Administration

Northland Announces 2019 Thief River Falls Campus Student of the Year

Honoree to give the student address at campus commencement ceremony.

Josiah Dyrud has been chosen as 2019 Thief River Falls Campus Student of the Year.

May 13, 2019 – Northland Community & Technical College is proud to announce that Josiah Dyrud has been chosen as 2019 Thief River Falls Campus Student of the Year. Dyrud is graduating with highest honors earning a diploma in Welding Manufacturing Technology and certificates in Welding Manufacturing Technology and Welding Process Technology. Dyrud already holds an Associate of Arts degree which he received from Northland last spring, graduating from college and high school in the same week.

Dyrud is the eldest of five siblings who have been members of the Thief River Falls community for about seven years. The Dyruds, however, have deep roots in the community. His father is a native of TRF. “We moved around a lot when I was growing up,” shares Dyrud, “I was lucky to live in many unique places.” Stops along this journey included Texas, Illinois, Germany, the Philippines, and even Pakistan, where his parents, Lars and Sarah, worked with an international development organization.

“When we returned to the United States, it was during the recession, jobs were hard to come by, so my dad has encouraged me to always have a back-up plan. As an artist, employment can be hit or miss,” explains Dyrud, “Because of that, I decided to pursue welding to guarantee myself a paycheck.”

An accomplished artist, Dyrud won a Minnesota State High School League Spotlight on the Arts award in northwest Minnesota for digital art in 2017. Dyrud continued developing his artistic abilities at Northland taking art classes while pursuing his A.A. degree last year.


Welding, however, was completely foreign to Dyrud. There was a steep learning curve. “There were subtleties that I wasn’t expecting to deal with--percentages of gasses, metric measurements, and conversions. These were all things I needed to learn,” expresses Dyrud, “On top of that, it takes a lot of practice to become a good welder.” Dyrud hopes to one day be able to combine welding and art.

“Josiah showed tremendous work ethic and initiative in the time that I was able to work with him this year,” shared Northland welding instructor Joel Ziegler. “He came into the welding program not knowing a lot about the process, but through hard work and determination, he not only received his degrees from the college, but he also earned industry-recognized certifications that he will be able to utilize. I have no doubt that whatever Josiah decides to take on next, he will be successful.”

Ministry is another passion of Dyrud’s. He is a volunteer group leader working weekly with 6th - 12th graders at the Elevate Youth Center in Thief River Falls. “Ministry is very important to me. It is something my entire family shares and I plan to carry on with it throughout my life,” expresses Dyrud. In addition to art and ministry, Dyrud plays guitar, sings, and volunteers his time at his church aiding the music and production team.

Dyrud will attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California, this fall to further his ministry education. When asked where he sees himself in five years, Dyrud responded, “I see myself still continuing my education. I know I’ll be a life-long learner.”

Northland Community and Technical College (Northland) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. Northland also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. Northland offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. Northland is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Northland is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit www.northlandcollege.edu or call 1.800.959.6282.