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University Letter
ISSUE: Volume 43, Number 30: March 31, 2006

Letter from President Kupchella

Dear Campus Community,

At the University of North Dakota we seek to create an environment characterized by equal access for all students, faculty and staff regardless of cultural differences, and where individuals are not just tolerated but valued. A welcoming and inclusive climate is grounded in respect, nurtured by dialogue and evidenced by a pattern of civil interaction. The first step in creating such an environment is to assess the current campus climate in order to identify important issueUniversity to identify them.

Creating and maintaining a community environment that respects individual needs, abilities, and potential is one of the most critical initiatives that we support. It is very important for all of us that a positive climate exists that encourages attention to fairness and discourages expressions of discrimination and harassment.

We hope that you will take a few minutes to help us understand the current climate for diversity at our university by completing a survey. The online survey is designed to provide information about both positive and challenging aspects of our climate. The survey is open to all students, staff, and faculty. This survey is your opportunity to describe your own personal experiences, your observations, and to offer suggestions for change that might enhance the climate. The data will be used to identify strategies for addressing potential challenges and supporting positive diversity initiatives. The survey was contracted by and is supported by me, the UND Diversity subcommittee, the Chancellor’s Cabinet, and the NDUS Diversity Council.

All of your answers are confidential and all of the results will be reported in group form only. You will not be identifiable as an individual. Your participation is voluntary.

We urge you to take the 15-20 minutes needed to answer the questions by going to The survey will be open from March 27 through April 14, 2006.

Paper copies of the survey will also be available through the Affirmative Action Office.

Thank you in advance for your contribution to this important project.


Charles E. Kupchella


Dean to give inaugural address at Nursing Spring Convocation

The College of Nursing will hold its Spring Convocation and Sophomore Recognition Friday, March 31, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Memorial Union Ballroom. It is open to the public.

Chandice Covington, dean of nursing, will present the keynote address, “Creating a Solid Foundation for Practice: Finding the Evidence to Improve Nursing Care.” This will be her inaugural address as the dean.

Dr. Covington has over 20 years of clinical experience in community-based primary care nursing and is nationally recognized for her expertise. Her research focuses on health promotion and the prevention of poor health outcomes in children, especially in vulnerable populations in the U.S. and internationally. She is the author of over 148 publications and presentations, has conducted studies on pediatric AIDS in Kenya, and has received the Meritorious Research Service Award from the National Institute of Nursing Research.

The panel presentation following the keynote address includes Nancy Klatt, manager of Altru Cancer Services, ’74, ’91; Denise Carter, family nurse practitioner, Altru Health System, ’94, ’99; and Darlene Bartz, division director of the State Health Department.

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by CNE-Net, the education division of the North Dakota Nurses Association, accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

– Nursing


Law Women’s Caucus hosts Helen Hamilton Day March 31

The UND Law Women’s Caucus presents Helen Hamilton Day Friday, March 31. This year’s conference is titled “Redefining the Family: A Modern Look at Same-Sex Legal Issues in the United States.” The one-day conference begins with registration at 9 a.m. at the UND School of Law Baker Courtroom. The event is free of charge to the public and it is not necessary to pre-register.

Four guest speakers will address questions such as “Can same-sex couples marry or adopt children?” “What lies in the legal future for gay rights?” and “What does the same-sex marriage debate look like in Indian Country?” The event will feature the following speakers and presentation topics, all in the School of Law Baker Courtroom.

  • Amy Miller, ACLU Nebraska legal director, “Marriage Equality v. The Defense of Marriage Acts” at 10 a.m.
  • Kathryn Rand, UND associate professor of law, associate dean for academic affairs and co-director, Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy, “From Bowers to Lawrence: Sexual Orientation and the Constitution,” 11:15 a.m.
  • Wenona Singel, UND assistant professor of law and Fellow, Northern Plains Indian Law Center, “What’s Unique About the Same-Sex Marriage Debate in Indian Country,” 1:15 p.m.
  • Camilla Taylor, staff counsel for Lambda Legal in Chicago, “Protecting Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children,” 2:30 p.m.

— Law School


Biology speaker focuses on blackbirds and sunflowers

William J. Bleier, professor of zoology, North Dakota State University, will present a biology seminar Friday, March 31, at noon in 141 Starcher Hall. His topic is “Blackbirds and Sunflowers: Conflicts and Resolutions.”

Dr. Bleier earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin, in mammalogy/embryology. He has studied a variety of topics including embryological development in bats, chromosomal morphology in lambs, the diet and genetic variation of yellow-headed blackbirds, and various aspects of red-winged blackbird biology and control. His most recent research has involved examining bird damage and control of birds in sunflower fields.

The seminar is hosted by John LaDuke.

– Biology


LEEPS lecturer will present “Cloud Seeding and Cloudy Science”

Daniel Pendick, a freelance science writer from Glendale, Wis., will present the next LEEPS lecture Friday, March 31. At noon in 100 Leonard Hall, he will present “Cloud Seeding with Cloudy Science: Resolving the Paradox.”

The geology and geological engineering Leading Edge of Earth and Planetary Science lecture program (LEEPS) brings nationally and internationally known scientists and others to UND to give talks on cutting edge of science and engineering. Lectures cover a wide range of topics, including academic science, applied engineering, and environmental issues of current significance.

For more information, contact Dexter Perkins at 777-2991.

– Geology and Geological Engineering


Saint Louis Brass Quintet to perform at Museum

For an afternoon of music, humor and entertainment, enjoy the Saint Louis Brass Quintet at the North Dakota Museum of Art Sunday, April 2, at 2 p.m., as part of the Museum concert series. The Quintet will play jazz, American pops, classical chamber and tango music.

