My NDSCS Journey
My NDSCS journey began at one of my last High School basketball games. What I thought was just a regular game, turned into a journey that changed my life forever. I got recruited by the Women’s Basketball team staff after that Saturday afternoon, and it didn’t take long until I chose to become a Lady Wildcat player. The two years I was at NDSCS, were two years full of unforgettable memories from games, to bus rides, to practices, to painting business windows for Homecoming, to Christmas break movie parties, and the list goes on! Being on a team meant you we never alone and someone always had your back. NDSCS, my coaches, and my teammates also gave me more day to day knowledge that I could ever imagine. I learned how hard work and dedication to the important things in your life can get you through anything. Relying on people such as my coaches and teammates is okay to do because that is what they are there for. I also learned how to be a leader on and off the court more than I ever knew I could. All of these skills were first learned and used at NDSCS, and now I am proud to say I am using them in my next chapter of my life which is the workforce.
Along with playing basketball at NDSCS I also earned an Associate Degree in Occupational Therapy Assisting. Learning the invaluable skill of balancing being a student and an athlete is something many people will never experience. I am very lucky and happy to say I was a student athlete, and I used those skills that Coach Dryburgh and the other staff taught me both at NDSCS and in my life today. For the past year I have used my degree to get experience in the School System, Outpatient Therapy, and Ergonomics. I just recently took a new position in Amarillo, TX as a COTA working in a Skilled Nursing Facility.
I am forever thankful for everyone at NDSCS including my teachers, coaches, and most of all the Catbackers/Letterwinners Club, who make it possible to even be a part of this opportunity. I thank you all for the memories, lessons learned, forever friendships, endless advice, and most of all the experience I received at NDSCS. Once a Wildcat Always a Wildcat!
Christopher Link Joins AE2S Construction
Chris Link, originally from Roseau, MN, holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Technology with an emphasis in Electrical Construction from North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND. AE2S Construction recently hired Link as a Project Manager and Estimator in the firm's Watford City, ND construction office. He will manage industrial and commercial electrical projects, as well as new construction for clients in western North Dakota and Montana.
Link has more than ten years of experience in the electrical and automation fields. Before joining AE2S Construction, he was an Electrician with Whiting Oil and Gas, where he supervised electrical contract maintenance crews and new electrical installs in the Bakken region.
“Chris has worked on several oil field industrial commercial projects. He has an excellent grasp of the electrical construction field, and helps us bring incredible quality and value to our clients,” said Gary Lundberg, Electrical Construction Manager of AE2S Construction.
Link is a member of the McKenzie Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors and holds an Electrical Master License in the states of North Dakota and Minnesota. He is a 2008 NDSCS graduate.
Susan Larson Farbo
NDSCS 1977 Architectural Drafting Graduate
Originally from Wahpeton, ND, Susan dreamed of becoming an Architectural Drafter at a very young age. She recalls sketching cities on the paper that wrapped loaves of bread from the bakery. Drawn to the perfect composition of space and order, Susan developed a love and passion for architecture’s endless possibilities. As a high school student, Susan won awards for her impeccable lettering and keen attention to detail. Encouraged by her skills and interests, in the fall of 1975 Susan enrolled in Architectural Drafting at NDSCS. Her journey into drafting and architecture had begun.
NDSCS offered the perfect opportunity for completing her academic major of choice, a chance to continue her love of athletics, the close proximity to home, and a place where she knew she would be completely vested in her education.
While pursuing her degree in Architectural Drafting at NDSCS, Susan was a member of the Wildcat Women’s Track Team coached by Dee Jensen (placing third in Nationals in the 4 x 1) and a member of the 1st NDSCS Volleyball Team.
A member of the NDSCS Architectural Drafting teaching faculty who Susan says had a great impact on her was Barbara Bang (who went on to became one of the Academic Dean’s of the college). “Not only was Barbara Bang an outstanding teacher, she was extremely supportive and an advocate of women pursuing “non-traditional” careers.”
In addition to being fully engaged in her studies as a full-time student at NDSCS, Susan worked as a drafter during college for Wahpeton Canvas, Mead Construction and Comstock Lumber Yard.
After graduation Susan began her professional career as a drafter with Koehnlein, Lightower, Johnson in Fargo, ND where she quickly became known for her skilled lettering and precision. “We did everything by hand”, she says. “There were no sophisticated CADD systems and tablet sketching.”
Susan quickly found success in the field, but her inner voice kept wanting more, so Susan decided to continue her education and enrolled in the Architectural Design program at NDSU. Upon completion of her degree, Susan returned to NDSCS for one year and taught drafting alongside her mentor and former teacher, Barbara Bang.
Once again Susan felt the urge for more knowledge and soon began classes at Minnesota State University – Moorhead where she completed a degree in Industrial Arts with an emphasis in Construction. During a conversation with her academic advisor at MSUM, an idea began forming of completing a Master’s in Counseling / Education and combining her experience and broad base of knowledge in technology education? Clearly, she had found her niche. For those who know and work with her will tell you she is passionate about Engineering, Architecture and STEM related careers.
