The North Dakota State College of Science will recognize a group of distinguished alumni and friends on September 28, 2012 at the Alumni and Friends Awards Recognition at 7:30 p.m. on the Wahpeton, N.D. campus. Honorees include Jeanette Miller, Alumnus of the Year; the Jacklitch family, A Family Tradition; Linda and Mike Neppl, Wildcats of the Year; Corner Drug, Friend of the College; Carol and Blayne Helgeson, Parade Grand Marshals; and Mary Uhren, Kyle Armitage and Richard Siegel, Commitment to Excellence.
Jeanette Miller, Alumnus of the Year, graduated from NDSCS in 1966 upon completion of the secretarial program. After graduation, she worked in the office at Northern School Supply in Fargo, N.D. Miller served as an active member of the Alumni/Foundation Board for nine years. Her leadership and support lead her to being named the 2003 Centennial "Key to the Future" award winner. Miller is a contributor and supporter of the Catbackers Club and the NDSCS 300 Club. She has also been a key member of the DREAMS Auction committee for the past 16 years, effortlessly helping to procure gifts, decorate, sell tickets and promote this fundraising event. Miller is involved in many other community and volunteer activities as well. She and husband Larry reside in Wahpeton, N.D., and have three grown children, Chad, Christi and Cody. The Miller family was also chosen to receive the Family Tradition Award in 2009.
The entire Jacklitch family, recipients of the 2012 Family Tradition Award, has attended NDSCS at one point. Michael Jacklitch and wife Mary, both graduated from NDSCS in 1971. After graduating from MSUM in 1973, Michael went on to earn his Doctorate in Chiropractic at Logan College in St. Louis, Mo. He has been employed at Dakota Chiropractic Clinic since 1977. Mary is employed by St. Francis Medical Center as the administrative assistant to the CEO as well as the director of marketing and public relations. Michael has served as president of the North Dakota State Chiropractic Association, is a member of the NDSCS Foundation, serves on the Airport Authority and is president of St. John's parish council. Mary is active in many service organizations in the community as well. They have two children, Nathanyal and Alia, and reside in Wahpeton, N.D. Nathanyal, a 1997 graduate from NDSCS, went on to attend the University of North Dakota, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and later a master's in Physical Therapy in 2003. He currently resides in Blaine, Minn. where he works as a physical therapist at the Courage Center. Alia, a 2001 graduate of NDSCS, played volleyball while a student and was named All-Conference. She went on to attend the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Neb., where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Alia is employed by the Veterans Administration in Omaha, Neb., as the CIS-ARK Clinical Coordinator.
Linda and Mike Neppl were nominated as this year's Wildcats of the Year. Mike graduated from NDSCS in 1972 and played on the 1971 Co-Champion Football Team, which was recently inducted into the NDSCS Hall of Fame. Mike is also a Hall of Fame Inductee and serves on both the Letterwinners and Catbackers Board of Directors. Mike began a career in the insurance industry in 1980. Linda graduated from NDSCS in 1974 and practices dental hygiene in Fargo, N.D. Linda served two terms on the North Dakota Board of Dental Examiners and currently serves as an examiner for the Dental Hygiene Board exams at colleges across the United States. Mike and Linda have two daughters, Kali and Megan.
Corner Drug, owned by Paul and Lee Ann Folden of Wahpeton, N.D., received this year's Friend of the College Award. Paul and Lee Ann both attended Concordia College with Paul going on to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and North Dakota State University where he received his Pharmacy degree. They have four children, Dustin, Braden, Alexandra and Turner. The Folden's stated that during the past 10 years, Corner Drug has benefitted greatly from the Pharmacy Technician program, from participating in internships to hiring graduates.
Carol and Blayne Helgeson, Parade Grand Marshals, have resided in Breckenridge, Minn. since 1964. They not only attend numerous NDSCS activities and events, but also are great supporters of the NDSCS 300 and Catbacker Clubs. Blayne joined NDSCS in the Administrative Services Division in 1974 as the writer of college and alumni activities and as a photographer for alumni, college media and printed pieces. He retired in 2002 after 28 years at the college. Carol was a teacher in the Breckenridge School District, teaching 6th and 8th grades for 28 years and then a substitute teacher for several more. Carol and Blayne have two children, Sheila and Thomas. Blayne is a member of the Wahpeton-Breckenridge Kiwanis Club and the Tri-State Masonic Lodge in Fairmount. They are both high school speech judges and have coached speech at Breckenridge High School for several years. Carol is active in Athenaeum Guild and they are both active in Breckenridge Lutheran Church activities.
Mary Uhren, Kyle Armitage and Richard Siegel are this year's recipients of the Commitment to Excellence Award. Their support to the Alumni/Foundation and the entire NDSCS campus has not gone unnoticed. From the fabulous food and service at the DREAMS auction and River Valley Inn weekly meals, to the culinary camps so well attended and quality of students that graduate, this trio is committed to excellence. Mary Uhren has been a part of NDSCS since 1981 when she first enrolled as a student in the Cook and Chef Training program. Graduating in 1983, she worked in area restaurants and found catering and baking to be her main passions. Uhren was hired as a full-time instructor at NDSCS in 1986 where she taught for 26 years; she now serves as the program coordinator for the department. Uhren has a 15-year-old daughter, Thai. Kyle Armitage attended NDSCS as a student in the Culinary Arts program from 1998-2000 and as a student athlete on the Football Team. He has worked hard to create a top quality culinary program through the development of Culinary Intensive (a culinary career exploration camp), community partnerships and creative campus pieces. Armitage and wife Michelle, reside in Doran, Minn. and have two sons, Paul and Gabe. Richard Siegel, originally from San Diego, Calif., enrolled at NDSCS in 2007. He was the 2008 and 2009 North Dakota Skills USA Champion in Culinary Arts. Siegel represented both NDSCS and North Dakota at the national competition where he finished fourth in the nation. After graduating in 2009 with academic honors and a 4.0 GPA, he joined the faculty as a Chef Instructor in 2011.