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M State names foundation director

Becky Niemi has joined Minnesota State Community and Technical College as director of advancement for the college's campuses in Detroit Lakes and Wadena.

Niemi, a graduate of M State's Detroit Lakes campus, joins the campus foundations after working for two years as director of advancement for Colorado Northwestern Community College Foundation, which serves that college's multiple campuses in northwestern Colorado.

As director of both the Detroit Lakes Area College Foundation and the Wadena Area College Foundation, Niemi said one of her priorities will be establishing connections with alumni of the two campuses.

"Reconnecting with alumni is going to be a huge piece, along with fundraising through grants and special events," she said. "We're also going to focus on making sure the communities know who we are, what we do for students and how they can help us out."

In addition to supporting academic and campus initiatives, DLACF and WACF also provide scholarships for M State students, with the two foundations together awarding more than $20,000 in scholarships annually.

Niemi will be on the Detroit Lakes campus on Mondays and Fridays and on the Wadena campus on

Wednesdays. One of her first major events will be a February ice fishing fundraiser in Baudette to support the Line Worker program, which is offered in Baudette as a satellite of the Wadena campus.

Niemi graduated from M State in 1996 with a diploma in what is now the administrative assistant program.

She spent six years with the White Earth Land Recovery Project and was eventually named to the position of director of development, where she was a grant writer and worked with individual donors.

While she was with the Land Recovery Project, she completed her general education requirements at M State and earned her bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Phoenix.

She then spent a year as development director for a Minneapolis-based foster care and adoption agency before her move to Colorado.

"I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't received an education from M State," said Niemi, who

returned to the Detroit Lakes area to be near her family.

As a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, M State serves more than 9,200 students in credit courses each year in more than 120 career and liberal arts programs at its four campuses in Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Moorhead and Wadena, and through eCampus.