Alumni Success

After Transferring to BSU Johanneck ’22 Flourishes in Exhibit Design Program

Hailing from Merrifield, Minnesota, Alison Johanneck ’22 has always been creative. After starting college as a dentistry student, Johanneck transferred to Bemidji State University’s Technology, Art and Design program to pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Johanneck earned her dental assisting degree at Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota, but quickly found herself questioning whether it…

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Bemidji Becomes Home Away From Home for Tchuamo ’20

Lyliane Tchuamo, from Cameroon, found a home away from home at Bemidji State University. Tchuamo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in applied engineering from Bemidji State in fall 2020 and currently works as a design engineer at Wanzek Construction in Fargo, North Dakota. “I call Bemidji my home in the U.S.,” she said. “I still visit to…

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Johanneson’s Legacy as Outstanding Midwest Grocer Continues

Keith Johanneson and his company, Bemidji-based Johanneson, Inc., were honored with the Wisconsin Grocers Association’s Excellence in Operations Award at the KJ’s Fresh Market location in Chetek, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2021. The award recognizes grocers who excel in day-to-day operations of their stores and in support they provide their employees and service to their…

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Sauer Receives Prestigious Minnesota Golf Association Award

A member of the BSU golf team from 1966-70, Ray Sauer ‘70 is a six-time club champion at his home course in St. Cloud. He won Bemidji’s prestigious Birchmont Classic in 1971 and placed second in the Minnesota Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship in 2004 – the same year he was inducted into the BSU…

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Moberg Builds Trails Across North Country

Bemidji State University grad Tom Moberg ‘64 is making it his mission to honor the history of the Indigenous people who for centuries called southeastern North Dakota home along the country’s longest scenic hiking trail. The North Country National Scenic Trail — the North Country Trail (NCT) for short — currently stretches 4,600 miles from…

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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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