Annual Recognition Awards for 2014-2015

All Minot State University faculty and staff members are invited and encouraged to attend the annual Employee Recognition and Retirement Event May 13 in Old Main. A social in McFarland Gallery at 2 p.m. will be followed by a recognition program in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at 2:30 p.m. President Steven Shirley has advised supervisors to close offices where feasible to ensure the fullest attendance possible. Join colleagues as those marking five-year increments of service, those retiring and those receiving Faculty and Staff Achievement Awards will be honored.

Joseph Ferrara and Selmer Moen, retired faculty members, will receive Distinguished Lifetime Educator Awards.

Three faculty members, Erik Anderson, Tom Seymour and Narayan Thapa, and two staff members, Wesley Matthews and Steven Swenson, will receive MSU Board of Regents Achievement Awards May 13 during Minot State University’s annual Employee Recognition and Retirement event.

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.

Teaching — Erik Anderson, professor of music, joined the MSU faculty in 2003. As a cellist, bassist, conductor and teacher, Anderson’s charismatic personality and thoughtful approach to music appeals to audiences of all ages and musical tastes. Whether in concert lectures for the Minot Symphony Orchestra, chamber music presentations in classrooms or on stages from the Great Plains to Europe, he communicates a deep love and respect for the music he performs and a passion for education and exploration. Recent highlights include such diverse experiences as a series of lecture-performances on the six preludes to the Bach cello suites, chamber music for sax, cello and piano at the SaxArts festival in Faenza, Italy, conducting a philanthropic concert of rock tunes arranged for orchestra, and improvised live music/dance with Minneapolis’ James Sewell Ballet Company.

Regionally, Anderson performs frequently with the piano trio, Luminus, and in recital with his wife, Dianna, and has been featured as soloist with the symphonies of Minot, Grand Forks and Bismarck. He has been the director of Dakota Chamber Music, an annual weeklong chamber music festival for strings, winds and piano, since 2006. He is also active in the First-Year Experience program, teaching a course each year. He served as a committee member for five years, revising the general education program, including one year as chair, and he has worked to revise the music program content and pacing to better serve students.

Service — Tom Seymour, professor of business information technology, has taught at Minot State since 1985 and was department chair from 2007 to 2009. Seymour is a past president of MSU Faculty Senate, the International Association of Computer Systems, and the North Dakota Council of College Faculties where he led a successful initiative to place a faculty advisor on the State Board of Higher Education. The Cavalier native is a peer reviewer and team chair for the Higher Learning Commission and has made over 50 team visits. Globally, he has given over 150 computer and e-commerce presentations and had more than 80 articles published. He is a SRT board member and a Minot alderman. Seymour was a North Dakota state senator from 2002 to 2010 and is a member of the Quentin Burdick Job Corps and Minot High School Business Advisory committees. He is also the editor of the International Journal of Management & Information Systems. This past year, Seymour chaired the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee.

Scholarship — Narayan Thapa, assistant professor of mathematics, teaches undergraduate and graduate mathematics classes and supervises students in undergraduate research projects. Thapa’s research focuses on integrating science, engineering, technology and mathematics through direct and inverse problems. Currently, his research centers on developing STEM-oriented inverse problems, facilitating students, staff and faculty across disciplines to work together for a common goal. Thapa’s publication and presentation record with students is extensive. He has supervised 31 undergraduate students in 21 research projects, which are often supported by grant funding. His students made approximately 63 oral presentations, including 14 at Joint Mathematics Meetings. Six students co-authored with him in four peer-reviewed papers. Currently, 14 of his students are working on Ebola-related problems that came from Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences. Thapa launched the first two North Dakota Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences in North Dakota history, for which he received a National Science Foundation grant. Currently, he is chief editor for the Journal of Scientific Research and Reports and an academic editor for the British Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science.

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.

Wesley Matthews, director of human resources, has been a problem solver since he began his MSU career July 1, 2000. As part of the implementation team, he was a subject-matter expert during the transition from the legacy system to PeopleSoft human resource management system. From 2005 to 2014, Matthews chaired the Compensation Task Force, which advised the university president and his staff regarding salary administration. This effort brought significant wage increases to several employees to bring MSU’s salary structure closer to average market salaries. Consequently, MSU is more competitive when recruiting new staff and faculty.

