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MSU grads look ahead to the future

Minot State University students will graduate this Friday with big plans for the future after a year filled with COVID-19 precautions.

“Things have certainly been different this year,” said Jordan Will, an accounting major.

Will, who also has participated on the MSU football and wrestling teams, said he was grateful to have been able to keep playing, albeit with a lot of testing protocols in place to make it viable.

He’s also glad that his family and friends will be there to help him celebrate this year.

Minot State’s 106th Commencement Exercise will be live with limited capacity starting at 10 a.m. Friday in the MSU Dome. MSU will honor its 2021 and 2020 graduating classes at the ceremony as 2020’s live event was canceled due to COVID-19.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit a year ago, classes at Minot State were held totally online. Masks have been required at Minot State and other steps were taken to slow the spread of the virus on campus, but Will said many of his classes were able to meet in person.

Will said he will be working as an intern this summer at Brady Martz in Minot and will return to Minot State for additional coursework and to participate in athletics this fall. He is in the process of taking the Certified Public Accountant exam and is interested in working as a public accountant.

Will, a Bishop Ryan High School graduate, also recalled the flood of 2011. He was a middle school student at the time and still remembers vividly the sound of the sirens going off and the way the community came together. There was a strong sense of community 10 years ago just as there is now during the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

Erica Summerour, a nursing student from Bismarck, said the pandemic has not made her reconsider her choice of careers, though the COVID-19 patients were definitely on her mind. She worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant and had some exposure to COVID-19 patients last year, which was difficult.

But she said she loves nursing. She said she enjoys the quick pace of the field and that it requires that she think quickly on her feet and pay close attention to detail.

After her graduation on Friday, she will be working at Sanford Hospital in Bismarck. Her plan is to attend graduate school and eventually work as a nurse practitioner in either intensive care or cardiology.

She said Minot State’s nursing program has been terrific and she appreciated the small class sizes. She and her fellow nurses will be celebrated with a pinning ceremony this week the night before the graduation ceremony and she will celebrate with her family in Bismarck afterwards. It will be an even busier week because she plans to attend a friend’s wedding in Mexico and then return to Minot for the graduation ceremony at the MSU Dome.

Summerour said it is also nice that the 2020 graduates are being honored at the ceremony along with those from this year.

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