Graduate Assistant Receives Award For North Dakota

Tricia Tauer (right) received the award in October and keeps it on her desk to remind her of her work success.

Tricia Tauer became the North Dakota State Student Success Programs’ graduate assistant in June 2017 and has become an essential asset to the student affairs team ever since. Tauer received the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Rising Star award for North Dakota at the NASPA IV-West Regional Conference Oct. 23-25.

Each year, NASPA receives nominations for graduate students in each state who are involved in and pursuing a career in student affairs.

“I was very honored to receive the award,” Tauer said. “They (Betsy Carter, Casey Peterson and Angela Seewald-Marquardt) had just written very kind things about my work, and so I was very honored and humbled by it.”

Betsy Carter, Tauer’s supervisor and the assistant director of Student Success Programs, nominated Tauer for the award because of her involvement with the Rising Scholars program at NDSU. Others such as Casey Peterson, the director of Student Success Programs, and Angela Seewald-Marquardt, the associate director of Student Success Programs, seconded the nomination for Tauer. “She sets out on each piece of the project with cheer and determination to do her absolute best work,” Carter explained. “It’s obvious that she will be an immense asset to the field of student affairs.”

The Rising Scholars program has been around for three years “to provide support for conditionally admitted students’ overall college success as they transition to North Dakota State University,” according to the NDSU website. The program focuses on peer mentors, study skills and how to succeed in college. This past year Tauer has focused on furthering the program and has started a one-on-one mentorship within the program for students to have a mentor help them through the transition.

“I think it was just really exciting to be a part of, kind of, the creation and thinking about how do we best serve these students and what do they need from us; how can we help them make that transition from high school (to NDSU),” Tauer explained.

Tauer explained how she attributes winning the award to her team at the success program division. “I feel like it was their strong words of encouragement,” Tauer said.

Tauer shared how much she enjoys her work and hearing about people’s passions as they strive to succeed in college. She said she believes in the power of education and how it allows other to get to where they want to be. “I feel like it’s such exciting work to help others become the person that they want to become, help them pursue their professional dreams and their academic goals,” Tauer said.

Not only is she pursuing her passion by working in the field, but she is also working toward receiving her master’s in educational leadership. She explained how she has been able to connect her coursework to what she is learning in her assistantship. Tauer said being an assistant in student affairs and working directly with students has helped her professional development and given her support within the field of education.

Throughout her time at NDSU, she has been able to meet one-on-one with students every week for mentoring and she described it as her favorite part of the job. “That’s been so rewarding for me to see their personal growth and for me to see them kind of find their passion and find their place here on NDSU’s campus,” Tauer said.

For more information on the Rising Scholar Program, visit

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