Category Archives: News

Big Themes in a Small Town; Middletown Opens February 13th

By Stephanie Jorritsma

The University of Jamestown (UJ) Theatre Department is presenting Middletown by Will Eno February 13-15 at the Reiland Fine Arts Center. Middletown, directed by senior Amanda Arvay, illustrates life in a small town and highlights the little moments that connect life together.

Although the play is set in the familiar location of small town America, Middletown is filled with unexpected choices that engage and intrigue audiences. Words, actions, and scenes often take unexpected or seemingly unrelated turns that cause audiences to consider the show’s deeper meanings.

For actress Sam Goettsche, those odd moments are her favorite part of the show. She has come to see and appreciate the importance of various details within the story.

“[E]verything connects,” she says.“It’s crazy…there’s so many different stories but they’re all just connected, and I love it.”

While Middletown causes audiences to think deeply, the show also portrays real characters that audiences can connect with. The characters in Middletown are diverse and deal with a number of real-life struggles. Arvay says about the play, “it’s people playing real people instead of people playing […] a characterized version of what people should be.”

In Middletown, many characters hide their real selves from the world, while others struggle with relationship conflicts, anxiety, or childhood issues. The complex, varied characters bring an emotional depth to the show and make it relatable for many different audiences.

Along with its compelling story, Middletown is also unique because the show is fully student-produced. In addition to the student director, other students have taken charge of the set design, set building, lights, costumes, props, and stage managing. Arvay says that the student involvement has allowed her utilize the skills of many different students in bringing the play to life. Goettsche, who is helping with the show’s props, believes that the additional student involvement brings a different, unique perspective to the show.

Middletown also allows students to get hands-on experience in an area of theatre that they are passionate about. Riley Akervik, who is the set designer and lighting co-designer, has enjoyed his designing and watching his work take shape onstage. He says that the set and lighting design have taught him more about the production process and given him an opportunity to, “fully dissect this show and find the true beauty within.”

Middletown is the second show that Arvay has directed while in college. Last spring, she also directed the one-act play “Lessons in Weaving”, written by former UJ student Kenady Hansen. Arvay is majoring in Secondary English Education and Theatre, and has been involved in many UJ theatre productions. She has acted in nine shows at UJ, including the musical On the Town (2017) and The Winter’s Tale (2019). She has also written a one-act play and choreographed for the last two UJ musicals.

As a director, Arvay is enjoying working alongside other students to create a compelling, thought-provoking show. She is excited to share the unusual world of Middletown with others, and invites people to come enjoy the show and support the students who have worked together to make Middletown a reality.

Middletown performances will be February 13-15 at 7:30pm in DeNault auditorium.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the UJ box office by emailing tickets@uj.edu, calling 701-252-3467 (ext. 5435), or by visiting the box office (open Mon-Fri 3-6pm in Reiland 135).  Tickets are also available at the door.  UJ students and staff are admitted at no cost.

Terrell Alfred – Transferring to UJ

My experience here at UJ has been amazing. I came in as a junior college transfer for basketball, but I never would’ve thought that everyone in the school would embrace me as fast as they did. UJ felt and still feels like home to me.

Over these past two years, I’ve made many unforgettable memories with friends that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. From the special events to the sporting events, there’s always a big crowd ready to support and have fun with it all.

The small-campus-feel at UJ made learning a lot easier. My professors are awesome, and all the coaches are great people that have given me advice on how to become a better player and a better version of myself.I can say that these two years here at UJ have been unforgettable.

Choosing to come to UJ for basketball was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I came here without visiting the school first, which is usually scary, but my teammates and coaches made it super easy to adjust. My first year, we went into a new conference (The GPAC) and were looked at as the underdogs. No one in the league believed that we could make the top four, let alone win the conference championship. But we didn’t focus on the outside noise; instead, we outworked everyone else.

One of my fondest memories was winning that championship and then being able to compete for a national championship. Over this past summer, most of the team stayed to work out and be around each other. It was one of the most fun summers I’ve ever had, because it brought us closer together as a team.

Fast forwarding to now, in my final semester, my UJ career is almost at an end. I don’t regret anything, and I know if I had to do it all over again down the line, I would in a heartbeat!

Jimmie Janes Hosting “Let’s Raise Underwearness” Event

By Taylor Schnettler

From February 10th through the 21st, the Jimmie Janes will be hosting their “Let’s Raise Underwearness Event.”

This campaign is seeking to help victims of sexual assault by providing them with new undergarments.

“Often times, Sexual Assault Survivors have to leave their undergarments for investigation purposes after getting help at Jamestown Regional Medical Center. They may have to wear hospital grade undergarments home,” said Amie Aesoph, advisor for the Jimmie Janes.

In order to accommodate this challenge and provide some support to the victims, the Janes will be accepting all sizes of bras and underwear which will be donated to the JRMC Sexual Assault Response Team. Donation boxes will be in the SEC and Campus Chaplains office.

Donations will also be accepted at the first home Men’s Volleyball game on Feb. 13th.

Student Senate Welcomes Two New Members

By Jacob Just

On Tuesday, the University of Jamestown Student Senate swore-in two new members to fill vacancies created by two resignations.

Alex Delzer and TJ Milk, both seniors, were elected by the Senate to fill the vacancies that will expire at the end of the school year. Delzer formerly served as Student Senate President during the 2018-19 school year.

