NDSCS Alumni/Foundation Announces 2023 Homecoming Honorees

Homecoming 2023

The North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) Alumni/Foundation will recognize a group of distinguished alumni and friends in conjunction with the 2023 Homecoming festivities.

The Alumni/Foundation will present the awards on Friday, October 6th during the Alumni and Friends Awards Social, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in The Alley at the Hektner Student Center on the NDSCS campus in Wahpeton. The public is invited to attend and celebrate the honorees. Information and registration, as well as additional information about the honorees, can be found at NDSCSalumni.com/Homecoming.

The 2023 NDSCS Homecoming Honorees include:

Tom Shorma is the perfect fit for the Alumnus of the Year honor. He has been a loyal alumnus, donor, supporter, and champion of NDSCS every year since graduation, demonstrating his deep understanding and appreciation of the NDSCS mission in countless ways. Shorma was a 1978 NDSCS Liberal Arts graduate, and has led an active and accomplished life since leaving the College. The NDSCS Shorma Family Workout Gym (located in Clair T. Blikre Activities Center) was dedicated in 2019. Tom also served on the search committee for our 10th president of NDSCS.

Tom and his wife, Julie, have been instrumental in bringing guests from the Fargo area to the annual NDSCS Foundation DREAMS Auction. They have invited and transported many donors – reconnecting them to the college – through their invitation to join them at their table. Tom utilizes every opportunity to advocate for NDSCS – be it local, regional, or statewide. Tom and his family are long-standing devoted supporters of NDSCS who develop relationships with people who may or may not be connected to the college and cultivates them to support the college year after year.

Josh Dozak is being honored with the Young Alumnus of the Year award. He attended NDSCS, graduating in 2002 in Pre-Pharmacy. Josh exemplifies outstanding leadership, character, and humility at a young age. Dozak understands the significance of education and the opportunities that NDSCS, a 2-year college, can provide.

Josh and his wife, Tracy (a Nurse Practitioner), started the Josh and Tracy Dozak Scholarship Endowment in 2015, impacting dozens of lives by providing scholarship opportunities for nursing or pharmacy students, “hoping to encourage students to stay in the community.” He has given his time and volunteerism to the Alumni Foundation Board, serving as Vice President and President. Josh and Tracy have two young boys, and love spending time at their home on Big Stone Lake in Minnesota.

Alisa MItskog is the 2023 Friend of the College. She is an NDSSS 1985 Liberal Arts alum. She has provided Chiropractic services to NDSCS athletics, served on the NDSCS Foundation Board and is a current NDSCS Catbacker/Letterwinner board member. Alisa has shown tremendous support for NDSCS over the past 37 years by consistently demonstrating her love and passion for the college. She is an ambassador for NDSCS — ready and willing to jump in and help no matter the occasion. Alisa always does a great job of making sure NDSCS is shown in a positive light. Alisa actively donates her time, talents, and treasures — supporting the efforts of the NDSCS Foundation through scholarships, endowments, and annual giving.

Alisa and her husband, Allen Yaggie, participate actively in many NDSCS functions and athletic events. Their donations through the years have supported the Alumni Foundation, NDSCS Athletics, academic services, and numerous other departments.

Mike Felling, the 2023 Parade Grand Marshal, has led the fundraising activities of his 1962 Wildcat Football Team. That team created the 1962 NDIAC Football Championship Endowment in 2020. Mike got over 50 people to donate to the endowment by writing letters and calling them. Mike truly loves NDSCS and has shared his stories at the Scholarship Luncheons held in the Hektner Student Center each year on the NDSCS campus. Mike and his wife, Judy, live near their children and grandchildren in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.

Jeff Hart is the 2023 Wildcat of the Year. Jeff Hart started teaching at NDSCS in the Fall of 2007. Jeff has served on the NDSCS Faculty Senate, holding the offices of secretary, vice-president, and president – as well as being NDSCS’s representative to the state-wide Council of College Faculties, where he served as parliamentarian for five years. Jeff chairs the NDSCS General Education Committee and has served as the North Dakota General Education Council’s vice president, president, and parliamentarian.

“I love being a part of the NDSCS family. I am surrounded by an excellent and caring faculty, staff, and administration, and I absolutely love my job. Interaction with the students and the knowledge that I have made a difference for some of them gives me great satisfaction. Many of my college fraternity brothers are now retired and tease me that I should join them. I tell them I am not interested as I have too much fun doing what I love.”

The Jim and Ellen Sturdevant Family has been selected to receive the Family Tradition Award. The Jim and Ellen Sturdevant family history with NDSSS and NDSCS began in 1925 when their grandfather Charles was hired by NDSSS to teach a class in Storage Battery Rebuilding – which he did in his downtown shop – making him one of the first adjunct teachers of NDSSS. In 1941, NDSSS became a Navy base with a machining engine class taught by the Sturdevant boys’ father, Virgil Sturdevant, a 1936 graduate of NDSSS.

Ben Barnard (for whom Barnard Hall was named) married Ellen’s aunt, Effie Muir. Ben was hired to develop the electrical trades program at NDSSS in 1922.

Their connection to NDSSS continued, as both Jim and Ellen’s homes were in the first block south of the 6th Street school entrance, and the grounds of NDSSS became their playground. Jim had five brothers and a sister, and all but one attended NDSSS. Jim Sturdevant, the third oldest of the Sturdevant boys, graduated from NDSSS in 1961 with a Liberal Arts degree. While at NDSSS, Jim participated in football, basketball, and baseball. He has continued a close association with the college serving on several boards, was president of the Alumni Foundation, was elected to the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000, and was selected “Alumnus of the Year” in 2001. Ellen (Muir) Sturdevant graduated from NDSSS in 1962 with a degree in Pre-Education. While at NDSSS, Ellen participated in chorus, the Sacagawea Club, the Dakota Scientist staff, and other various committees. Ellen truly valued Vernon Hektner as an advisor and favorite teacher. Jim and Ellen lived in Moorhead for 12 years, where their five children were born.

Several of the Sturdevant children and their spouses attended NDSCS as well:

  • Susan (Sturdevant) Nagel graduated in 1984 with a degree in Liberal Arts.
  • Cathy (Sturdevant) Michels attended NDSCS from 1983 –1984.
    • One of Cathy and Kevin Michels’s daughters, McKenna, is a 2020 NDSCS graduate with a degree in Dental Hygiene.
  • Brad Sturdevant received a degree in Civil Engineering Technology when he graduated from NDSCS in 1989.
  • Jane (Sturdevant) Koppang graduated from NDSCS in 1993, earning a degree in Business Management.
    • Kevin Koppang, Jane’s husband, was an NDSCS graduate from 1990, with degrees in Architectural Drafting and Estimating, Construction Management, and Business Management.
    • 2 of their children also graduated from NDSCS:
      • Connor graduated in 2015 with a degree in Construction Management, as did his wife Karly, with a degree in Liberal Arts.
      • Blake graduated from NDSCS in 2022 in Electrical Technology.
  • David Sturdevant graduated in 1992 with a degree in Liberal Arts.