You are invited to the Bismarck State College 2021 Alumni Awards Event on May 13, 2021, in the Bavendick Stateroom at the National Energy Center of Excellence on Bismarck State College campus.
Social starts at 6 p.m. with dinner and program starting at 6:30 p.m.
Dinner is limited seating, so reserve your tickets today for $30 per person. Click the button below to purchase tickets, or contact Christina at the contact info below.
For more information about the BSC Alumni of the Year Awards program, please contact the alumni office at (701) 224-2486 or (800) 272-2586 or email Christina.Burns@bismarckstate.edu
The BSC Alumni Awards Recognition program is sponsored by the Board of Directors of the Bismarck State College National Alumni Association, Bismarck State College and the BSC Foundation
2020 Alumnus of the Year
Kari Warberg Block ('82) is the founder and CEO of EarthKind, a U.S.-based company that develops and manufactures high-performance, ecofriendly pest control for households and farms. EarthKind products are sold in 35,000 stores across the country.
In addition to creating safe, high quality products, Warberg Block also places a high value on caring for her 42 employees by offering them 100 percent paid health insurance and opportunities to further their education. “It lifts society as a whole when businesses invest in people.”
She’s also inspiring future business owners as she has been featured in college entrepreneurship textbooks and is now writing a book.
Warberg Block has been recognized with many awards. Her product Stay Away Mosquitoes was recently named a winner of the 2020 National Parenting Product Awards, an award that was also given to Stay Away Spiders in 2017. She was honored as an Emerging Champion by Global Market Development Center and Winsight Grocery Business in 2019. She was named Mooresville South Iredell Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year for 2018 in Mooresville, N.C., the manufacturing home of EarthKind. She was chosen as a 2012 EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman. In 2013 she was awarded the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Person of the Year in her home state of North Dakota and made the national top three business people of the year. She is a former member of the National Women’s Business Council, which advises the President, the U.S. SBA and Congress on matters of impact and importance for women in business.
2020 Rising Star Award
Lindsey Ellefson ('11) This year’s Rising Star Alumni Award recipient achieved her goal of working for CNN before age 30 with five years to spare. Lindsey Ellefson (‘11) has continued rising the ranks, having since been recruited for two other positions working in the fast-paced media industry in New York City.
Armed with an associate’s degree from BSC and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a specialization in broadcast journalism from St. Francis College in New York City, she became an associate producer of social TV at CNN in 2017. Ellefson reported for CNN Politics, Health, Culture and Style. She even interviewed fashion icon Alexander Wang, a piece that earned her a place on a media panel hosted by Edelman PR.
In November 2018, Ellefson was recruited to join NY1, New York’s only 24-hour local news channel, as a producer. She launched the successful digital project #1ThingToKnow, which was mirrored across the country on Spectrum Cable channels. She also did freelance writing for InStyle Magazine, the New York Observer, Daily Dot and Mashable. Her focus was health, especially the mental and physical health of individuals with substance use disorders.
A year ago, TheWrap News asked her to be their media reporter, which is her current position. Her work there has been cited at CNN, Fox News and more.
Ellefson’s goal is to continue representing those she knows who have substance abuse issues by reporting on the unique problems they face in an honest and fair way.
2020 Legacy Family
In 1933 LeRoy Walker’s (‘49) father, C.M. (Charles), began Walkers n’ Daughters Jewelers, which now has two locations in Bismarck. LeRoy and his wife, Louise’s, four children, three daughters and one son, and two of their grandchildren are alumni plus their great grandson, Lucas Rasmussen, is a current student working toward a degree in medicine. Walker was one of the first Alumni Association board members.