Founded in 1964, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet is one of America’s oldest brass quintets. The group was originally formed by members of the Saint Louis Symphony to play children’s concerts around the Saint Louis area. Now, 40 years and more than 2,500 engagements later, the quintet entertains audiences worldwide. The five members of the group as it stands today — Allan Dean, Ray Sasaki, Thomas Bacon, Melvyn Jernigan and Daniel Perantoni — are renowned for their musical talent. They perform three 10-day concert tours throughout the United States each year, plus recording and international touring.

The Museum concert series is underwritten by the Myra Foundation with additional support from The Heartland Arts Fund. The Heartland Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O’ Lakes Foundation, Sprint Corporation, and the North Dakota Council on the Arts, enables individuals and families throughout America’s heartland to share in and to enjoy the arts and cultures of our region and the world. Local contributors also support the concert series.

Tickets can be ordered in advance by calling the Museum at 777-4195 or at the door the day of the concert. Tickets are $13 for members of the Museum and $15 for non-members. Students and military members can purchase tickets for $5. Middle school children and younger are admitted free.

The Museum concert series is a celebration of classical music that brings performers of international repute to the Museum. It is the oldest chamber concert series in the region and draws a mixed audience of all ages. For an additional $50, you can become a concert series sponsor.

Although not affiliated with the University, the North Dakota Museum of Art is located on Centennial Drive on campus.

– North Dakota Museum of Art


Chilren's Center celebrates Month of the Young Child

April is the Month of the Young Child with April 2-8 designated as Week of the Young Child. The University Children’s Center encourages you to spend this month recognizing the people, programs and policies that are helping to build better futures for all children. Week of the Young Child is celebrated across the country by hundreds of local organizations working to improve opportunities for all young children.

The Children’s Center has a number of events planned during the month of April, and the campus community is invited to stop by and visit throughout the month. If you have the time, call and make arrangements to read a story or share a special talent with the children and staff at UCC. You are also invited to a campus wide open house at the Center on Friday, April 7, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. to tour the UCC facility and inquire about the upcoming school age programming that will take place beginning May 30. Additionally, during the week of April 10, the Center is hosting a buy one, get one free Scholastic Book Fair, giving you another opportunity to see the facility and stock up on a wide range of reading materials that your children will be able to enjoy during the summer months.

– University Children’s Center


Tunnel of Oppression presented April 3-5

The Tunnel of Oppression, a program designed to promote diversity and raise awareness about issues of oppression in society, will be held in the basement of Johnstone and Smith Halls April 3-5, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Tunnel of Oppression is a multi-sensory exhibition of difficult and complex issues. The tunnel experience demonstrates the reality of hate crimes and covert and open acts of oppression as the community experiences them. The goal is to bring acts oppression and hate out in the open and explore the prejudices that motivate such acts.

Participants will be guided through a “tunnel” of approximately 18 rooms. Each room will explore a particular form of oppression and the way in which it occurs in our world. Some of the topics include racism, sexism, homophobia, body image, classism, heterosexism, and STDs. The tour of the tunnel will be followed by a discussion facilitated by professional staff from the Counseling Center.

Tours will start each night at 7 p.m. and will run at 10-minute intervals with the last tour beginning at 9 p.m. The entire experience will last approximately 45 minutes.

The tunnel is free of charge and open to the campus and the Grand Forks community. Due to limited space, reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins are welcome. For more information or reservations, e-mail .

The Tunnel of Oppression is presented as a partnership between the Housing Office, Dining Services, University apartments programming board, Association of Residence Halls, Conflict Resolution Center, Counseling Center, Women’s Center, Dean of Students Office, Student Government, Greek Life, and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

– Housing Office.


Time-Out Week set for April 3-9

The dedication of the new American Indian Center will be among the highlights of the 2006 UNDIA Time-Out Week celebration April 3-9.

Each year Time-Out Week is planned, promoted, and hosted by UNDIA (University of North Dakota Indian Association), one of the most enduring Native student organizations on campus. Most events are free and open to the public.

“Time-Out Week brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the American Indian culture,” said UNDIA President Janie Schroeder. “Our events appeal to people with a variety of interests, and this year we’ll be bringing some very successful American Indian people to our campus.”

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Strengthening the Circle of Life Through Cultural Awareness.”

“Our theme promotes cultural awareness, expands knowledge, and reduces ignorance,” said Courtney Davis, UNDIA Time-Out Week coordinator.

The concluding event, Time-Out Wacipi (Wa-chee-pee), is the first major spring contest powwow in the state. Thousands of spectators and hundreds of dancers from throughout the region attend this annual event.

The Wacipi also features a craft fair displaying the work of American Indian artists. Persons interested in selling artwork during this year’s Wacipi can reserve display space by contacting UNDIA.

“The Time-Out Wacipi begins the powwow season,” Amber Finley, UNDIA vice president, said. “Well-known dancers and drums from throughout the region are expected to attend. Each year new and returning Wacipi participants come together to celebrate the unique and rich Native American culture. We expect a huge attendance this year.”

For more information about Time-Out Week and the Wacipi, contact the UND Indian Association at 777.4291 or

Time-Out Week and Wacipi information is available at

To serve as a volunteer during the Time-Out Wacipi, contact any UNDIA member or co-advisors Darlene Nelson and Monique Vondall.