In February 2014, Matthews was selected as the Title IX coordinator to lead the effort to develop a formal Title IX program. Title IX prohibits sexual discrimination in educational settings that receive federal funding. He organized a committee with student, faculty and staff members to access the situation and implement a plan. He selected deputy coordinators and investigators and secured training for his team.

Before joining MSU, Matthews completed a United States Air Force career and served as a pastor. From 2001 to 2005, he taught a speech class as an adjunct faculty member and participated in the Beaver Brass pop band. This semester, he is finishing his third year singing with the MSU Concert Choir.

Steven Swenson, an attorney, is in his third year as assistant athletic director-compliance and student life at Minot State University. In that role, he advises student-athletes with their eligibility and assists coaches, staff and athletic supporters in maintaining compliance with all NCAA, conference, and MSU rules and regulations. Swenson oversees several MSU teams and assists in all aspects of the Athletic Department, including serving as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee advisor and recently chairing the search committee for MSU's new head wrestling coach.

This past year, Swenson also served as MSU Staff Senate president. In that role, he led Staff Senate events and initiatives such as the Fall Kickoff and the Staff Senate Silent Auction, and served on the Presidential Inauguration Committee. He is also the deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics and serves as a Title IX investigator on campus. A native of Raymond, Minn., he serves on numerous MSU committees and acts as a liaison for the Athletic Department to several supporting offices across campus.


Front row, left to right: Caren Barnett, Student Health Center; Dick Jenkins, vice president for student affairs; Kathy Nelson, financial aid. Back row, left to right: Brad Brentrup, facilities management; Diann Hanson, business administration; Ronald Royer, science; Richard Seklecki, criminal justice. Not pictured: Carmen Fricke, mathematics and computer science; Larry Goodman, mathematics and computer science; Neil Nordquist, College of Education and Health Sciences; Michael Wilz, library.

Service Awards
Fifty-seven Minot State University employees will be saluted for service at the annual recognition event May 13. Employees to be recognized for five-year increments of service include:

5 Years of Service
Front row, left to right: Sarah Aleshire, humanities; Tonya Critz, financial aid; Tiffany Fylling, POWER Center; Sherri Giessinger, facilities administrative services; Daniel Ngugi, economics. Back row, left to right: Stephen Banister, library; Jynette Larshus Thompson, sociology; Richard Heit, marketing; Heather Martin, Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning; Elizabeth Odahlen, CETL; Jason Spain, athletics; Emily Rodacker, NDCPD; Jessica Smestad, CETL; Brian Foisy, administration and finance. Not pictured: Michael Linnell, athletics; Jeanne MacDonald, business administration; Tyler Schmaltz, ITC.

10 Years of Service
Front row, left to right: Debra Wentz, President’s Office; Debra Jensen, teacher education and human performance. Back row, left to right: Dean Frantsvog, accounting and finance; Thomas Lipsey, facilities management; Stuart Melby, athletics; Jolene Nechiporenko, library. Not pictured: Abbie Baklenko, nursing; Dianne Bossert, North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities; Paul Lepp, biology; Naomi Winburn, science.

15 Years of Service
Front row, left to right: Patricia Hunt, library; Wesley Matthews, human resources; Deborah Olson, addiction studies, psychology and social work. Back row, left to right: Wojciech Cebulak, criminal justice; Guy Hanley, science; Heidi Super, biology; Ernst Pijning, history. Not pictured: Terry Eckmann, teacher education and human performance; Stephen Hayton, mathematics and computer science; Cheryl Kremer, music.

20 Years of Service
Left to right: DeVera Bowles, music; Lisa Haman, Information Technology Central; Cheryl Nilsen, mathematics and computer science; Jon Rumney, music. Not pictured: Scott Muhle, facilities management; James Ondracek, business administration.

25 Years of Service
Front row, left to right: Evelyn Klimpel, disability services; Frank McCahill, humanities; Kathy Nelson, financial aid. Back row, left to right: Brad Brentrup, facilities management; William Mosser, facilities management; Lorraine Willoughby, business information technology and Graduate School; Terry Wald, facilities management. Not pictured: Linda Haider, nursing; Jane laPlante, library.

30 Years of Service
Left to right: Julianne Eklund, business information technology; Joan Houston, accounting and finance; Sharon Reynolds, business information technology.

35 Years of Service
Teresa Loftesnes, marketing. Not pictured: Robin Wagner, Business Office.

45 Years of Service
Donna Just, Gordon B. Olson Library.