The positions have been vacant since the beginning of the 2020 Spring semester.

The seats became open after Megan Bidwell and Julia Johnson, both nursing majors, resigned their positions due to obligations with their program.

Elections for Student Senate for the 2020-21 school year will take place in April.

UJ Collegian Opens Podcast Booth

By Jacob Just

Tucked away on the second floor of the Unruh-Sheldon Building on the UJ campus, students may encounter a slight change in a small room.

Completed in January, 2020, the podcast booth is a state-of-the-art space that will allow students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to record, produce, and publish podcasts for The Collegian. Jordan Bits, a broadcast engineer at i3G Media in Jamestown, has been working on developing the space to make it an impressive addition to campus.

“I’m extremely excited that we have this available for our students and staff at UJ,” said Warren Abrahamson, Advisor/Publisher for The Collegian. “This will be yet another avenue for the University to showcase its talents and a creative outlet for many on campus! We look forward to having as many students and staff use it as possible.”

The booth features two microphones, a sound booth, a computer, and other equipment.

The UJ Student Senate recently approved funds for the organization to purchase a new computer for the space to better enhance its capabilities.

Students, staff, or faculty interested in starting a podcast with The Collegian, should contact Warren Abrahamson at warren.abrahamson@uj.edu or Jacob Just at jacob.just@uj.edu.

The UJ community is invited to visit the space during office hours, which can be viewed here.

UJ Student Named ND Student Nurse of the Year

By Jacob Just

University of Jamestown nursing student Kelsey Marschke was named the 2020 North Dakota state Nursing Student of the Year.

Marschke, a junior from Alice, North Dakota, received the award from the Nursing Students’ Association of North Dakota during their annual conference in Grand Forks January 23-25.

Several other students were elected to positions of leadership within the organization, including Hayley Johnson of Menahga, Minnesota being named the First Vice President for the NSAND.

“It was an honor to be surrounded by and hear from some of the most inspirational people in the field of Nursing, all from different areas of expertise and backgrounds,” said Johnson.  “I’m truly inspired by the friends, classmates, and professors who have surrounded me.”

Attendees attended keynote and breakout sessions from nursing leaders from around North Dakota.  The organization will hold their annual conference in Jamestown in 2021.

Growing as a Jimmie – Ellie M. Michaletz

Sir Jimmie Blog

As I look back on my time at University of Jamestown, I can’t believe the amount I’ve learned and grown in all aspects of my life. When I committed to UJ as a senior in high school, I didn’t realize how much Christ would transform my life.

Ellie Michaletz with a friend and a calf in a barn.

I came in with many different expectations, priorities, and a past I was excited to get away from…little did I know where God would take me 2.5 years later. I came in as a double major in biology and psychology for pre-med, but after a year, I felt called to switch my major in hopes of becoming a Christian Psychologist.

In a little over a week, I will be graduating from UJ with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, and then heading to the Twin Cities to start graduate school to get my degree in marriage and family counseling. I am so excited for the next season of my life, but I’m sad to leave the place that has been so exciting, memorable, and transformative. UJ will always hold a special place in my heart, and even though I’ll be graduating, I know I will always be a part of this Jimmie family.

A huge part of my life and story at Jamestown is how God has taken hold of my heart.

Whether it was through Cru, the ministry teams on campus, being a huddle leader at FCA camps, or the many relationships I’ve had with my brothers and sisters of Christ, God has pushed, challenged, and prepared me for much more than I could have ever imagined.

Ellie Michaletz posing with two volleyball friends in uniform.

I grew up in a Christian home, but I never knew what it truly meant to live and surrender my life for Christ until I came to UJ. My friends, family, coaches, volleyball team, and Candace have had such an impact on my faith, and I want to thank each and every one of them for pushing me out of my comfort zone and helping make me who I am today.

One of the biggest memories I’ll have is being on the Jimmie volleyball team.

Coming into a college team, it sometimes feels like you’re moving from a small pond as a big fish to a small fish in a big pond, but that couldn’t be more wrong. The Jimmie volleyball program isn’t just a team, but a family. Whatever your role may be, you are a part of something far greater than yourself.

I have learned so much from my teammates and coaches, and I wouldn’t have asked for a better family. Not only does this intimacy create lifelong bonds, but it also brings a success that isn’t explainable to the outside eye. To society, success comes from winning, but winning is a result of the relationships on our team. Being third in the nation is a testament to the strong bond of our Jimmie volleyball family. My last week of nationals was a time I will remember forever, not because of the wins, but because of the incredible experiences I got to share with my Jimmie sisters.

2019 UJ Women's Volleyball team photo.

The last thing that UJ has given me in the past 2.5 years is incredible relationships.

I have made connections and relationships with a vast variety of people, whether it was with my volleyball team, professors, A-Hall in Kroeze, my residents in Watson, classmates, ministry team members, or brothers and sisters of Christ. Looking back on my time at UJ, I will remember all the people who had late night-study sessions, nerf gun wars in Watson, sleepovers at the ministry house, and the people who would go to TCBY for waffle cones with me.

I’ve made relationships that have withstood many different trials and will persevere through many more to come; those are the relationships you can make at University of Jamestown, and I’m so grateful for all that UJ has given me. I only hope I could give back a glimpse of what I have received during my time here.

Ellie Michaletz posing with two friends in an outdoor winter setting.
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