The full Time-Out Week and Wacipi schedule follows:

Monday, April 3:

  • Opening ceremony outside the Memorial Union on University Avenue at 11 a.m.
  • Workshop, “Bafa Bafa: A Simulation Exercise in Diversity,” by Donna Brown and Leigh Jeanotte (both American Indian Student Services), River Valley Room, Memorial Union, noon to 1:30 p.m.
  • “Metis Culture: Old and New Worlds Meet,” by Birgit Hans (Indian studies) and Virgil Benoit (modern and classical languages), River Valley Room, Memorial Union, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Languages and Indian Studies Departments.
  • A panel of experts will present “Maintaining Traditional Languages” in the River Valley Room, Memorial Union, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Audience members will have the opportunity to sit in on a discussion on maintaining native languages in the contemporary world and learn how to speak French using the Metis language.
  • Acclaimed Native American storyteller and flute player Keith “Northern Lights” Bear, from New Town, N.D., will perform in the Josephine Campbell Recital Hall, Hughes Fine Arts Center, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sponsored by UNDIA and the Student Activities Committee.

Tuesday, April 4:

  • “Oral Traditions: Lessons of Life,” The Loading Dock, Memorial Union, from noon to 1 p.m. This program features students and faculty reading and sharing traditional stories and talking about the lessons they teach. Chris Nelson (English) will facilitate.
  • AISES (American Indian Science & Engineering Society) will host “Family Science Night” in the Memorial Union Ballroom from 6 to 8 p.m. The program includes fun and educational activities for children and adults interested in science. Everyone will participate in hands-on science experiments and learn about natural environmental science.
  • John Herrington, the first Native American astronaut, will give a free community presentation on “Space Travels” in the Lecture Bowl, Memorial Union, at 7:15 p.m. In November 2002, Herrington traveled to the International Space Station aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor. He currently serves as chief test pilot of the XP Spaceplane for Rocketplane Limited Inc. Sponsored by UNDIA, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), North Dakota Space Grant Consortium, Student Activities Committee, and John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

Wednesday, April 5:

  • “Winter Counts, Rock Art, and the Interpretations of American Indian History,” by Sebastian Braun (Indian Studies) in the River Valley Room, Memorial Union, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by UNDIA and Indian Studies.
  • “The Art of Making Frybread,” a hands-on demonstration presented in 40 O’Kelly Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This special program will be co-presented by Twyla Baker-Demaray, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation, and Hillary Kempenich, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe. Participants will learn how to make and bake traditional frybread. Co-sponsored by UNDIA, Student Activities Committee, and American Indian Student Services.
  • A tipi construction class will be taught by Birgit Hans (Indian Studies) in the Merrifield Hall green space from 3 to 5 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, help construct tipis, and observe the process. The session is co-sponsored by UNDIA and Indian Studies.
  • An Honors Banquet will be held at the Memorial Union Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. The cost of dinner is $10. Sponsored by UNDIA, Indian-related programs, American Indian Student Services, Student Activities Committee, and the Vice President for Student and Outreach Services Office.
  • Popular Native American comedian Charlie Hill will provide entertainment in the Memorial Union Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Sponsored by American Indian Student Services and the Student Activities Committee.

Thursday, April 6:

  • A workshop on “Restorative Justice: A Viable Peacemaking Alternative” will be held in the South Ballroom, Memorial Union, from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Chief Justice Don Costello will be the featured speaker on the peacemaking alternative to courts, mediation, and conflict resolution. It is designed for any interested professionals, especially social workers and attorneys. Students can attend the Costello talk free of charge. Continuing education hours will be available for attorneys and social workers, and a registration fee of $50 per person is required. For more information, call the Social Work Department at 777-2669. Sponsored by the School of Law, Native American Law Students Association, Social Work Department, and social work students.
  • An American Indian Research Forum will be held in the Memorial Union from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Speakers will include: Dee Bigfoot, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Office of Child Abuse and Neglect; George Charles, University of Alaska-Fairbanks; and Craig Vanderwagon, Indian Health Services. All presentations are sponsored by the National Resource Center on Native American Aging and Student Health and the UND Center for Rural Health. For more information, visit
  • “Traditional Medicines of the Lewis & Clark Expeditions” will be held in the River Valley Room from noon to 1 p.m. Dr. Monica Mayer from Trinity Community Clinic in New Town, N.D., has been studying the journey of Lewis & Clark for many years. Her interest is piqued due to the medical aspects of the adventure and her Native heritage. The program is co-sponsored by the RAIN (Recruitment-Retention of American Indians into Nursing) program, INMED (Indians into Medicine) program, and Student Health Services.
  • A panel discussion, “Multicultural Education in North Dakota” will be held in Room 109, Education Building, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Janet Ahler, (educational foundations and research) will serve as moderator. American Indian Student Services and the College of Education and Human Development sponsor the program.
  • A community discussion of the acclaimed book Coyote Warrior: One Man, Three Tribes, and the Trial that Forged a Nation will be held at Barnes & Noble Bookstore from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Author Paul Vandevelder will be special guest. UNDIA, Indian Studies, and the North Dakota Humanities Council sponsor the “Exploring the American Indian Experience” program.
  • The campus premiere of the motion picture Waterbuster will be hosted by producer J. Carlos Peinados in the Lecture Bowl, Memorial Union, at 7 p.m. The screening of this new movie is sponsored by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Friday, April 7:

  • “A Celebration of Achievements: American Indian Graduates of UND” will be held at the Burtness Lab Theatre from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Nine individuals representing UND’s American Indian graduates from the past 40 years will be recognized for participating in the “More Than Beads and Feathers” media campaign.
  • UND’s new American Indian Center, 315 Princeton St., will be dedicated at 11:30 a.m. UND faculty, staff and students, members of the Greater Grand Forks community, and Native people from throughout the region are invited. A traditional meal will be served at 1 p.m.
  • The 37th Annual Time-Out Wacipi will open at the Hyslop Sports Center. The first grand entry is scheduled for 7 p.m. This year’s host drum is Yellowface, from White Shield, N.D. Dale Old Horn, from Crow Agency, Mont., will serve as master of ceremonies, and Claire Fox, from White Shield, N.D., is arena dancer. Dancer and drum registration opens at 6 p.m. Friday, April 7, and closes at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 8. The admission fee to the Wacipi is $5 per day or $8 for a weekend pass. UND students with a current I.D., children under age 6, and seniors over age 55 will be admitted free. Wacipi sponsors include the president’s office and the Student Activities Committee.

