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HIGHER ED NOTEBOOK: BSU Student Senate raises $1,300 for hurricane relief

BEMIDJI—Student senators at Bemidji State University raised more than a thousand dollars for school districts affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The senate partnered with Rice University in Houston, Texas, and collected school supplies and cash donations during BSU's homecoming this fall.

"We decided to do the fundraiser because we felt it was our duty to help fellow students," Tyler Campbell, a senator who led the fundraiser, told the Pioneer.

Marketplace Foods, Midco, and The Cabin coffeehouse let senators set up community dropoff locations, and First National Bank and Bemidji's Green Mill restaurant donated $200 between them.

In all, senators sent 65 pounds of supplies and $1,304 in cash to Rice. Campbell said they're not actively collecting donations anymore, but might if others show enough interest.

College Choice: BSU is 8th-best online college

The website College Choice recently ranked BSU as one of the best online colleges in Minnesota. The website ranked Bemidji State eighth on its "16 Best Online Colleges in Minnesota for 2017" list.

Bemidji State offers seven online majors and minor online undergraduate programs, along with hybrid learning programs. BSU also offers scholarships for online and distance learners.

College Choice produces rankings and reviews to support families and students who are making decisions about colleges. The site analyzes factors including graduation rate, the strength of faculty and curriculum.

Wind ensemble concert today

Bemidji State University's Department of Music is scheduled to host an Oct. 29 concert by its Wind Ensemble. The performance will be held at 3 p.m. in the Main Theater of BSU's Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors; BSU students are admitted free with a valid ID.

NTC foundation elections

The Northwest Technical College Foundation voted to elect Jess Frenzel as board chair, Warren Larson vice chair, Corey Rupp treasurer, and Sarah Martina governance chair at its Oct. 17 meeting.

Frenzel, who joined the board in 2013 and previously served as vice chair, also is a member of the board's outreach committee. She is the controller at Knife River Materials.

Larson, director of public affairs at Sanford Health, has been a member of the board since 2014 and serves on its governance committee.

Rupp is senior vice president of consumer lending at Affinity Plus Credit Union. A member of the board's fundraising committee, he joined the board in 2013 and will begin his second term as treasurer.

Martinka joined the board this year and is a member of its governance committee. She is an office administrator at Chester Berg Toyota.

The board also elected three new members:

• Chelsea Bennett, First National Bank Bemidji

• Wade Semeliss, Potlatch

• Dr. Blake Smith, Bemidji Dental Clinic

The NTC Foundation seeks to advance the college's mission and goals by seeking, receiving and managing charitable gifts and endowments for scholarships, equipment and the enrichment of academic programs and student services.

Funding for McNair program continued

Bemidji State University received a $1.61 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue its McNair Scholars Program, which helps prepare qualifying undergraduate students to pursue doctoral degrees, through the 2021-22 academic year. A round of funding in 2012 brought in $1.1 million over five years, university staff told the Pioneer, and the latest round of funding begins immediately.

BSU is one of 161 McNair programs funded during the Department of Education's fiscal year 2017 grant period, which awarded a total of just more than $39.8 million. More than 300 programs applied for funding.

The McNair Scholars Program—which prepares students with strong academic potential who are first-generation college students with financial need or are from a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education for doctoral studies—provides students with opportunities for direct involvement in research or other scholarly activities, a release said.

Bemidji State has one of only five McNair programs in Minnesota. The others are at Augsburg College, the College of St. Scholastica, St. Olaf College and the University of Minnesota.