Highly successful venture capitalist and education philanthropist, Dr. Ted Dintersmith, visited with the faculty of the Division of Education at Mayville State University Thursday, Sept. 8. Appointed by President Obama as an alternate representative of the United States to the Sixty-seventh Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2012, Dintersmith focused on global education and entrepreneurship.
Dintersmith is on a 50-state tour encouraging communities to rethink how children are educated. His goal is to develop grass-roots support as he devotes his time and his personal fortune to education-related initiatives that call for a radical remaking of what and how students learn. He is a proponent of allowing children the freedom to develop core competencies through cross-disciplinary, project-based learning, rather than sitting passively in classrooms where teachers lecture, passing along facts and figures.
Dintersmith provided his vision for education in a book he co-authored. It is titled, “Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Age.” He also funded and produced a documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed.” The film shows the project-based educational practices taking place at High Tech High in San Diego, Calif. Dintersmith was also executive producer of “The Hunting Ground,” a film about sexual assault on college campuses.
While on his United States tour, contact with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler on educational initiatives in North Dakota led to Dr. Dintersmith’s visit with Dr. Andi Dulski-Bucholz, Dean and Chair of the Division of Education. Superintendent Baesler had recently been on the MSU campus for a North Dakota Women’s Rural Leadership Development forum and met with Dulski-Bucholz, discussing the recently approved Master of Arts in Teaching program. Dintersmith’s interest in learning more about the MAT program led to his scheduled meeting on the Mayville State University campus.
Conversations during Dintersmith’s meeting with Dulski-Bucholz and Dr. Keith Stenehjem, Vice President for Academic Affairs, focused on the MAT graduate program along with current practices in education and educator preparation programs. Dintersmith’s work to raise awareness of the need for increased creativity and innovation in education led to sharing insights into the collaborative nature of MSU’s teacher education programs. Access to the STEM center and Mayville Area Teacher Center on MSU’s campus allows opportunities for both pre-service and in-service educators to participate in STEM education activities and other opportunities to learn from regional and national guest presenters.
Interdisciplinary collaboration such as the recent near space balloon launch organized by Dr. Aaron Kingsbury, assistant professor of geography in MSU’s Division of Liberal Arts, and supported by the Teacher Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, provided an example of MSU’s commitment to bringing innovative learning to MSU students, area K-12 teachers and students, and community members. While on campus, Dintersmith also spent time with faculty from MSU’s Division of Education, sharing ideas and resources.
Top: Dr.Ted Dintersmith (left) and Dr. Andi Dulski-Bucholz, chair of the Division of Education at Mayville State University.
Bottom: Dr. Ted Dintersmith stops for a photo op with faculty in the Division of Education at Mayville State. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Ann Willeson, Dr. Brittany Hagen, Dr. Kelli Odden, Dr. Ted Dintersmith, Robyn Haines, Dr. Andi Dulski-Bucholz, Dina Zavala-Petherbridge, and Kayla Smith.