Northern State University Honors Newsletter Fall 2021 Allison Anderson and Tawnie Williams each placed second in their categories at the conference, held Oct. 28-31. They were part of a group of Northern students attending the conference in Orlando, Fla., along with NSU Honors Program Director Dr. Kristi Bockorny. Anderson, a junior from Canby, Minn., placed second in the Education and Pedagogy category for her thesis, “Teachers’ Knowledge About Grade Retention in the Early Grades.” Anderson is majoring in elementary education with a minor in early childhood education. Her thesis advisor is Ms. Jessica Vogel. “When Dr. Bockorny first brought up the idea of presenting at NCHC, I’m pretty sure the words ‘that’s scary’ came out of my mouth. In that moment I knew it was something I had to try for,” Anderson said. “Just getting accepted to share my research that I’m so passionate about was so exciting. Being recognized as a second place winner was the cherry on top. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity and thankful for many professors, especially Dr. Bockorny and Ms. Vogel, for helping me achieve this. I’m excited to see what else may come from my research.” Williams, a senior from Rapid City, placed second in the Environmental Sciences, Conservation and Green Technology category for her thesis, “Effects of Dual-Species Biofilm Formation on Plastic Degradation by Ideonella sakaiensis.” Williams is pursuing a B.S. in biology and A.S. in biotechnology. Her thesis advisor is Dr. Andrew Russell. “Coming into honors as a freshman knowing I had to complete a senior thesis was one of the scariest yet most exciting times here at Northern,” Williams said. “Once it came time to Two NSU Honors Program Students Earn Second Place at National Conference decide my topic, the whole process seemed impossible. I stumbled upon a flashy news article about a bacteria that could degrade plastic; I was instantly hooked.” Soon after choosing her topic, however, she was involved in a skiing accident that required surgery. Bockorny had mentioned the NCHC conference, but Williams said all she knew about her topic at that point was the bacteria name and that it degraded plastic. “Nevertheless, I began initial research. The deeper I got, the more excited and passionate I became,” Williams said. “Being accepted into the conference meant I not only got to share a topic that I instantly fell in love with, but I also got the opportunity to spread awareness about a potential cure for a disease that is plaguing our planet. Receiving second in my category is hopefully just the beginning in the potential of this research line, for my own and future researchers to come. Dr. Bockorny and Dr. Russell really helped me make this dream into a reality by guiding and supporting me through the process.”
Honors Newsletter 2 Northern State University Record Number of Students Accepted A record 14 NSU students were accepted to present their Honors undergraduate research at the NCHC conference this year. That’s a 100 percent acceptance rate; the typical NCHC acceptance rate for the student research poster competition is around 65 percent. The other Northern students who presented are: • Sierra Daugaard • Mary Fullmer • James Heisinger • Jakob Lund • Mackenzie McClemans • Emily Meier • Laurie Rogers • Jessica Stockert • Drew Talberg • Molly Walter Students Olivia Becker and Kristen Calderon were also accepted for NCHC, but they are also Wolves soccer players and were unable to attend due to their senior game. Northern has an ‘amazing Honors Program’ Bockorny said she’s very proud of all the students who were accepted for NCHC. Those who attended the conference represented Northern very well, she said, presenting their research with confidence and enthusiasm. “To have a 100 percent acceptance rate speaks volumes of the academic support the Honors Program receives from faculty, staff and administration at NSU,” she said. “Behind each of these students is a thesis advisor who has dedicated a great deal of time and dedication. NSU has developed an amazing Honors Program over the years and I look forward to its continued growth and success.” Alice Wong, author of ‘Disability Visibility’ Delivers the Larry and Julie Poeppel Family Common Read Lecture The Larry and Julie Poeppel Family Common Read Lecture took place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 13, 2021. Attendees were invited to gather in the Johnson Fine Arts Center’s Jewett Theater to listen to Wong, who presented a live via Zoom. The event was free and open to the public. ASL interpreters and captioning was provided. Wong is a disabled activist; founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project; and editor of the fall Common Read selection, “Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the TwentyFirst Century.” “Disability Visibility,” an anthology of essays by disabled writers that gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, is available for purchase at the NSU Wolf Shoppe for $12.95 (plus tax). Now in its 12 th year, the NSU Common Read program has grown into the largest academic event on Northern’s campus, attracting internationally recognized authors. The event is supported through a generous endowment by the Poeppel family.
