NORTHERN STAT E UN I VERS I TY Aberdeen, South Dakota | Fall 2021 RE S EARCH thrives at NSU
NORTHERN TODAY 2 FALL 2021 EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM Dr. Neal Schnoor, President Ms. Veronica Paulson, Vice President for Finance and Administration Dr. Michael Wanous, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mr. Justin Fraase, Vice President of Enrollment, Communications and Marketing Dr. Debbi Bumpous, Vice President for Technology/CIO Ms. Terri Holmes, Interim Athletic Director, University Athletics Mr. Sean Blackburn, Dean of Student Affairs Mr. Zach Flakus, President and CEO, NSU Foundation DESIGNED AND PRODUCED BY NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING FOR THE NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION WRITTEN BY Elissa Dickey Ashley Gauer Alec Schoof TJ Kaniewski Caitline Blinder ABOUT NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY Northern State University is a premier residential, regional, liberal arts institution characterized by outstanding instruction, extraordinary community relations and unparalleled co-curricular opportunities. In August 2021, NSU was again named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best regional undergraduate public schools in the Midwest. For more information, visit our website at northern. edu. Northern Today is published biannually by Northern State University, 1200 S. Jay St., Aberdeen, SD 57401, for Northern alumni and friends. Recipients receive the publication after completion of a degree or by requesting a subscription. SUBSCRIBE | GIVE A GIFT CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS CONTACT US TWITTER AlumniNSU FACEBOOK NSU Alumni Association EMAIL email@example.com 4 Award Schmidt wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award 4 Pedagogy Northern awarded grant 5 Northern Night Northern Night has supported NSU students for more than 20 years 5 Virtual reality Education students practice for the classroom through virtual reality 6 Kidney disease Student working on research that could help people with kidney disease 7 Honors Program Northern State University honors program students conducting research projects 8 Summer project NSU students participate in summer mosquito surveillance project 9 Distance education As distance education grows, Northern State continues to pave the way 10 Research Students conducting summer research 11 Faculty Q&A: Dr. Andrew Russell 12 ‘Songs of Inclusivity’ Making a difference through music: Bultema, Miller win Nora Staael Evert Research Award for ‘Songs of Inclusivity’ 13 Awards Walters wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award 14 Athletics NSU Athletics Fall Highlights 16 Awards Henderson and Rojas wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award 17 Grandma’s Marathon NSU cross country, track and field alumna wins Grandma’s Marathon 18 Alumni News See class notes, celebrations and memorials. Contents ON THE COVER Ryan Clay, Aberdeen p. Mosquito surveillance 8 p. NSU Athletics Fall Highlights 14 p. ‘Songs of Inclusivity’ 12
NORTHERN TODAY 3 FALL 2021 t is an honor and privilege to write my first Northern Today message to you as president of Northern State University. I only started my tenure in July, but already I have seen the amazing support Northern receives from our alumni and the partnership it shares with the community of Aberdeen. Here at Northern, our faculty scholars are committed to teaching and mentoring students, offering personalized attention through experiences such as undergraduate research, study abroad programs and hands-on internships. We’re proud of our students, who are bright, engaged and committed to their studies and our institution. They are also heavily involved in community service, the local workforce and internship experiences. In this issue, we’ll showcase some of our exceptional students and faculty, particularly those engaged in undergraduate research. We’ll also showcase some of our outstanding alumni. I hope you have a chance to read through the stories of fellow Northern Wolves achieving amazing things. As alumni and community members, we know you are passionate about our university—and heavily invested, to the tune of $150 million in facilities, scholarships and educational programming over the past 10 years. You’re also deeply engaged in on-campus activities, such as fine arts and athletic events—including the newly opened Dacotah Bank Stadium! Please know how grateful we are for your commitment to NSU. Thanks to your support, Northern will continue to serve Aberdeen and the region as a center for quality academics and lifelong education, advancing economic development and remaining focused on student success. On behalf of Northern’s students, faculty and staff: Thank you! Dr. Neal Schnoor NSU President Letter from the President NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | Letter from the President Go Wolves! I
NORTHERN TODAY 4 FALL 2021 News | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY Northern awarded grant to build pedagogy lab Pictured left to right: Dr. Michael Wanous; Heath Johnson; Dr. Erin Fouberg; Dr. Ben Harley; Pat Gallagher; Danette Long, Dr. Alyssa Kiesow and Veronica Paulson. ORTHERN STATE University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was recently awarded a $61,660 grant from Knight Foundation’s Aberdeen Fund in the South Dakota Community Foundation to build a Pedagogy Lab in the Beulah Williams Library. The lab will be NSU CETL’s main center and will help instructors build skills in their HyFlex and active learning practices. Scheduled to open in spring 2022, the lab will hold events ranging from small working groups to large lectures. It will be equipped with technology and furniture to facilitate high-quality education in face-to-face, online and HyFlex learning environments. Dr. Ben Harley, CETL Director, is hoping the lab will serve more than just the Northern community; he said the plan is to collaborate with educators off campus as well. “In short, the lab will help us optimize education at Northern and in the region while also making that education more accessible than ever before,” Harley said. “The Pedagogy Lab will enable Northern’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to fulfill its mission—to cultivate effective and respectful high-impact teaching practices— beyond what we ever imagined, and we are excited to get to work.” Pat Gallagher, SDCF Community Development Coordinator in Aberdeen, said “the Aberdeen Knight fund was created in the SDCF by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with the goal of supporting activities in line with its strategic priorities for Aberdeen.” Gallagher also said supporting Northern State University and improving its connections to the community are priorities of the Knight Aberdeen Fund. “This particular project connects with the community in a few ways,” Gallagher said. “It’s improving teaching and learning at Northern. There’s also a chance for some things that the university learns that can be shared with our K-12 schools in Aberdeen.” Schmidt wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award NORTHERN STATE University’s Dr. Sara Schmidt has won a Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for her research project. Schmidt’s project is titled “Big Data and AI: What Skills do Accountants Need.” At Northern, Schmidt serves as Associate Dean of the NSU School of Business and Associate Professor of Accounting. Learn more about the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at NSU CETL, northern.edu/ cetl. To learn more about The Knight Foundation of the South Dakota Community Foundation, visit Aberdeen - Knight Foundation, sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving. N givingday.northern.edu JOIN THE PACK April 6, 2022 A 24-hour event to support student academics, athletics, and faculty and staff. Support campus programs, your favorite school or college, and current students; your gift will help meet challenges and unlock additional funding throughout the day! #OneDayOnePack
