Mayville State President’s Column for Traill County Tribune

June 1, 2013

Faculty Spotlight – Dr. Sarah Anderson


We at Mayville State University are blessed with many great colleagues. These faculty and staff members are making an impact at the university, as well as in the community and beyond. From time to time, I feature someone from the faculty or staff so that you can learn a bit more about them. This week I have chosen to feature Dr. Sarah K. Anderson from the Division of Education & Psychology. 

Dr. Sarah K. Anderson, Assistant Professor of Education & Psychology, joined the faculty at Mayville State University last fall. She instructs courses on special education, learning theory, evaluation, and secondary education. She also works to place students in clinical field experiences in secondary and special education. In addition, she supervises internships and advises students.

Dr. Anderson came to Mayville State after spending time as a teacher at the University of North Dakota (UND). Just prior to joining the ranks of our faculty, she was in Norway, as a roving scholar with the U.S.-Norway Fulbright Foundation. She visited lower secondary schools across the country of Norway to facilitate student inquiry about issues in American society. She was able to present opportunities for the Norwegian students to practice their English language skills and discuss interests and ideas about America, while teaching them using American methods. She worked with Norwegian teachers in their classrooms, and provided them with in-service sessions on student skills for the 21st century, teaching diverse learners, making data-based decisions, and literacy.

I had a chance to get comments and reflections from Sarah as she completed her first academic year at Mayville State University this spring.

“With my ‘rookie season’ at MSU under my belt, I can say now that it was a good year. My transition to working at MSU was incredibly smooth. I quickly felt like a valued member of the institution and adapted easily to my role within the division.

“Since my interview for the position was conducted while I was overseas, I didn’t have a good idea of how the campus looked or what the atmosphere was like. Upon arriving on campus, I was pleasantly surprised with the facilities, updates, and technologies available to both faculty and students. It is exciting to join the university at a time when success after success has been recognized.

“The approval of the new, and only, undergraduate special education program in the state was definitely a highlight of this year for me, as was the growth of individual students which I witnessed over the year. It is my goal to assist students as they grapple with concepts, construct understanding, make mistakes, and learn from feedback. I try to facilitate personal and intellectual growth through my courses, so students are prepared to be professional educators, not just to work at a job.

“The students at Mayville State University have demonstrated initiative and endurance in their studies, and have proved themselves in the field as teacher candidates who truly care. That makes the work I do in teacher education as rewarding as it is essential.

“It is my belief that my work should make individuals flourish and enrich lives, whether or not I benefit professionally, and I hope that is evident on the Mayville campus. It is also my goal as I settle into the professorship to dedicate more time linking the university through service to the community - connecting research to practice.”

Dr. Anderson earned her Ph.D., teacher education, special education, from the University of North Dakota in 2010. She earned a master’s degree in special education from UND in 2004, and a B.S.Ed. in social studies, with a minor in special education, from UND in 2003. She taught at Grand Forks Central High School prior to joining the faculty at UND. Her vita includes mentions of numerous publications and presentations on a variety of topics related to special education.

Sarah Anderson is a dedicated Mayville State employee who is working for the good of our campus and community. We are grateful to her for her many contributions, and are very proud of the many ways that she is making the world a better place through her work.