Photo of Emmitt Stevens

Dedicated, focused, and honest. University of Minnesota Crookston healthcare management senior, Emmitt Stevens, described himself and someone who is always striving to do better and works diligently towards his goals. Stevens, an Albert Lea, Minn. native came to UMN Crookston in 2016 to play football for the Golden Eagles. Stevens decided to come to UMN Crookston after being recruited for football, but upon his visit to the town and the university, it was more than his passion for the sport that got him to call Crookston home.

“I fell in love with the town and with the people. I just knew it was right for me; Crookston is an Emmitt kind of town,” said Stevens.

At first, being six hours away from home was hard for Stevens, since he has always been quite a homebody and someone who is close to his family. Stevens is especially close to his grandfather, Dwight Stevens, and he remembers feeling a whirlwind of emotion when he said goodbye to him in order to come to Crookston; it was the first time he saw his grandfather cry. 

Nonetheless, Stevens knew that he would adapt to his new town and feel at ease at UMN Crookston. Upon his arrival as a freshman, Stevens decided to major in exercise science since he loved sports and his ultimate goal was to help people. With this major, he was certain he could combine the two. 

Soon after starting his major, Stevens came to the realization that he was not on the right career path for him. He knew that he had more of a business mindset than anything else. That being said, Stevens sought out his adviser, Vicki Gustafson, for help. After talking about his predicament with Gustafson, Stevens decided to change his major to healthcare management. Through this, Steves would still quench his passion for helping others, a passion ignited in him by his mom who is a nurse at the Mayo Clinic. 

“I love the business aspects of hospitals, although it can be a challenge at times with the constantly changing healthcare industry. Nevertheless, I know it’s what I want to do,” mentioned Stevens. 

Coming to UMN Crookston helped shape Steven’s life in many ways. He stepped out of his comfort zone by being far from home, he honed his leadership and time management skills, and more than ever, he lived by his life motto, which he learned from his grandpa, “if you’re going to do something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” 

As Stevens looks back on his time at UMN Crookston, he urges future students to get involved right away. He stated that he waited quite a bit to get involved, but now, he’s a full-time student, a community adviser in residential life, a student worker in facilities, and much more. He also recommends,continuously working on time management skills, which is what allowed him to be involved and stay on top of his academics. 

Stevens will spend his last few months as a UMN Crookston student studying for the GMAT and applying to a variety of schools to do his MBA. He is also looking forward to making the Crookston area his permanent home. Stevens deeply cherished his time at UMN Crookston and is forever grateful he’s on the right career path for him.

About UMN Crookston

One of five campuses in the University of Minnesota System, the University of Minnesota Crookston cultivates curiosity by engaging students in hands-on learning connecting theory to practice. As the experienced leader in delivering education online, the Crookston campus offers a distinctive learning environment providing personal attention and mentorship to develop leaders, lifelong learners, and engaged citizens. Visit Crookston at 

About UMN

The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Learn more at

Story Contact: Shawn Smith