NORTHERN TODAY 5 FALL 2021 NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | News Education students practice for the classroom through virtual reality HAT STARTED as a small community event has grown into an annual fundraising gala that has raised millions of dollars for Northern State University and its students. The 23rd annual Northern Night was hosted by the NSU Foundation on Nov. 13 in the Dakota Event Center. Hundreds of people attended the event, which has been capped at 570 participants for several years and has sold out numerous times. The very first Northern Night, held in 1998, was a community wine tasting event featuring a small number of auction items, said NSU Foundation Marketing and Development Coordinator Lauren Bittner. Early Northern Night events featured a wine sommelier, postevent entertainment and auctioning off the president’s tie. Although a lot has changed over the years, Northern Night has always been about helping NSU students. “The one constant in the theme has always been Northern State University and supporting our students,” Bittner said. “The primary focus for the funds raised from Northern Night has always been student scholarships.” Today, more than $2 million has been raised for scholarships, plus additional funds for the Educational Impact Campaign and other special projects. To learn more about Northern Night or how to give in support of NSU students, contact the Foundation at 605-626-2550 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A NEW LEARNING tool offers Northern State University education students the chance to experience the classroom using virtual reality. The Mursion Virtual Reality Simulation offers an innovative approach for teacher candidates to acquire and practice new skills, said NSU Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Anna Schwan. Schwan brought the technology to Northern after trying it out at a conference in Maryland. “As a former secondary classroom teacher, I would have given anything to be able to practice before I stepped into the classroom,” Schwan explained. “I knew right then that I had to do whatever I could to offer this simulation technology to our students at Northern State University. We are ‘the’ teaching university in the area; it’s only right that we give our students everything we can think of to help them be successful as teachers.” To help implement the technology, Schwan wrote and received the NSU Extended Realities Grant. Now, teacher candidates in her Classroom Management Course are trying out the Mursion Virtual Reality Simulation, which allows them to enter a world where students are virtual (avatars) but the teaching is real. They can practice privately or in group settings, and teaching avatars ranging from elementary through high school age. Schwan said students were nervous at first, but handled the avatars very well. “They are very receptive to anything that will help foster their self-efficacy as confident classroom managers and effective teachers,” she said. “They are excited to be able to use the technology on an individual basis in the safety and security of their own environments.” To learn more about how Northern State University enhances teacher education, visit the NSU Millicent Atkins School of Education online, northern.edu/academics/school-education. Northern Night has supported NSU students for more than 20 years W Dr. Anna Schwan Assistant Professor of Education Photograph credit: Lily Tobin, NSU Student
NORTHERN TODAY 6 FALL 2021 News | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY ORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY student Connor Doran is working on research this summer that could make a difference in the lives of people living with progressive kidney disease. Doran, a biology major from Redding, Calif., is a summer intern at the Chandrasekar Lab through the Sanford Program for Undergraduate Research. This program, also called the SPUR program, allows undergraduate students to conduct research in pediatric biomedical sciences or cell and molecular biology. It also provides career and professional development opportunities to help students pursue research careers. Doran explained that the Chandrasekar Lab studies non-muscle myosin II and its role in kidney epithelial cargo transport. “Patients with Myh9 gene mutations (codes for non-muscle myosin II) are known to develop progressive kidney disease,” she said. “My summer project was molecular cloning Student working on research that could help people with kidney disease Photograph credit: Sanford Health Marketing N (making plasmid DNA) to express a special type of myosin, myosin 18A, in a gene knockout model of MyH9 and Myh10 in mouse thick ascending limb cells.” Working in the lab was an enjoyable experience, Doran said – and one that made her realize just how much hard work and perseverance it takes to conduct research. “The best part of my research experience was being surrounded by a community of people who understand science and dedicate their lives to finding cures for patients with rare diseases,” she said. “It is truly inspiring to see the work they put in every day.” The internship also helped her explore her own future career. “This experience has given me insight that a career in science is very broad and I want to explore different fields to really find my niche in a scientific career,” said Doran, who is also pursuing minors in chemistry and Native and Indigenous studies. “Currently, I am interested in finding work in public health or environmental science.” Doran thanked the SPUR program and Chandrasekar Lab for the opportunity, as well as the NIH R25 grant for funding her research. She added, “I would also like to thank my professors Dr. (Jon) Mitchell, Dr. (Susan) Citrak and Dr. (Eric) Pulis for their mentorship and inspiring me to pursue this opportunity and a career in science.” That kind of mentorship is one way Northern has helped lead Doran toward her career goals. “I have had great mentors guiding me through my academic career at NSU,” she said. “My professors have helped me when I had trouble with coursework and given me opportunities to conduct research in their labs.” “I have had great mentors guiding me through my academic career at NSU.”
