Northern State University Honors Newsletter Fall 2022 NSU Honors Student Places First at National Conference Alexandria Arndt, junior criminal justice major from Blue Springs, Missouri, placed 1st in her category at the National Collegiate Honors Conference in Dallas, Texas held Nov. 3-6, 2022. Arndt's thesis, “Addicts to Advocates: How Drug Courts are Reforming the System,” earned her top honors in the Social Justice category. Her thesis advisor is Dr. Justin Foote. When asked how she decided to apply to the National Conference, Arndt stated, “Dr. Bockorny spoke about the opportunity in class and I always love a chance to compete and be challenged. To apply I had to submit a small application and abstract of my work and then Dr. Bockorny handled the rest.” The most difficult part of doing her thesis was getting her ideas to translate on paper and get it all written out. “I’m a real perfectionist, so I would send the same section to Dr. Foote back and forth a hundred times hoping he would rip it to shreds so I could fix it.” When asked how she found out she won and what it felt like, Arndt said, “I actually didn’t know that I had placed at all. I had heard that they send emails to the winners before awards and I waited all day to check until the last minute so I wouldn’t let the outcome dictate how my day went…(I’m a little bit of a sore loser). Anyways, right before awards I checked and didn’t see an email so when my category came up I was so in shock that I had won. I was almost in tears I was so surprised and overwhelmed with happiness. It’s an incredible feeling when you know your work has paid off and you feel like you’re making a difference, your voice is being heard, that you’re just doing it!” “The NCHC was such a rewarding experience! Outside of sharing my research I got to explore a different city’s culture, learn from other university and community leaders, and make awesome memories with my friend. Winning was amazing, but the trip all around was something indescribable!”
Honors Newsletter 2 Northern State University Alyssa (Becht) Cassels, NSU class of 2015, was recently chosen as the 2023 S.D. Teacher of the Year. Originally from Clear Lake, S.D. and a graduate of Deuel High School, Cassels came to NSU to pursue her music education career. Cassels shared a fun fact that she is a “a 3rd generation Northern graduate; however, all three generations attended while the school was under a different name: Northern State Teachers College, Northern State College, and Northern State University.” She married Justin Cassels in 2014. She graduated with a BME, in Honoribus summa cum laude in 2015. They have two dogs and reside in Aurora, SD. Her Honors thesis was about Music Theory Learning. She “organized and hosted a Music Learning Theory Conference, with guest speaker Jennifer McDonel, Executive Director of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.” Cassels is the 5-12 Band Director in her hometown, Clear Lake, and teaches Beginner Band (5th), Middle School Band (6th-8th), and High School Band (9th-12th). She also keeps busy “giving lessons, marching band, pep band, jazz band, concert band, solo/small group contests, drum line, and so much more.” NSU Honors Alum chosen as the 2023 S.D. Teacher of the Year! When asked what her favorite Honors memory was, she stated, “I was able to take a Lord of the Rings Literature class with Dr. Haller, and it was the best semester of my life. I knew I would love the class simply based on the content, but Dr. Haller made it so much more than Literature. I’ll never forget the first time Viggo Mortensen came on the screen and Dr. Haller whispered something along the lines of ‘be still my heart.’” Cassels’ advice for current Honors students is, “Get involved early, and say yes to the things that scare you. I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone as a freshman and part of sophomore year as well, and I missed out on a lot of experiences that I could’ve had and memories I could’ve made. There are so many exciting opportunities at Northern and through the Honors Program, but you have to take that initial leap into the unknown.” Cassels stated that the Honors experience really helped her develop confidence in who she was and what she had to offer. She enjoyed being in Honors specific classes because they “really helped challenge me in my way of thinking and gave me courage to defend those thoughts.” As the 2023 S.D. Teacher of the Year, Cassels will be preparing her paperwork for the National Teacher of the Year selection this spring. She doesn’t know exactly what the process is yet, but believes it will “be similar to the state application that includes: a written portion, a short video component, a resume, and 3 letters of recommendation. The panel will select 4 finalists out of 56 applicants and those 4 will go to D.C. to complete interviews in February with the Selection Committee. The National Teacher of the Year will be recognized in a ceremony in Washington D.C. in March or April.”
