by Ellen Rossow
Five more students were awarded funds thanks to the #BeADragon scholarship program. Three juried $2,500 scholarships were awarded along with two $1,000 scholarships — one to the prospective student whose tweet received the most likes, the other, to the student whose tweet received the most retweets.
Entrants tweeted why MSUM appeals to them using the campaign’s hashtag and were required to have been accepted into MSUM by March 11.
Underwood High School senior Olivia Kollar, Park Christian School senior Ally Lutz and Fertile-Beltrami High School senior Carissa Gunufson were recipients of the $2,500 scholarship.
Lutz’s submission, the sole tweet on her newly created page, included the link to a YouTube video in which she interviewed elementary school students about their dreams and what they love about their teacher.
“Someday, I will be nurturing lives like these,” the aspiring teacher’s narration reads. “I want to foster their creativity and instill in them a love for learning.”
For Lutz, MSUM is where she can get the skills needed to do just that.
“I believe MSUM is the best place for me to learn how to become the best teacher possible, so that someday I can make an impact on kids’ lives,” the video reads.
Gunufson’s submission, also the lone tweet on a freshly created page, was another Youtube video link discussing the importance of education in her life. A theme of education’s ability to open doors earned her the scholarship.
“I realized that I wanted to be a Dragon in the eighth grade,” her voiceover states.
For Gunufson, MSUM’s “welcoming faces” and inclusive atmosphere made her “want to graduate immediately and fill a place at MSUM that seemed to be calling to (her) directly.”
The last recipient, future graphic design major Kollar, submitted a short, humorous video about how excited she is to “design her future.”
Coon Rapids High School student Juliana Anderson earned $1,000 for obtaining the most retweets for her submission.
“Who wouldn’t want to #BeADragon? So excited and ready to be a dragon diver and further my education at MSUM!” her tweet reads, also featuring images of a group of friends spelling MSUM with their bodies.
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Senior High student Alyson Brenna received $1,000 for the most likes on her tweet, which also featured a short video.
“If I make this, I’ll be a Dragon,” the basketball player says before performing a series of half court and off-the-wall shots.
Moorhead High School senior Camilla Herbel, a future education major, was announced as the first #BeADragon winner in February for her video interviewing a selection of teachers at MHS.
While the #BeADragon scholarship offerings have ceased for now, use of the hashtag continues among prospective, current and former students, as well as faculty, staff, administration and MSUM organizations.
“Awesome! Nothing better than to #BeADragon under the stars,” the MSUM Planetarium tweeted in response to a tweet about incoming astronomy majors.
Beyond social media attention, the scholarship contest put MSUM in a national spotlight through the online publication Inside Higher Ed.