With a graduate gemology title from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), son Alan Walker (‘73) performs grading and identifications on gems and diamonds and repairs watches. Daughter Karen (Walker) Zimmer (’74) earned a bachelor’s degree from NDSU and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Nebraska. Prior to retiring, she earned a registered jewelers title from the GIA and worked at the store for a couple years. Daughter Susan Walker-Weiand (‘77) is on the BSC Foundation Board of Directors. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from the University of Mary and manages the Kirkwood Mall store. Son-in-law, Larry Weiand, is the clock manager. Daughter Sharon (Walker) Hanson (‘80) was the first and only female to run cross country for the Mystics at the time. She earned a bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics and a master’s degree in applied statistics from NDSU. Granddaughter, Lanette (Weiand) Rasmussen (’00), continued her education at Rasmussen College and is a part-time office manager. Granddaughter Jennifer (Weiand) Froehlich (’01), works in Vital Records at the State and is part-time doing sales in-person and online.
Recipients of the Alumni of the Year Award
Since 1978, 52 individuals have been named Alumni of the Year.
2020 Kari Warberg Block '82
2019 Vern Dosch '73
2018 Michael Bullinger '70
2017 Bob Martinson '67
2016 Michael LaLonde, ’62
2015 Terry Bourgeois '84
2014 Brenda Mihalicz-Tufte '85
2013 William Goetz '64
2012 Tamra Halmrast-Sanchez '79
2011 Wayne Stenehjem '72
2010 Dr. Michael R. Brown '82 and Dr. Ron Tello '70
2009 Alvin A. Jaeger '63
2008 Dr. Cheryl (Senger) Elsbernd, '81 and David Farnsworth, '75
2007 Chuck Suchy '68
2006 Linda Hansen Falkman '68
2005 Dr. Gary E. Johnson '63
2004 Michael Wickstrom '53
2003 Dr. Charles E. Murry '79
2002 Pat Dirk '69 and Rich Karlgaard '74
2001 Tim Holtan '74 and Tony Welder '58
2000 Gerald Skogley '54 and Linda Juhala '62
1999 LaVonn Boehm Steiner '62
1998 Frank Koch '62
1997 Morris Tschider '52 and Irene Boehm Tschider '57
1996 Bert Gerhart '61
1995 Harley Swenson '56
1994 J. Michael McCormack '62
1993 Warren Arman '54
1992 Dalles Krause '53
1991 Barbara Gibbons Evanson '64
1990 Edwin Edlund '41 and Dorothy Mueller Edlund '41
1989 Rod Tjaden '61
1988 Dr. Lawrence Watson '67
1987 U.S. Navy Commander Lee Gurke '66
1986 Patricia Higgins Caudel '51
1985 Dennis Meyer '58
1984 Gordon Weiss '69
1983 Ev Miller '55
1982 Dr. Curtis Juhala '61
1981 Tom Jordan '54
1980 Beulah Hedahl '41
1979 Tom Baker '41
1978 Ted Boutrous '41, Mary Moses Schwichtenberg '43, and Myron Atkinson '47
Recipients of the Rising Star Award
This award was established in 2006 as a way to recognize the accomplishments of our most recent alumni. Since then, 17 alumni have been recognized for their achievements.
2020 Lindsey Ellefson '12
2019 Jack Golden '17
2018 Jon Hunke '94
2017 Justin Reinicke '05
2016 Shane Balkowitsch, ’98
2015 Scott Zainhofsky '95
2014 Kirsten Baesler '99
2013 Sam Coleman '99
2012 Mick Miller '99
2011 Preston Schmidt '07
2010 Amanda Lewis '98
2009 Jon Fornshell '93 and Troy Sterling Nies '96 & '04
2008 Chad Ellingson '91 and Julie Schaff Ellingson '93
2007 Ken Bischof '92
2006 Alison Fallgatter '94
This award was established in 2015 to recognize the accomplishments of families with a long history of dedication to Bismarck Junior College/Bismarck State College.
Recipients of the BSC Legacy Family Award
2020 LeRoy and Louise Walker Family
2019 Francisco and Bertha Tello Family
2018 Harley and Margaret Swenson Family
2017 Frank and Barbara Gilchrist Family
2016 Myron and Marjory Atkinson Family