“Wake Up to UND” showcases Nistler, strategic plan, technology and partnerships








Nearly 400 guests fill the UND Memorial Union Ballroom for ‘The Morning Show’

The laughs inside the UND Memorial Union Ballroom early Tuesday were all real – no laugh track needed – for the live taping of “Wake Up With UND: The Morning Show.”

Nearly 400 guests were part of the “live studio audience” for the sold-out breakfast celebrating UND’s successes and collaborative partnerships with the Grand Forks community and Grand Forks Air Force Base. Thousands more people online watched the annual event, hosted by the University and Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Chamber.

Following the success of last year’s “Wake Up to UND,” which mimicked a late-night talk show, this year’s program used a morning news show format featuring Andy Armacost, UND President and Faith Wahl, Student Body President behind the anchor desk.

Against a bright green backdrop of banners showing beautiful images of the UND Eternal Flame, the Adelphi Fountain and the new Memorial Union, Armacost opened the program saying, “We have a great show for you today. today!

Should be segments on the UND strategic plan, the new Nistler College of Business & Public Administration and a cooperative partnership agreement between UND and the air base, as well as the competitive world of drone racing.

A few highlights…

Blake Rafferty, an atmospheric science student at UND who is also a television meteorologist, gives the weather forecast for the day and for the week of the reunion. Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

First, the weather. UND junior and meteorologist-in-training Blake Rafferty took the stage to share Grand Forks’ seven-day weather forecast.

“I do weekend weather for KVRR in Fargo every other weekend, but it was definitely something different,” Rafferty told UND Today after the event. “I did the forecast in front of the station’s production team, but I never did it in front of hundreds of people. And we only did one test yesterday.

Even so, the blooper-less Rafferty looked less like a student and more like a seasoned professional. And it probably didn’t hurt his grades that he called for sunny skies and highs in the 70s for the reunion weekend.

The strategic plan. As co-chairs of the planning process, Lynette Krenelkaexecutive director of the Teaching Transformation & Development Academy, and Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of History Jim Mochoruk reported that there was an overwhelming response.

“We received contributions from so many different individuals and groups,” Krenelka said. “It was truly a wonderful process. If you count the number of people who have been part of the working groups, it’s 200 people, so it’s quite considerable. I feel like we included so many voices in this plan. It will really be a plan from the folks at the University of North Dakota and beyond.

Mochoruk added: “We hope this will be a really living document with lots of good ideas that can continue to emerge from the framework of the work we have already done. The purpose of the document is going to be to help the UND move forward so that people know what we want to achieve, where we are going and, perhaps, the means to achieve it.

In keeping with a morning news show format, UND Student Body President Faith Wahl (right) interviews Amy Henley, Dean of the Nistler School of Business & Public Administration, about features of the new building at the open for the fall semester. Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

A montage of the Nistler: Guests were treated to a montage of images showcasing his brand new Nistler College of Commerce and Public Administrationas well as a live interview with Dean Amy Henley.

Henley shared that UND has long been recognized for the success of its students inside and outside the classroom.

“It’s so special to have such a strong relationship with our community. We are proud to say that Mayor (Brandon) Bochenski is one of our economics graduates, but we also have many other partners. I think one of the most telling examples is when the city invested $1.3 million in Nistler Hall. We are so proud to have the Grand Forks Workforce Development Center in this student-friendly area, just on the first floor.

“Students from across campus can come see what the opportunities are with the city of Grand Forks and with different organizations in the city,” she added.

UND President Andy Armacost (right) discusses the recent Grand Forks Air Force Base partnership agreement with Will Semke (left), associate dean of the College of Engineering & Mines, and Lt. Col. Mike Dunn, director of the GFAFB North Spark Defense Laboratory. Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

Working hand in hand with the GFAFB. Lt. Col. Mike Dunn, director of the North Spark Defense Laboratory at Grand Forks Air Force Base, and Guillaume SemkeAssociate Dean for Academic Affairs at UND College of Engineering and Miningshared some of the ways the University and Grand Forks Air Force Base are working together to achieve their goals.

“This is a great opportunity to solidify and make permanent an agreement to work on projects of mutual interest,” Semke said. “It gives us an infinite structure that will last beyond different orders and a maze of different generations of teachers and students.”

Already, airmen are practicing painting Global Hawks — a surprisingly difficult task — using a virtual reality system. The glasses keep going and they do all the right moves without doing any damage.

Jerry Fuller, a UND student, member of the University’s drone club, and researcher at the Autonomous Systems Research Institute, demonstrates piloting a small drone for President Armacost and guests in attendance. Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

A whoops with a little whoops. President Armacost also had the chance to fly a miniature drone called Whoops above the crowd, but not before UND student Jerry Fuller, a member of the UAS Remote Control Club, asked, “Did you Have you ever flown one of these things?

“Yesterday…and I crashed twice,” the president replied to laughter from the crowd.

Eventually, Armacost successfully proved it had downward steering, maneuvering the drone full circle through 90 degree turns. As for the landing…let’s just say it will take more practice.