Alumni Success

Trask’s Record Ride on Lake Bemidji Supports Cancer Research

Brad Trask ’17 is using a life-long passion to bring awareness to one of the leading causes of cancer in men. He will likely soon become a world-record holder in the process. When his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2018, Trask came up with an out-of-the-box strategy to raise awareness for prostate…

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Alum Rob Luke ’98 pens poems about his favorite BSU professors

So You Want to be an English Teacher I was an outsider to the first university on theMississippi River, rustic academia.Mark was my English Methods teacher.His classes seemed spontaneous, flashing likelightning bugs captured in a mason jar. Markcultivated us hobos, of uneducated parents,hanging onto the caboose of literature, his a high-wire act as a trained…

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Lwin Supports BSU Nursing Graduates in Fight Against Virus

One of BSU’s young alums has made the fight against COVID-19 a top priority, not only in his home country of Myanmar, but by investing in Bemidji State nursing students. As president of the Yangon Region Young Entrepreneurs Association, Than “Alan” Lwin ’05, led the group’s campaign to gift medical supplies to area healthcare workers…

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BSU alum grows colossal, record-breaking pumpkin

Charlie Bernstrom ’04 BSU grad Charlie Bernstrom ‘04 grows pumpkins. Great big pumpkins. On October 10, he entered his 1990.5 pound behemoth pumpkin at the 2020 Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minn. Not only was his pumpkin the heaviest entered in the competition, but Bernstrom claimed the new Minnesota state record pumpkin title, smashing the…

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Leah Gnitka ’16

Bemidji State University alumna Leah Gnitka ‘16 had multiple job offers before she even finished her nursing licensure exam. Now, she is working her dream job as a cardiac travel nurse for Aya Healthcare. Gnitka didn’t always imagine herself as a cardiac nurse, as it was her hardest subject during nursing school. “Once I graduated, I…

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BSU grad helps usher in new era of waste reduction

Bemidji State University alumna Aili Kultala ’19 is working hard to convince you to think twice before throwing household food scraps in the trash. Hailing from Stacy, Minn., Kultala works for Minnesota GreenCorps, a statewide environmental protection initiative coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and is assigned to Beltrami County as a Waste Reduction,…

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Mardy ’72 and Lynn ’91, ’96 Karger

It’s a typical Wednesday morning and BSU’s Gillett Wellness Center is abuzz — students lifting weights, BSU staff running the track and working professionals swimming laps before work. Mardy ’72 and Lynn ’91, ‘96 Karger, who exercise together most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, are just walking in. Like old friends, they warmly greet those around…

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Aaron Clafton ’15

From downtown Bemidji to the twang of Nashville, Sauk Rapids native Aaron Clafton ’15 is primed to make his mark on the country music scene. Having played piano and guitar from an early age, and with an ear for country music, Clafton hit downtown Bemidji looking for a place that would let him play. In…

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Chrissy Koch ’02

Chrissy Koch has been named executive director of the American Indian Resource Center at Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College. Koch, a 2002 BSU alumna and long-time advocate for a native student hub on campus, has been the center’s outreach specialist since July 2019. “It is surreal that I am now here as the…

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Danika Stelton

Danika Stelton

Design technology alumna Danika Stelton spent 12 months traveling the world with the Remote Year program, a curated travel experience which helps professionals explore the world without having to quit their jobs. A 2013 graduate, Stelton currently works in the corporate accounts team for the Minneapolis branch of GES, where she designs exhibits, events, trade…

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