A true North Dakota girl

New instructor's love for UND stretches back 31 years

Cameron Cloyd, Staff Writer

Angela Cary is one of the newest full-time instructors for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has only been in the position for a week and a half, but her relationship with UND goes back even further. In her own words, “I have a 31-year love affair with UND!”

Cary’s story starts back in her hometown of Valley City, N.D. She says that she always knew she wanted to go to UND, even back in junior high. There was a boy she had a crush on who always wore a UND jersey. They both ended up coming here, but their tragic love story ends there. Don’t worry, she did find the right guy. She and her husband have been married for 21 years.

She originally wanted to be a journalist, but that idea suddenly didn’t seem so appealing after she got a “D” on her first press release for a journalism class.

“Admittedly, the professor was probably trying to teach us a lesson. But it was a wakeup call; that really steered me towards advertising over journalism,” Cary said.

Cary graduated from UND in 1990, with a major in advertising and a minor in visual arts. She worked in television for most of her professional career, working mainly in advertising copywriting. She wrote and produced commercials, while also working on promotions for the major television networks in town.

That lasted until 2010, right in the midst of the Great Recession. Many companies were cutting out their advertising departments, deemed as unnecessary spending.

“About six of us were let go. They did not think we were necessary. It’s just what happens when money gets tight,” Cary said.

This sent her into a few years of many different jobs, all of which she hated. She knew that she needed to do something else. She always believed she had something to share. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I always knew I would come back and either love it or hate it,” Cary said.

Cary returned to the halls of UND in 2013, with the intention of getting a Master’s in communications. After a year of classes, she started teaching public speaking as a graduate student. She finished the program in 2016, going on to teach a year as a part-time instructor and advisor. This August, the University offered her a full-time job in the Communications Department. Now her plan is keep on going. She loves every minute of it and wants to spend the rest of her life in North Dakota.

“My husband and I are North Dakotans, through and through. We love it here and are dead-set on staying,” Cary said.

In her time as an instructor, she has quite a bit of fun. Her favorite moment during her classes is when one student was giving a speech about superheroes. He spoke passionately, waving his arms around as a way to demonstrate how strong these superheroes were. In an attempt to show how strongly they can kick, he accidentally kicked the glass out of the classroom door. It was silent for a minute, then the whole class burst out laughing. Cary called up maintenance, claiming that they had “a little accident.” Only now do they know the truth.

One of her traditions in her short time as an instructor is to pass out a chattering teeth toy to every student at the end of the semester.

“Maybe it will remind you of me, because I talk a lot,” Cary said. “But I do get emails from old students who say they still have it…I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it this year, but I guess I have to now!”

Cameron Cloyd is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]