Fall 2010


Alum Takes Top Job at North Dakota State University

Dean BrescianaPhoto courtesy of North Dakota State University

Working on the HSU campus one summer, Dean Bresciani (‘84, Sociology) stumbled upon a career path that has been his passion ever since.

The Napa Valley, Calif. native was recently named President of North Dakota State University. “It’s something I’ve worked for my entire life,” he says, and it was an unexpected summer job at Humboldt that got him started.

“I was involved with the Humboldt Orientation Program, HOP. I did that, to be honest, to avoid working for my dad over the summer,” he recalls. “But the light went on. I got excited about helping students succeed in college.”

After HSU, Bresciani went on to earn a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in higher education finance from the University of Arizona, at Tucson. He has held several administrative positions throughout the years, including Vice President for Student Affairs at Texas A&M University.

One of Bresciani’s graduate students in Texas had earned her undergraduate degree at North Dakota State, and she was the first to recommend he apply for the presidency there. “I took that as the ultimate compliment,” he says.

Helping students achieve success wasn’t the only passion Bresciani discovered at Humboldt State. Redwood Park and Patrick’s Point stand out as the places that fueled his love of hiking, running and rock climbing.

“Most people who meet me wearing a suit and tie would never guess that I’m into rock climbing,” he says.

In addition to climbing, Bresciani has backpacked throughout the western United States and Alaska. He has even led a few student groups on backpacking adventures.

And his time at Humboldt State was the spark that ignited his zeal for working with students. “Without the type of experience or opportunities I found at HSU, I might have never found my life’s calling.”