Honors Newsletter 3 Northern State University Patty Blount, author of Send, Delivers the Larry and Julie Poeppel Family Common Read Lecture The Larry and Julie Poeppel Family Common Read Lecture took place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Now in its 13th 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. Attendees were invited to gather in the Johnson Fine Arts Center’s Jewett Theater to hear author Patty Blount speak about her book Send. The event was free and open to the public. In her books, Blount tackles young adult issues. Send deals with the consequences of one action that Dan, the protagonist, uploaded online when he was 13 and how that affected him, his family, and the victim’s family. It also deals with mental health issues as Dan struggles with all the emotions he went through, the guilt, the ups and downs, an inner voice, and what he put everyone else through. Nine NSU Honors Students Attend National Conference Nine NSU students were accepted to present their Honors undergraduate research at the NCHC conference this year. That’s a 100 percent acceptance rate for the third year in a row for NSU. The typical NCHC acceptance rate for the student research poster competition is around 65 percent. NSU Honors students from a variety of disciplines have been accepted to present at the National Collegiate Honors Conference since 2013, and seven NSU Honors students have placed in the top 3. Northern’s overall acceptance rate at the NCHC from 2013 through 2022 is 96 percent -- 64 of 67 Northern students who have submitted abstracts have been accepted. The Northern students who presented are: • Mariah William • Kayla Jensen • Taren Tschetter • Alexandria Arndt • Kara Sinar • Ai (Andy) Qiang • Lauren Forsyth • Camryn Wipf • Kenissa Ross
Honors Newsletter 4 Northern State University 2022 Gypsy Day Parade winners Best Overall Float (best group participation and overall theme representation): Primrose Second Best Overall: Blank Canvas Salon Third Best Overall: Aberdeen Swim Club Northern Spirit Award (best Northern internal group participation): NSU Honors Program Thunder’s Award (best animal entry): Dirksen Organic Beef The parade took place Saturday, Oct. 8, on Aberdeen’s Main Street. Parade entrants decorated their float based on this year’s theme, “Wolves on Broadway.” The first five Northern State University Honors Program students have been accepted to law school through the new Honors Law Opportunity Program. The program, a collaboration between Northern and the University of South Dakota, guarantees admission for five NSU Honors Program students into the USD Knudson School of Law. Those five students are: • Jakob Lund • Kahden Mooney • Mayson Sheldon • Darius Swanson • Kylee Van Egdom These students will be granted automatic acceptance into the Knudson School of Law, regardless of LSAT score, and will receive a $2,500 scholarship for their first year of law school. Lund, from Caseyville, Ill., and Kansas City, Mo., is majoring in sociology with minors in legal studies and criminal justice. Mooney, from Watertown, S.D., is majoring in history with minors in government and legal studies. Sheldon, from Mandan, N.D., is majoring in criminal justice with minors in legal studies and psychology. Swanson, from Lake City, S.D., is majoring in political science (government) with minors in legal studies, communication studies and criminal justice. Van Egdom, from Sioux Falls, S.D., is majoring in political science and criminal justice with a minor in legal studies. HLOP—Honors Law Opportunity Program has first recipients
Honors Newsletter 5 Northern State University Upper Midwest Regional Conference Nine NSU students attended the conference, held April 1-3 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Of those nine, three presented their research: Ai Qiang, Olivia Rud and Garret Thompson. Qiang, a math education and mathematics major, presented his project, titled, "The Difference between the Eastern and Western Education System — Through History and National Exam System." Qiang’s research analyzed the difference between the Eastern and Western education systems, providing information on the pros and cons of each system, which can help teachers develop more ideas for educational methods. Qiang, who is from Shanghai, China, and Watertown, S.D., said he chose NSU because it has always been a teaching college that focuses on the education field; compared with other South Dakota universities, he said, Northern can provide more opportunities as a teacher candidate and educator. “The NSU Honors Program provided opportunities to help us grow as a researcher, and Honors 390 teaches us how to start and