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Nick Stoltman finished his final year at Pequot Lakes High School (MN) by exploring mass communication programs at universities across north- ern Minnesota. Some he found invit- ing, others interesting. None offered what he sought most – involvement

  • until he landed at Bemidji State

University.

Now a senior, Stoltman found BSU the perfect match for a professional affair with radio.

In an introductory broadcasting class, he realized he’d been searching for a medium where a personal connec- tion, like the one he had experienced with the radio DJs back home, could be crafted. Their air-wave friendship developed as Nick listened to those DJs announce upcoming tunes, relay news, and tell stories. S E N i O R S T O W A T C h S E N i O R W h e n t h e j o b o f f e r c a m e f r o m tions Group, it had a residency require- ment: she could live anywhere she wanted as long as it was near an airport. Within two weeks, her father was in jail and her mother arrested. “Radio can be that friend always informing you about what’s going on and keeping you entertained. It’s a neat link between you and your area of the world,” he says. A short time later, she explained to a judge why she and her brother couldn’t return to her family’s home, compelling the judge to revoke the parental rights of her mother and father. Adopted by a friend of her uncle, Gislason has been driven to succeed ever since. That directive suited Nicole Gislason, who starts as a junior treasury consul- tant at e5 Solutions this fall, just fine. once caught by the radio waves, Stoltman dove in headfirst. During his freshman year, he spearheaded work to resurrect KDRS, the first student-driven electronic medium on campus. Carried only in-house, the station had grown silent beside FM90, an on-air station broadcast throughout the community. A year later, KDRS was back and reaching a larger audience. A senior business administration major with an international focus, she learned to love traveling, from her first trip abroad as a 15-year-old nanny in Ger- many to South Africa as a BSU student last January. Perhaps the biggest jour- ney this fiercely independent 20-year- old has taken, however, occurred 10 years ago when she decided to divorce her parents. She eventually enrolled at Vermillion Community College before arriving at Bemidji State to study international business. “My adopted mother was in business, and my grandmother was the person who directed me into international business,” Gislason says of the two people who have influenced her life. “My grandmother saw me as a child who decided not to take the wrong path in life. She inspired me because she wanted me to go places.” Her mother and father were doing drugs and alcohol, and their parenting responsibilities were often interrupted by jail sentences. When their fighting and chemical abuse became too much for Gislason, she grabbed her eight- year-old brother and hit the streets in her small North Dakota hometown. Gislason blossomed at BSU, where she reports finding professors who were will- ing to help, class sizes that were small, and students who were welcoming. “I didn’t want the life I was living,” she openly explains. “I saw the effect it was having on my brother, and I didn’t want him to head down the path my parents were on.” “Bemidji State is the stepping stone that will allow me to be successful,” says Gislason, who has recently rec- onciled with her birth mother but remains estranged from her father. “It is important for people to realize that you can dream big and make things happen, even if you’ve had hardship in e 5 S o l u - u p , So she called an uncle in Moorhead, telling him their bags were packed and stacked on a curb where she and her brother waited. He picked them i m m e d i a t e l y c h a n g i n g t h e i r l i v e s . y o u r l i f e . N i k k i G i s l a s o n N i c k S t o l t m a n 1 2 B e m i d j i S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y H o r i z o n s

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