2021 Fall CAS Newsletter

SOME classroom spaces housed chairs dating 50 years ago, and others were equipped with chalkboards. Further, with the move of science faculty and programs to the new Harvey Jewett IV Regional Science Education Center, there were several spaces left unused in the Mewaldt-Jensen (MJ) building. MJ is centrally located on campus, houses the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), and supports a large portion of the university’s classroom instruction. Recognizing that classroom spaces in MJ required a “facelift,” Northern State University invested time and monies into the renovation of these spaces. Renovations continue this academic year. NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY | FALL 2021 DEAN Alyssa Kiesow DEAN’S MESSAGE Dear Friends of NSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, The challenges we faced over the past academic year included faculty’s shift in teaching strategies to HyFlex in spaces without the infrastructure to support such endeavors. NSU would like to thank Dakotah Prairie Museum for providing the Epidemic Exhibit displayed in the Jewett Regional Science Education Center lobby. It was installed in September 2020 and will remain until August 2022. The exhibit contains information and artifacts related to pandemics and epidemics that have affected the Aberdeen area between 1830s and 1950s, including diphtheria, typhoid fever, smallpox, the flu of 1918, and polio. “Although we began discussing this exhibit before the COVID-19 pandemic began, it couldn’t have been installed at a more relevant time. I believe the Epidemics Exhibit allows people the chance to contextualize the current pandemic and show how we have experienced, responded to and, in the end, made it through other epidemics in the past,” said Dr. Amy Dolan who helped coordinate the installation. It is also a great place to learn about the history of our local hospitals and medical community. The display has especially resonated with our pre-med and pre-nursing students who will have a big impact on our community in the future. The Epidemic Exhibit is located in the lobby of NJSC which is open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. The public is welcome to stop by. The pandemic presented an opportunity for faculty, staff, and administration to reflect on the use of spaces, and design spaces to meet the demands of today and needs of tomorrow; we used a grassroots approach to gain perspective and build spaces pertinent to course offerings. All the classroom and seminar spaces have new carpeting, paint, projection screens, and adjustable lighting. Most spaces have in-ceiling speakers and microphones (for sound and capturing sound) and a camera mounted on the back wall (for video capture). Nine classrooms and one seminar room were renovated for instruction. Several of these spaces were designed and designated for specialized instruction: we now have a math lab, a language lab, seminar space, and a communication-studies room. The redesigned spaces are outstanding and offer excellent functionality for both faculty and students. These spaces would not have been effectively designed and efficiently completed without the help of a multitude of individuals, including facilities management, technology services, faculty and staff, and department chairs. It truly was a team effort to create spaces for excellent instruction and student engagement to ensure active learning in a student-centric environment. An Appreciation of the Display in the Science Center