Young Leaders Attend Morrison Leadership Summit


Averi Haugesag

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


More than 75 University of North Dakota students showed up to the Gorecki Alumni Center’s Gransberg Community Room dressed to the nines Thursday, April 28. These students were nominated by faculty members of the College of Business and Public Administration and the College of Arts and Sciences to attend the fifth annual Morrison Leadership Summit. The students in attendance are majoring in a variety to subjects, from marketing to fisheries and wildlife biology. While their majors may be nothing alike, the group had one thing in common; great leadership qualities.

At the summit, students were able to hear from Keynote Speaker and UND President, Ed Schafer. Then, were given an opportunity to have round table discussions with each of our honorary panelists—panelists who also happen to be CoBPA and A&S alumni: Phil Gisi, President and CEO, Edgewood Development Group, LLC.; Laura Block, CFO, UND Alumni Association and Foundation; Chris Wolf, Market President, Alerus Financial; Brooks Burgum, CEO, Arthur Companies; Jerry Van Eeckhout, Chairman, Evergreen Enterprises, LLC.; Susan Tomlinson Schmidt, President, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance; Corey Mock, Assistant Minority Leader, North Dakota House of Representatives; David Badman, Owner, Badman Design; and Remington Zacher, Senior International Tax Consultant, Deloitte.

Zacher, a 2012 graduate of the UND CoBPA says coming back and meeting with the students was exciting. “It’s just great to come back and see this type of excitement among them whether it’s someone who’s a freshman in biology or a senior in accounting. It’s just seeing everyone have discussions with each other and learn from one another, it’s cool,” says Zacher.

CoBPA students, Nicole Polejewski and Landon Adolphson agree. “It was great going around and meeting with the different business owners just because you got to ask them the direct questions that you have. As a business student, there’s so many questions that I have about maybe owning a business, or running a business or going from being a janitor to being a CEO. How do I get there and what do I do?” says Polejewski. “It was really cool just to interact with leaders, and to have an opportunity to network with some successful UND alumni. The biggest thing I took away was how to be a leader,” says Adolphson.

These business students weren’t alone in their feelings toward the summit. Lucas Knowlton, an A&S student says he learned how important it is to take a step back and asses your personal goals. “Sometimes when you get in these leadership positions and are involved in a lot of different things, you don’t really think about what’s really important for yourself and where you really want to go and you just get caught up in the drift of things but this really taught me to step back and assess where I really want to go in life,” says Knowlton.

It seems the general consensus among both the students and the panelists was that the event provided a great learning opportunity for young leaders. “I think what I wanted to convey was that the students can own their career path no matter what their degree is,” says Zacher. “While UND is a smaller community, the transition from a university to your career shouldn’t be scary, it should be exciting.”