A NEWSLETTER FOR EMPLOYEES AND FRIENDS OF MINOT STATE UNIVERSITY » Archived Issues
Feb. 12, 2014
Next Issue: Wednesday, Feb. 26
Submissions Due: noon, Feb. 19
Administration, second floor
Voice: 858-3298 - Fax: 858-4481
linda.benson@minotstateu.edu

Darwin Day 2014Darwin Day: celebrating science and humanity
For its sixth year running, Darwin Day returns to Minot State University Thursday and Friday (Feb. 13-14). Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason, with a focus on how all living creatures evolve.

MSU’s Darwin Day commemoration begins Thursday (Feb. 13) with a presentation, “A Glitch in the Matrix: Variation and the Evolving Print,” by Nicole Pietrantoni in Hartnett 215, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. That evening at 7 p.m. in Cyril Moor Science Center, Yuri Wolf will talk about “Evolving Ideas: Paradigm Shifts in Evolutionary Biology from Darwin’s Times to the Age of Genomics.”

Friday (Feb. 14) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., a variety of student activities will take place in the Science Center and the MSU greenhouse: eye evolution demonstration; art activities; evolution movies; evolution board games; greenhouse “Ancient Plants” tours. Pietrantoni will lecture on “Spectacular Landscapes: Ghosting the Natural World” at noon in Aleshire Theater. The finale of the two-day event will be “Tainted Love: Origin and Evolution of Pheromones in Salamanders,” a presentation by Heather Eisthen in Cyril Moore Science Center, 7 p.m. For additional information, visit http://msubiology.info/.

“Darwin Day is a celebration of science and humanity, and this year, celebrate it with the one you love on Valentine’s Day,” said Heidi Super, Department of Biology chair.


Severson Entrepreneurship Academy to expand
New academic enhancements are on the horizon for Minot State University’s Severson Entrepreneurship Academy, expanding services and projects. This expansion will empower entrepreneurs and regional business leaders to discover new opportunities, such as found by MSU students in creating Minot’s Beaver Brew Café, in North Dakota’s booming Bakken region.

SeversonFriday (Feb. 14) at 1 p.m. in Old Main 316 (Slaaten classroom), alumnus Clint Severson and David Fuller, MSU president, will elaborate on how the expansion will benefit Minot State students, faculty and staff as well as business leaders, now and into the future.

Expanded services and projects include:

• SEA will research business opportunities in western North Dakota through surveys and interviews performed by students to assist area businesses in planning for new business ventures. This will occur under the supervision of a faculty advisor, the SEA director and SEA student leader. Faculty expertise will also be solicited for research methodology and analysis.

• Data collected through the research process will be kept in a data repository and technology incubator to: provide data for area businesses, students, faculty and staff exploring business opportunities in the Bakken; train and teach students; and develop online entrepreneurial opportunities. The repository will be housed and maintained in a College of Business classroom redesigned to become a technology center.

• Student scholarships will be provided to motivate and attract business students to entrepreneurship. Scholarships will be awarded to students who are active in SEA and plan their future careers as entrepreneurs.

This expansion was made possible by a $500,000 gift by Severson, a 1973 graduate, and Conni Ahart and a $250,000 grant from the Higher Ed Challenge Grant supported by legislators.

“The Severson Entrepreneurship Academy’s Challenge Grant will enable the MSU College of Business to not only help students, faculty and staff, but the community as a whole,” said Chuck Barney, SEA director. “Surveying the Bakken will help businesses and entrepreneurs identify opportunities and promote new business growth.”

For more information, contact Barney at chuck.barney@minotstateu.edu or 858-3019 or Jacek Mrozik, CoB interim dean at jacek.mrozik@minotstateu.edu or 858-3110.


North Dakota's cultural future discussed at Democracy Café
At the Tuesday (Feb. 18) Democracy Café, Renee Stromme, North Dakota Women’s Network executive director, will lead discussion on “The Changing Faces of North Dakota: Addressing Our Cultural Future” in the Beaver Brew Cafe. Democracy Café fosters nonpartisan discussion on important civic issues. It meets every three weeks from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Democracy Café, funded in part by the Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning, is open to the public. It is also part of MSU's commitment to the Democracy Project in conjunction with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. For questions, contact Jynette Larshus, Sociology Club advisor, at 858-4324 or jynette.larshus@minostateu.edu.


Be in the Know sessions enlighten
Be in the Know sessions answer questions about Minot State University departments, policies or procedures. Campus representatives will present short and concise information. Most sessions, unless noted, will be held in Aleshire Theater, 10-10:30 a.m.

• Tuesday (Feb. 18) — “Where in the World does Minot State Offer Degree Programs and Courses?” MSU delivers degree programs in Turkey, China, North Carolina, Utah, Fargo, Bismarck and Minot Air Force Base. With many delivery options, students can earn degrees without coming to the campus. Kris Warmoth, Center for Extended Learning dean, will discuss CEL’s expansive outreach.

• Feb. 21 — “Music Extravaganza.” This special Be In the Know session will feature several talented student musicians in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, 2-3 p.m. Vocal and instrumental performances will certainly create excitement for the Division of Music’s upcoming concerts. Come, relax and enjoy this spectacular musical presentation.

• March 4 — “Semester at Sea.” While on sabbatical leave in 2013, John Girard, management professor, traveled around the world with the Semester at Sea program. Girard taught management classes, conducted leadership research and visited 15 countries during the 124-day journey.

These sessions align with “Vision 2013 strategy three: valuing faculty and staff within an engaged community” and empower the entire campus community to be better MSU marketers. For questions, contact Teresa Loftesnes, director of marketing at 858-3062 or teresa.loftesnes@minotstateu.edu.


Waiting for LeftyMSU theatre presents ‘Waiting for Lefty’
“Waiting for Lefty” will play at Minot State University’s Aleshire Theater Feb. 18-22 at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m. Kevin Neuharth, theatre director and communication arts associate professor, directs this ensemble-style show.

“It is truly one of the most important plays of the American Depression era,” Neuharth said.

“Waiting for Lefty” deals with the cynical exploitation of the working classes. The play, which was first presented by the famous Group Theatre, became both a symbol of its times and a beacon for many soon-to-be-famous playwrights who came under its influence.

The play’s action is comprised of a series of varied, imaginatively conceived episodes, which blend into a powerful and stirring mosaic. It gives a poignant glimpse into the 1930s that puts the plight of the nation’s unions and underprivileged in the spotlight.

For tickets, contact the Aleshire Theater box office at 858-3172. Ticket prices are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students under 18. MSU students, faculty and staff are admitted free with current ID. Reservations are encouraged. For questions, please contact Corie Burck, publicity coordinator, at 858-3172 or aleshire.theatre@minotstateu.edu.


Jessica AgaNew faculty and staff aboard
Minot State University welcomes Jessica Aga, Business Office purchasing agent. An MSU alumna, Aga completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance in 2005. Previously, she worked for Cognizant in Minot.

She has three dogs, a miniature pinscher, a Boston terrier mix and a husky.


U.S.-Dakota Wars revisited
Aaron Barth, North Dakota State University historian, will present “Remembering the US-Dakota Wars” Feb. 24 in Aleshire Theater at 7 p.m. His presentation is part of the Northwest Art Center lecture series.

For over 150 years, groups and individuals have reflected on and interpreted the U.S.-Dakota Wars of 1862 to 1864, according to Barth, and the perspectives of these “memory groups” have influenced how the conflicts were remembered. Monuments were erected throughout North Dakota and the northern Great Plains to commemorate significant events of the conflicts. Barth’s talk will analyze the monuments and the viewpoint of the people who erected them. 

A question-and-answer period and informal reception will follow Barth’s presentation. All lectures are free and open to the public. For questions, contact nac@minotstateu.edu.


Assessment Day slated for Feb. 25
Assessment Day for spring semester is Feb. 25 in Aleshire Theater. Tiffany Ziegler, assistant professor of history, and Jean-François Mondon, assistant professor of German, will lead workshops on using rubrics with real student work. There will be two sessions: 9 to 10 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m. For questions, contact jeanfrancois.mondon@minotstateu.edu.


Scott SeatonEnjoy ‘Lunch with the Maestro’
Join Minot Symphony Orchestra and Scott Seaton, music director, for “Lunch with the Maestro” March 1 at The Grand Hotel, 1-2:30 p.m. Music and lunch will be followed by Seaton’s commentary on “Russian Spectacular,” MSO’s performance that evening. Alessio Bax, pianist, will be the concert’s special guest.  

An RSVP for the lunch event is desired by Feb. 25 by calling MSO at 858-4228, since space is limited. The cost is $25. For more information about MSO, visit www.minotstateu.edu/symphony.


MSU Technology DayUnderwood High wins Tech Day
Underwood High School won the Sweepstakes Team Traveling Trophy for the sixth year at Minot State University's Technology Day by earning the most points for placements in all competitions. Other participating high schools were Berthold, Bowbells, Des Lacs-Burlington, Kenmare, Max, Powers Lake, Sawyer, Surrey, TGU Granville, TGU Towner and Westhope.

The high school students competed in accounting, business law, desktop publishing, document production, business principles, spreadsheet applications and presentation design. Every school was eligible to enter one student in each of the seven individual events.

MSU's Department of Business Information Technology sponsored the event. BIT faculty members and Pi Omega Pi, the business teacher-education honor society, supervised the competition.


In the galleries
Feb. 12-21 — "Partial Identities,” lithography and mixed media work by MSU art faculty Jessica Christy and Ryan Stander, Library Gallery.
Feb. 12-27 — “Americas 2014: Paperworks,”Hartnett Gallery.
The “Partial Identities” public reception will be Feb. 19 in Library Gallery, 6:30 to 8 p.m.


Faculty and staff achievements
The Office of Public Information proudly shares the many accomplishments of faculty and staff with the campus community in every issue.

Dean Frantsvog, accounting and finance associate professor, David Fuller, president, and Rick Hedberg, athletic director, represented Minot State University at the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Convention in San Diego, Jan. 15-19.

Alexey Shipunov, biology assistant professor, facilitated the creation of the first electronic checklist of North Dakota plants in 2012. An updated version of the electronic checklist of North Dakota plants was released this month, http://ashipunov.info/shipunov/fnddb/index.htm, and "Flora of North Dakota: Illustrated Checklist" electronic book. The latter is also available from the Internet archive, https://archive.org/details/shipunov20140209_flora_of_north_dakota_illustrated_checklist. Several important data sources and images were added; multiple entries were corrected. The current count for North Dakota flora is 1,727 species (1,649 previously). The electronic book contains 3,338 plant photographs (2,700 previously).

Jerry Stai, accounting and finance assistant professor, served as a board member and chair of the Audit Committee for an Integrity Viking Mutual Fund meeting in Phoenix, Jan. 30-31.

Joint Mathematics MeetingsNarayan Thapa, mathematics assistant professor, supervised six interdisciplinary research projects, which were selected for presentation at Joint Mathematics Meetings, the world’s largest mathematics meetings. Approximately 6,600 mathematicians and scientists attended 2013 JMM in Baltimore, Jan. 16-18.

The students, followed by their presentation title, are Breanne Hatfield, “Parameter Estimation of Tumor Growth Model,” Johannah Miller, "Schrodinger Equation in Modeling Energy Level of Hydrogen Atom,” Kowan O’Keefe, “Identification Problem in Pharmacokinetic-Pharmacodynamic Model for Treatment of Type II Diabetes Mellitus Using Metformin” and Chloe Ondracek, “Identification Problems in Parabolic Partial Differential Equation.” The six students received a $400 travel award from National Science Foundation through Mathematical Association of America. Justin Ziegler and Nicholas Taylor could not attend JMM to respectively present “Finite Difference Method for the Black-Scholes Option Pricing Model” and “Markov Chain Applications to Baseball Run Forecasting.”

In addition, Thapa presented “Existence and Uniqueness of Solution of Second Order Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equation with Point Effect.” He also judged undergraduate research posters and attended directors of regional undergraduate mathematics conference meeting.

Miller moderated a Mathematical Association of America general contributed paper session on mathematics education. The detailed information on abstract and schedule of talks can be found at “Abstracts of Papers Presented to the American Mathematical Society,” Vol. 35, No. 1, Issue 175.


Minot State University Mission
Minot State University is first and foremost dedicated to the success of all students: their growth and development as educated citizens, their confidence, and their life-long devotion to the common good and the welfare of others.