After brief tenures at high schools in Montana and Minnesota, in 1992 Susan began her tenure as the Guidance Counselor and Career Advisor at Delano High School in Delano, MN, a position she still holds today. In addition to her work at Delano, she has served several years as one of the chairpersons for the Minneapolis National College Fair. She continues to be an advocate for women in non-traditional careers; she coordinates tours of business and industry for young women; and, is continually looking for ways to be innovative and creative in how she helps students find their path.
Susan says it succinctly, “Life is truly a journey. It’s no secret, you have to walk it to find it.”
Note: The Gayle Miller Softball Complex was named after the late Dr. Gayle Miller. Susan is part of the Miller extended family.
2017 Land Surveying/ Civil Engineering Graduate
Hope Krumm is a 2017 graduate of Land Surveying/Civil Engineer and is currently working at Houston Engineering in Bismarck, ND. Hope was recruited and hired by Houston Engineering as a result of the NDSCS Career Fair. She worked for them the summer between her 1st and 2nd year and was hired on full time after graduation. Hope is from Hague, ND where her family farms. She has 3 sisters and 1 brother, and her mom and brother also both attended NDSCS. She chose NDSCS because of the Land Surveying/Civil Engineering program and because she wanted to work in field where she was outdoors and not in an office.
While at NDSCS Hope was involved in the NDSCS Performing Arts. She participated in band, choir, and drama. She was also a NDSCS Ambassador, on the NDSCS Welcome Team, served on the Campus Activity Board and was part of the campus Workstudy program. Her highlights from her time at NDSCS were getting to know so many people and getting involved on campus in so may ways. Hope recently spoke at an Alumni Summer Social event in Bismarck ND. She was recognized as the youngest alum in attendance with a very bright future.
Design Engineer at Bolton & Menk
My journey began with a recruiting letter that created a conversation. This conversation turned into a relationship that became a family of teammates and some of the most memorable years of my life. North Dakota State College of Science opened the doors to my future. Coach Passa brought me to NDSCS to play volleyball and I grew as a player and a person under her leadership. She is an amazing coach that understands the need for hard work and dedication; she put in just as much as her players. She also made memories with us off the court with Tommy the Turtle, hiking mountains and waterfalls, and making a music video. Participating in volleyball was just the beginning of my experiences. As my abilities on the court developed so did my book knowledge and social skills. I got involved, met new friends, and bonded with staff members. I learned how to balance life, work, school, and volleyball and the importance of giving my best, yet not stretching myself too thin.
With this balance, I was able to graduate early, with honors, and an A.S. in Liberal Arts. As my time in North Dakota came to a close, I had the opportunity to continue my collegiate volleyball career at LeTourneau University in Longview, TX. The transition was relatively easy because of everything I gained at NDSCS. The disciple and hard work, gave me the drive to push through struggles and enjoy the fun times. I graduated with a B.S. in Engineering, Civil Concentration, with honors and on time. I now work full time as a Design Engineer at Bolton & Menk in Ramsey, MN.
Looking back today, I feel pride and joy when I talk about my time at NDSCS. I still have staff members I can call if I want to chat or need advice, lasting friendships making reunions and weddings a ton of fun, and volleyball training from the best coach I could have asked for. I still use those volleyball skills in the leagues and tournaments I play in and have memories that will last a lifetime. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the opportunity the Catbacker/Letterwinners Club gave me to go to NDSCS and grow to be a better version of myself, on and off the court. Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!
Cora Loen Klesalek
1947 Graduate of NDSSS Secretarial Training
Cora was born and raised in Van Hook, ND. The northwestern town of Van Hook increased in population when Lake Sakakawea was formed. Her parents were farmers and raised Cora and her brother and sister there.
Cora, like many young adults, was not sure what she wanted to do after graduating from high school. Her friend, Gloria (Traynor) Helms (1995 Alumna of the Year), was attending NDSSS so she decided to go with her. She really enjoyed her time at NDSSS and going to the dances in Breckenridge on the weekends.
After graduating from NDSSS, she returned home. Shortly after, Cora received a letter from NDSSS placing her with the Health Department at the State Capital in Bismarck, ND. She worked there for a short time and then accompanied her parents to Norway for a three-month visit. When they returned, she took a job in Grand Forks for four years and then in Minot for a year. It was there she met James, her husband and best friend of 62 years. Cora and James farmed south of Parshall, ND and raised their four daughters. She helped her husband - and drove truck and tractor too! She and her husband were definitely partners in life and their farming operation.