Saturday, April 8:

  • The Time-Out Parade of Dancers will begin at the Chester Fritz Auditorium at 10:30 a.m. The parade will head east on University Avenue and conclude at the School of Medicine and Health Services parking lot. Dancers and drum groups will be awarded points for participating. All dancers and drum group members will be encouraged to sign up for the parade during registration.
  • The Time-Out Wacipi will continue at the Hyslop Sports Center, with grand entries at 1 and 7 p.m. A community feast featuring a traditional meal will be served at 5:30 p.m. This is the first major spring contest powwow in the state. Volunteers will be available to assist and answer questions. Copies of “The Guide to the Powwow Experience” will be distributed.
  • The UNDIA Time-Out Week 5-on-5 Basketball Tournament will be held at the Hyslop Multi-Purpose Room Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9. There are 16 team slots and the entry fee is $300 for each team. For more information, contact Joseph LaFountain at (701) 477-4045 or Dean Dauphinais Jr. at (701) 740-4988.

Sunday, April 9:

  • This is the third and final day of the Wacipi at the Hyslop Sports Center. A grand entry is scheduled for 1 p.m.
  • The 5-on-5 Basketball Tournament concludes.

Medical School dean’s hour focuses on Alaskan Native aging

“Quality of Aging of Alaska Native Elders: Linked to Ability to Follow Cultural Customs” is the title of the next dean’s hour lecture at noon Tuesday, April 4, at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Reed Keller Auditorium.

George P. Charles, director of the National Resource Center for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Elders at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will present the talk, which is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided for all attendees.

The mission of the NRC, which Charles directs, is to examine issues on elder health, long-term care systems, and prevention of elder mistreatment based on the Native perspective. The NRC also provides technical assistance through collaboration with the UND National Resource Center on Native American Aging and the federal Administration on Aging. Charles is a Yuk Eskimo from Southwestern Alaska and an enrolled member of the Orutsararmiut Native Council.

The presentation will be broadcast at the following video conference sites: Southeast Campus room 225, Southwest Campus conference room B and Northwest Campus office. It can also be viewed on the medical school’s web page at and through Internet video conferencing on desktop computers through the medical school’s CRISTAL Recorder (call 777-2329 for details).

The dean’s hour lecture series is a forum for the discussion of health care, medicine, research, education and related issues of the day. For more information, please contact the Office of the Dean, 777-2514.

– School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Housing candidate will give presentation

The Housing Office invites the campus community to attend a presentation and open forum Tuesday, April 4, from 9 to 10 a.m. in 16-18 Swanson Hall. The candidate, Brian Steinberg, will present his thoughts on “Current Trends in Today’s On-Campus Housing and How They are Meeting the Changing Needs of Today’s Students” as well as answer questions from interested participants.

For more information, please contact me.

– Troy Noeldner (housing), search committee chair, at 777-6366 or


Literary translator will present “Seize the Day”

The English Department is pleased to announce that as a part of the English Speaker Series, John DuVal will speak on the topic of literary translation with “Seize the Day,” 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in 116 Merrifield Hall.

Dr. DuVal is a nationally known literary translator and the director of the graduate program in literary translation at the University of Arkansas. He has translated novels, poetry collections, and plays from Italian, Spanish, and French. His most recent book is the translation, From Adam to Adam: Seven Old French Plays (Pegasus Press 2004). In 1992, DuVal won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets, and he won a literary translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2000. Please join us to hear this renowned artist and scholar speak about his work.

– Elizabeth Harris Behling, assistant professor of English and creative writing


Wiggen will discuss prime numbers

A CSCI colloquium talk will be presented by Tom Wiggen (computer science) Wednesday, April 5, at 4 p.m. in 108 Streibel Hall. He will discuss “What the Heck is a Prime Number Anyway?”

I thought I knew the definition of a prime number and I wasn’t really looking around for an “updated” definition. I found one, accidentally, when reading a recent report from the ANSI X9 Standards Committee (I’ll call them X9 primes in this abstract). Further investigation suggests that this has may have been a working definition for quite some time in certain circles. How do we prove that a number is “deterministically prime” (the original meaning of the word “prime”)? How do we “prove” that a number is X9 prime?

If a recipe calls for prime numbers, can we get away with using X9 prime numbers or must we use deterministically prime numbers instead? What risks or consequences do we face if we use an X9 prime and assume it to be deterministically prime? Jay Schell and I will be investigating these and other related questions as part of his thesis work.

Please join us.

– Computer Science


Pre-retirement seminars set

The Payroll Office is sponsoring pre-retirement seminars, geared for those who are close to retirement and have questions regarding the topics below. You may register for any or all of the seminars listed.

  • “Social Security and Medicare Programs,” Wednesday, April 5, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • “TIAA-CREF Income Options,” Wednesday, April 12, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • “Estate Planning and Life Insurance,” Wednesday, April 19, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

For registration and location please contact the U2 office at 777-2128,, or

— Payroll Office


Agenda listed for April 6 U Senate meeting

The University Senate will meet at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in 7 Gamble Hall.