NORTHERN TODAY 7 FALL 2021 NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | News Northern State University honors program students conducting research projects ORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY Honors Program students worked on their undergraduate research projects this summer in the Jewett Regional Science Education Center. 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 f luoride 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.” Rud never thought about research before college, but says doing honors thesis work will push her outside her 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 The opportunity here and the facility is completely outstanding and the faculty are so helpful. 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. 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 used 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.” Laurie Rogers, a junior from Aberdeen and Olivia Rud, a senior from Madison. N “ ”
NORTHERN TODAY 8 FALL 2021 News | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY L IVIA BECKER and Kristen Calderon know a lot more about mosquitoes than the average college student. That’s because for the past two summers, the Northern State University students have participated in Northern’s mosquito surveillance project, a grantfunded partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health. This is the ninth summer the university has collaborated with SDDOH on the project, aimed at identifying and testing mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus (WNV), said NSU Associate Professor of Biochemistry Dr. Jon Mitchell. NSU students Jessica Stockert of Belle Fourche, Matthew Grebner of Aberdeen and Jackson Harrison of Aberdeen round out this mosquito-season’s mosquito/WNV hunting crew. For Becker and Calderon, both Wolves Soccer players, that means after early morning soccer practice, most of their weekdays consist of checking mosquito traps in rural Brown County. Five traps – each of which consists of a battery, a CO2 tank, and a fan – are set up around the county: in Warner, Stratford, at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and the Elm River. The CO2 attracts mosquitoes much like humans do, explained Becker, and the fan sucks them into the cup. They started surveillance June 1, and cups were full every time. July is primetime for Culex tarsalis, the major type of mosquito that carries West Nile. Once they collect the traps, they bring them to the lab to count them, looking through a microscope to determine if they are Culex tarsalis. They’re specifically looking for a white patch on the proboscis (the mosquito’s “needle” which allows the female to draw blood), stripes on the legs as well as a rounded shape to its bottom (abdomen), Calderon explained. Then, they test the Culex tarsalis for the virus by isolating RNA and using quantitative RT-PCR specifically designed to find West Nile virus. As of the last week of July, two positive quantitative RT-PCR samples have come back positive for West Nile virus. July is peak season for mosquitoes, so be sure to wear mosquito repellent, perhaps long sleeves and pants, and limit outdoor activities in the early mornings and evenings if you don’t want to get bitten. At first, it took them a lot longer to identify the types of mosquitoes because they were new to it. But the more you do it, they said, the more you know what you’re looking for. “It’s not too hard to tell,” said Calderon, from Frisco, Texas. Sometimes they’ll find surprises in the cups in the form of other pests – such as spiders, moths, flies, ticks or wasps. Educating Others about Mosquitoes Admittedly, working with mosquitoes is not a common summer research project. “It’s weird to explain to people,” said Becker, from Hartford, S.D. But they both enjoy it. Now, they often find themselves educating others about mosquitoes – the fact that there are different types, and only one type carries the virus. Both students are entering their senior year and plan to go to physician’s assistant school after Northern. They’re both also conducting separate Honors thesis research projects involving mosquitoes using data they’re currently collecting but applied in a different way. Fortunate to have Research Opportunity The students said they’re fortunate to have this type of research opportunity at Northern. Friends who attend larger universities don’t have this type of experience. “Undergraduate research – you have to apply to it, and only certain people get selected,” Calderon said. “They really don’t have this experience, so we’re super lucky.” For more information on student research opportunities at Northern, visit NSU Undergraduate Research, northern.edu/academics/undergraduate-research. O NSU students participate in summer mosquito surveillance project Kristen Calderon, a senior from Frisco, Texas and Olivia Becker, a senior from Hartford.
NORTHERN TODAY 9 FALL 2021 NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | News IFTEEN YEARS AGO WHEN Christian Pirlet was earning his bachelor’s degree from Northern State University, only one distance learning presentation was part of his studies. Today, however, e-learning is his job. “Several years ago students probably would’ve scoffed at the idea of needing to take a remote learning or distance teaching experience,” said Pirlet, who teaches e-learning coursework as assistant professor of educational technology at NSU. “But obviously the last couple years, it’s been a wake-up call.” As distance education becomes increasingly common, Northern continues to pave the way through more than just the Center for Statewide E-learning. All students pursuing an undergraduate teaching degree are required to take a classroom technology course. Northern also offers a minor and a master’s degree in e-learning. The M.S.Ed. in Instructional Design in E-Learning program also offers an accelerated option. This makes it easier for teachers already working in the classroom to earn their master’s degree, and it allows undergraduate education students to earn their master’s in a shorter timeframe. The program also involves an internship with the E-learning Center so students gain experience from master e-learning teachers in how to facilitate classes and coursework, Pirlet said. He said the number of undergraduate students interested in e-learning is growing. They value technology, but want to use it effectively and not just have it as a filler. “It’s not just you go on Zoom and do a lecture or post something on Google Classroom,” he said. “It’s how to effectively communicate with those learners, regardless of age.” Rural Student Teaching Program E-learning is also a way for Northern to support rural school districts. The Millicent Atkins School of Education also offers the Rural Student Teaching Program, which places students into rural South Dakota communities that otherwise might not be able to host student teachers, said Abby Exner, Northern’s director of field experiences. The program awards students a stipend, available through state funding, to offset some of the costs of being placed in rural communities, such as housing or transportation. Any rural district at least 40 miles outside of Aberdeen qualifies. Supervisors then use technology such as Zoom or Panopto to oversee teacher candidates, Exner said. Last year, 10 students participated in school districts in Wolsey, Milbank, Gettysburg, Eureka, Florence, Newell, Waverly, Leola, Bowdle, Langford and Huron. Northern is on track to have another 10 students participate in spring 2022, adding districts in Hamlin County (Hayti), Gregory and Hoven. Along with providing a rural district with a student teacher, Exner said the program also benefits students by allowing them to become immersed in a small community and its culture. “Diversifying their placements is another advantage to students for participating in the program,” she said. Plus, she said, it’s an opportunity for employment; more than 60 percent of students who participated in the Rural Student Teaching Program last year got employed in their district. Student Perspective Rachel Secker was placed in the Eureka School District through the Rural Student Teaching Program in fall 2020. She now teaches at Eureka Elementary school as the Special Education teacher. “My experience was great. I learned so much and it helped me become a better teacher,” Secker said. “I had to be out of my comfort zone and at first it was a challenge for me, but it has really made me grow as an individual. I got to experience and be a part of some amazing opportunities. I loved that the classes were not huge and that I got to really know my students and build those relationships with them.” Secker said Northern really helped prepare her for her teaching career. “Northern was amazing,” she said. “I would highly encourage everyone to check out Northern for teaching. Going into my student teaching I felt scared, but as I got into my experience Northern prepared me with lots of knowledge.” As distance education grows, Northern continues to pave the way Christian Pirlet Assistant Professor of Educational Technology Rachel Secker Special Education teacher, Eureka School District Abby Exner Director of Field Experiences “Northern was amazing. I would highly encourage everyone to check out Northern for teaching.” F “
NORTHERN TODAY 10 FALL 2021 News | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY ORTHERN STATE University’s Jewett Regional Science Education Center is anything but quiet – inside the labs of the cutting-edge facility, students are hard at work on undergraduate research projects. That includes Ryan Clay. Clay, a non-traditional student majoring in biotechnology, initially planned to complete his degree in two years and never thought about conducting research. He spent his summer creating proteins. “It’s easy to get excited about all the stuff that’s possible when you start digging into it,” said Clay, of Aberdeen. “That’s how it started to snowball.” For Clay, it snowballed into a project that earned him an Undergraduate Competitive Research Grant: “Expression, Purification, and Characterization of a Novel Insect Cuticle-Like Protein with Chitin and Graphene Binding Domains.” His work aims to use a specially designed protein that binds to chitin and carbon nanotubes in a way that allows for the formation of biomaterials without the need to chemically modify them. Clay said chitin is prevalent and resilient but difficult to work with directly, so he’s attempting to grow something that binds chitin to make it easier to work with. His project has several practical applications, as the material he grows will be lightweight, durable and nontoxic, making it a viable option for medical devices or protective equipment. NSU Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jon Mitchell said Clay’s research, based on his own idea, is completely novel and has a lot of potential. “I think it has a really good shot of working, which is really exciting,” Mitchell said. “There are all kinds of potential uses and avenues he can do while he’s here and after.” Mitchell worked with Clay on the project this summer. At NSU, faculty members don’t lead student research projects, he said; students and faculty work together as colleagues. “It’s the benefit of Northern,” he said. Students conduct summer research at Northern State University N Summer a Great Time for Research Clay isn’t the only NSU student who worked on research this summer. Olivia Rud studied biofilm formation on breathing devices, and Laurie Rogers looked at bacteria and biofilms associated with plaque formation, Mitchell said. Both are Honors Program students. Five students screened mosquitoes for the West Nile virus in Brown County, an ongoing project with the S.D. Department of Health. “It’s easy to get excited about all the stuff that’s possible when you start digging into it.” Mitchell said summer is a great time for research. “During the school year is hard because we’re teaching and there’s the pull of