write a good thesis,” Qiang said. “Director Dr. Kristi Bockorny has always helped me and other Honors students, which helped us grow as undergraduate researchers and helped us find our future paths.” Rud, a biology major with a chemistry and psychology minor, presented her project, titled, “Microbiological Characteristics of Staph spp. and Transposon Generated Mutations Using Medical Plastics.” Biofilm growth on medical equipment is a leading cause of healthcare associated infections, and her research tests the susceptibility of staph spp. growth on three materials commonly used in medical devices. Rud, who is from Madison, S.D., said she chose to come to Northern because she received a scholarship for volleyball and for the incredible science department faculty, resources and opportunities. Pictured: Back row, left to right: Ai (Andy) Qiang, Melissa Ulber, Taren Tschetter, Drew Veflin, Garret Thompson and Dr. Kristi Bockorny. Front Row, left to right: Kayla Jensen, Mayson Sheldon, Mia Fursedonne, and Olivia Rud. “NSU and the Honors program are home to outstanding faculty that go above and beyond for their students,” Rud said. “The mentorship I have received at NSU is like no other and has provided me with skills for lifelong success.” Thompson, who is majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and coaching, presented his project, “The Effect of Sports Retirement on Division II Athletes.” His thesis is a qualitative project analyzing how sport’s injuries can affect student-athletes here on campus. Thompson interviewed student-athletes and analyzed what Northern can do to help them and support them. Originally from Logan, Iowa, Thompson said he chose to come to Northern because it is a small college. “I enjoy being able to know my professors personally,” he said. “The community of Aberdeen also feels like a small town. I am glad that the community is so involved in the university!” Thompson said the Honors Program has helped him succeed by giving him connections that will last a lifetime.
The first annual South Dakota Honors Showcase was held on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 at SDSU in Brookings. Besides the six NSU Honors students and Dr. Kristi Bockorny, there were students from DSU, SDSU, and USD as well. Kara Sinar presented her poster and thesis entitled “Othello and the Shakespearian Tragic Hero: An Analysis of Character as Influenced and Reflected by Affective Setting.” Sinar presented one session during the afternoon. There were three other presentations going on in the same room at the same time and the students could “walk around and engage with the presenters in much the same way as the library rotunda practice session for NCHC,” stated Sinar. “Being the only presenter from Northern, I was also the only student who was not actively engaged in Honors leadership. I have been too busy to really engage with the honors community, so seeing how important that community is for people and how they preserve and promote it was interesting. Honors does a lot for students - providing a sense of belonging and fostering leadership experience that is invaluable both in college and after it. It was nice to see a different side of honors that I often have not been able to, due to my schedule.” The students also had a round table discussion on different topics including: the UMHC website, regional and SD Honors, and Honors Engagement on our campuses. Vernon Brown, associate vice president for external affairs at SDSU, was the keynote speaker. He spoke on the 3 G’s: Grit, Gift of Gab, and Gratitude and how to use them to be successful. Kara Sinar presents at first ever S.D. Honors Showcase Sinar presenting her poster at SD Honors Showcase Middle photo: Jess Splichal, Kendall Kelly, Kara Sinar, Kayla Jensen, Randi Schuster, and Braden Freeman. Bottom photo: students with Dr. Kristi Bockorny Northern State University Honors Newsletter 6
Northern State University Honors Newsletter 7 1. May 2022 graduates 2. 2022 Honors homecoming candidates 3. Honors Thanksmas 4. Adopt a Pet 5. Student Quiz Bowl Teams 6. Coffee & Colors 7. 2022 Quiz Bowl Champs 1. 3. 2. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Honors Newsletter 8 Northern State University Northern State University Honors Newsletter 8 Newsletter is Edited by: NSU Communications & Marketing Department and Konnie Anderson, Honors Coordinator Have a story idea? Send to: email@example.com Give Now Follow the link https://northern.formstack.com/forms/nsu_online_giving_form Select “Other” under the Designation tab and specify “Honors Program” in the Special Notes tab 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 2022 Freshmen Orientation