SMSU briefs for Dec. 4

SMSU’s online programs recognized for affordability

Southwest Minnesota State University’s online degree programs have been recognized by

AC Online ranked those colleges and universities in Minnesota having the most affordable online degree programs, focusing specifically on distance learning options. SMSU was ranked fifth among 27 Minnesota colleges and universities that were ranked.

AC Online cited the associate to bachelor degree programs at SMSU. These programs allow those with two-year AA degrees to transfer those credits to SMSU and earn a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or management. Courses in these 2+2 degrees are offered online.

It is the second time in four months SMSU has been recognized by AC Online. In August, SMSU was named the top Minnesota State Colleges and Universities four-year institution in Best Lifetime Return on Investment.

Affordable Colleges Online provides students with information about affordable higher education options. The website offers financial aid videos, expert advice and cost-saving ideas.

Surprenant wins Welter World Citizen Award

Anna Surprenant, a Southwest Minnesota State University junior from Sleepy Eye, is one of 20 students from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system to be awarded a Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award.

The award provides an annual tribute to MnSCU students who most exemplify the thoughts, words and actions demanded by a 21st century world citizen.

Surprenant received $500 to be used for tuition, fees and books during the 2013-14 academic year.

Surprenant was nominated for the award by John Gochenouer, the Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise) club adviser. Surprenant, a speech communication: public relations major, joined Enactus last year and was a member of the presentation team that helped the SMSU group finish in the top eight nationally last May.

Surprenant has taken mission trips to Mexico and Guatemala and credits her parents, Scott and Judy, with instilling in her a curiosity about other cultures.

“They brought us to different places, exposed us to different cultures,” she said.

Besides being involved with the entrepreneurial club Enactus, she is also a member of the forensics team, is an SMSU Ambassador and an orientation leader. She also headed up a project to help build greenhouses on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She hopes to travel to Jamaica in March 2014 as part of an ongoing Enactus project at an orphanage there.

A year ago, she represented Sleepy Eye in the Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of Lakes scholarship program. She joined 49 other women for a week in the Twin Cities and, through a series of interviews, was selected one of two Aquatennial princesses. In that role, she traveled the state as a goodwill ambassador, talking about the benefits of volunteerism and community spirit while promoting the Aquatennial festival and the city of Minneapolis.

DeSmet receives SMSU scholarship

Southwest Minnesota State University announces that Kalea DeSmet, the daughter of Steve and Barb DeSmet of Canby, has been selected to receive a Leadership Award and Della Danielson Endowed Scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year. Recipients of this scholarship are recognized for their academic accomplishments and outstanding leadership abilities.

Her planned major field of study is education.