The University of Minnesota Crookston will honor five alumni at its 2023 Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming Week on Friday, October 20 in the Sargeant Student Center’s Bede Ballroom. Honorees include Tashi Wongdi Gurung 2013 who will be presented with the Abbey [Promise] Award, Amy (Loomer) Longtin 1999 with the Outstanding Alumni Award, and Lisa (Rongen) Duckstad 1985 (basketball), Randy Lee 2001 (football), and Frederick “RJ” Rollins 2007 (football) who will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
Tashi Wongdi Gurung 2013
Tashi Wongdi Gurung 2013 graduated from the University of Minnesota Crookston in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. He went on to attend the Humphrey School of Public Policy where he received a master’s in science, technology, and environmental policy. Gurung recently earned a doctorate in environmental social science/complex adaptive systems from Arizona State University. He is currently a research analyst for EdPlus Data Catalytics and Action Lab.
Gurung was a recipient of the Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award in 2013 and, following graduation from U of M Crookston, he committed to humanitarian efforts and response to natural disasters in other countries. He has raised substantial funds that have positively impacted the lives of thousands by delivering urgently needed relief supplies and pledged to assist others during earthquakes, floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
During his time as a student at U of M Crookston, Gurung says his initial involvement in a humanitarian project opened his eyes to the significance of collaboration and community building.
Amy (Loomer) Longtin 1999
Amy (Loomer) Longtin graduated from the University of Minnesota Crookston in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in information networking management. She went on to attend the University of Mary where she received a master’s in business management. Longtin is currently the IT director for Fargo (N.D.) Park District, is the founder and CEO of Tech4Kids, and has taken on the role of IT expertise lead for the new sports complex being built and is set to open in April 2024.
Tech4Kids is a nonprofit organization providing the necessary software and technological tools needed to support a remote academic learning environment for kids to succeed. The company repurposes used laptops, iPads, and MacBooks, with all donations given to children that do not have access to technology in their home.
During her time as a student at U of M Crookston, Longtin was a member of the volleyball and basketball teams, was named Golden Eagle women’s basketball MVP in 1999, and made the 1999 All-Conference basketball team. Longtin says being part of those teams brought much joy into her life and introduced her to incredible individuals who became lifelong friends. Outside of academics, Longtin has received numerous awards and recognitions including Mrs. North Dakota America 2020, Leading Ladies Honoree 2021, and YWCA Women of the Year in Technology 2023.
Longtin’s family includes her spouse, Mark, and children, Brooke and Alayna. They reside in Horace, N.D.
Lisa (Rongen) Duckstad 1985, women’s basketball
Lisa (Rongen) Duckstad 1985 was an all-conference selection for Minnesota Crookston during the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons. She helped her squad to a 7-4 conference record as a freshman in 1983-84, and averaged 16.9 points per game in her career and secured 196 rebounds during the 1984-85 season. Duckstad played for Sonia Spaeth and was a teammate of fellow Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Sherry (Staff) Nelson.
Duckstad went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in textiles and clothing, with a minor in mass communication from North Dakota State University. She works for Motorola Solutions as the senior account manager where she is responsible for sales, strategic account planning, and overall relationship management in North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Duckstad has been involved with the American Cancer Association DetermiNATION, was formerly the Thrivent Youth Director for West Polk County, and is a graduate of Leadership Crookston. She has worked with the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce and has been involved with the American Cancer Society, Crookston Youth Basketball Association, and Fertile Youth Basketball Association.
She has earned several honors including: Verizon Winners Circle, Verizon Top Performer, Alltel Ace Award, CellularOne Major Account Manager of the Year, CellularOne Sales Manager of the Year, and CellularOne Peak Achievement Award.
She and her husband, Lee, reside in Fertile, Minn., and have three adult children Jessica Rongen, Charlie Duckstad, and Shelby Duckstad.
Randy Lee 2001, football
Randy Lee 2001 is the all-time leader in interceptions in the history of the Minnesota Crookston football program with 18 and set the single-season record with eight in 1998. He ranked in the top five with three in a season in 1997. Lee is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame with the 1997 Football Team helping them to their first-ever NAIA National Tournament appearance, and a second-place finish in the NDCAC. Lee was an All-NSIC First Team pick in 1999, making him the program’s first-ever All-NSIC First Team selection. He was a three-year defensive starter, three-time first team All-Conference defensive back, and an honorable mention All-American returner. He was a member of the Dean’s List, Special Teams Player of the Year, Most Valuable Defensive Player, a team captain, and three-time All-Academic Team recipient. Lee went on to play semi-pro football where he was named Rookie of the Year.
Lee graduated in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree in business from the U of M Crookston. He is a construction manager in the BioEnergy industry, working for Ascension Contracting Co., where he constructs and manages renewable energy facilities. Lee built and led a first-of-its-kind, emission-friendly gathering facility for BP in the Permian Basin, which garnered attention in the Wall Street Journal.
He and his wife, Lori, have four children, Audrey, who is a pre-med student at the University of Minnesota Rochester, Avery, Taylor, Claire, and reside in Monticello, Minn.
Frederick “RJ” Rollins 2007, football
Frederick “RJ” Rollins 2007 set school and NSIC records in single-game rushing (384), attempts (52), single-game touchdowns (5), and season rushing (1,549). He is 13th all-time in NSIC history in rushing yards per game (97.4). Rollins holds the NSIC record for rushing game average of 202.9 yards per game in 2004. He helped set a single-game team rushing record against Minnesota State University Moorhead with 518 yards. Rollins led the NSIC in scoring, rushing, and all-purpose yards, while finishing fourth in punting in 2004. He led the NSIC in rushing and all-purpose yards in 2005. Rollins was a 2004 Honorable Mention All-American selection. He earned selection to the All-NSIC team in 2004 and 2005. Rollins was a two-time National Player of the Week, and received multiple NSIC Player of the Week accolades. He was recognized as a preseason All-American.
Rollins received his bachelor of science degree in 2007 from the University of Minnesota Crookston majoring in business and went on to play for the Omaha Beef of the United Indoor Football Association for 10 seasons. He was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2006 and became the team’s all-time leading rusher.
He lives in Clinton, Md., where he works as a firefighter for Prince George’s County while studying to be a paramedic, and has one child Jaden Rollins.