Northland Community & Technical College (NCTC) student president of the East Grand Forks campus Michaela Current was named the 2016 “Student Leader of the Year ” Saturday, April 16, 2016 by the Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA). Current accepted the award at MSCSA’s Annual Awards Dinner at Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minn.
The “Student Leader of the Year” honor is given to one student annually by MSCSA. According to the MSCSA, the Student Leader of the Year is one who has excelled both academically, in the association, and in their community. This individual is someone who has risen above all other students both in their actions and their attitude to bring their campus, the association, and the community together as well as give back to each of these communities. NCTC Director of Student Life Richard Speas affirmed Current goes above and beyond these criteria, “Michaela Current has an undeniable passion for Northland Community & Technical College and the life of the campus.”
Michaela Current has an undeniable passion for Northland Community & Technical College and the life of the campus.
Current was nominated for the award by Northland Community & Technical College advisor Jason Pangiarella and chosen by statewide leadership to receive the honor. Pangiarella emphasized, “One of the reasons I nominated Michaela was her drive to make sure rural and greater Minnesota MnSCU students were represented in the MSCSA decision-making process. There is simply no denying it is a fundamentally higher level of commitment for a student when their home campus is hours (and hours) away from the St. Paul headquarters of MSCSA.” He stressed, “Not infrequently, Michaela would be one of the only, if not the only greater Minnesota student voice in their strategic planning – a huge responsibility, but a challenge she rose to time and again.”
Her peers know Current as a tireless leader and advocate for the college. One of her peers stressed, “She has rocked her position on Governing Council. I feel that this year she has grown into an accomplished leader and the skills she has acquired will follow her anywhere.” As she rose through the ranks of student government, she held many of the titles before being named president. Her presidency has meant that she has tirelessly lobbied for students at NCTC and across MnSCU. Another member of NCTC’s student government added, “She should really be considered for this award because we at NCTC would be lost without her!”
She has worked very hard, above and beyond the required, engaging in the leadership of student government activities in addition to her studies.
NCTC President Dennis Bona said, “We are very pleased that Ms. Current has been recognized with this honor. She has worked very hard, above and beyond the required, engaging in the leadership of student government activities in addition to her studies.” He added, “We are also very appreciative of the outstanding service she has provided to the college as a work-study student over most of her tenure here at NCTC. We wish her well in her future endeavors and we are confident she will excel in both furthering her education and ultimately entering the workforce in her field of study.”
I really see myself being a voice for the voiceless. There is a real need for that.
Current is set to graduate in May. She will transfer to Bemidji State University (BSU) in the fall to continue her studies in social work to be an advocate for those in nursing homes, something she is passionate about. Having a parent in a nursing home showed her the necessity. As she put it, “I really see myself being a voice for the voiceless. There is a real need for that.”
Pangiarella concluded, “I am envious of them (BSU), as they will be inheriting a student who will be a dynamic leader and committed advocate. She leads by example, and works to earn the respect of her fellow students, and instructors.”