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Steering NorthernÃ

 

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A new face is taking the helm of the private organization that helps fund the local university. Shauna Albrecht, 33, a native of Helena, will take over the Montana State University-Northern Foundation Monday, Jan. 25, she said Monday. "My duties will be to try to raise funds for Northern," Albrecht said. "We're going to kick off a capital campaign." The two-year campaign will try to raise $6 million for the university, Albrecht said, focusing on helping with special projects making Northern more sustainable — an increasing concern with state revenue predictions dropping. "We just don't want Northern to be solely reliant on state funding," she said. Albrecht, a Northern graduate, has worked at the university more than eight years. She now is the director of the advising center in the Vande Bogart Library. Albrecht, who has a 4-year-old daughter, Olivia, with her husband, Brian, is heavily involved in the local community. Chancellor Frank Trocki said that was one of the reasons Albrecht was selected from a large pool of applicants for the position. "Shauna rose to the top, and, I think more importantly, people knew her, knew her work ethic," he said. "Her ability to work with people, students, faculty, staff, said a lot for her ability. "(Her hiring) is a positive move for the foundation and the university," he added. Albrecht will take the place of Bill Gupton, who announced he was leaving the position late last year. Gupton took over in 2007 from Tom Reynolds, the first director of the nearly 30-year-old foundation. The foundation has been an integral part of funding at the university, with responsibilities ranging from raising money for scholarships to finding funding for major projects including creating the Buttrey-Burlington Northern practice field, renovation of the university gymnasium and finding funding for the match required by the state in the construction of the Applied Technology Center at Northern. Albrecht has been in Havre since she first came here to attend Northern. After graduating, she worked as the manager of the TownHouse Inns in Havre, then as the manager of Beaver Creek Golf Course. She then went to work at Northern and soon took the job as the first director of the advising center, where she has worked for eight years. "I came to Northern to be a recruiter, and six months later we opened the advising center," Albrecht said. She said that has been a very rewarding job, helping the students through their career at the university. Watching them walk across the stage and receive their diploma is a wonderful moment, Albrecht said. "When they call and talk about getting their first job, that's pretty rewarding, too," she added. She has worked in many activities in the area, including many Havre Area Chamber of Commerce projects. Albrecht served as a chamber ambassador and also worked on the Chamber's Tourism Committee, as well as many other of its committees. She helps with Havre's Leadership High School — Albrecht also is participating in Leadership Montana this year herself — and has served on the board of directors of the regional tourism promotion organization Russell Country. Other activities in which she has been involved include the Women Fighting Breast Cancer golf tournament and serving on the Montana Actors' Theatre board of directors. Albrecht said her background in business and marketing will help in her work at the foundation. She received a degree in agriculture from Northern in 1998 and a business degree with an emphasis in marketing and business management from the Havre university in 2000. She received her master's in business administration from the University of Montana while working full-time at Northern. She also will be working closely with the Clements Group, a consulting firm, in starting the capital campaign this year. "They, again, will be helpful," Albrecht said. "They will fill me full of knowledge." The first stage of the capital campaign will include Albrecht working with Clements Group as it conducts a feasibility study on the planned campaign. She added that taking over the organization started by Reynolds will make her job easier. "I really think Tom laid the groundwork for what I will be doing," Albrecht said. "He started a great foundation, and I want to continue its success."

 

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