth football events. In 2010, Ricke was named Outstanding Sport and Recreation Management Student at the annual student awards recognition held in the spring.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 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

Photo by Patrick O'Leary, University Relations, U of M, Twin Cities.
In the photo ( l to r): U of M Board of Regent Chair Clyde Allen, Derek Ricke, Heather Donati-Lewis, Yangchen Gurung, U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey, Lauren Snively, and U of M President Robert Bruininks. 

Contact: Peter Phaiah, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, 218-281-8505(; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (