University Letter

UND's faculty and staff newsletter

Remembering Kristi Swartz

Kristi Swartz

With deep regret, we announce the passing of Kristi Rae Swartz, Senior Instructional Designer at the Teaching Transformation and Development Academy (TTaDA). Kristi peacefully passed away on Saturday, May 28, 2022, surrounded by her family at home. She was 54.

Kristi was employed at the University of North Dakota for the past 28 years in various roles in Aerospace, Continuing Education, the Center for Instructional and Learning Technologies (CILT), and most recently TTaDA. During her time at UND she was also an active member on Staff Senate, serving as secretary and vice president before becoming president in 2011. She also served as president of the North Dakota State Staff Senate in 2014.

Kristi was born on December 22, 1967, in Grand Forks to Terry and Paulette (Undlin) Swartz. She was raised and attended school in Grand Forks, graduating from Red River High School in 1986. She then continued her education at Bemidji State University where she graduated with a BS in Technical Illustration/Graphic Design/Print Production in 1990. She later went on to pursue her Masters in Instructional Design and Technology at the University of North Dakota, graduating in 2005.

Kristi was one of the founding members of Muddy Waters Clay Center where she created beautiful designs and made life-long friends. Throwing pottery, gardening, spending time with her dog Cooper, completing puzzles, diamond painting and traveling with friends and family were her passions. Kristi loved traveling to Arizona each winter with her family and attended the Hostfest in Minot each fall. Kristi also enjoyed attending UND hockey games, even traveling one year to Las Vegas to watch them play. Being a doting aunt and a loving mother to several foster children was her dual purpose. Kristi leaves this earth believing that Jesus has prepared a place for her in Heaven.

She is survived by her mother, Paulette Undlin Swartz; sister, Tera Swartz Vanyo; nephews Tatum and Tyson; niece Taryn; aunt and uncle, Kathy (Swartz) and Herb Arnett; Margaret Undlin; and many cousins. She was also a bonus aunt to Kaylee and Abigail Baker. Kristi is proceeded in death by her father, Terry Kingsley Swartz; her grandparents Onetta (Kingsley) and Charles W. “Peg” Swartz and Florence (Routledge) and Raymond Undlin; aunts and uncles, Verna Undlin, Colleen (Undlin) and Glen Carlson, Joanne (Undlin) and Maurice Railing; and Uncle Lloyd Undlin.

She has gifted her body to the UND School of Medicine & Health Science Deeded Body Program for three years, after which she will be buried in Lansford, N.D. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Muddy Waters Clay Center at 2014 13th Avenue South, Grand Forks, or the Cancer Center of your choice.

Visitation will be Sunday, June 5, from 4-6 p.m. with a prayer service at 6 p.m. at Amundson Funeral Home, 2975 South 42nd Street, Grand Forks, ND. Memorial service will be on Monday, June 6, at 1 p.m. at Zion Methodist Church, 1001 24th Avenue South, Grand Forks.

You can also join friends and colleagues on June 11th for Altru’s 9th Annual Run For Your Buns 5k/10k which aims to raise awareness for the prevention of colon cancer.

Kristi’s passing is a great loss to our campus community. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and co-workers. They are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Please take time to remember her impact on the lives of students and others at UND. Let’s come together to support one another as we mourn her passing.