University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Mark Harries and Ilse Coleman receive Student Spirit Awards

Mark Harries, a sophomore in the Mechanical Engineering program, and Ilse Coleman, a junior Occupational Therapy student at the University of North Dakota, were honored with the 2013 UND Student Spirit Award. UND Student Spirit Award winners were selected based on their demonstrated leadership in service, philanthropy, community involvement and academics. Honorees will serve as student ambassadors for UND’s philanthropic endeavors and were awarded $1,000 each — $500 for their personal tuition and fees, and $500 to be gifted to a University of North Dakota program of each recipient's choice as it matches their philanthropic focus. Mark plans to share his $500 gift with the Society of Woman Engineers/Volunteer Engineering Students (VESTS) to encourage volunteering and service among engineering students, and Ilse plans to share her $500 gift with UND’s Student Occupational Therapy Association.

The award was given during UND’s Spirit Week, which is held in conjunction with North Dakota Spirit  |  The Campaign for UND, which will direct $300 million to the University’s passionate students, inspirational educators, innovative programs, and extraordinary places. Ilse says the notion of North Dakota Spirit rings strong with her. “To me, North Dakota spirit means dedication, passion, empathy, and motivation. Throughout my education and time living in North Dakota I have encountered many wonderful individuals which all have reflected these characteristics,” Ilse said. “For every service project I have participated in, the community of Grand Forks and UND is always optimistic and positive, and all the residence within this community always show support for each other. When people participate in these events on and off campus, I am always inspired by the dedication and passion individuals have towards their cause, and the amount of people who all share and demonstrate the North Dakota Spirit.”

Mark credits his parents for instilling his attitudes of community service and philanthropy. “I was brought up with an attitude of service with my family,” Mark said. “I realized the importance of service in my life, and have since had the opportunity to serve with engineering, my church, and athletics.  I am inspired by my parents because I have seen how service has impacted others and themselves as well.”

Mark and Ilse were selected among a strong pool of candidates. They were honored Thursday at the State of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation Address.