NDSU commencement to feature student speakers, classical soloist

NDSU commencement to feature student speakers, classical soloist


A total of 1,486 graduating students are planning to participate in NDSU spring commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., in the Fargodome. Approximately 2,100 students are eligible.

“Commencement gives us the opportunity to celebrate the academic achievement of our students,” said Jackie Schluchter, associate registrar. “The exciting day is a significant milestone for our seniors, their families and friends, and the entire NDSU campus.”

The 10 a.m. ceremony is for graduates of the following colleges:

·     Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

·     Engineering

·     Human Development and Education

·     Interdisciplinary Studies

The 2 p.m. ceremony will recognize graduates from:

·     Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resource

·     Business

·     Health Professions

·     Science and Mathematics

Student speakers

Senior Marisa Pacella,from West Fargo, North Dakota, has been selected as the class representative to address fellow graduating seniors and the audience during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Senior Sydney Dale of Watertown, South Dakota, will be the student speaker at the 2 p.m. event.

Pacellais receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in hospitality and tourism management, with minors in business administration and psychology. During her time on campus, she was active in Student Government, serving as student body vice president, student senator and administrative assistant. Pacella also is a Blue Key Honor Society member, showed an animal during the 2019 Little International Livestock Show and finished in the top three of the 2018 Miss NDSU event sponsored by Alpha Tau Omega.

Pacella earned several academic awards, including the North Dakota Academic Scholarship, Convention and Visitors Bureau Scholarship, Heritage Freshman Scholarship and the Siverson Garda Scholarship. She had internship experiences at TMI Hospitality and Sanford Health, and was an English language tutor at the Adult Basic Education Center in Moorhead, Minnesota. She has accepted a resource development associate position with the United Way of Cass-Clay, where she can continue her passion for serving others.

Dale is an outstanding student-athlete who, in just three years, is earning her Bachelor of Science degrees in marketing and global business. She was a pole vaulter on the NDSU women’s track and field team from 2016 to 2018, and she received the Bison Academic Performance Award, an honor that acknowledges a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher. She has made the Dean’s List for five semesters and maintained a 4.0 GPA.The native of Watertown, South Dakota, is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, a recognition for the top 10 percent of students at highly-selective AACSB-accredited schools of business. She received several scholarships, including the Dave and Paula Ekman Family Scholarship, Eugene and Otillia Pettee Scholarship and Dick Kloubec Track Endowment Athletic Scholarship.

In addition, she studied abroad in the United Arab Emirates, visiting the emirates of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.In January, she attended the South Dakota Governor’s Conference on Tourism. She is seeking employment for a position that is both challenging and provides opportunity for growth.


The soloist for both ceremonies is Jacee Engels, who is graduating with her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and a minor in English literature. She is from New Rockford, North Dakota. She discovered her love of classical singing through participating in the NDSU Concert Choir. Since then, she has performed in several ensembles and operas, including Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” and Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges.” While at NDSU, Engels studied under the tutelage of faculty members Virginia Sublett and Mariane Lemieux-Wottrich. She has studied in Valencia, Spain; with faculty from the Boston Conservatory; and in Quebec, Canada, to work with renowned singers José van Dam and Sophie Koch. Engels is a teacher of voice at the NDSU Music Academy and plans to continue teaching as well as eventually earn her Master of Music in voice performance.

More information can be found on the NDSU Commencement webpage.

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