NORTHERN TODAY 11 FALL 2021 NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | News Q. Why is research an important part of a student’s education? A. Research allows students to engage their field of study in ways they cannot experience in the classroom. It stimulates curiosity about the world around them, which I would argue is the single most important trait a student can cultivate. If a student is curious, he will be motivated to seek out answers to life’s chief questions. Q. What sets Northern apart in terms of research opportunities? A. Northern has a variety of resources to make undergraduate research successful. First, we have approximately $20,000 in grants available for student projects. If a student needs money for their research project, we have a funding source available no matter their area of interest. Second, we host an annual research forum to showcase what students are doing around campus. The Research, Scholarship and Creativity Forum allows students to present their research to the NSU community each spring. Finally, Northern’s faculty are deeply invested in student research. Our professors pour their time and energy into undergraduate research, providing the type of mentorship that shapes our students’ future careers. This last piece is what sets Northern apart from other institutions. Q. What are your own research interests? A. As a microbiologist, I study how bacteria stick to surfaces to form communities called biofilms. Biofilms are significant because they are difficult to get rid of, causing a host of problems for agriculture, industry and Q&A: Dr. Andrew Russell Dr. Andrew Russell, Associate Professor of Biology, started at Northern State University in fall 2014. Since fall 2018, he has also served as Coordinator of Undergraduate Research. “Research allows students to engage their field of study in ways they cannot experience in the classroom. ” FACULTY other things,” he said. “It’s hard to spend time one on one.” This type of experiential learning gives students a competitive edge, and not just because it looks good on a resume. “It puts all the stuff you’ve been learning together in an applied way,” Mitchell said. Adding, “That’s the premise of biotechnology. It’s the premise of learning.” Clay’s research was planned to last through the summer and into fall; Mitchell said it’s difficult to pinpoint how long it will take. “Things could happen unexpectedly that you have to chase,” he said. “That’s the fun part about research. Because once you get a little bit of data, it just feeds more. It’s always exciting.” ‘Easy to Get Excited’ about Science Clay chose Northern because he was looking to make a career transition, and attending NSU allows him to get an education that will result in a job without having to relocate his family. Clay and his wife, Associate Music Professor Dr. Audrey Miller, have a 1-year-old son, Hugo. He hopes to work at a local lab after graduation. Now as a Northern student, Clay enjoys the science programs, the state-of the art science center – and faculty like Mitchell who fuel student excitement in the sciences. “You get to know the core concepts of science, then you start digging into advanced concepts, and it really gets the ball rolling for getting excited about science,” Clay said. “Once you start looking into how it works, it’s easy to get excited.” the medical field. Specifically, my research focuses on new ways to prevent biofilms from forming on a variety of surfaces from beer draft lines to contact lenses. Q. What advice do you have for students looking to get started in research? A. Students should start by asking their professors about the research they do. Talk to several of them until you find a topic that piques your interest. Then, ask that professor if he/she would be willing to mentor you as a student researcher and develop a small project for you to contribute to their research agenda. “Things could happen unexpectedly that you have to chase. That’s the fun part about research.” “ Dr. Andrew Russell and Pfc. Kealy Hill.
NORTHERN TODAY 12 FALL 2021 News | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY OR NORTHERN STATE University’s Drs. Darci Bultema and Audrey Miller, what started as an effort to make a difference has grown into them shining a spotlight on music by underrepresented artists. They are also gaining global attention for their project, “Songs of Inclusivity,” which won Northern’s 2021 Nora Staael Evert Research Award. Bultema, professor of music-voice/opera, and Miller, associate professor of clarinet/music, were both chosen for highly competitive South Dakota Arts Council Artist Fellowships for work related to this project. They were also selected to present and perform at three prestigious worldwide conferences. The trio now plans to record an album of their inclusive works in a professional studio, which could lead to representation by a major label. They will present a prealbum release performance on the NSU campus in spring 2022. “Songs of Inclusivity” is a recital performance of songs based on works by women, African-American and LGBTQIA+ poets written specifically for the Virinca Trio, which includes Bultema, Miller, and pianist Dr. Philip Everingham. Everingham, of Columbus, Ohio, is a longtime recital and opera collaborator with Bultema, including collaboration at the Barcelona Festival of Song in Spain in 2018. The Virinca Trio’s mission has been to perform rare and under-served repertoire and champion works from traditionally marginalized voices, as well as to commission works from American composers. With origins in the Esperanto international language as well as Sanskrit, “virinca” (vee-REEN-cha) loosely means the creator, God, and