Graduate student receives top award

NDSU graduate student Maneka Malalgoda won first place in the Best Student Research Paper competition at the American Association of Cereal Chemists International centennial meeting held in Minneapolis Oct. 19-23. She was one of six finalists from around the globe who competed for the distinguished award.

Other competitors were from Texas, Kansas, China and Canada. Her adviser, Senay Simsek, Bert L. D’Appolonia Cereal Science and Technology of Wheat Endowed Associate Professor of Plant Sciences, said. “Maneka was able to present her work in a clear and succinct manner to the audience, which was made up of scientists in many different areas of cereal science research.”

Malalgoda and Simsek collaborated with Steven Meinhardt, associate professor of plant pathology, and Jae-Bom Ohm, USDA adjunct professor affiliated with the cereal science graduate program, when conducting the research.

Malalgoda’s research is titled “Spring wheat gliadins: Have they changed in 100 years?” The study looked at 30 hard red spring wheat cultivars released in North Dakota during the last century. In her research, Malalgoda focused on how protein composition changed over the years and how wheat quality changed in relation to protein composition. She also looked at protein fragments or “immunogenic peptides” related to celiac disease.

According to Malalgoda, the results indicated that a certain protein fraction called omega-gliadins may have a positive influence on dough quality. This is an intriguing finding because the role of the protein fraction in dough quality is debated and has not been clearly established. With regard to the “immunogenic peptides”, they discovered the protein fragments are found in both historical and modern spring wheat cultivars, which dispels claims that breeding practices have changed wheat protein chemistry and claims that modern wheat cultivars are more immunogenic in terms of celiac disease than older varieties. Malalgoda is continuing work on the quantitative analysis of these peptides, and hopes to publish results early next year.

Malalgoda plans to complete her master’s degree next spring and will pursue her doctorate under the guidance of Simsek.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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Faculty research examines impact on health of future generations



A new review by Britt Heidinger, NDSU assistant professor of biological sciences, and Mark Haussmann of Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, looks at whether stressors on parents can linger to impact the health of their offspring. The research, published in Biology Letters of The Royal Society, examines long-term impacts of exposure to stressors during development.

Studies show that exposure to stressors accelerates the aging process. “When parents are exposed to stressors, the lifespans of their offspring and even grand offspring are often reduced. But why this happens is not well understood,” said Heidinger. The researchers’ paper reviews evidence that telomeres might play an important role in the process.

Telomeres are highly conserved, repetitive sections of DNA at the end of chromosomes. Together with other proteins, telomeres form protective caps at chromosome ends, which function somewhat like the plastic ends on shoelaces, to protect the laces from fraying.

During cell division and in response to stressors, telomeres get shorter while protecting the other DNA on the chromosome. Once telomeres get too short, cells stop dividing and do not function properly, which is expected to contribute to a decline in tissue function with age.

“Understanding how stress in the parental generation influences the telomere dynamics of subsequent generations will be important for predicting how early adversity impacts human health and how changing environmental conditions will influence animal populations,” said Haussmann.

The review published Nov. 4 in Biology Letters synthesizes many human and animal studies to identify current gaps in knowledge and recommend new avenues for discovery.

“There is evidence in humans, other mammals and birds that parental stress exposure has a negative impact on the telomeres of their offspring,” said Heidinger. “However, these effects can vary among developmental stages, among individuals and among tissues within individuals. We need to know more about what causes these differences.”

Heidinger joined NDSU in 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and her doctorate in evolution, ecology and behavior from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She also served as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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Psychology professor to present first NDSU Phi Kappa Phi Lectureship



Michael D. Robinson, professor of psychology, has been selected to present the initial Phi Kappa Phi NDSU Faculty Lectureship. Robinson’s lecture, titled “The Surprising Power of Conceptual Metaphor,” is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m., in Festival Concert Hall.

The lecture will be held in conjunction with the honor society’s fall induction ceremony, which is scheduled for the same evening at 6 p.m. in Beckwith Recital Hall.

Robinson was nominated by a committee that included psychology department faculty members Ben Balas, James Council, Rob Dvorak, Verlin Hinsz and Mark McCourt.

“Dr. Robinson is a personality-social psychologist who adopts a broadly cognitive perspective in understanding how motivation, emotion and self-regulation work,” wrote the committee, describing him as the most prolific scholar in the department’s 60-year history. “Professor Robinson is exceptionally devoted to the undergraduate and graduate students who work with him, exquisitely sensitive to student skills and abilities and willing to do whatever he can to facilitate their learning and ultimate success.”

Robinson has received NDSU’s Fred Waldron Research Award, as well as the College of Science and Mathematics Research Award and Mentoring Award. He also was named the James A. Meier junior professor for his early accomplishments and James A. Meier senior professor for his later achievements.

Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his doctorate from the University of California, Davis. Following post-doctoral experiences at the Universities of Wisconsin and Illinois, he was a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois in 1999. Soon after, he joined the NDSU faculty.

Robinson has produced approximately 200 refereed publications, and has received funding from both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He is a fellow of four societies, including the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the American Psychological Association.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is considered the nation’s most prestigious all-discipline honor society. Membership is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of NDSU’s second term juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students.

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Native American Heritage Month opening ceremony, event scheduled

The opening ceremony of Native American Heritage Month is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. in NDSU’s Grandmother Earth’s Gifts of Life Garden. It is one of a several educational events during the month sponsored by the NDSU Office of Multicultural Programs.

At the opening ceremony, tribal leaders are set to give oral narrations about their home communities. Guests include Petra One Hawk of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Gabe Brien of Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Michael Yellow Bird of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.

“Heritage Month is an opportunity for Native American cultures to share their knowledge and talents with others. Over the years, we’ve had strong support from the NDSU community for our events,” said Jaclynn Davis Wallet, director of the Office of Multicultural Programs. “This year, we are focusing on what’s happening regionally in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. We’ll address a variety of topics that are occurring here.”

Other events include:

 “Tribal Nations Research Group, data to knowledge in Native American Communities”

Anita Frederick, president of the Tribal Nations Research Group, will discuss research and results regarding the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1-2 p.m., Memorial Union Mandan room

• “Spirit Lake tribe and Native American people”

Erich Longie, tribal historic preservation officer of the Spirit Lake Dakota

Thursday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-11 a.m., Memorial Union Hidatsa room

• “American Indian Public Health in North Dakota”

Staff members of the NDSU American Indian Public Health Resource Center will describe their work with North Dakota tribes.

Friday, Nov. 20, noon-1 p.m., Memorial Union Hidatsa room

• “Poetry Reading and Open Mic Night”

Native poets Hannabah Blue, Tanaya Winder, Pearl Walker and Denise Lajimodiere will read their works.

Friday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Memorial Union Mandan room

• “No Fracking Way”

Carol Davis, senior associate of the Tribal Nations Research Group, and Robert Shimek, director of Native Harvest, will describe their work to prevent fracking on the Turtle Mountain Reservation.

Monday, Nov. 23, 3 p.m.-4 p.m., Memorial Union Rose room

• “Native American Essential Understandings”

Lucy K. Fredericks, North Dakota Indian education director, will discuss the Department of Education’s video and website regarding teachings of elders.

Monday, Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Memorial Union Hidatsa room

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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Science Cafe to examine achievements of ‘man who fed the world’

NDSU’s next Science Café will discuss the many contributions of 1970 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Norman Borlaug.

David S. Buchanan, professor of animal sciences and associate dean for academic programs in the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources, is scheduled to present “Norman Borlaug: The Man Who Fed the World” Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson in downtown Fargo.

According to Buchanan, Borlaug may have saved millions of lives, but he remains largely unknown to the American public.

Borlaug was born in Iowa and educated at the University of Minnesota. He then went to Mexico to work on improving wheat. His efforts changed Mexico from being grain-deficient in the mid-1940s to becoming a wheat exporter by 1963.

His procedures were later applied in India and Pakistan, where many people had predicted mass starvation during the 1960s. By 1974, both countries became self-sufficient in the production and use of small grains.

Former President Jimmy Carter said, “Norman Borlaug’s moral fortitude, his strength, his dedication to the world’s poorest people and his scientific brilliance were just a few of the reasons why he has been a hero of mine.”

Buchanan, who joined the NDSU faculty in 2007, earned a bachelor’s degree at NDSU, master’s degree in animal science and doctorate in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska.

Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Diane Goede at or 701-231-7412.

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Cantus, Eric Whitacre to headline choral concerts

The NDSU Challey School of Music is scheduled to host public concerts featuring Cantus, the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States, and internationally acclaimed composer and conductor Eric Whitacre. The concerts are part of “Contemporary Composition in America,” a choral symposium organized by NDSU, the American Choral Directors Association and American Composers Forum.

The popular nine-member vocal ensemble Cantus will appear Friday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in NDSU’s Festival Concert Hall. The group will perform “The Four Loves,” touring program. Matt Tintes, a baritone with the group for more than six years, is a native of Casselton, North Dakota, and an NDSU alumnus.

Eric Whitacre is scheduled to conduct NDSU choral ensembles Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Festival Concert Hall. Whitacre is a Grammy-winning American composer, conductor and speaker. His four “Virtual Choir” projects have brought together thousands of individual voices from around the world into an online choir, collectively generating more than 15 million views on YouTube.

Tickets for each concert are $10 for students and $25 for adults, and are available online at the NDSU Box Office or by calling 701-231-7969.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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NDSU to host distinguished sociologist

The NDSU College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is scheduled to host a visit by distinguished sociologist Ronald Berger Oct. 27-28. Berger is a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he was chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice and coordinator of the Criminal Justice Program and Disability Studies Program.

Berger’s research has focused on Holocaust studies, disability studies, sociological criminology and qualitative methodology. He has published 17 books and more than 50 journal articles and book chapters.

“We are eagerly looking forward to Ron Berger’s visit. He is a delightful person and an outstanding researcher,” said Kent Sandstrom, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “Dr. Berger’s scholarly work clearly demonstrates the value and importance of the sociological imagination. It tells the story of how personal troubles, such as grappling with a physical disability or simply trying to stay alive, are linked to and informed by larger social structures and circumstances. His publications also give a central place to the voices of ordinary people, sharing their stories in a compelling, respectful and richly illuminating way.”

During his visit, Berger will meet with NDSU faculty, students and administrators, and give guest presentations in three or more classes.

He also is scheduled to give a public lecture titled “Surviving the Holocaust: One Family’s Story” Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in Beckwith Recital Hall.

In his lecture, Berger will recount the story of his father and uncle’s survival of the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland by highlighting pre-war experiences, decision-making, risk-taking and collective networks that helped them elude the Nazis. Berger challenges the conventional view that survival was simply a matter of luck and steers a new course between condemnations of Jewish victims’ passivity and romanticized celebrations of their heroism.

Berger earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology at UCLA and taught for 34 years at UWW.

Berger received UWW’s highest awards in both teaching and research, as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Service to Students with Disabilities and the Wisconsin Sociological Association’s William H. Sewell Outstanding Scholarship Award. He is the Wisconsin state director for the Midwest Sociological Society.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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NDSU to seek elite status


NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani addresses students, faculty and staff at the State of the University Address on Oct. 8.

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani says the stage is set for NDSU to begin to pursue membership among the nation’s top research universities. Bresciani unveiled his vision for the near future during his annual State of the University Address Oct. 8.

According to Bresciani, NDSU’s many advancements and accomplishments put it in position to pursue membership in the elite Association of American Universities, known as AAU.

“On every level of measurement, ranging from campus facility improvements to thriving full time student enrollment, historic academic achievement, a growing record endowment, positive and record research numbers and one of the winningest overall athletic programs in the nation, we serve our citizens at the highest levels ever known by our state,” Bresciani said. “And we continue to improve.”

He pointed to NDSU’s soon-to-open STEM building that will provide state-of-the art education and laboratory facilities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Bresciani also noted private sector partners like Doosan and Bobcat Company that provided $3 million to fund a STEM-related scholarship program and a $3.6 million gift for the visual arts department. He also discussed the importance of the mathematics department’s new Math Emporium Learning Center.

“Our strategic plan is very intentional about continuing the successful trajectory we now enjoy,” Bresciani said, noting NDSU is committed to solving complex and evolving Grand Challenges in the areas of Food Systems and Security; Healthy Populations and Vital Communities; and Sustainable Energy, Environment and Societal Infrastructure.

In addition, he said three new housing projects are on the fast track, including a new residence hall near the existing high rises, a new housing development on the 1600 block of University Drive and the replacement for University Village.

These accomplishments and others have put NDSU in a position to join the very best institutions in the nation, Bresciani said.

“I believe we are on the path to legitimately being able to pursue membership in the AAU. This association of top research universities are leaders in innovation, scholarship and solutions that contribute to the nation’s economy, security and well-being,” Bresciani said. “I believe our scholarly performance already more than meets their standard, and with increased endowment of academic activities, AAU membership will become possible at some foreseeable point in the future.”

To accomplish this goal, Bresciani said NDSU must:

• Pursue an enrollment of 18,000 students

• Grow student scholarship endowment by at least $100 million

• Aggressively pursue a substantial increase in endowed chair and faculty positions

“We’ve laid the groundwork, and sown the seeds,” Bresciani said. “It’s now time to see the rewards that come from that careful preparation and hard work, and to demonstrate to the citizens we serve the impressive opportunities that will emerge as a result.”

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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President Bresciani to present State of the University Address

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani is scheduled to present the annual State of the University Address Thursday, Oct. 8, at 11 a.m. in Festival Concert Hall of the Reineke Fine Arts Center.

The speech will be available as a script and live webcast.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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Downtown parade part of NDSU Homecoming events

NDSU invites the community to participate in Homecoming 2015 activities, many of which are scheduled Oct. 7-11.

The Homecoming parade is set for Friday, Oct. 9. Scheduled for 5:30 p.m., the parade will be held in downtown Fargo. Seventy-five floats are scheduled to participate.

The parade route starts at the corner of NP Avenue and Broadway and moves along Broadway to 4th Avenue North. The parade will go west on 4th Avenue North and finish on the corner of 7th Street North.

Bus transportation
Free MATBUS transportation to and from downtown will be provided, starting at 3 p.m. The buses will run to and from:
·      NDSU main campus
·      Fargo Cash Wise
·      K-Mart
·      West Acres Roger Maris Wing

The LinkFM Downtown Circulator will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Park for free at Moorhead Center Mall. LinkFM arrives every 12 to 15 minutes at each of 10 stops in downtown Fargo and Moorhead. More information is available at

Downtown parking
Free downtown parking will open at 3 p.m. at the:
·      Island Park Ramp
·      3rd Street Lot

Free downtown parking will open at 4 p.m. at the:
·      Civic Center Lot
·      2nd Avenue North Lot
·      2nd Avenue South Lot
·      Third Avenue Lot
·      Radisson Ramp
·      4th Street Lot
·      Main Avenue Lot

Parking restrictions and road closures
There will be no parking in the parade staging area and along the parade route on Friday, Oct. 9, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. This includes:

·      NP Avenue from Roberts Street to 5th Street North
·      Broadway from Main Avenue to 4th Avenue North
·      4th Avenue from Broadway to 7th Street North

NP Avenue will be closed from Roberts Street to 5th Street beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9. Broadway also will be closed from Main Avenue to 1st Avenue North.

The parking lot by Old Broadway and Renaissance Hall will close at 3:30 p.m. However, an exit will remain open until the staging area requires the space for floats.

At 4:30 p.m., the remaining barricades will be set up. The detour routes will be Roberts Street North and 2nd Street North.

Other Homecoming events:

Thursday, Oct. 8
NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani’s State of the University Address
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Festival Concert Hall, NDSU
Live streaming video of the event will begin at 10:55 a.m. Join the live stream here.

Homecoming Show and Coronation
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Festival Concert Hall, NDSU
The show is sponsored by Blue Key National Honor Society and Campus Attractions. Proceeds from the event will support Wellspring for the World.

Friday, Oct. 9
Athletic Hall of Fame luncheon
Time: 11 a.m.
Place: Fargo Holiday Inn

Saturday, Oct. 10
ESPN’s “SportsCenter on the Road”
Time: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
Place: Fargodome
Doors open at 4:45 a.m. on the south side of the Fargodome for the live broadcast of “SportsCenter on the Road.” Tickets are not required. Click here for more information.

5K Run/Walk for Scholarships
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Place: NDSU campus

NDSU Bison vs. UNI football game
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: Fargodome

More information, a map of downtown activities and a complete schedule of events can be found here.

As a student-focus, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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