Bismarck State College
Mass Communications Program Advisory Committee
Public Affairs Manager
Chris Erickson has worked in the world of professional communications since starting at the Bismarck State College Mystician in 2002. After becoming an editor of that publication he held numerous independent and freelance communication roles before deploying twice as an Army journalist. After his service ended, he transitioned to the world of weekly newspapers, where he served as the editor of the Beulah Beacon for several years. Chris currently serves as the Public Affairs Manager for North Dakota University System, where he has been since 2015.
He holds an MBA and an MPA from University of Mary, a BS in Mass Communication (dual emphasis in print and photo journalism) from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and an AAS in Computer Information Systems from BSC. He co-founded the Erickson Merkel Foundation, then went on to serve as both the communications director and executive director. Additionally, Chris has served on the Beulah Public Library Board, the Beulah Centennial Committee, and Dollars for Scholars. He lives in Bismarck with his dog, Rascal.
Marketing Communications Consultant
NISC National Information Solutions Coopertative
Chris Gessele lives in Bismarck with his wife and two children. His career in communications started in print journalism, and he currently works in corporate communications at NISC, a technology co-op in Mandan.
Chris earned an associate degree in biology from Bismarck State College, and bachelor’s degrees in fisheries and wildlife and mass communications from University of North Dakota. He has served on the North Dakota Dollars for Scholars Board of Directors and the International Association of Business Communicators Great Plains Chapter Board and is a graduate of Bismarck-Mandan Chamber’s Leadership Bismarck-Mandan program.
Mike Mabin has nearly four decades of marketing and management experience. As the owner and senior consultant at Agency MABU, he provides strategic advice to a diverse array of clients including government agencies, non-profit organizations, mission-driven enterprises and Native American entities.
Prior to starting Agency MABU, he served as an administrative member of a nationally-recognized leader in the health care industry. During a 20-year career at this regional health care facility, Mabin was responsible for departments including Planning & Market Research, Marketing & Education, Fund Raising & Development, Community Outreach & Health Ministry, and Telemedicine & Telecommunications. He also led key organizational efforts such as strategic planning, mission effectiveness, customer service and leadership development.
Today, Mabin provides strategic marketing counsel to influential federal clients such as the U.S. Departments of Defense, Justice and Treasury, as well as leading Native American organizations such as the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Mabin majored in photography and film making at the prestigious Minneapolis College of Art & Design and later went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and a Master’s in Management degree from the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND. He is a lifetime, accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and a founding member of the International Social Marketing Association. Mabin is also an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.
He is a serial entrepreneur. In addition to starting and running Agency MABU, he has launched a number of other businesses including NativeWays Travel & Tour Company (non-profit travel agency), InnovatAR (augmented reality), Shutter Pilots (aerial imaging), Pemmican Patty Food Company and the American Indian Business Alliance (dba North Dakota Indian Business Alliance - NDIBA). Through his work with NDIBA, Mabin provided counsel and support to over 50 other startup businesses serving Indian County.
Alyssa Meier is a Bismarck native and 2013 graduate of Bismarck State College. She fell in love with the world of newspapers at 15 years old, when she was a sophomore in high school.
She has spent the last decade studying journalism and working on her school newspapers, including two years as editor of the BSC Mystician. She worked as a copy editor and page designer at the Bismarck Tribune for two years before accepting a job as the editor of the Washburn Leader-News in 2015.
She currently serves as the Associate Publisher for BHG newspapers while pursuing her Bachelor's degree in communication.
Mary Van Sickle
Mary Van Sickle is the Executive Director of Dakota Media Access (DMA) in Bismarck, ND. DMA is an award-winning, non-profit community media and training organization which provides Government and Community Media services in the Bismarck Mandan area. Since 2000, she has served at the community media center, launching the Dakota Film Festival in 2011 and Radio Access 102.5 FM in 2016.
Prior to DMA, Mary worked in a variety of marketing, economic development, and non-profit management positions. She has served in various leadership roles and on numerous committees locally and nationally and is the past chair of the national Board of Directors for the Alliance for Community Media.
Steve Wallick worked in a number of roles at the Bismarck Tribune starting in 1974. He was appointed editor in 2014 and retired in 2019, though he still writes editorials for the Tribune.
While at the Tribune he served as wire editor, news editor and city editor. He also did some reporting.
He’s a 1971 graduate of the University of Nebraska School of Journalism. From 1971 to 1973 he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He’s married to Sandy Fettig, who also worked for the Bismarck Tribune.
Senior Audio Video Producer
Greg Wheeler started in the broadcast and video production industry in 1991. He has worked as a Creative Services Videographer, Program Director, Promotional Director and Live Events Coordinator. He has also worked as a freelance consultant and videographer for other entertainment agencies like MTV, The Disney Channel, ESPN and QVC.
Currently he is the Senior Audio Video Producer at Basin Electric Power Cooperative specializing in live event production, video production for cooperate communications, social media and television. Basin is a generation and transmission power cooperative that serves over 120 Electric distribution cooperatives throughout the Midwest from Canada to Mexico.