Honors Newsletter 3 Northern State University NSU Honors Program Students Conducting Research Projects Olivia Rud, a senior from Madison, is researching materials that have the potential to prevent biofilm growth, in particular staph and MRSA, on medical equipment. She got the idea after taking an EMT course last spring taught by Aberdeen Fire and Rescue. Laurie Rogers, a junior pre-dental major from Aberdeen, is looking at oral bacteria and comparing fluoride with various other treatments. Both students initially had slightly different research ideas with more human involvement, but the pandemic caused them to shift gears. Research in general shifted at Northern during the pandemic – but it never stopped, thanks to the state-of-the-art Jewett Regional Science Education Center. “The facility helps us,” said NSU Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jon Mitchell. “I don’t think we missed a beat because we have the space to spread out.” Rud is a biology major who plans to become a physician’s assistant, noting that the profession recently changed to physician’s associate. She’s had the profession picked out since seventh grade. “It stuck with me ever since,” Rud said, adding that her mom, Jeanne Rud, is also a PA. “So that had a little bit to do with it, growing up seeing what she did.” Having the opportunity to conduct research at the undergraduate level is amazing, Rud said. “The opportunity here and the facility is completely outstanding,” said Rud, a member of the Wolves Volleyball Team. “And the faculty are so helpful.” She never thought about research before college, but now doing honors thesis work will “push me outside my comfort zone.” Rogers, too, never really expected to do independent research, but enjoys it, and she said it will give her an edge with professional school – and with future classes. “I haven’t taken microbiology yet, but a lot of stuff I’m doing will apply there because I’ve gotten some personal teaching from Dr. (Alyssa) Kiesow, Dr. Mitchell and Dr. (Andrew) Russell,” she said. Rogers, a member of the Wolves Basketball Team, said she likes doing research over the summer when she can come in on her own time when it works for her schedule. Being a student at Northern, and especially part of the Honors Program, has helped Rogers feel more prepared for dental school because she’s had great advisors and classes, plus the opportunity to conduct research. “Laurie and Olivia are both exceptional students who have utilized the opportunities available to them at Northern. They are both highly motivated and have a goal in mind,” said NSU Honors Program Director Dr. Kristi Bockorny. “The Honors Program allows students to research topics that are most pertinent to them. We are very fortunate that the faculty at Northern, like Dr. Mitchell, are willing to work with the Honors students to realize their full potential with research.” Getting students that research experience is something Northern excels at, Mitchell said. Rogers said that’s not true for friends at bigger schools, where only one student might get chosen to work in the lab. But at Northern, all students have the opportunity for hands-on experience. “There’s no application to work with us,” Mitchell said. “You just have to raise your hand and ask. We’ll work with you to figure out a project that you’re interested in.”
Honors Newsletter 4 Northern State University NSU Honors Community Service The NSU Honors Program has been involved with multiple community service projects this semester! Honors has had the opportunity to serve the community, students, and faculty through: cookie donations for first responders, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, a food drive with the Pre-Med Club, sending cards to the nursing home residents, caretakers, and nurses, along with card making for the custodial staff on NSU’s campus. The students have enjoyed the opportunity to assist the community and are consistently excited to help out in any way they can. The NSU Honors vice president, Mariah William, explains that "I never thought that writing a simple letter could create such a positive impact on those around me. Simply saying thank you and I appreciate you goes a long way in today's society. I love the opportunity that we have been granted from Honors to write thank yous to appreciate the amazing community surrounding us." The Honors students helped with Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army for eight hours raising donations by ringing bells outside local stores such as Kessler’s, Runnings, and Hobby Lobby. The Honors students crafted cards for residents in local nursing homes. The residents greatly appreciated the cards because not everyone was able to see their own families. The Honors Program also tabled and recognized all cancers during the month of October. Northern students, faculty, and staff wrote on hand cutouts turned into leaves for 'Support Trees' to honor and remember those with cancer. During tabling time, people stopped by, selected a cutout hand and put a name of someone impacted by cancer or left a note anonymously. This was in memory or in honor. There were thirtyseven different colored hands to represent the different types of cancers. Once the hands were written on, the hands were placed like leaves on the tree trunks and branches in the Technology Center windows. Alumni in Action: Danielle Weisz Danielle Weisz graduated In Honoribus from Northern State University in December 2014 with an Elementary Education major, with minors in reading, geography and coaching. While attending NSU, she was involved with the Honors Program, Student Government, and Association for the Education of Young Children. After graduating from Northern State University, she became a third-grade teacher for Bismarck Public Schools in Bismarck, North Dakota. Danielle is also coaching volleyball for Legacy High School in Bismarck. While discussing the greatest benefits of being a member of the Honors Program, Weisz stated, “The opportunities you have are endless. You have chances to network, be a part of a strong community on campus, and have the opportunity to push yourself within your degree.” She also elaborates on how the Honors Program impacted her life after college. “Honors gave me the confidence to apply for an intense year and a half grad school program right out of undergrad. It has also given me the confidence to take on leadership roles in my career.” When asked about advice for current Honors students, Weisz said, “Take chances! Whether it is leading a club or activities, doing a study abroad trip, or taking that class you have always wanted, it is always worth it!”
Honors Newsletter 5 Northern State University December In Honoribus Graduates L to R: President Neal Schnoor, Gillian Roda, Sarah Schafer, Molly Walter, and Dr. Bockorny Honors Executive Team — 2021-2022 Costume Contest in Great Plains East Honors Program Scrapbook Honors Banquet Honors Program awarded for Community Service National Collegiate Honors Conference — October 2021 Honors Orientation
Honors Newsletter 6 Northern State University The NSU Honors Newsletter is Edited by: NSU Communications Department and Kelby Tracy Have a story idea? Send to: Kristi.email@example.com Give Now Follow the link https://apps.northern.edu/givingapp/ givenow.aspx Select "Other” under the Designation tab and specify “Honors Program” to support Honors Housing Scholarships, NSU Common Read, and Honors Student Travel. Update your contact information with the NSU Foundation to hear about Alumni events in your area. Contact Information Dr. Kristi Bockorny Director of the Northern State University Honors Program Kristi.firstname.lastname@example.org