She is also very proud of her grandson, Joshua Boschee. He is a NDSCS Automotive Technology alumni. He participated in the Skill-USA-VICA contest all three years he attended NDSCS. Josh represented the state of ND at the National competition in Kansas City, MO in both 1999 and 2000. In 2001, Josh was a member of the Team-USA that placed fourth in the world based on contestant score average as they competed against 35 other countries. Josh placed silver in Automotive Service Technology and gold in "Best of Nation" individually. It was the best any American team had done in world competition. He went on to study Automotive Industry Management at CSU in Pueblo, CO.
Cora reconnected with the college after the death of her husband in 2015. She attended a summer meet & greet in Bismarck and enjoyed meeting other alumni and visiting about her time at NDSSS. She has since attended the meet and greet in Arizona and recently another in Bismarck. At the 2017 Bismarck Reunion, President Richman recognized Cora for her 70th Year Anniversary of her graduation from NDSSS.
When asked about her time at NDSSS, Cora said, “I loved it!”
Gene Mullenberg came to NDSSS in 1968, decided Accounting was not his thing, and switched to Business Management and Salesmanship. While he was at “Science,” he was fortunate to be on the Student Cabinet were his office was Social Chairman. That role provided him a wealth of experience in coordinating many different events. He learned the value of negotiation by trying to provide what the students wanted with what the administration could provide, which Mullenberg claims, “gave me invaluable insight into real world situations, the give and take, compromise and dealing with people.”
He met many great people during his two years at NDSSS. An instructor, Mercedes Morris, saw a side of him that he was too young to know existed. She was beyond a doubt the most influential person in his life, second only to his parents. She mentored him many times on how to deal with the issues at hand, be responsible, be respectful of other people and their opinions, take care of business first and play later. Mrs. Morris molded him into a positive member of society, while at the same time allowed him to be a kid in college having the time of his life, which he certainly did!
Mullenberg did not realize until later in life what an impact “Science” had made on him. In retirement, he has had more time to look back on his career and life and see the correlation of the many things he learned on the Wahpeton campus. He had a Kodak cartridge camera in the glove compartment of his car and took hundreds of photos during those college days. Mullenberg enjoys looking at them, smiling and recalling all the great times. His only regret is, after leaving the state of ND in 1970, that he did not stay in touch with many of his high school and college classmates. Gene and his wife, Pam, look forward to visiting the NDSCS campus soon.
Arvin and Jeanette Rohrer
Arvin and Jeanette Rohrer recently established an endowed scholarship creating a lasting legacy that will reflect their strong belief that success is possible through hard work and determination. Education is an important part of reaching this success.
“Together we feel blessed and privileged to establish this endowment,” says Arvin Rohrer. “With it, we hope to help young adults continue their educations. It is our desire to give priority to agriculture education, the industry that was so good to us, and the Associate of Nursing program, a career that is so necessary and affects almost every life. We also wish to prioritize the trades.”
Arvin and Jeanette were married in 1956 at St. Olaf Lutheran in Devils Lake, ND. As a young couple, they took over the family farm from Arvin’s father. Times were hard as Arvin and Jeanette built their farm and family. Jeanette worked for Percy Stewart whose office was in the Grayson Hotel in Devils Lake, taking their four boys into town with her each day to her mother, Dora. Her paycheck was enough to keep groceries on the table. After much time and hard work, they were able to pay off the mortgage on the farm, which allowed Jeanette to stay at home to concentrate on raising the boys and taking care of the many farm chores. Arvin and Jeanette grew a variety of small grains and raised cattle, with Holstein heifers becoming their specialty. They retired from farming in 1988.
Neighbors, Richard and Joanne Legacie, met Arvin and Jeanette in 1998 when they started attending church in Churches Ferry. Joanne states, “This was the beginning of our new Lutheran Faith and the beginning of a great friendship with Arvin & Jeanette Rohrer.” Richard was disabled and Arvin took a great liking to him and was always willing to help. As the years went by, Arvin & Jeanette became more and more impressed with their neighbor boys, Dustin & Brady. On April 20 of 2015, Richard passed away. “When Arvin told me of his plans to start this scholarship, I felt honored,” says Joannie. “Arvin and Jeanette’s choice of NDSCS was all because of how Dustin, my son, has succeeded in his career choice and the responsible man he has become, and Brady is following in his brothers footsteps by attending NDSCS in the fall of 2017. I feel grateful to have such awesome people supporting my children.”
In addition to being successful farmers, Arvin and Jeanette remain highly involved within their community. They were active members of organizations including the Zion Lutheran Church in Churches Ferry, ND, Churches Ferry Men’s Club, St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Ladies Aid, The Masons, Eastern Star, and Senior Citizens Club. They are life members of the Elks Club, and Jeanette has been the Irvine Township’s secretary since 1973.
Jeanette sums it up very nicely, “May God bless the lives of recipients of this endowment as much as He has blessed us.”
The Arvin & Jeanette Rohrer Endowed Scholarship will help two students each year with their tuition. The NDSCS Foundation would like to send a big Wildcat Thank You to our new Devils Lake friends!