  • 1. Announcements.
  • 2. Minutes of the previous meeting and business arising from the minutes.
  • 3. Question period.


  • 4. Annual report of the Senate conflict of interest/scientific misconduct committee, Mark Askelson, chair.


  • 5. Senate committee elections.
  • 6. Report from the curriculum committee, Tom Zeidlik, chair.
  • 7. Proposed changes to the provisional admission policy, the general honors policy, and the University attendance policy and procedure, Tom Rand, chair, Senate academic policies and admissions committee.
  • 8. Compensation report update, Tom Petros, Council of College Faculties.
  • 9. Resolution regarding a system-wide standing committee on faculty rights, Tom Petros, Council of College Faculties.

— Carmen Williams (interim registrar), secretary, University Senate.


American Indian Research Forum will be April 6

The American Indian Research Forum will be held Thursday, April 6, at the Memorial Union.

The event features nationally known speakers in American Indian research, oral and poster presentations by American Indian students and researchers, and discussions of new ways to develop American Indian research opportunities.

“The forum provides a venue to share current research activities concerning health risk and health promotion among Native American communities,” said Jacque Gray, assistant professor at the Center for Rural Health and chair of the planning committee. “This will also give us an excellent opportunity to develop possible research collaborations for future projects.”

Keynote speakers for the daylong event include:

  • Candace Fleming, University of Colorado Health Science Center School of Medicine, psychiatry department, who will discuss violence and trauma in Indian country.
  • George Charles, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, National Resource Center for Alaska Native, American Indian and Native Hawaiian Elders, who will discuss the importance of local culture and community in native research.
    s W. Craig Vanderwagon, Indian Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, who will discuss the importance and focus of American Indian research.

Registration for the forum is free and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and the reception. For more information and to register, please visit:

The 2006 American Indian Research Forum is sponsored by the Center for Rural Health at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in coordination with the UND Indian Association Annual Time-Out Week.

The following UND organizations and departments have provided additional financial contributions: American Indian Student Services, North Dakota Women’s Health CORE, Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), National Resource Center on Native American Aging, Center for Rural Health, Research Development and Compliance, and School of Medicine and Health Sciences Research and Program Development.

— School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Restorative justice seminar offered

A day-long seminar, “Restorative Justice: A Peacemaking Alternative” will be held Thursday, April 6, in the Memorial Union.

National and local speakers will lead sessions throughout the day, including James Botsford, director of the Indian Law Office of Wisconsin Judicare in Wausau; and Don Owen Costello, chief judge of the Coquille Indian Tribal Court and chief judge of the Tribal Court of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

Restorative justice engages individuals, organizations and communities in adopting values and principles to make peace in a court setting. Local governments and tribal communities in North Dakota and throughout the nation are challenging traditional western approaches to eradicate crime using typical punishment methodologies resulting in a high cost to individuals and society. Restorative Justice is being considered as a viable alternative for working with families, adults and youth versus being subjected to a typical penal court system.

Continuing education hours are available, including 6.25 hours for North Dakota social workers and 6.25 CLEs. Registration is $65 and includes all instructional materials, continuing education hours, refreshments, and a sack lunch. To register over the telephone call UND Office of Workforce Development at 777-2098, (800) 342-8230, or send a fax to (701) 777-2140.

The event is co-sponsored by Social Work, the UND Indian Association, the School of Law, Public Scholarship Program, and the North Dakota GRO Project – AmeriCorps Vista. The seminar is offered in conjunction with the 37th annual UNDIA Time-Out Week, April 3-9.

– Social Work


Celebrate Albania Thursday night

The International Centre, 2908 University Ave., hosts cultural nights at 7 p.m. Thursdays. Join us April 6 to celebrate the culture of Albania. Everyone is welcome.

– International Programs, 777-6438


Women’s Center will present The Yellow Dress segments

The next Women’s Center Meet, Eat and Learn will mark April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. On Thursday, April 6, from noon to 1 p.m. at the International Centre, 2908 University Ave., we will present snippets of The Yellow Dress, a play based on the story of a young woman whose relationship begins with passion and promise and ends in tragedy. Lunch is provided. – Patty McIntyre, Women’s Center.


All invited to AISS celebration and grand opening

American Indian Student Services invites everyone to the following events Friday, April 7.

A Celebration of Achievement: American Indian Graduates of UND will be at 10:30 a.m. in the Burtness Lab Theatre.

Nine individuals representing UND American Indian graduates from the past 40 years will be recognized. They are Dave Azure, Twyla Baker-Demaray, El Marie Conklin, Laurie Davis, David M. Gipp, Phillip “Skip” Longie, Joe Luger, Steve Martin, and Patricia Walking Eagle.

Join us to celebrate their accomplishments and the achievements of every American Indian graduate of the University.

Also plan to attend the dedication ceremony of the American Indian Center, 11:30 a.m., 315 Princeton St.

– American Indian Student Services


Lecturer will discuss oil, earthquakes

Amos Nur from Stanford University will give the next LEEPS lectures Friday, April 7. At noon in 100 Leonard Hall he will present “Oil and War: Oil-Peak vs Oil Panic.” At 3 p.m. in 109 Leonard Hall, he will discuss “Collapse in Archaeology: Sea People or Earthquakes.”

The geology and geological engineering Leading Edge of Earth and Planetary Science lecture program (LEEPS) brings nationally and internationally known scientists and others to UND to give talks on cutting edge science and engineering. Lectures cover a wide range of topics, including academic science, applied engineering, and environmental issues of current significance.

For more information, contact Dexter Perkins at 777-2991.

