MSU President's Column for Traill County Tribune

August 26, 2017

Faculty and staff, new and returning, will make this an exciting and rewarding academic year


Last week, all faculty and staff were back on campus for pre-service activities. Pre-service workshops generally take place during a three-day period the week before the fall semester classes begin. This was a time to meet new faculty and staff, learn about new policies and procedures, and become acquainted with new programs and initiatives.

One important item that was noted during the pre-service activities deals with personnel - new hires, promotions, and notable achievements at Mayville State University over the past year.

One faculty member, Dr. Robert Tangsrud, Associate Professor of Business, was awarded tenure.

Several faculty and staff members have been promoted. Rhonda Nelson is now an associate professor in the Division of Business. Dr. Carolyn Baker is a professor in the Division of Liberal Arts. In the Division of Science and Mathematics, Jeffrey Sieg is now a professor and Fred Strand is an associate professor.

On the staff side, Catlin Solum has been promoted to Director of Strategic Student Communication, Sports Information Director, and Technical Lead for Starfish Software. Jon Nygard is now an accounts receivable technician, and Mallory Angen is Dining Services cashier.

Child Development Programs (CDP) has had several changes. Those who have gotten promotions include Jessica Amb, who is now director. Amanda Domier is now Fiscal Manager, Kayla Ness is Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance Coordinator, and Holly Tabatt is Site Coordinator. There are also several new hires in the CDP: Krystle Bolstad and Kayse Dusterhoft are classroom teachers. Brenda Eide and Jennifer Gebhardt are classroom aides in Mayville. Savana Easterling is a classroom aide at the Hillsboro site. Kelsey Vitzner is a health coordinator, and Bonnie Enger is a cook.

Several faculty members have earned advanced degrees during the last year. Erin Lord Kunz was awarded a doctorate in Educational Foundations and Research. Dina Zavala-Petherbridge earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational and Adult Education. Steven Petherbridge earned a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, with emphasis on Early Modern British Literature. Collette Christoffers has received nurse educator certification from the National League for Nursing.

There are a number of new faculty hires to report. Ted Stoa is an assistant professor in the Division of Business. The Division of Education has two new assistant professors, Dr. Pamela Johnson and Dr. Cindy Gregg, and an instructor, Yvonne Cannon. Deni Winsand is the new administrative assistant for the Division of Education and Diversity. Dr. Joel White has been hired as an associate professor in the Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER).

Staff hires include Jami Hovet, who is our new Vice President for Business Affairs, and Ian Bjerke who is the controller. Jade Erickstad is a new program coordinator for distance education. She is works from the campus of Lake Region State College. Charyte Henderson has been hired as a part-time admissions representative, while Kristine Carl is a part-time administrative assistant for Dining Services. Nicole Midstokke is a snack bar assistant. In the area of facilities services, Deldrick Smith is a boiler operator and Steve Byrum is a maintenance technician. Cory Drucker is the new resident director at Berg Hall, while Brandon Henderson has been hired part-time as the resident director at Agassiz Hall. The MSU Foundation will welcome Brock Sherva as a new development associate next week.

There are a number of coaches who, in some cases, will also be instructing HPER classes. They are Sean Thom, head football coach and HPER instructor; Jesse Thompson, assistant football coach and HPER instructor; Shane Clancy, assistant football coach and athletics equipment manager; Rod Oksendahl, assistant football coach; Brian Quinn, assistant football coach; Paul Whitaker, part-time assistant football coach; Aaron Johnson, part-time assistant football coach; Erik Gibson, part-time assistant football coach; Derek Bakken, part-time assistant football coach; Darren Tighe, head men’s basketball coach and HPER instructor; Alex Herman, assistant men’s basketball coach and HPER instructor; Billy Tomblin, assistant baseball coach and instructor of HPER; and Matt Piker, part-time assistant baseball coach.

This week, another change was announced. Our MSU Foundation Executive Director John Klocke will be leaving Mayville State for a position at NDSU. The MSU Foundation board will meet next week to determine next steps.

The beginning of a new academic year is always exciting. We are happy to be working with the colleagues we already know, and we are eager to get to know those who are new. We’re off to a great start! I know it will be an especially memorable year for me. At my state of the university address last week, I announced that I will retire at the end of July in 2018. I look forward to this year as we sail on our last adventure together.