Another successful year at NDSU

by Tara Splonskowski


Bailey Bitz of Napoleon rides for NDSU in the annual bike race April 29. (submitted photo)

The past few months have been busy for the NDSU Newman Center in Fargo. All the efforts of a year of ministry and outreach have at last come to fruition!

In April we saw another successful bike race event where the NDSU and UND Newman Centers gathered for some friendly competition and fundraising for their campus ministries. This year saw big changes, especially with the route, originally 37 miles (officially) cut down to 25 miles in order to accommodate the two rivals riding the same route together. It was a huge success for both sides to ride from Hillsboro to Caledonia and back, and then share a meal and community together at St. Rose of Lima Church in Hillsboro afterward. NDSU will keep the trophy for another year, but both centers are grateful for the support of students and their families and friends who donated to riders in support of the Newman Centers.

Bike race weekend was also a time to recognize the St. Paul Newman Center leaders for the year, new FOCUS Missionaries and those going off to seminary. We awarded the newly established “Samuel Traut Outstanding Leadership Award” to Tyler Losinski of Beach, a senior who has been heavily involved at the Newman Center since his freshman year. The “Michelle Duppong Outstanding Leadership Award” was awarded to Amanda Kensok of Casselton, a junior at NDSU. Amanda is a bible study leader, student missionary and has been a beautiful witness and leader in the community. Both awardees were given a $500 scholarship and were congratulated by the Traut and Duppong families.


From left, Monsignor Gregory Schlesselmann, Tricia Zikmund, Liz Bitzan, Jonathon Spaid (team director), and Father James Cheney. (submitted photo)

We also recognized three students who will be graduating and will become FOCUS missionaries next year: Liz Bitzan of Moorhead, Minn.; Tricia Zikmund of Pisek; and Luke Nietfeld of St. Michael, Minn. We also have one student going to seminary for the Diocese of St. Paul, Christopher Yanta from Maple Lake, Minn. Finally, we recognized Clare Schumaker, a FOCUS missionary at NDSU for the last three years, who will be moving to another campus as the team leader. Also, Brittany Schwebach who was the Business Manager at Newman for the past four years, will be moving on from the Newman Center to go back to school.

We thank the Lord for his many blessings and for allowing us to be a part of his work at NDSU, changing hearts and lives for him and forming future leaders for our Church and state. For more information about the Newman Center and how you can be a part of her mission on campus, visit