– Geology and Geological Engineering


Art auction benefits CVIC

Students and faculty are organizing the Joyful Heart Art Auction (JHAA) Friday, April 7, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

All proceeds raised from art donations will benefit the Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks as well as the Joyful Heart Foundation (JHF) in New York City, which was founded by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star and Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay.

Please join them Friday, April 7, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center, next to the Hilton Garden Inn. Dress is semi-formal. Tickets sold in advance are $5 for students and $10 for general admission, with a $2 additional charge if purchased at the door.

For more information call (701) 740-5139, e-mail, or visit

— Jan Orvik, editor, for Annie Langseth, Joyful Heart Auction


Faculty study abroad workshop is April 7

International Programs is sponsoring a workshop for faculty interested in developing and leading short-term study abroad programs, Friday, April 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the International Centre, 2908 University Ave. There is no cost for the workshop and lunch is included.

The workshop will focus on logistics – when, where, who, what, and how; advertising and recruiting; University regulations (insurance, registration, credit); financing; the role/support of international programs. If interested, please respond by Monday, April 3, to or 777-6438.

– International Programs


Gala honors Michael Gaffey

Michael Gaffey, professor of space studies, has been honored for his contributions to meteoritics and planetary science. This year, he will receive the prestigious G.K. Gilbert Award from the Geological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to the solution of fundamental problems in planetary geology. He will also receive the equally prestigious Leonard Medal from the Meteoritical Society for his outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. No individual has ever received both these awards in the same year.

This is the same as receiving both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in the same year except that Mike does not have to wear a tuxedo and he won’t have to give a cheesy speech.

You are cordially invited to a “Gala for Gaffey” to celebrate Mike’s awards and to recognize him for his lifelong study of asteroids and meteors that has resulted in a most impressive series of peer-reviewed publications and successful graduate students. This will also be an opportunity to acknowledge him as an all-around nice guy.

The gala will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Grand Forks Friday, April 7. From 3 to 5 p.m. there will be a reception followed by a dinner at 6:30 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $25 per person. Attire is business casual.
Please RSVP by Friday, March 31.

– Suezette Rene Bieri, Space Studies, 777-4856 or 1-800-828-4274,


Lotus Center lists events, cancellation

The Lotus Meditation Center, 2908 University Ave., lists the following events:
Insight Meditation Retreat, April 7-9, with Gina Sharpe of New York Insight Meditation Center.

Talk on Insight Meditation, Friday, April 7, 7 p.m., with Gina Sharpe of New York Insight Meditation Center. Free.

On Wednesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m., faculty member and Greater Grand Forks Symphony Concertmaster Eric Lawson will perform selected and original compositions on violin with accompaniment. Free.

The concert scheduled for April 2 at the Lotus Meditation Center has been cancelled. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

For more information, please call (701) 787-8839.

– Lora Sloan, Lotus Meditation Center


Transfer Getting Started to be held April 8

On Saturday, April 8, Student Academic Services will hold the Transfer Student Getting Started Program in the Memorial Union, at which new transfer students, admitted for the fall 2006 semester, come to campus for advisement and registration. Program activities include a welcome to the University, presentations from Financial Aid and dean of students, and advisement and registration. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Heather Martin at 777-2117 or

— Student academic services


Please recognize student employees

The week of April 8-14 has been designated as Student Employment Week. This provides an opportunity for employers, as educators, to recognize the many valuable contributions student employees make to our campus, and to emphasize the benefits of the student employment program to our students. Please say “thank you” to your student employees (a special treat or lunch is nice).

– Dee Melby, federal work-study clerk


Spring Jazz Ensembles concert set for April 10

The UND Jazz Ensembles, under the direction of Mike Blake and Robert Brooks, will present their spring concert and final concert of the academic year at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, at the Chester Fritz Auditorium.

The two ensembles will perform a wide variety of selections from the jazz idiom. They will also feature several members of the groups on jazz improvisation solos, as well as featured soloists on particular pieces.

Ticket prices are $2 for students and senior citizens, $5 for general admission, and $10 for families.

For further information, contact the Music Department at 777-2644 or

— Music


Doctoral examinations set for Rohr and Lindquist-Mala

The final examination for Karen Rohr, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree with a major in nursing, is set for 4 p.m. Monday, April 10, in 328 Nursing Building. The dissertation title is “Alcohol Use: The Relationship in Older Trauma Patients.” Marcia Gragert (nursing) is the committee chair.

The final examination for Cynthia Lindquist-Mala, a candidate for the Ph.D. degree with a major in educational leadership, is set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 13, in 206 Education Building. The dissertation title is “Campus Racial Climate as Perceived by Undergraduate American Indian Students Attending the University of North Dakota.” Margaret Healy (educational leadership) is the committee chair.

The public is invited to attend.

– Joseph Benoit, dean, Graduate School


Graphic design project inaugurates new BFA program

Waiting for the bus just got a little more interesting in Grand Forks. Starting in mid-April, seven bus stop shelters will house the work of UND graphic design students. Under the direction of Lucy Ganje (art), graphic design students have put their talents to work creating public art.

The student project will inaugurate the Art Department’s new major, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and New Art Media, which was recently approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. This program will provide students an opportunity to receive a professional degree in graphic design through a program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Students in Ganje’s typography class worked with Roger Foster of Cities Area Transit to design posters that will hang in various bus shelters around the city. When students were assigned this project they were told: ”Create a ‘typographic portrait’ of the architecture, geography or events that highlight the “Individuality of Grand Forks” while presenting information that will engage people as they wait for their bus to arrive.” Each poster was created using individual letters or type, words and phrases to form images associated with Grand Forks.