all the creator’s followers and believers. Commissioned Composers For “Songs of Inclusivity,” the Virinca Trio has commissioned a total of 17 songs by four composers. All of the songs are accessible to both students and professionals in the field. Pictured, left to right, are Drs. Philip Everingham, Audrey Miller and Darci Bultema. (Photo credit: Carrie Wegleitner, 2017 NSU alum, B.A. Graphic Design) MAK I NG A D I FFERENCE THROUGH MUS I C Bultema, Miller win Nora Staael Evert Research Award for ‘Songs of Inclusivity’ The first three composers they commissioned are: New York-based composer Richard Pearson Thomas, who wrote his own music and lyrics; Aberdeen University Civic Symphony Director Dr. Christopher Stanichar, who composed songs based on poetry by Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and Jonathan Bailey Holland, whose songs were based on the work of African American poets such as Langston Hughes and Rita Dove. The Virinca Trio will receive their fourth and final commission on March 1 from Minneapolis-based composer Jocelyn Hagen, who will base her songs on the work of Pakistani poet Noor Unnahar. The trio will premiere Hagen’s work in July 2022 at the National Association of Teachers of Singing conference in Chicago. That’s only the latest example of the farreaching recognition the trio has achieved for their efforts. Stanichar’s commission premiered on the NSU campus, but Bultema and Miller premiered Thomas’ work with the composer at the piano at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest 2019 and Holland’s work at ClarinetFest 2021. “Internationally, we’re being recognized for these commissions we have done,” Bultema said. On the state level, they received the same Artist Fellowship, but in separate years. This competitive Arts Council program recognizes artists of exceptional talent, assisting them in further developing their artistic careers. Going forward, they have interest from a record label, but in order to represent them, they need the recordings, Bultema F
NORTHERN TODAY 13 FALL 2021 ORTHERN STATE University’s Dr. Hannah Walters has won a Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for her research project, “Boutique Customer Loyalty: An Assessment of Store and Service Satisfaction.” Walters, NSU Assistant Professor of Marketing, said her research studies the importance of store satisfaction compared to service satisfaction in local boutique businesses. Store satisfaction is related to the quality of retail merchandise, or the store itself, she said; service satisfaction represents the customer’s experience with the store personnel and the customer service experience. “The information I’m currently gathering will help local boutique retailers in Aberdeen better understand the effect of satisfaction on loyalty as it is an essential concern for managers and has a direct impact on profitability,” she said. Walters became interested in this topic after reading research conducted on discount retailer shoppers from Target and Wal-Mart by Powers, Jack and Choi in 2019. She wanted to extend that to local boutiques. “The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by all businesses, large and small,” she said. “But for small businesses, that impact has been crucial. I believe I can help these small businesses by studying customer loyalty and gaining insight on customer satisfaction.” Walters, who started at Northern in fall 2012, has been with the NSU School of Business for nine years. Her advice for others looking to get started in research, especially students: Be curious. “Ask questions. A lot of them. Talk to faculty. They may know of resources that could help you… like research grants! Ask them about their research and how they conduct research,” she said. “Talk to other students conducting research. Invite others to participate. Challenge existing research— maybe it works in one situation, but maybe it doesn’t work in another context. And it’s OK to fail. Even if the answer is ‘no’ in your research, that’s still an answer. You don’t have to be right in research!” Walters also wants students to know how empowering it feels to be able to answer your question with your own research. “It’s a huge sense of accomplishment and something that is a great resume builder,” she said. Employers in all fields want to hire employees who are critical thinkers. And research builds critical thinking skills. So, really it’s a win-win-win. Students, NSU and employers all benefit from students who do research.” Walters wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for ‘Boutique Customer Loyalty: An Assessment of Store and Service Satisfaction’ N said. The label would publish their work, which will allow others to listen to it. A performance guide will also be available. ‘Don’t Give Up’ All of this started when Bultema and Miller were feeling helpless with the state of the world and wanted to do something about it. What they could do, they decided, was make music. “It’s how we can make a difference,” Miller said. “We can do something with our skillset. So we have to try.” For others looking to do the same, especially young women, they offer advice. “Stick to your guns,” Miller said. “Don’t give up.” That means practicing perseverance. Bultema and Miller did not get the Nora Staael award the first time they applied, but they kept trying and working toward their goal, and now they’ve been recognized internationally. “It’s not like we’re doing an incredible amount of work all the time in this project. Just little bits make up a big idea,” Miller said. “If you keep on doing the little bits, you will get somewhere. I want students to see that. If you only look at the big picture, you’re going to get so upset with yourself because it takes so long to get there. So, little bits.” Finding your passion is also important, Bultema added. “Obviously music is our passion, but we recognized this other part, that we wanted to say something,” she said. “We wanted our voices heard.” Said Miller, “We’re helping other people’s voices be heard, through wanting our voices to be heard.” “We’re helping other people’s voices be heard, through wanting our voices to be heard.” NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY | News To learn more about Faculty Research at Northern, including the Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award, visit NSU Scholarly Faculty, northern.edu/scholarlyfaculty.
NORTHERN TODAY 14 FALL 2021 7-4 (3-3 NSIC North) Tied for fifth overall in NSIC and tied for third in NSIC North division NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Defense: Nate Robinson (LB) NSIC North Division All-Conference First Team Special Teams: Vance Barnes (RS), Payton Eue (K) NSIC North Division All-Conference Second Team Offense: Emmit Bohl (OL), Dewaylon Ingram (WR), Jake Oliphant (OL) NSIC North Division All-Conference Second Team Defense: Brennan Kutterer (LB), Chance Olson (DB) Notable Wins Sept. 11 vs. Southwest Minnesota State: W, 30-13; Dacotah Bank Stadium Inaugural Game Sept. 25 vs. Sioux Falls: W, 41-10; first win over Sioux Falls in the NCAA Division II era, snapped a four-game losing streak in the series Oct. 9 at Winona State: W, 52-49; first win in the series since 1999, snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Warriors School Records Hunter Trautman – broke school record for career passing touchdowns with 84 in his career (broke record in game at Concordia-St. Paul on Oct. 23.) Dewaylon Ingram – broke school record for single season receiving touchdowns with 14 this season (broke record in game against Bemidji State Nov. 6.) NSU Athletics Fall Highlights FOOTBALL 18-11 (13-7 NSIC) – finished in fourway tie for fourth place in final NSIC standings; qualified for NSIC Tournament as the No. 5 seed and lost to No. 4 seed (No. 15 nationally) Wayne State 3-1 NSIC All-Conference First Team: Sally Gaul (RS) NSIC All-Conference Second Team: Peyton Ellingson (MB) and Natalia Szybinska (OH) Notable Wins Sept. 3 vs. No. 25 Rockhurst: W, 3-1 Sept. 17 at No. 10 Winona State: W, 3-0 Oct. 2 vs. No. 6 Southwest Minnesota State: W, 3-2 Nov. 5 at No. 10 Concordia-St. Paul: W, 3-0 Other Notes Northern State went 4-7 against top-25 teams NSIC Volleyball Players of the Week: Keri Walker (NSIC Setter of the Week – Oct. 18) 7-6-5 (6-4-5 NSIC) – Eighth place in final NSIC standings - Qualified for NSIC Tournament as the No. 8 seed and lost at No. 1 seed (No. 6 nationally) Bemidji State 2-0 First NSIC Tournament appearance since 2016. NSIC All-Conference First Team: Lilja Davidsdottir (D) NSIC All-Conference Second Team: Megan Fastenau (F) Notable games/moments Megan Fastenau records 19th hat trick in program history and the first since 2016 in a 3-2 victory over Concordia-St. Paul Oct. 1. Snapped a nine-game losing streak against Augustana with a 1-1 draw (Sept. 26). Went 3-0-2 in a five-game stretch toward the end of the season, while recording five consecutive shutouts. The streak of five consecutive shutouts was the second longest streak in program history, behind only the 2007 team, which recorded seven straight. Including the end of the game at Minot State and the beginning of the game at St. Cloud State, Alexus Townsend and the Wolves defense did not allow a goal for a total of 521:27 consecutive minutes from Oct. 8 until Oct. 29. Program’s first ever regional ranking in Northern State’s NCAA Division II era, coming in at No. 9 in the Oct. 27 NCAA Central Region poll. NSIC Soccer Players of the Week: Alexus Townsend (NSIC Goalkeeper of the Week – Sept. 7), Lilja Davidsdottir (NSIC Defensive Player of the Week – Oct. 18) and Megan Fastenau (NSIC Offensive Player of the Week – Oct. 25) HE FALL 2021 NSU Wolves Athletics season saw numerous wins, multiple broken records— and the opening of the brand new oncampus Regional Sports Complex. Here are some highlights and statistics for each team. T Hunter Trautman – broke school record for single season passing touchdowns with 37 this season (broke record in game at Minnesota Duluth on Nov. 13.) Dakota Larson – broke school record for career receiving touchdowns with 25 in his career (broke record in game at Minnesota Duluth on Nov. 13.) Payton Eue – tied the school record for single season field goals made with 14 this season Other notes NSIC Football Players of the Week: Payton Eue (NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week – Sept. 7), Payton Eue (NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week – Sept. 13), Hunter Trautman (NSIC Offensive Player of the Week – Oct. 11) and Brennan Kutterer (NSIC Defensive Player of the Week – Nov. 1) First regional ranking for the football program during the 2000s, coming in at No. 10 in the NCAA Super Region Four. Keri Walker reached the 1,000 career assist marked, while recording 1,175 assists this season. Head coach Brent Aldridge reached the 200 career win mark on Oct. 16 with a 3-0 win at Minnesota Crookston; following the season, he now sits at a career record of 206-87 (.703). VOLLEYBALL SOCCER
NORTHERN TODAY 15 FALL 2021 FOOTBAL L Dewaylon Ingram, Junior VOL L EYBAL L Peyton Ellingson, Junior SOCCER Lilja Davidsdottir, Senior MEN ’ S CROSS COUNTY Chase Smith, Junior WOMEN ’ S CROSS COUNTRY Mary Franssen, Junior Victoria Kolbinger, Junior Jenna Helms, Sophomore NSIC Championships (8k): Ninth place out of 14 teams – top finisher Jackson Harrison (17th – 25:49.63) NSIC Second Team All-Conference: Jackson Harrison NCAA Central Region Championship (10k): 24th out of 31 teams – top finisher Jackson Harrison (37th – 31:12.2) Best team finish: Third place twice (MSUM Dragon Twilight – 93 points; Jimmie Invite – 63 points) Best individual finish: Second place (Jackson Harrison – MSUM Dragon Twilight – 18:28.3) NSIC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week – Jackson Harrison (Sept. 28) NSIC Championships (6k): Seventh place out of 16 teams – top finisher Megan Pickering (45th – 23:54.78) NCAA Central Region Championship (6k): 18th place out of 35 teams – top finisher Megan Pickering (45th – 22:10.6) Best team finish: Second place twice (MSUM Dragon Twilight – 71 points; Jimmie Invite – 57 points) Best individual finish: Sixth place (Megan Pickering – Jimmie Invite – 19:04.9) Other notes Megan Pickering recorded two top-10 finishes on the season MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY Other notes Jackson Harrison recorded three top-10 finishes on the season, including two top-3 finishes WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY View the highlights of the inaugural game at Dacotah Bank Stadium.
