SMSU Student Remembered

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Minnesota State University honored and remembered agribusiness student, Russell Inches, in a grief support session Wednesday, April 23 held by the SMSU Counseling and Testing Services following the announcement of his death on Saturday, April 19.

Russell, from Bath, S.D., came to SMSU in 2011 following a diving accident in 2010 that left him paralyzed. He kept a positive attitude throughout it all and it followed with him to SMSU, where he started as a psychology major.

Russell enrolled and was interested in clinical counseling and later decided he had a mind for engineering, where he would take some advanced math an physics courses according to Dr. Christine Olson, professor of psychology.

Russell returned to psychology, looking to make a career in rehabilitation counseling.

“He had a great sense of humor, thoughtful, excellent student and well-liked by [other] students. He was a great guy,” Dr. Olson said.

Within the past year, Russell changed his major from psychology to agribusiness.

“He was leaning towards Ag finance. He was good with numbers, analysis…he was [looking to] have a productive career down the road and overcome his disabilities. He wasn’t bothered; he was just moving straight ahead…motivated and friendly,” said Dr. Gerald Toland, professor of economics. “I was looking forward to working with him over the long term.”

“He wanted a rewarding career and looked [to see] how he could translate a degree into employment…and a way of becoming independent,” Dr. Toland said. “I was impressed in terms of his drive and his friendliness.”

Though Russell’s drive and motivation were enough to show that he was a hard-working student, it was his attitude and willingness to participate that really showed his determination as a student.

“I had classes with Russell and have talked to him about career goals. He was a great student; he was engaged in whatever the topic and was always paying attention and kept his mind off of his personal situation,” said. Dr. Stephen Davis, professor of agribusiness management and economics.

“He was realistic about life, had a good attitude, was respectful, always participated, and had an easy-going personality. He was the opposite of someone who had a chip on his shoulder,” said Dr. Davis.

Russell loved the outdoors and also spending time with his daughter, family and friends.

Russell is remembered by his family, friends and all those who knew him at SMSU.

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