Each student conducted research that included the history of the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks public transit system, the demographics of patrons at particular bus stops, and an investigation of public transit art in other cities. After doing their research, each student developed two ideas that were critiqued by professional graphic designers. Each student’s best design was submitted to Cities Area Transit for consideration. Cities Area Transit decided to use each submitted design for seven shelters.

The posters will be unveiled on Wednesday, April 12, at 1 p.m. at the Grand Forks City Hall. An open house to celebrate this event and the Art Department’s new degree program, along with its newly refurbished “Digital Studio” will be held at 4 p.m. in the Hughes Fine Arts Center on campus.

For more information contact Lucy Ganje (art), or 777-2670, or Roger Foster, superintendent, Cities Area Transit, or 746-2590.


Please announce Norway college openings

Please announce to students that there are still openings for the American College of Norway Summer study abroad program. Deadline is April 15; program dates are May 22-June 17. If interested please contact Mindy McCannell-Unger at 777-4756 or

— Mindy McCannell-Unger, education abroad advisor, international Programs


Frank Low Day speaker will discuss aging

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ 26th annual Frank Low Research Day will be held Thursday, April 20. The keynote speaker is Arlan Richardson, professor of cellular and structural biology and director of Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. His presentation is titled “Using Transgenic and Knockout Mice to Test the Osidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging.” A schedule of events will be posted later.

– School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Neuroscience Club holds Brain Bee

On Thursday, April 20, the inaugural Greater Grand Forks Brain Bee will take place in Reed T. Keller Auditorium, Room 1350 in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at 6:30 p.m. The Brain Bee is a competition testing high school students on their knowledge of neuroscience topics. Questions are taken from Brain Facts, a publication of the Society for Neuroscience, and cover topics such as intelligence, memory, emotions, sensations, movement, stress, aging, sleep and brain disorders (such as addiction, Alzheimer’s, and stroke).

More information can be found at:

— School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Service learning luncheon set for April 21

Garry Hesser, professor of sociology and chair of the natural and social sciences division at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, will visit campus Friday, April 21, to discuss curriculum development and assessment of service learning. The working luncheon, from noon to 2 p.m. in 16-18 Swanson Hall, is sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement with support from Instructional Development and Sociology.

As a member of the Campus Compact-AAHE Consulting Corps, Dr. Hesser has led workshops on service-learning and experiential education on over 50 campuses and at professional meetings, including at the American Association for Higher Education, Campus Compact, and the American Sociological Association. He is the author of Experiential Education as a Liberating Art as well as over 30 other publications on assessment of service learning outcomes, community building, planning, and neighborhood revitalization.

Faculty interested in learning about the research related to the pedagogies of engagement and how to integrate and assess service learning in their courses are encouraged to attend the session. To reserve a box lunch for this event please contact Leah Johnson at 777-2706 or by Friday, April 14, 4 p.m.

— Leah Johnson, Center for Community Engagement


Relay for Life teams sought

UND Relay for Life is set for April 21-22 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Relay for Life is a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs at the American Cancer Society. During the event, teams of people gather at Memorial Stadium and take turns walking or running laps. Each team tries to keep at least one team member on the track at all times.

Visit to register your team today.


Nominations sought for Memorial Union Leadership Awards

Nominations for the Memorial Union Outstanding Student Leader Award, Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award, and Outstanding Workplace Leadership Award are now available online at You are strongly encouraged to nominate student leaders, organization advisors, or student employees who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and service.

The Outstanding Student Leader award recognizes students who are outstanding contributors on campus and in organizations. These nominees do not need to hold an elected office in a student organization.

The Outstanding Workplace Leadership Award is a new category to honor top student employees campuswide who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the workplace. Nominees should possess characteristics such as passion, commitment, initiative, enthusiasm, and dedication. UND student employees in a workstudy or institutional employment position are eligible.

Recipients of the awards will be honored at the Memorial Union Leadership Awards reception Friday, April 28.
Nominations are due to the Memorial Union Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (Box 8385) Thursday, March 23, by 4:30 p.m. Nomination forms and leadership award policies are available on the Memorial Union web site at

For more information, contact me.

— Bonnie Solberg ,associate director, Memorial Union, 777-2898,


Conflict Resolution Center offers mediation seminars

The Conflict Resolution Center offers transformative mediation seminars. Apply for a scholarship today. Dates are:

  • 40-hour Civil Mediation Seminar, May 15-19 or Oct. 18-20 and 23-25.
  • 40-hour Family Mediation Seminar, July 27-28 and July 31-Aug. 2.

Whoever thought your desire to make peace would be a job skill? Attend our 40-hour mediation seminar and develop skills for transformative mediation that are essential in the workplace, at home, and at the mediation table.

Our seminars are certified for court rosters in North Dakota and Minnesota, and approved for two graduate credits through continuing education. The focus of the civil training will be on workplace, business, and community disputes.

The focus of the family training will be on divorce, custody, family conflict, elder/again issues, etc. Eligible participants may apply for membership with the Conflict Resolution Center following successful completion of training.

We have UND and clergy scholarships available. If you would like to apply please send a letter to Kristine Paranica, (P.O. Box 8009), stating the reasons you are interested in attending one of the mediation seminars listed above.

Please include your name, address, phone number, your e-mail address, and the seminar you would like to attend.

We will select the winner of the scholarship on April 15.

For more information, contact us at 777-3664,, or visit

Cost is $875; cost for UND staff, faculty, and students is $295. Help support difficult conversations in your world.

– Conflict Resolution Center


Nominations sought for staff awards

The University will present 10 Meritorious Service Awards of $1,000 each to staff employees, as well as the Ken and Toby Baker UND Proud Award of $1,000.

