NDSU ADVANCE FORWARD project director named



Karen Froelich, professor of management and marketing, has been selected as director for the National Science Foundation-funded NDSU Advance FORWARD project. She will begin her new duties Aug. 16.

Froelich has been involved in FORWARD activities for nearly 10 years, predating the NSF ADVANCE grant award in 2008. She contributed to that NSF grant proposal, has served on the project’s steering committee and chaired the Commission on the Status of Women Faculty.

Froelich was chosen after a campuswide search process.

“I am honored to be selected as the one to lead this transition and assure that the exceptional work of ADVANCE FORWARD continues,” said Froelich, who will serve in the role for the 2015-16 academic year, the final year of NSF funding for the Advance FORWARD project.

The NDSU Advance FORWARD Program, funded by an NSF institutional transformation grant of almost $4 million, seeks to study and address issues of recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty within the STEM disciplines. Specific program goals include: improve the climate across the campus and narrow the gap between men’s and women’s perceptions of the campus climate, employ targeted recruiting strategies to recruit women faculty, retain more women faculty through their probationary period and the promotion/tenure process, support women associate professors as they move to full professor and hire advanced rank women to build a critical mass and promote and hire women faculty into academic leadership positions.

Froelich will administer the FORWARD program, work with the FORWARD steering committee on issues involving women faculty, develop a strategic plan for ongoing institutionally supported FORWARD efforts and bring the NSF grant to conclusion.

“Professor Froelich’s passion for the recruitment, advancement, retention and development of female faculty is evident to all those who know her. I look forward to seeing that energy continue to foster a positive culture that benefits all of us in the NDSU community,” said Jane Schuh, interim dean of the College of Business.

Vice Provost Canan Bilen-Green added, “Professor Froelich has been a strong and effective campus advocate for FORWARD aspirations and a crucial resource for so many faculty, staff and students. She will provide leadership to further institutionalize FORWARD goals and continue the progress already made through the NSF funding.”

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

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NDSU men’s basketball academic performance honored

NDSU was one of only six Division I schools to earn a bid to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament while owning a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.0 or better.

For the second-straight year, the Bison were announced as a recipient of the Team Academic Excellence Award presented July 29 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The academic award program created by the association recognizes outstanding academic achievement by teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 2014-15 season. All teams in NCAA Divisions I, II, III and NAIA Division I and II are eligible.

NDSU was one of 19 Division I schools to earn the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award. Belmont, Eastern Washington, Harvard, North Florida and Northern Iowa were the only other schools to post a team GPA above 3.0 and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament for the 2014-15 year.

The Bison recorded a 3.27 team GPA for the spring 2015 semester – the highest men’s basketball semester GPA at NDSU in 10 years. All players on the 2014-15 roster combined for a 3.23 team GPA.

“We are very pleased and extremely proud of the efforts that our guys put in on the court and in the classroom,” said NDSU head coach David Richman. “The success on the court is more visible to the public eye, but the work that our guys do in the classroom cannot be understated. We’re pleased to be recognized with such a great group of schools, and we look forward to continuing to build.”

NDSU finished 23-10 overall last season and made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in seven years.

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

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NDSU volleyball team receives academic award

The NDSU volleyball team has been honored with the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2014-15 season, the association announced July 29.

The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors collegiate and high school volleyball teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

The Bison received the award for the third consecutive year and the 15th time overall.

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

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Interim dean named at NDSU



Margaret Fitzgerald, professor and head of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, has been named interim dean of human development and education, according to NDSU Provost Beth Ingram. Fitzgerald begins her duties Aug. 16, and will serve while a national search continues for a permanent dean.

Fitzgerald takes over for Virginia Clark Johnson, who is retiring in August after 22 years as dean of the NDSU College of Human Development and Education.

“I appreciate Dr. Fitzgerald’s willingness to serve in this important role, and I look forward to working with her and the college during this transitional time,” said Ingram. “I want to thank Dean Clark Johnson for her decades-long service as dean – she has created a long lasting legacy at NDSU.”

Fitzgerald has been a member of the NDSU faculty for more than 25 years. “I look forward to working with our world class faculty, staff, students, administrators and alumni to contribute to the momentum of the college and university as we continue to move forward as leaders in teaching, research, outreach and service,” she said.

Fitzgerald earned her bachelor’s degree from NDSU, master’s degree in family resources and human development from Arizona State University and doctorate in human development and family studies from Iowa State University.

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

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NDSU students design Red River Zoo’s new outdoor learning space


NDSU students Ellie Nyquist and Matt Ellingson used their landscape architecture expertise to help the Red River Zoo. They designed an outdoor learning space that zoo visitors will enjoy for decades.

NDSU students Ellie Nyquist and Matt Ellingson tested their design capabilities and communication skills with a real client this spring.

Nyquist and Ellingson, who are majoring in landscape architecture, collaborated with the Red River Zoo for a service-learning project in their Writing in the Design Professions course. Their assignment was to design or redesign a space for the nonprofit and use the types of communication commonly used in their field.

Their work stood up to the client test—the zoo is using their plan to build its new outdoor interactive learning space where zookeepers will give public presentations and show small animals.

“The design was so compelling,” said Lisa Tate, executive director of the Red River Zoo. “It was exactly what we wanted.”

The space will include a stage with an overhead pergola to block weather elements, such as wind and intense summer sun. Cubbies will give zookeepers a way to keep animals safe and contained when they aren’t on stage during a presentation.

The seating for the audience will be split-log benches similar to seating used in other parts of the zoo. The benches can be easily moved in case of an emergency.

Nyquist and Ellingson addressed the need to cover behind-the-scenes parts of the property with fences and plants. They also focused on choosing plants that were non-toxic to animals, native to the area and aesthetically pleasing.

They also paid close attention to the zoo’s budget, something Tate appreciated. “It is feasible and beautiful,” she said.

The Writing in the Design Professions course is for upper-level architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and art majors who will soon join the workforce. English senior lecturer Julie Sandland designed the course to give students experience working with and advocating for real clients.

The students went through the entire process of working with a client, from researching the nonprofit and its needs, to designing a solution and communicating with the client throughout the process. Class instruction focused on written, oral, visual and digital communication within the client interaction.

Nyquist and Ellingson look forward to seeing zoo visitors enjoying the space they designed. The project is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2015.

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Construction on Wellness Center aquatic addition underway

Aquatic addition

Construction on the aquatic addition to the Wallman Wellness Center started in June.

Construction on the aquatic addition to the Wallman Wellness Center started in June.

Progress has been steady as some footings are complete and a foundation wall on the west side of the site is taking shape. Water and sewer lines will be installed in the coming weeks. The project is scheduled to be complete by late summer 2016.

The $11 million project is completely student funded.

Students voted in spring 2013 to approve construction and bond financing for the project through student fees. Those fees will increase in fall 2016 to support operations of the facility.

The project includes a leisure pool, lap pool, sauna, fire pit, a “wet” classroom for activities like scuba instruction, gender neutral locker rooms and additional women’s and men’s locker rooms.

The Wallman Wellness Center was built in 2001, with an earlier addition completed in 2007. The center also houses the Student Health Service, Disability Services and Child Care facilities.

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Prestigious mathematics conference comes to NDSU

Maria Alfonseca-Cubero


Mathematicians from around the world will gather on the NDSU campus July 27-31 for the National Science Foundation-Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences Regional Conference.

According to conference organizer María Alfonseca-Cubero, associate professor of mathematics, the event is part of a series of three regional conferences funded by the National Science Foundation through a competitive process.

“A conference like this will increase the visibility of NDSU and our math department,” said Alfonseca-Cubero, noting 52 mathematicians will participate. “We have people are coming from Spain, France, Finland and across the United States.”

The conference is highly technical in nature and aimed toward mathematics faculty, graduate students and post-docs. Sessions will focus on new developments related to the David-Semmes conjecture, which aims to provide a geometric description of the measures that have bounded singular potentials for Calderón-Zygmund kernels.

Fedor Nazarov, professor of mathematics at Kent State University, is scheduled to be the featured speaker. Nazarov is a renowned researcher of mathematical analysis and its applications, and he is set to present 10 main lectures on “Reflectionless measures, Wolff’s potentials and rectifiability.”

Other invited speakers include Guy David, Université Paris-Sud, France; José María Martell, Instituto de Ciencias Matemáticas, Madrid, Spain; Pertti Mattila, University of Helsinki, Finland; Xavier Tolsa, ICREA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; Sergei Treil, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; and Alexander Volberg, Michigan State University, East Lansing.

“This is a unique situation. These mathematicians are all well-known, and to have them together at NDSU is a great opportunity,” Alfonseca-Cubero explained.

The regional conferences are intended to ensure that participants, especially new researchers, gain an understanding of the latest developments in specified areas of mathematics.

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

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NDSU professor, food and nutrition specialist honored



Julie Garden-Robinson, Extension Service food and nutrition specialist, has been named a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is being honored for her commitment to the field of dietetics, professional accomplishments and pursuit of lifelong learning.

Garden-Robinson also is a professor in NDSU’s Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences and a licensed registered dietitian. She conducts research and outreach programs for children and adults throughout North Dakota in the areas of nutrition, food safety and health. In addition, she has written a weekly column, titled Prairie Fare, for 18 years.

The fellow designation also indicates that she has lived up to the academy’s values of customer focus, integrity, innovation and social responsibility.

The academy is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. It was founded in Cleveland in 1917 and has more than 75,000 members.

Garden-Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition/dietetics, master’s degree in food and nutrition and doctorate in cereal chemistry and food technology from NDSU.

She also has held leadership positions with the Society of Nutritional Education; served on NDSU and Extension boards and committees; written or co-written many Extension publications, refereed journal articles and book chapters; and helped generate more than $10 million in grants and other funding with collaborative teams.

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

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Glass installed in STEM building

NDSU’s STEM Classroom and Lab Building now has most of the glass installed on the north, south and west sides of the building. The east side of the building will be enclosed later. Workers continue to use the open east side to bring large materials into the building.

Other construction highlights:

  • The exterior brick has been washed to remove marks from the building process.
  • The main entrance on the south side is taking shape. This is where students will enter from the bus loop.
  • The first-floor active learning classroom is now framed. The classroom’s design will allow for several types of classroom activities, such as group work, discussions and lectures. It will have round tables that seat nine people. The tables will be connected to monitors, so students can share content with the entire class. The classroom will be able to accommodate as many as 135 students.
  • The hallways and some classrooms are painted on the second and third floors.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in November 2015. The building will open in January 2016.

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Student conducts research for National Institutes of Health

An NDSU senior is conducting research at the National Institutes of Health through the prestigious Amgen Scholars Program.

The Amgen Foundation selected Angel Mfon, who is majoring in psychology, to spend 10 weeks this summer conducting hands-on research at the National Institute of Mental Health. She was among 340 students selected globally from about 5,000 applicants.

Mfon, who is from St. Paul, Minnesota, is active in NDSU African Student Union. She also is an undergraduate student member of the Institutional Review Board.

The Amgen Scholars also attended a symposium at UCLA as an opportunity to network with students from other institutions, share research projects, learn about biotechnology and hear from leading industry and academic scientists.

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

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