Leaders in Action Archive
Roots Run Deep for Future Dentist
UND student Merrick McMahon grew up shadowing his oral surgeon father. Now, he wants to give back to Native American communities.
A Change in the Flight Plan
After hitting pandemic turbulence, UND aviation student Sarah Owens flies new career path in with a business degree in airport management with a focus on sustainability.
UND the Catalyst For Transfer Student’s Success
Transfer student Rebecca Seemann turned a passion for details and nature into chemical engineering degree tailored for protecting the environment, including an internship at a local paper mill.
From Follower to Leader
Lauren McCreary always thought she was more of a follower than a leader. But today, the UND junior majoring in business management is the one paving the way for others, working various campus jobs, being a residence hall assistant, landing internships and giving campus tours.
Student, Soldier, Saxophonist, Star
As a musician with the North Dakota National Guard’s 188th Army Band, Zachary Fischer is the face of the military for many communities. As a future high school band instructor, he hopes his passion will inspire the next generation of lifelong music makers.
Competence + Warmth
Since her first steps on campus, Malika Achingale Barbie Odera has been involved in a number of student organizations. But something was missing - a group that not only provided leadership opportunities, but one that taught students how to be a leader.
Breaking Barriers Through Language
Using that small-town upbringing as a springboard, Cheyden Paulson developed a global mindset and an unabashed love for different languages and cultures. Paulson speaks four languages, is the recipient of a prestigious federal scholarship and majoring in International Studies and Spanish.
For the Love of Space
UND student Vincent Ledvina has two passions: photographing the Northern Lights and sharing it with others. Ledvina has grown his social media presence, creating tutorial videos on Youtube. He's shared that passion with UND, building a Northern Lights camera at the Martens Observatory.
A Duty to Represent the Underrepresented
As a young African-American man who grew up in Reno, Nev., Chandon Pierre has experienced injustices. Now at the UND, he's utilizing a 3+3 accelerated program in criminal justice and law to earn two degrees and give a voice to the underrepresented.
The Limit is Beyond the Sky
UND student Stefan Tomovic always dreamed of working at NASA. Through hands-on undergraduate research in engineering and a graduate degree program in space studies, his dreams are now reality. Tomovic is working on NASA's next lunar mission.
Transfer Student Chases Dream
Transferring from Turtle Mountain Community College, Kayana Trottier overcame personal challenges and persevered in her studies. Trottier is now starting a career in sports physical therapy thanks to the family atmosphere in UND's Physical Therapy Department.
The Business of Success
UND student Pierson Painter has grown his small business, turning his studies into real-world applications. He also was the winner of the 2020 Red River Valley Business Plan Competition, which earned him the rare opportunity to ring the closing bell for the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
The Change Maker in the Medical Lab
For Kelli Maddock, UND’s online master’s program in medical laboratory science provided her with the flexibility to work, spend time with her daughter and continue growing in a vital yet little-understood medical occupation.
New Opportunities to Do Good
Air Force Veteran Jonathan Wirkkala began his electrical engineering studies online at the University of North Dakota, while still on active duty in South Korea. Following his transition to on-campus courses in 2019, he has helped build a water-storage system in rural Guatemala and found a calling for solving basic human needs through engineering.
Connections Through Communication
Until 11 years of age, Ranju Dhungana’s world was a Nepali refugee camp after her parents fled from Bhutan amid civil unrest and violence. Now Dhungana, who is a senior psychology student at the University of North Dakota with plans to attend medical school, is studying language to better connect refugees with medical services.
Excelling With Humility
Zsofia Barandi, a native of Hungary, always dreamed of studying in the United States. Barandi got a world-class experience at the University of North Dakota. Barandi received scholarships, internships and a job offer after graduation with two degrees in accountancy.
Helping Those Who Come After Him
UND doctoral student Joel Runnels using sign language and his personal experiences to document Dr. Andrew Foster and the history of deaf education in African, hoping to promote the history and accessibility of education for all on a global level.
Earning His Wings
Travis Gylling’s first time behind the controls of an airplane was hardly thrilling. But he loved it. Now graduating from UND with two degrees and a job right out of college, the commercial aviation and airport management major credits his involvement on the University of North Dakota campus as a reason for his success.