NORTHERN TODAY 16 FALL 2021 ORTHERN STATE UNIVERSITY’S Dr. Amber Henderson has won a Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for her research project, “Perceptions of Entrepreneurship: An Exploratory Study Applied to Lakota Cultures.” Henderson said her research aims to identify the perception of entrepreneurship among people of the Oceti Sakowin (People of Seven Council Fires, known to some as the Great Sioux Nation). She virtually presented the conceptual framework for the project at the International Conference on Ethnic Entrepreneurship and Ethnic Identity (London) on Nov. 18-19, 2021. Henderson, NSU Associate Professor of Marketing/Management, said she has been interested in this topic for many years, but has only just begun the process of data collection and analysis. “I’m a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (located in northern North Dakota), and have always been interested what theories/textbooks state versus how things play out in different contexts…specifically through an Indigenous lens,” she said. “However, after going through a program with the Native Governance Center a few years ago, I began to really rethink standard approaches to Native Nation Rebuilding. In particular, I took a direct interest in the consideration of Indigenous culture and values as a fundamental role and key asset of topics such as Tribal government systems/ processes and economic development.” Her long-term, overall goal of the project, she said, is to identify how cultural values and entrepreneurship education might affect entrepreneurship intentions of the Oceti Sakowin. Henderson came to Northern in August 2015 and is now in her seventh academic year with the NSU School of Business. For others looking to get started in research, Henderson has this advice: “Research something you’re passionate about that might bring worth to someone else. Talk about your research ideas with other people, especially those who won’t necessarily agree with you. Seek experts in the field and solicit their feedback. For my particular interest, there are experts in organizations such as Native CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions), which have exceptional first-hand experience working with entrepreneurs.” Faculty | NORTHERN STATE UNIVERSI TY N R. RICARDO ROJAS, associate professor of mathematics at Northern State University, won a Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for his project, “A Short Geometry Problem Book.” Rojas, who is in his 14th year at NSU, said the idea for his book came about because he was having trouble finding an appropriate geometry textbook for the course he wanted to teach. His book is not going to be a full-length textbook, however; it’s a shorter book of problems, essentially a workbook, which could be used as a supplement by educators. Rojas said the book is divided into chapters, with each chapter having different prerequisites. For example, one has college algebra as a prerequisite, another has trigonometry, and so on. “One way to think about it is a video game with different levels, and as you level up your character or acquire certain abilities or items, various portions of the map unlock that were locked,” Rojas said. Submitted Articles for Publication When he submitted the application for the Sanford award, Rojas originally intended to work only on the book. However, while doing so, he also got some ideas for research on geometric topics. This resulted in Rojas writing and submitting three scholarly articles to the peer-reviewed College Math Journal over the summer. The first article, “When Triangles are Similar,” has already been accepted, and he’s awaiting the publication date. For the second article, “A Twofor-One Deal on Rational Triangles,” revisions were requested. Rojas has revised and resubmitted, and he is waiting to hear back. The third article, “More Rational Points Associated With the Unit Circle,” has been submitted, but Rojas hasn’t yet heard back on its status. ‘Never Know When an Idea Will Strike’ For others considering research, especially students, Rojas shared advice. “You never know when an idea will strike; you never know when an idea will come together,” he said. “It helps if you have to force yourself to stop doing the subject rather than force yourself to do the subject.” Rojas said he likes to paraphrase a quote attributed to Albert Einstein as follows, “If you know what you’re doing, it’s not research.” Henderson wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award Rojas wins Sanford Faculty Professional Development Award for geometry book Dr. Amber Henderson Associate Professor of Marketing/Management Dr. Ricardo Rojas Associate Professor of Mathematics “Research something you’re passionate about that might bring worth to someone else.” “You never know when an idea will strike; you never know when an idea will come together.” “ “ Dflippingbook.com