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Page 22

Lake Region State College:

Celebrating 75 years

Tenacity!

The story of the little college that refused to give up

I

f you were challenged to choose

a single word to describe

LRSC’s effort to build a wind

turbine, it would have to be “tena-

cious.” For 10 years, LRSC relent-

lessly pursued the

goal to erect a wind

turbine and to con-

currently develop

an education pro-

gram for wind en-

ergy technicians.

Neither task was

easy—at times the

barriers

seemed

insurmountable—

but the advocates

for wind power at

LRSC were not to

be deterred. They

persisted,

tena-

ciously.

Finally,

on

February, 15, 2013,

the 72-hour com-

missioning process

was

completed,

and the turbine

went into com-

mercial

opera-

tion. That moment

marked the final

step in the 10-year

quest to purchase

and operate a util-

ity-sized wind tur-

bine at LRSC and to couple it with

a training program for students.

But for President Doug Dar-

ling, the true sense of completion

for this massive project came the

day students in LRSC’s Wind

Energy Technician program first

scaled the tower with their in-

structors.

“Looking back, that was the most

fulfilling day of all,”

Dr. Darling

explained.

Now and for the foreseeable

future, the instructors will main-

tain the turbine, the students will

use it as a learning laboratory,

and the college will know that its

electrical needs are being met ef-

ficiently .

The official ribbon-cutting

ceremony for the wind turbine

took place June 19,

2013. In anticipa-

tion, the college

prepared an inter-

esting chronology

detailing many

of the challenges

and creative solu-

tions achieved

in this 10-year

effort. The story

includes meetings

with legislators

and grant-writers

in the search for

funding, build-

ing of expansive

partnerships as the

focus of the project

grew from simply

generating power

to include train-

ing wind energy

technicians, nego-

tiating confusing

and ever-changing

regulations for

wind tower site

approvals, and

fighting with

nature to erect the

tower and mount its turbine and

blades.

A tenacious attitude was

required of all involved in this

effort. Through it all, LRSC, its

many partners, and President

Darling have gained respect as

the team-with-a-dream and never,

never give up attitude.

Their tenacity won! Today

LRSC is producing power and

producing students equipped

with skills in great demand in the

wind energy industry. ●

—Branches, summer 2013 —

The college’s 1.65-megawatt

wind turbine is located three

miles north of LRSC.

ASL Interpreting

A new pathway to the profession

A

partnership bertween LRSC,

the North Dakota School for

the Deaf/Resource Center for Deaf

and Hard of Hearing (NDSD/

RCDHH), and Minot State Uni-

versity has created a new Bachelor

of Applied Science in Interpreting

and Sign Language Studies. Stu-

dents can take the entire program

either on campus or from remote

locations via video or online.

Lisa Ginther, ASL Interpreter

instructor, says the partnership

will essentially create a “2-plus-2”

pathway to becoming a profes-

sional interpreter. Students can

study for two years at LRSC to

earn an associate degree and then

another two years with MSU to

earn the bachelor’s degree.

“We recognized the need for more

highly trained interpreters,”

said

Lilia Bakken, NDSD communi-

cations coordinator. According

to Lilia, NDSD first approached

LRSC about creating an American

Sign Language program fifteen

years ago and offered to help by

providing opportunities for field

experience and internships. The

two-year program was established

in 2001 and is the only program of

its kind in North Dakota.

The new bachelor’s degree

program was created based on the

recommendations of a state-wide

task force. They had learned that

requirements for those pursuing

certification was changed in 2012

making a bachelor’s degree a pre-

requirement for the certification

test. Because a bachelor’s degree

for interpreting wasn’t offered in

the state, students pursued unre-

lated degrees but found it difficult

to retain their signing skills during

the process.

MSU has a long-standing deaf

education and special educa-

tion program, making it a great

complement to the two-year ASL

program at LRSC. ●

— Branches, summer 2016 —