Student Employee Spotlights 2022

person standing in wilderness
April 6, 2022

National Student Employment Week is April 10-16, 2022 – a time for colleges and universities across the country to recognize the importance of student employees. Student employment is an important role in the higher education experience and we want to recognize our student employees who do outstanding work while attending NDSU. The Libraries have over 40 dedicated student employees that are vital to keeping operations running smoothly. Their friendly faces help make the Main Library and its branches enjoyable spaces with invaluable services that fellow students, faculty, staff, and the community appreciate.

We are putting the spotlight on six of our exceptional student assistants who are all graduates this academic year. They are greatly appreciated for their hard work, impact, and commitment at NDSU Libraries. Thank you for choosing us to be a part of your NDSU experience!


headshot of Brie standing with city lights behind her.Brie Walen 

Hometown: Prior Lake, Minnesota

Major: Biology (Conservation & Ecology)

Graduation Date: May 2022

Position at NDSU Libraries: Access Services Student Assistant (or "senior student assistant" if you’re feelin’ spicy because I've been here for 4 years)

Book I would recommend: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin (really I'd recommend all 3 in the series)

Favorite Quote: "Don't do dumbs." – My Mother

What makes NDSU Libraries special? The people that work there. Honestly my coworkers and supervisors at the circulation desk are what have made my time at the library worth sticking around for.

How does your degree fit into your life’s plans? I’ve always wanted to be a Zookeeper but my degree and minor will help open the door to a lot of other positions as well. As long as I’m working with wildlife or nature, I’ll be happy.

If you could have one song play every time you entered a room what would it be, and why? "The Devil You Know" by I Fight Dragons because it’s kind of about overcoming your nerves and insecurity and to just let go and be yourself. It’s also a bop so that helps. "Dance with the devil you know or go home."


Dustin Hennings

Graduation Date: December 2021

Position at NDSU Libraries: Access Services Student Assistant

Book I would recommend: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith


Kade Leier

Hometown: Rugby, North Dakota

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Graduation Date: December 2021

Position at NDSU Libraries: Digital Fabrication Lab Student Technician

Book I would recommend: The Evening and The Morning by Ken Follet

Favorite Quote: "Perseverance pays off."

What would people be surprised to know about you? I grew up on a bison ranch in the middle-of-nowhere North Dakota.

What’s your favorite memory from NDSU Libraries? The first time I took a moment to glance into the Digital Fabrication Lab and having the realization that all that expensive equipment was there for me to use whenever I wanted. It was my second semester of sophomore year. I remember that moment very clearly.

What have you learned that's made a difference to you?
- Trying to learn new skills, traveling to new places, and just pushing your limits, makes life feel more full.
- You are almost always more capable than you think you are.
- Identifying and acknowledging the times when you are struggling, and realizing it’s helping you grow in some way, usually makes things a little easier.

What is your favorite smell? Hardware stores. Think of Lowe’s or The Home Depot – you know what I mean.


Kayla Jones

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Major: Psychology + Women and Gender Studies Minor + Creative Writing Minor

Graduation Date: May 2022

Position at NDSU Libraries: Access Services Student Assistant

Book I would recommend: The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

Favorite Quote: "Still I rise." – Maya Angelou

What would people be surprised to know about you? I am a music junkie! I collect records, I used to write music, I enjoy live performances! It takes up a big part of my life, I enjoy being in the music making world and would like to go back to singing at some point when I have more time. Music is a huge part of my life!

How does your degree fit into your life’s plans? My ultimate goal would be to be a psychologist and have people working under me with youth in the city. Often, their minds are not taken care of and I want people to work strictly for them. Along with that, I do not plan on stopping writing and I would like to incorporate my writing into my mental health work and activism.

What is your plan after graduation? Grad school for a masters in clinical health counseling, so more school. Shocker!

If you could have one song play every time you entered a room what would it be, and why? "Superwoman" by Alicia Keys!


Madalyne Beavers

Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota

Major: Nursing + Women and Gender Studies

Graduation Date: December 2021

Position at NDSU Libraries: Access Services Student Assistant Lead

Book I would recommend: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Favorite Quote: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

What is your plan after graduation? I plan to work at Abbott Northwestern hospital in Minneapolis, MN in the Float pool as a RN.

What advice do you have for incoming students? Be involved on campus! You will meet so many amazing people and make infinite memories.

What do you like to do in your free time? I enjoy reading, shopping, being with friends, and watching Netflix.

What is your favorite smell? The candle “Leaves” from Bath & Body Works.


Thomas Quinn

Hometown: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Graduation Date: May 2022

Position at NDSU Libraries: Access Services Student Assistant

Book I would recommend: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Favorite Quote: "I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." – Groucho Marx

What's your favorite spot on campus and why? The library of course! It’s a great space to focus in on homework and get things done.

What do you like to do in your free time? Landscape photography, hiking, hanging in a hammock; really anything outdoors (at least when it’s warm out)!

What makes NDSU Libraries special? The libraries are essential for helping students succeed. They can provide resources for research, study spaces, places to relax, VR spaces, help with 3D printing, the list goes on!

Would you rather be a master at every musical instrument or fluent in every language in the world? Fluent in every language, it would make international travel more fun!


Congratulations to our accomplished student employees. We wish you all the best!