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  • Ackerman Estvold


We look for opportunities to help our staff develop and get them involved with partners, finding spaces that matter to them within our community.

Emma Lavachek, a civil engineer in our Minot location, took part in the NDSU Foundation Trustee Breakfast Plenary on the North Dakota State University Campus. This event focused on philanthropy in action. Questions were asked to panelists about their experience as an NDSU student, how philanthropy made an impact on them during their time at NDSU, and how they’re thriving since graduation.

Emma is passionate about giving back, service to the community, and truly loves North Dakota. The panel moderator asked Emma why she choice to stay in her home state and become a part of her community, these were 3 great reasons she provided:

1. Emma serves as the City Engineer for the town she grew up in, Velva, ND and in turn is giving back to the community she grew up in. Things have come full circle; Emma works to plan, improve, repair, and transform the same roads she rode her bike on, the park she played in, the school she attended, and the municipal resources (water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, etc.) she & her WHOLE community use every day.

2. Emma remembers getting out of school to help sandbag in the Flood fight of 2011. She vividly recalls being at an appointment in Minot when she heard the sirens sound signaling to everyone, they had to evacuate their homes and hope for the best and wait to see what the Mouse River left behind. These are experiences she can never forget. Flash-forward, Emma is now deeply involved with her team working on the design and implementation of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Projects. These projects help provide future flood protection for all of the citizens in the basin.

3. Emma speaks and volunteers in many classrooms and at career fairs in our region to discuss careers in STEM and engineering. She shares with all students the path she took, how she put things she loved doing when she was younger to use in a career, and her passion for ND. She tells them about how she gets to shape the communities and cities we live in, doing a job she loves, and it comes to life when she sees a project finish. She grew up in ND, it is why she chose to make it her home and why she will continue to work, live & play here – to make a difference for those around her.

Emma asked her NDSU advisor and professor in civil engineering to join her in this experience as a mentor in her education. Dr. Achintya Bezbaruah was excited to reconnect with Emma on her experience since graduation in 2017 and provide some insight on the panel.

WAY TO GO Emma! Thank you for sharing your connection to the community and looking for ways to grow in your role.


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