Where Dreams Go Far and High
Andy Samuel never dreamed where UND would take him. The track and field athlete has interned for NASA and given Fighting Hawks fans behind-the-scenes access through his video production for the University of North Dakota athletics department.
A Will to Overcome Obstacles
There was a time UND student Michelle Nguyen considered dropping out. Her family had financial trouble, but the first-generational student didn’t falter. It was another obstacle for her to overcome.
The Journey Back to UND
Colin Sabie spent three semesters at UND “spinning his wheels,” before leaving the classroom for the U.S. Army. After six years and two deployments, he's back at UND, pursuing a career in unmanned aerial vehicle design.
The Gift of Hearing
UND freshman Olivia Taylor turns her own hearing disability into an ability to help others. Taylor, who is majoring in communication sciences and disorders, wants to become an audiologist.
The Face of Weather
UND graduate Lydia Blume, a University of North Dakota atmospheric science major, turned a love of weather and an internship into a full-time career for WDAY, waking up viewers across the state each morning for First News.
Nursing a Future
Amy Joshua is using UND's online R.N. to B.S.N. nursing program to move up in her career with a busy life that includes a full-time job at Altru Health System, a family of three boys and overcoming cervical cancer.
Building What Lasts
Online civil engineering student Brendan Blades is using UND's program to get a degree and move up in a career field that he loves.
Driven to Serve Others
Madison Wahlen seeks to serve people, in academics and in her daily life, through her Public Health Education degree from the University of North Dakota, volunteering in the community, internships at the Mayo Clinic and acceptance into medical school.
UND alumna Alison Traynor dedicates career to those who might otherwise give up, while earning her Master's in Public Health.
Online Opportunities of a Lifetime
Washington single mother of two takes aim at two degrees from UND – from the comfort of home through its online Communication and Norwegian programs.
Finding Direction to Finish Degree
After deciding to quit school twice, Marcus Vivier decided to give college another try. He ended up find his passion, and a new home at UND. Vivier will graduate with a degree in Communication from the University of North Dakota.
An Academic and Athletic Force
Standout soccer player Katie Moller not only excels on the field. She also is a double major in physics and communication, a passionate volunteer and hopes to inspire other women to pursue STEM degrees.
Living and Breathing Special Education
Teacher earns online master's degree in special education from UND while becoming father to three children with distinct learning needs.
Baton-Twirling Navy Vet Finds Success at UND
Wearing her green and white uniform, you may see Stephanie Paro twirling a baton alongside the Pride of the North Marching Band. The majorette, however, is just as comfortable in a Navy uniform as she is in her nursing scrubs.
The ‘Top Dog’ in teaching
UND alum Kayla Delzer is receiving national attention for her innovative learning techniques and design like her "Starbuck classroom" setup.
Combat pilot revolutionizes history
Ryan Menath earned his Doctor of Arts in history while serving full-time in the Air Force. He used his current military experience to study the Revolutionary War.
Boeser credits UND for pro success
Brock Boeser makes waves in his first year in the NHL, but still keeps close ties with his UND family.
Raiding the design world
UND alum Cami Bennett works internships into full-time job as graphic designer with the Oakland Raiders.
A passion for preservation
UND alum Eric Trueblood has found a passion restoring, maintaining and rebuilding World War II aircraft for clients around the world.
New skills in a digital age
Two UND student-athletes learn about podcasting in a communication course that examines the social implication of new digital technology.
Investing in innovation
Building on his experiences at UND, Greg Syrup manages an angle fun that invests in in start-ups, innovation and entrepreneurs.
Impacting the next seven generations
As a psychology and pre-med student from Twin Buttes, N.D., Hannah Balderas credits her involvement in student organizations that helped her define a career that will affect descendants seven generations into the future.
Diagnosed with cancer as teenager, North Dakota native Jacob Greenmyer earns biology degree, seeks to become a doctor.
Helping solve social problems
Studying chemical dependency, California native Newzaira Khan finds you can make a difference in every community.
Finding purpose: alum uses past struggles to lift up others
Struggling with thoughts of suicide and self-harm as a teenager, UND alum McKenzie Kay Darling is shares her story with local schools, churches and events on why she chooses to keep living.
Eye in the sky
Growing up, both of Alison’s Hunt served in the Wisconsin National Guard. Now, she is taking a similar path with her UND degree.