NTC Hosts Second Annual Achievement Day (Replay)

Northwest Technical College held its second annual Student Achievement Celebration May 7, recognizing outstanding students in a virtual event on Zoom.

President Faith C. Hensrud welcomed all attendees and congratulated students on their achievements.

“This ceremony shines a spotlight on students who have found great success — often overcoming great hardship in the process — during their time at our college,” she said. “These awards do more than celebrate success in the classroom. They celebrate our success as people, as friends and colleagues, and as citizens in an increasingly connected world.”

Tyler Peterson, NTC student success coordinator, organized the event as one of his first initiatives after joining NTC in January 2019. During the virtual celebration, he applauded NTC’s outstanding students and expressed his appreciation for their hard work and determination.

“The students at NTC are the reason that we do what we do,” he said. “It’s really a privilege for me to be able to work with so many of you, to be in this position where I get to hang out with you guys and help you in any way that I can every day.”

Each of NTC’s programs selected an outstanding student — one who consistently gives an exceptional effort, always participates, and is enthusiastic and dedicated within their program — and a most improved student — recognizing students who show tremendous growth and development in their skills and knowledge within their program.

NTC students, faculty and staff also chose 10 students to receive campus-wide awards.

Darrin Strosahl, NTC’s vice president for academic affairs, highlighted the perseverance all NTC students put forth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our students’ achievements are worth celebrating, especially during these challenging times of change and uncertainly,” he said. “But today we celebrate our students knowing they have great potential and hope for the future.”

Academic Awards

Outstanding Student: Laura Straw, second-year student, Bemidji

Automotive Service
Outstanding Students: Roy Strelow, first-year student, Bemidji; Brandon Strelow, first-year student, Bemidji
Most Improved: Taylor Just, first-year student, Tenstrike

Outstanding Student: Erika Manker, second-year student, Bovey

Business/Administrative Support
Outstanding Student: Courtney Adams, second-year student, Bemidji

Child Care & Education
Outstanding Student: Lydia Johnson, second-year student, Bemidji
Most improved: Tessa Solo, second-year student, Williams

Commercial Refrigeration
Outstanding Student: Richard Rossbach, second-year student, Solway
Most Improved: Cole Detwiler, second-year student, Bemidji

Community Health
Outstanding Student: Samantha Burch, post-doctorate student, Sandstone

Dental Assisting
Outstanding Student: Natalie Becht, first-year student, Bemidji
Most Improved: Courtney Pahlen, first-year student, Red Lake Falls

Electrical Construction
Outstanding Student: Jason Anderson, second-year student, Bemidji
Most Improved: Jacob Edwards, second-year student, Elk River

Emerging Technology Student
Outstanding Student: Ryan Deering, second-year student, Bemidji

Health Sciences
Outstanding Student: Payton Weleski, first-year student, Bagley
Most Improved: Kari Kuechenmeister, second-year student, Bemidji

Human Resources
Outstanding Student: Nichole Ekre, second-year student, Shevlin

Medical Coding
Outstanding Student: Erika Manker, second-year student, Bovey

Nursing – LPN Step-In
Outstanding Student: Carrie Cloose, second-year, Solway
Most Improved: Mackenzie Scraper, second-year, Fargo, North Dakota

Nursing – Practical
Outstanding Student: Kelly Cochran, second-year student, Bemidji
Most Improved: Lori Hemmerich, second-year student, Deer River

Nursing – RN
Outstanding Student: Na Zhao, post doctorate student, Bemidji
Most Improved: Zoey Mistic, second-year, Tenstrike

Residential Plumbing/HVAC
Outstanding Student: Mallory Grauman, PSEO student, Tenstrike
Most Improved: Brandon Hause, second-year student, Excelsior

Sales, Marketing & Management
Outstanding Student: Karen Martin, second-year, Fosston

Campus-wide Awards

Perseverance Award
Erika Manker, second-year medical coding student, Bovey

Extraordinary Kindness Award
Mackenzie Grundmeier, second-year health science student, Blackduck

Student Leadership Award
Linnea Helgeson, second-year nursing student, Bemidji

Community Engagement Award
Timothy McMichael, second-year community health student, Detroit Lakes

Dedicated & Devoted Award
Mackenzie Niemczyk, post-doctorate health science student, Northome

Demonstrated Diversity Award
Ester Olson, second-year medical coding student, Shevlin

Non-traditional Student Achievement Award
Sarah Tobey, second-year nursing student, Laporte

Outstanding Online Learner Award
Morgan Anderson, second-year nursing student, Fosston

Student Worker of the Year Award
Naomi Kotnik, second-year nursing student, Bemidji

NTC Spirit Award
Angela Anderson, second-year accounting student, Laporte

All towns listed above are in Minnesota unless otherwise noted.



Northwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, is an open, inviting technological learning organization. For more than 40 years, the college has valued life-long learning and the worth and dignity of all people. The college serves 900 students with a high-quality education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. NTC offers nearly 60 degree, diploma and certificate programs in areas such as business, health, human and protective services and environmental and industrial technology. Classes are offered on the Bemidji campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities.