Annual Recognition Awards for 2012-2013

Three faculty members, Warren Gamas, Ernst Pijning and Clarine Sandstrom, and two staff members, Jason Spain and Doreen Wald, received MSU Board of Regents Achievement Awards Wednesday (May 8) during Minot State University's annual Employee Appreciation and Retirement event. The awards are as follows:

Faculty Achievement Awards
This program was established in 1985 by the Burlington Northern Foundation. In 1990 the Board of Regents established a second award and now solely supports the awards to recognize outstanding university teaching. The intent of the award is to recognize, reward, and motivate excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Service — Warren Gamas, Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance chair, is one of the busiest people on campus. Not only does he fulfill the duties required of a department chair, he teaches three sections of "ED 380: Technology in Teaching" each semester. He is instrumental in collaborative partnerships with Minot Public Schools technology coordinators to share the latest and newest technological advances.

Presently, Gamas is chair of the University Program Prioritization Committee, co-chair of the Centennial Academic Committee and a member of the Institutional Review Board and the Planning and Budgeting Council. He is a participating member in the North Dakota Association for Colleges of Teacher Education and has served as past president of the North Dakota Association of Teacher Educators at both the local and state level. NDATE awarded him its Distinguished Educator award in 2009. Gamas judges for the Science Olympiad and teaches summer College for Kids "Lego Robotics" and "Minecraft." He also judges robotics competition for the STARBASE program. As a Minot Lion’s Club past president, he facilitated fundraisers to restore playground equipment at Longfellow Elementary School as well as to assist Roosevelt Park Zoo.

Scholarship — Ernst Pijning, history professor, dedicated to cultural diversity and multiculturalism, teaches about and provides students with a sense of belonging in a wider academic community. An expert on the history of Brazil and its relations with Europe and the Americas, Pijning conducts research in Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, a rarity among historians. His contribution in this area of specialty is extensive and his production of articles, chapters and conference papers has been a prominent and constant feature since his arrival at MSU in 1999. Pijning’s work appears in prestigious journals, and he has published in English, French and Portuguese. He recently completed a sabbatical during which he made extensive revisions to his book manuscript, "Controlling Contraband: Economy, Mentality and Society in 18th Century Rio de Janeiro," that he is preparing for Louisiana State University Press.

Pijning also translates his scholarly devotion to the classroom and the Minot community. His students learn from the latest material in the field; community members enjoy his talks and short articles written for a broader audience. Three years ago, he revived the regional competition for National History Day in North Dakota.

Teaching — Clarine Sandstrom, associate education professor, joined the Department of Teacher Education and Human Performance in 2002. "Dr. C," as she is affectionately called, is passionate about her role as an educator. She uses "rejuvenate," "relate" and "inspire" when discussing teaching and learning with colleagues and teacher candidates.

The MSU alumna is a leader in the teacher education program in relation to undergraduate and graduate early childhood education, middle school and the adolescent learner, and gifted education. She is committed to preparing all candidates with current information and teaching strategies necessary for the diverse learning environments in which teachers work.

Sandstrom is an excellent educator, leader and life-long learner. She credits her passion for teaching and learning and compassion for people to outstanding Minot State faculty influences.

Staff Achievement Awards
The Board of Regents Staff Achievement Award was established in 1991. The Board of Regents established the award to recognize university staff members for outstanding service to the University and the community.

Jason Spain, head women’s soccer coach, has steered the program since its inception three years ago. Spain led Minot State University’s soccer team to its first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship and national tournament berth during the 2012-13 year.

Spain’s enthusiasm and his service to the campus and community is outstanding. Prior to the 2011 Mouse River Flood, he assisted dozens of homeowners in vacating their houses. He was also instrumental in ensuring MSU’s Lura Manor was evacuated.

For several weeks following the flood, Spain and his family fed flood victims. He also organized a care package to be sent to troops in Afghanistan. When no other volunteers stepped forward to fill a coaching need, Spain volunteered to coach five traveling youth soccer teams so community children could continue to compete in this program.

Doreen Wald started at MSU in 1987 as an administrative assistant for the Department of Math and Computer Science. In this role, Wald became a pioneer of the Apple Macintosh, the first computer to use a mouse, and the accompanying Apple software. She traveled to several area schools with faculty member Larry Atwood to teach administrators and teachers how to use the Macintosh computer and its most popular software. She earned the nickname "Mac-Wald," after regularly answering "how-to" questions over the phone regarding Macintosh software.

Wald also worked as a weekend secretary for James Babb, while he was chair of the North Dakota Education Fact Finding Commission.

In 1994, Wald joined the Printing Office as a typesetter and publication designer. In 2010, she became the manager of the Office of Publication and Design Services and the MSU Copy Center.

For eight years, Wald was a Cub and Boy Scouts leader/advisory committee member for Pack and Troop #416. She taught catechism classes for her church for two years. In addition, she served on the original advisory board for Minot Public Schools’ before and after-school child care program.

Eight MSU employees recently retired or will retire at the semester’s end. This year’s retirees include Debra DeWitz, social work; Alan Ekblad, special education; Robert Feller, information technology; Marcia Johnson, North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities; Sue Krebsbach, Center for Extended Learning; JoAnn Linrud, College of Business; Dianne Maupin, communication disorders; and Clarine Sandstrom, teacher education and human performance.

Degrees Earned
Three faculty members, Rita Myer, nursing; Audra Myerchin, humanities; and Holly Pedersen, special education; earned doctorates this year. Naomi Winburn received a Master of Teaching in science.

Service Awards
Sixty MSU employees, who marked five-year increments, were also be saluted.

5 Years of Service - Awards Recipients
5 Years of Service
Back row, left to right: Mark Boren, Joe Ford, Kathy Poline, Kathie Eslinger, Jessica Hudson, Timothy Morris, Richard Seklecki, Kristin Wood. Front row, left to right: William Archambeault, Melissa Cantone, Andrea Donovan, Amina Escalera, Jan Repnow, Brigitte Mikula, Jill Hieb, Mindy Rudnick, Kate Marshall. Not shown: Ben Bruton, Jeffery Engel, David Getzlaff, Deborah Kinzell, Neil Scharpe, William Triplett, Brock Weppler, Bobbie Zueger.

10 Years of Service - Awards Recipients
10 Years of Service
Back row, left to right: Andy Bertsch, Darren Seifert, Deborah Townsend, Amy Woodbeck. Front row, left to right: Jodi Connell, Alexandra Deufel, Anton Huether, Pat Jorgenson, Frank Moseley, Clarine Sandstrom, Mikhail Bobylev. Not shown: Thomas Alexander, Casey Coleman, Heather Golly, Draza Markovic, Chad McNally, Johnna Westby.

15 Years of Service - Awards Recipients
15 Years of Service
Back row, left to right: Joseph Jastrzembski, Chris Keller, Laurie Weber. Front row, left to right: Leisa Harmon, Lisa Borden-King, Merri Jo Connole, Marlene Hargrave. Not shown: Richard Miller, ShaunAnne Tangney.

20 Years of Service
Not shown:Shirley Cole-Harding, Cheryl Gilson, and Jonelle Watson.

25 Years of Service - Awards Recipients
25 Years of Service
Left to right: Patti Fedje, Donna Harvey, David Rochholz.

35 Years of Service - Awards Recipients
35 Years of Service
Left to right:Bob Feller, LaDona Malachowski, Melanie Moore.