May 8, 2024

Students share their NDSU experiences

Commencement is a time to cherish the memories made at NDSU and celebrate the accomplishments graduates have achieved to reach this important academic milestone. Spring commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, May 11, in the Fargodome. Two ceremonies are scheduled.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will be for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health and Human Sciences. The 2 p.m. ceremony will be for graduates in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources; College of Business; College of Engineering; and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Kayla Jones, a graduate student earning her Master of Education with an emphasis on higher education, was selected class representative to address the 10 a.m. ceremony. Briana Nguyen, a microbiological sciences major, was selected class representative to address the 2 p.m. ceremony. 

Morgan Niemiller, an interior design major, was selected as the alternate speaker for the 10 a.m. ceremony and Katrina Dietz, a civil engineering and Spanish double major, was selected as the alternate speaker for the 2 p.m. ceremony. 

Read what these students will miss most about NDSU, how their education has set them up for success and more. 


Jones smiling in commencement outfit

Kayla Jones
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

What will you miss most about NDSU?
I will miss the opportunities here. There always is something happening and I want to be a part of it all.

What was your most memorable NDSU experience?
One of my favorite memories was putting together the Black America exhibit at the NDSU library. That exhibit was put together by members of Black Student Association and we put so much heart into it. Every idea was incredible and actually putting it together and seeing it come to life was amazing.

How did NDSU set you up for success after graduation?
I have had a wealth of opportunities here that have not only prepared me for a career, but prepared me for how to be a professional. I have learned a lot about myself and what my passions are here and faculty and staff have allowed space for me to explore those passions professionally and personally. I feel ready to jump into work after graduation, I am excited for it.

What makes NDSU special?
The amount of good people doing good work. The amount of people who really care about students and show that is overwhelming in the best way.

Who was your favorite professor? Why?
Jamee Larson. I had creative writing with her and I was quite shy at that point. She noticed my work and personally told me it mattered. Since then, she kept up with me and all my work and I rediscovered my passion for writing because of her.

Future Plans
After college I plan on working at a university and focusing on access and retention for incoming students.


Nguyen smiling in commencement gown

Briana Nguyen
Hometown: Fargo

What will you miss most about NDSU?
I will miss interacting with the NDSU community the most. Classmates, organization members, staff, faculty and anyone else I interacted with on a regular basis have all made my years at NDSU the most enjoyable, memorable and rewarding years of my life.

What was your most memorable NDSU experience?
My most memorable NDSU experience was planning and hosting Asian Student Organization’s 2024 Lunar New Year Celebration with my fellow club members. Being a part of putting together something that connected students, staff, faculty and community members while sharing our culture will be forever unforgettable.

How did NDSU set you up for success after graduation?
NDSU set me up for success by giving me opportunities to collaborate with several different people of several different backgrounds and perspectives. I have learned skills that will be of great help in my future endeavors of becoming and practicing as a healthcare provider.

What will you miss about campus?
I will miss watching the campus actively growing and developing as the years progress. All of the new programs, spaces and projects that have been taking place in the last few years have been really great to see firsthand and I can’t wait to see how the growth continues.

What makes NDSU special?
I think the people of the campus and the Fargo community are what make NDSU special. Being in a relatively small city and state, NDSU is a huge aspect of the culture. The Bison pride that sweeps the city and the passion that people have for supporting the herd is especially strong with this university. 

Future Plans
My future plans after college involve pursuing a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and eventually specialize in dermatology. 


Niemiller smiling in commencement gown

Morgan Niemiller
Hometown: Fargo

What will you miss most about NDSU?
I definitely will miss my classmates the most. I’m super close with so many amazing people. Interior design is a close-knit group and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to be a little sad that all of us are going our separate ways. But I’m super excited to see where everyone goes and am looking forward to getting together with them in the future.

What was your most memorable NDSU experience?
My most memorable NDSU experience was traveling to Minneapolis with my class to visit architectural and design firms. It was very informative and such a fun time. We got to explore the city and see what our future jobs could be like.

How did NDSU set you up for success after graduation?
NDSU set me us for success in many academic ways, like helping me build a resume and allowing me to network, but NDSU also allowed me to find my personal values and become a well-rounded person.

What is your best advice for freshmen entering NDSU?
Get involved. Your first year is a time to explore campus, get to know people and try new things. You never know what you might enjoy if you don’t get involved.

What makes NDSU special?
NDSU is special because of the people. There are so many working hands behind the scenes. The professors are special because of their dedication to education and the students are special for making it such a welcoming campus.

Future Plans
After I graduate I plan to work at Zerr Berg Architects as a full-time interior designer where I will work with clients and bring their spaces to life. I will also be getting married to my high school sweetheart over the summer.


Dietz smiling in commencement gown

Katrina Dietz
Hometown: Mapleton, North Dakota

What will you miss most about NDSU?
I will miss the people I have spent every day with for the last few years. Whether that be my classmates, faculty or professors, there is such a strong sense of belonging on campus. Our department always says that we are family and I will miss the NDSU family after graduation.

What was your most memorable NDSU experience?
One of my favorite memories was helping design and walking alongside the homecoming float for Engineering Ambassadors. It was so fun to see the incredible community that supports NDSU. Thousands of students, alumni and families gathered along University Drive to cheer on each of the organizations’ floats. 

How did NDSU set you up for success after graduation?
Through courses, extracurricular involvement and internships I feel very confident stepping into the workforce. My classes within the department showed me an introduction to each of the disciplines of civil engineering and helped me determine the type of work I am passionate about. Being involved with the Society of Women Engineers and Engineering Ambassadors helped me develop traits like leadership and confidence that can’t be taught in a classroom. Lastly, I found my internship (which is soon to turn into a full-time job) after wandering around the NDSU career fair. 

What was your favorite class? Why?
I would have to say my senior design class this spring. The project combined all the classwork we have learned over the last few years and allows us to apply it to a current infrastructure project in the Fargo-Moorhead area. This group project really encourages problem solving and innovation and is very similar to the work we will be doing in the industry. Also, we have guest lecturers come to speak about different topics related to the pursuit of successful careers.

What is a lesson you learned as a student that you’ll take with you?
Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. You have no way to know what you are passionate about if you don’t try a broad spectrum of things. Make any opportunity you receive into a learning opportunity.  The worst that can happen is you learn that something isn’t your favorite. Building up the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and take advantage of the things going on around me was one of the best lessons I learned. 

Future Plans
I will be working as a transportation engineer at Ulteig in Fargo.

Schedule a campus visit to learn more about what NDSU has to offer. Apply now to begin your own NDSU experience.

Start your NDSU experience by completing your application.