MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

September 29, 2018

'Reverse study abroad' opportunity will bring Denmark students to Mayville

We at Mayville State University will have the honor of hosting eight students from Skive College in Denmark during the month of October. During the “reverse study abroad” experience, the students and their faculty advisers will be staying at Mayville State’s Agassiz Hall. This will give them a wonderful opportunity to get to know Mayville State University and its students.

The students, accompanied by Jesper Jansen Pedersen, teacher and student guidance counselor at Skive, will arrive in Mayville late on Friday evening, Sept. 28. Jansen Pederson will be with his students for two weeks, then will return home to Denmark when another teacher from Skive College, Patrick Brondum Jensen, will arrive at Mayville State and accompany his students during the remainder of their Mayville State experience. They’ll travel back to Denmark on Oct. 27.

Skive College was established in 2017 when Skive Handelsskole and Skive Technical School merged. In addition to other programs, the school has more than 30 vocational education programs and it combines high school and vocational education. Their programs are developed in close association with business and higher education. The institution emphasizes professionalism, internationalization, creativity, and innovation. They expect their students to be open to change, ready to participate actively, and to have the desire to exploit, shape, and create talent. Much like Mayville State, Skive stresses educating individuals so that they realize their potential not only professionally, but also personally and socially too.

While at Mayville State, the Skive College students will be attending classes, just like any Mayville State students. They’ll be integrated into the classrooms for the month they’re here.

They’ll be joining classes taught by Dr. Kelli Odden, Craig Keating, Dr. Dalton McMahon, Dr. Joel White, and Dr. Brittany Hagen, covering the education; health, physical education, and recreation; and history disciplines. They’ll also be a part of Dr. Erin Kunz’s English Independent Studies class and serve as a guest panel in an education class taught by Dr. Cindy Gregg. Jeff Hovde will lead a field trip to Turtle River State Park as part of his geography class.

The group will have an opportunity to visit places around the state of North Dakota during their stay as well. Plans include tours at American Crystal Sugar Company, Simplot, and the state capitol in Bismarck.

The Skive students will be the guests of honor at an open house/farewell event planned for them at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center on Oct. 26.

Mayville State University Director of Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Dina Zavala-Petherbridge and Office of Diversity and Inclusion administrative assistant Deni Winsand are coordinating this “reverse study abroad” program. We are grateful to them for their efforts. This is going to be a great learning experience for our Mayville State students, as well as for the Skive representatives. Having opportunities to interact with others who come from different backgrounds and points of view helps to make our lives richer and I am delighted that we can offer this opportunity for our students.

On a related topic, I encourage you to take part in the Oct. 7 Mayville-Portland community potluck, which has an “Around the World” theme. The meal is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. at the May-Port CG High School commons area. All are welcome to attend and bring their favorite dish to share. The intent of the gathering over shared food is to build relationships in the greater community. Mayville State Seminar on Success (SOS) students will be facilitating conversations at the tables.

The event is being sponsored by several organizations and volunteers are helping to make it happen. Those involved include the Mayville State Office of Diversity and Inclusion, MSU professor Lona Smith, MSU SOS students, Julie Tillberg, Micah Mission, Gate City Bank-Mayville, Goose River Bank-Mayville, First & Farmers Bank-Portland, and Thrivent Financial.

We hope you’ll join us for the annual homecoming festivities planned for Sept. 28-30. We look forward to honoring several alumni and friends and to saluting the military during the football game which begins at 2 p.m. Sept. 29 at Jerome Berg Field. The salute will begin with the annual ceremony of remembrance at MSU’s Military Honor Garden at 11 a.m. Saturday. End the weekend on a high note by attending the MSU Music Department concert which begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday. All are welcome! See all the details at or call 701-788-4750.