2017 Rising Star Award
Justin Reinicke was uninspired in high school, and didn't go straight on to college. He entered the workforce, but after a while began thinking about what might come next. "I knew in the back of my mind that I had potential, and I didn't want it to go to waste."
He decided to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist. He enrolled at BSC, and took 18-21 credits per semester earning straight As. He graduated with two associate degrees, and went on to double major in Biochemistry and Marine Biology at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU), graduating summa cum laude.
Today he works as Instrument Specialist for the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and is in the early phases of starting up an aquaculture business. He's translated the hunting and fishing tradition he learned in North Dakota to spearfishing and free diving in the Pacific Ocean.
Reinicke is living his dream, and says the opportunities BSC provided were influential in that.
"Higher education is an investment in one's life. I think a good place to start is having dreams and aspirations, knowing that you want something good for your life, and then knowing college can help you get there."
2017 Legacy Family
All five Gilchrist siblings tell the same story about their time at Bismarck State College: The teachers were outstanding, and their years here were the most rewarding of their college careers.
Marie (Pinky), Kevin, Bridget, Chad and Martha all graduated from what was then Bismarck Junion College between 1973 and 1983. All went on to earn four year degrees, and several earned advanced degrees.Their father Frank Gilchrist attended Creighton College in Nebraska on the GI Bill. He worked for the state of North Dakota. Barbara Gilchrist didn't attend college, but was adamant that her children would.
"With out parents there was the assumption that we were going to college," Bridget (Gilchrist) Whittey ('78) says. "BJC was a great value and a great education."
The Gilchrist siblings felt well prepared to go on after BSC. All five cite the lasting influence of instructors like Paul Swanson, Fank Koch, Woody Wilson, Ray Heid and Mike McCormack among others. "I think that the level of instruction was unparalleled," Kevin says.
In honor of their experiences and to remember their father, a renowned high school, college and amateur basketball player, Chad Gilchrist ('80) established the Frank Gilchrist Scholarship in 2002 for a basketball player with good grades.
"We didn't have any money, we all lived at home, worked full-time and went to school. A community college gives kids a good start. College is expensive, and that makes community colleges even more important," Chad says.
"Our whole family is a huge believer in BSC. It's pure gold up there," Pinky says.
For more information about the BSC Alumni of the Year Awards Dinner or program, or if you are unable to attend the dinner, but wish to share memorabilia, photos or stories about award recipients, please contact the alumni office at (701) 224-5692 or (800) 272-2586 or email Rita.Nodland@bismarckstate.edu.
The BSC Alumni Awards Recognition program is sponsored by the Board of Directors of the Bismarck State College National Alumni Association, Bismarck State College and the BSC Foundation.
Recipients of the Alumni of the Year Award
Since 1978, 49 individuals have been named Alumni of the Year.
2017 Bob Martinson '67
2016 Michael LaLonde, ’62
2015 Terry Bourgeois '84
2014 Brenda Mihalicz-Tufte '85
2013 William Goetz '64
2012 Tamra Halmrast-Sanchez '79
2011 Wayne Stenehjem '72
2010 Dr. Michael R. Brown '82 and Dr. Ron Tello '70
2009 Alvin A. Jaeger '63
2008 Dr. Cheryl (Senger) Elsbernd, '81 and David Farnsworth, '75
2007 Chuck Suchy '68
2006 Linda Hansen Falkman '68
2005 Dr. Gary E. Johnson '63
2004 Michael Wickstrom '53
2003 Dr. Charles E. Murry '79
2002 Pat Dirk '69 and Rich Karlgaard '74
2001 Tim Holtan '74 and Tony Welder '58
2000 Gerald Skogley '54 and Linda Juhala '62
1999 LaVonn Boehm Steiner '62
1998 Frank Koch '62
1997 Morris Tschider '52 and Irene Boehm Tschider '57
1996 Bert Gerhart '61
1995 Harley Swenson '56
1994 J. Michael McCormack '62
1993 Warren Arman '54
1992 Dalles Krause '53
1991 Barbara Gibbons Evanson '64
1990 Edwin Edlund '41 and Dorothy Mueller Edlund '41
1989 Rod Tjaden '61
1988 Dr. Lawrence Watson '67
1987 U.S. Navy Commander Lee Gurke '66
1986 Patricia Higgins Caudel '51
1985 Dennis Meyer '58
1984 Gordon Weiss '69
1983 Ev Miller '55
1982 Dr. Curtis Juhala '61
1981 Tom Jordan '54
1980 Beulah Hedahl '41
1979 Tom Baker '41
1978 Ted Boutrous '41, Mary Moses Schwichtenberg '43, and Myron Atkinson '47
Recipients of the Rising Star Award
This award was established in 2006 as a way to recognize the accomplishments of our most recent alumni. Since then, 14 alumni have been recognized for their achievements.
2017 Justin Reinicke '05
2016 Shane Balkowitsch, ’98
2015 Scott Zainhofsky '95
2014 Kirsten Baesler '99
2013 Sam Coleman '99
2012 Mick Miller '99
2011 Preston Schmidt '07
2010 Amanda Lewis '98
2009 Jon Fornshell '93 and Troy Sterling Nies '96 & '04
2008 Chad Ellingson '91 and Julie Schaff Ellingson '93
2007 Ken Bischof '92
2006 Alison Fallgatter '94
Recipients of the BSC Legacy Family Award
This award was established in 2015 to recognize the accomplishments of families with a long history of dedication to Bismarck Junior College/Bismarck State College.
2017 Frank and Barbara Gilchrist Family
2016 Myron and Marjory Atkinson Family