Call it a continuous sequence of transformations. In 2014, Chidubem Nuela Enebechi moved from Nigeria to the US to begin her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). Here, women peers and faculty members inspired and uplifted her.
Four years later, she graduated with the knowledge, skills and experience to embark on a fully funded doctorate programme. Here was a woman who had evolved from an insecure freshman to a “fierce female African dragon.”
Soon, she plans to address the energy needs in her country to improve people’s lives. “At MSUM, I saw myself as raw material that needed to be refined and processed into this wonderful person that I’m gradually becoming every day,” she shares. “We are a masterpiece and work in progress simultaneously. I have grown to embody and master the art of grit, humility, and heart and believe that’s what will take me far in life.”
And so on, for each and every MSUM student who has found their lives transformed by the public university since its founding in 1888. They pay it forward by transforming the lives of people around them. Positive impact is contagious — more so, the MSUM kind.
At the university, Enebechi was part of a campus community eager to be part of her journey. She gained research experience working with Physics Professor Ananda Shastri. She made connections. She said “yes” to every leadership and volunteering opportunity that came up — there were many. Each day, she grew more confident and competitive. By graduation, she was named commencement speaker. “Throughout my journey at MSUM, I’ve had people supporting me,” she shares.
Student-focused, industry-aligned programmes
At the College of Business, Analytics & Communication, the success rate is 92%. That is set to continue into the future.
Several analytical programmes ensure MSUM students are ready for the careers of tomorrow. The BS in Computer Science explores the inner workings of computers with an emphasis on programming and mathematics. The BS in Computer Information Systems combines the technical side of computers with insights on business information systems. In a world where technology can be used for the wrong reasons, the BS in Cybersecurity couldn’t be more topical. This programme focuses on the evaluation, design, and implementation of secure systems.
The BS in Mathematics: Actuarial Science — only one of three in the state — is equally dynamic. It implements mathematics, statistics, finance, and business practices to assess and minimise risk. It also prepares students for five professional examinations — many MSUM graduates pass these at a rate higher than the national average.
For the BA in Economics, students can tailor coursework according to business, law, education, international affairs, public policy, finance, or research interests. Many combine their degree with another major or minor.
Whichever programme they are in, students receive personalised attention. When S. Nafisa Mahabub, an Economics graduate from Bangladesh, dislocated her knee cap and sprained her ankle, she missed three weeks of classes. Dr. Tonya Hansen, David Kramer, and Paul Sando helped her every day after hours — something she is forever thankful for.
This culture of generosity is what Mahabub calls “the best thing about MSUM.” “Starting from all the students to all the professors, they’re just extremely kindhearted,” she says.
Open and accessible to all
An MSUM education is a small investment that packs a mean punch. This university is one of the lowest-priced residential options in Minnesota, offering 19-credit semesters for the price of 12 with no shortage of hands-on opportunities. For example, Cybersecurity students have undertaken internships at Microsoft, Aldevron, and nearby startups.
“At MSUM, I’ve never really felt a lack of opportunity,” enthuses Economics graduate Rahil Pereira. “There’s always been something or another that has been available for me to expand on my leadership skills. I do not think I would have gotten that kind of support anywhere else.”
The “big-little city” of Fargo-Moorhead
The towns of Moorhead, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota offer a college town atmosphere unlike no other in the Midwest. Three major colleges are located within a two-mile radius. It’s big enough for a metropolitan lifestyle, yet small enough to enjoy without being overwhelmed — ideal for students embarking on independence for the first time.
When they aren’t thriving in the classroom, they’re living their best lives around town. With 350 dining options, there’s one for every palate. What’s more, with year-round seasonal events, a legendary nightlife scene, cultural activities, and a rich arts community, there’s always something to do year-round.