News Release

Trio of Interests Focuses Academic Career for Senior Hannah Van Dyke

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Friday, December 9, 2016

What’s the connection between a horse, a trumpet, and a flute? At the University of Minnesota Crookston, it’s Senior Hannah Van Dyke, and all three have played a central role in her academic career.Hannah Van Dyke

Van Dyke grew up on a farm near Edgerton, Minn., and playing both the trumpet and flute were a part of growing up in a family with musical talent. It seems natural too that Van Dyke would major in equine science since she owned a horse of her own in seventh grade. Adding a second major in animal science encompassed her interest in cattle and allowed her to broaden her opportunities for future employment in the two areas she loves most.

Following in her sister Vayla’s footsteps, Van Dyke decided to attend the U of M Crookston. “I was a freshman when my sister was a senior on campus and she has always been my inspiration,” Van Dyke says. “Vayla majored in natural resources and works for the National Forest Service now, and I will complete my undergraduate career when I graduate in May 2017.”

She dreams of going west where her experience with both cattle and horses could help her land a job that combines the two working on a ranch. But, graduate school isn’t out of the question either. She enjoys her feeds and feeding class with Assistant Professor Leslie Lekatz so much that she is considering the study of animal nutrition in a graduate program.

To say Van Dyke enjoys riding is something of an understatement. From her own mare “Peppy” to her gelding “Dief” to competing on the Golden Eagles Western Equestrian team, horses are the focus of much of her time. But, music comes in a close second.

Van Dyke plays flute in the concert band and trumpet in the jazz and pep bands on campus. She works for TJ Chapman, a lecturer in the Math, Science, and Technology Department and director of bands, as the music librarian preparing folders and refiling music. And, the addition of a music minor rounds out Van Dyke’s academic pursuits as a U of M Crookston student. 

She also is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the Honors Program, and active in Campus Crusade for Christ, serving as the organization’s president.hannah van dyke

“There are students faculty members remember long after they leave campus.  Hannah Van Dyke will be one of those students for me,” says Professor Lyle Westrom, who teaches in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.  “Impeccable character is the way I would describe Hannah.  She quietly goes about her classes and activities around campus with little fanfare.  Yet, most everyone looks to her with the utmost respect. 

“Having Hannah in class has been a real joy for me,” Westrom continues. “But when I look at her activities beyond the classroom and the passion she exudes for those activities, I realize she is a well-rounded student who has fully capitalized on college life.  She will leave a legacy as a truly important member of the U of M Crookston family.”

Van Dyke credits her family as having the greatest influence on her life. Growing up on a farm and working closely with cattle and horses definitely influenced her choice of majors. “Every year that I have been on campus, the classes and professors I have affirmed my college decision,” Van Dyke says. “The size of this campus is a good fit for me and my experience here is confirmation that I made the right choice.”

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 34 bachelor's degree programs, 22 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 14 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations