Sandstrom shares advice with CSC graduates

First, he urged the audience to practice gratitude.

“Love and appreciate the people and things in your life that make it rich and rewarding. We all have things big and small that we can show gratitude for,” he said.

In July 2011, after surviving a rollover accident with minor injuries, Sandstrom recalled a moment of intense gratitude during his summer job about a week later.

“I remember listening to a song on an 80-plus degree day and feeling intense gratitude that I still had some work to do on this Earth,” Sandstrom said. “Taking an active look at your life and the people in it will give you a profound sense of peace and calm. That will provide you with the ability to not only enjoy your life more but find more success in your future.”

Secondly, Sandstrom urged graduates to take an active role in planning and envisioning their success including keeping a daily journal with goals.

“You need to be actively moving your life in the direction you want. It is important to remain flexible because life will throw you curveballs and setbacks, but your life will be what you make of it. If you are searching for a specific opportunity, then it is important for you to know the skills, knowledge, and preparation you need to make that dream a reality,” Sandstorm said.

His third point was to find a way to be consistent.

“My high school P.E. teacher told me, ‘You should always go the extra mile because that road is never very busy,'” Sandstrom said. “People can be great in short bursts, but few people are willing to consistently perform for years and decades. There is greatness in being able to consistently perform on the little things. Discipline equals freedom.”

Sandstrom’s final point was for the graduates to have faith in themselves and persevere.

“Success is generally not immediate. Genuine belief in your own abilities and potential will allow you to persevere through hard times,” he said.

In closing, he shared a quote from the film The Count of Monte Cristo about the importance of overcoming inevitable adversity.

“Edmond Dantes gave the following toast. ‘Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes,'” Sandstrom said.

CHADRON – Dr. Ryan F. Morgan has been named Chadron State College’s Dean of Graduate Studies and the School of Business, Math, and Science, Vice President Jim Powell announced Monday. Dr. Morgan will begin his duties in July.

“Dr. Morgan brings a lot of excellent qualities to Chadron State College,” Powell said. “He has a strong background in teaching, as well as administration, which makes him a great fit for CSC. I am confident he’ll be a good leader for graduate studies and the school of Business, Math, and Science.”

Morgan, an Associate Professor at Tarleton State University, has been the Department Head for Chemistry, Geosciences, and Physics since 2018. He has worked at Tarleton, a member of the Texas A&M System, since 2014, beginning as an Assistant Professor. Prior to accepting the Dean position at CSC, Morgan was named Assistant Provost for Curriculum during the spring semester.

Morgan said he is excited to continue his academic career at CSC.

“Chadron State is well-known for its teaching and the quality of its graduates, and I’m looking forward to continuing that tradition while supporting faculty and staff in their efforts,” Morgan said. “I’m dedicated to rural institutions and I am eager to embody CSC’s mission.”

While at Tarleton State, Morgan supervised six academic programs and worked to promote faculty research and scholarship. He said he created partnerships with key institutions and companies across Texas and Oklahoma that led to record-setting growth and donations. He also reorganized and streamlined a master’s degree program in environmental science that saw its student enrollment double.

Morgan is also committed to creating partnerships with the community and students. He oversaw the Environmental Alliance Garden, which was designed to assist with student food insecurity.

“Our food pantry only had dry goods for students on campus and so we wanted to add fresh fruit and vegetables. Creating the garden was a big step to help in addressing food insecurity, particularly for the first-generation students,” he said.

Morgan, a native of Fenton, Michigan, received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University. He earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Baylor University in 2015.

CHADRON – Kayla Campos of Alliance, Nebraska, is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for April 2023.

Campos, an English Studies major with a minor in Creative Writing, plans to become a full-time published author. According to Campos, English was her best subject in grade school and that’s when she first began to love creative writing. She believes English is a field that allows one to be creative and expressive.

Her high school English teacher first encouraged her to think about becoming an author, according to Campos.

“She knew I loved writing and believed I was really good at it,” Campos said. “Before that, I was thinking of going into Criminal Justice or maybe becoming an English teacher, but she really pushed me to start my path to becoming an author, and I’m happy with my decision so far.”

After graduating from CSC, Campos plans to go abroad to teach English for a couple of years while finishing her first novel, a supernatural story about vampires.

“I started my vampire novel in a fiction class here on campus,” Campos said. “We had to brainstorm and draw pictures, so I drew a vampire and just kind of went with it. But after I got started, I really started to like where it was going; now I’m excited to finish it.”

Campos hopes to teach in South Korea while she finishes her novel.

“I’ve been thinking about teaching in South Korea because I know a lot of the culture and the language there,” Campos said. “I plan on staying there two years, but if I love it there or need more time to write, I can always stay longer.”

Campos said finding a career as an English professor would satisfy her if she doesn’t become a successful author. She has also thought about moving to New York to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree in English and have a better opportunity at finding a publishing company.

Campos is also a member of the International Club, which she feels has helped her in several ways.

“I joined the International Club to help me meet new people and get out of my comfort zone,” Campos said. “The whole club is like one big family and I ended up meeting a lot of my close friends there. I also wanted to meet other people that came from ethnic backgrounds like me.”

Growing up with immigrant parents is what Campos feels has made school so important to her.

“Both of my parents are from Mexico and I come from a family that struggled a lot to fit into the United States,” said Campos, “I want to pay my gratitude and respect back to my parents for all they’ve done for me and our family to make sure we could have the best life possible.”

Associate Professor of English and Humanities Dr. Mary Clai Jones believes Campos is an excellent student.

“Kayla is a wonderful student to have in class because I can count on her to make excellent observations and to give insight on our readings,” Jones said. “She’s also a creative and kind person.”

Chadron State College’s Project Strive/TRiO program, located in the lower level of the King Library, is an academic enrichment program committed to help students succeed. Project Strive also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment, and self-awareness. To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first-generation student where neither parent has a four-year degree, meet low-income status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability. For more information, visit


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