The Meritorious Service Awards will be given to employees in each of five major groups: executive, administrative, and professional (three); technical/paraprofessional (one); office support (three); crafts/trades (one); and services employees (two). The Ken and Toby Baker UND Proud Award may be given to an employee from any of the groups.

Eligible employees are those employed on a regular basis who are not in a probationary period. Those not eligible for consideration include the president, vice presidents, deans, associate and assistant deans, teaching and research faculty, and the human resources director. Also ineligible are award winners from the previous seven years. All members of the University community are encouraged to nominate eligible employees for the awards. Submit nomination forms to Human Resources, Box 8010, by Wednesday, April 12. Nomination forms are available from Human Resources, 313 Twamley Hall or electronically at

The awards will be presented during the annual recognition ceremony for staff personnel on May 9.
Please direct any questions to Human Resources at 777-4361 or

— Diane Nelson, director, Human Resources


Fulbright opportunities available

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs program is offering several awards open to senior faculty in American studies for the 2007-2008 academic year in Australia, Brazil, France, Finland and Denmark. U.S. citizenship is required.

Complete award descriptions, other eligibility requirements, and application materials are available at The deadline for applying for a Fulbright Distinguished Chair award is May 1.

Numerous additional opportunities to lecture, conduct research, or do both in 150 countries around the world during the 2007-2008 academic year are available through the traditional Fulbright Scholar program. Register to receive information and application materials at


E-mail retention policy available

The records management office, in conjunction with the CIO and general counsel announce the Policy for Retention of Electronic Mail (E-mail): Office of Record.

This policy is designed to help users determine e-mail records and e-mail non-records. It also gives basic instructions on best practices for retention of e-mail records.

This policy can be found at:

The policy will take effect April 24; comments can be sent to Chris Austin,

— Chris Austin, records manager


Note changes in software site licensing

Some changes are taking place in the ITSS/Telecommunications software licensing program. Most notably, it has moved to a new building. The new distribution point for all software is now in the Telecommunications Office in the lower level of the Carnegie building. Patti Campoverde and Kris Meisel will work with software licensing. In addition, the order process is being revamped. Each department has selected a software licensing coordinator, who approves and places all software licensing orders and maintains records of those orders for their department. This new procedure means that UND employees will need to contact the software licensing coordinator in their department to order new licenses, rather than sending an order form themselves.

Please visit to find the coordinator in your department.

If you have questions about this, please send them to or call 777-4112.

– ITSS/Telecommunications


Info sought for Welcome Weekend binders

Do you have information that you’d like new students to know? We are seeking information from departments and organizations to add to our Welcome Weekend student binder, given to all new students in the fall. It is full of flyers, information sheets and welcome letters from various departments and organizations. We encourage you to use this binder as a means of communicating with the newest members of the UND community.

If you are interested in submitting information, please send a copy (or the original), UND fund, and department number, and contact information to Heather Kasowski in Enrollment Services, Box 8135 or Upon receiving your request, we will contact you to verify your submission and the paper color. We will then send your original to Duplicating Services, and 2,000 three-hole punched copies will be billed to the fund number provided.

For more information, please contact me.

– Heather Kasowski, 777-6468,, Enrollment Services


Computer books, quick guides available at discount

A number of “Element K” brand computer instruction books and quick reference guides are available for discount purchase from Workforce Development. Guides are $5 each and books are $10 each.

Purchases may be made by departments or individuals. Please call Workforce Development at 777-2098 to purchase your copies, which will be sent as soon as payment is received.

Quick Reference Guides ($5 each): Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, PowerPoint 2002, Access 2003, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2002, Publisher 2003, Publisher 2002.

Computer Instruction Books ($10 each): Access 2003 Level 1, Access 2003 Level 2, Access 2003 Level 3, Excel 2003 Level 2, Outlook 2002 Level 1, Outlook 2002 Level 2, Outlook 2003 Level 1, PowerPoint 2002 Level 2, PowerPoint 2003 Level 2, Project 2002 Level 2, Project 2003 Level 1, Publisher 2002, Publisher 2003 Level 1, Publisher 2003 Level 2, Quickbooks, Word 2003 Level 1, Word 2003 Level 2.


– U2 program


U2 lists workshops

Below are U2 workshops for April 10-19. Visit our web site for more.

  • Access XP, Intermediate: April 10, 12, and 13, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. (nine hours total). Prerequisite: Access Beginning. Manage databases and data, import and export data, control data entry. Use advanced tables, queries, forms, and reports, make your data available on the web.
  • Coffee, Cookies and Catered Events, Oh My! UND Catering: Not Just Doughnuts!: April 11, 8:30 to 10 a.m., Badlands Room, Memorial Union. Learn to plan an event from start to finish, discover what’s new in catered events, how to successfully complete the forms to request catering services, learn menu planning from the catering experts, and how to take your catered event to the next level. Presenters: Diane Brenno and Cheryl Weber.
  • Shipping and Receiving Hazardous Materials: April 11, 1 to 3 p.m., President’s Room, Memorial Union. Learn what your responsibilities are if you ship or receive hazardous material. If you fill out paperwork for a package, put material in a package, hand a package to a delivery person, receive a package from a delivery person, or open a package containing hazardous material, then you must have this training. Presenter: Greg Krause.
  • Employees Privacy and the Law: April 18, 9 to 11 a.m., 305 Twamley Hall. How far can an employer go in making decisions on issues related to privacy in the workplace? Presenters: Joy Johnson and Desi Sporbert.
  • Defensive Driving: April 19, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 211 Skalicky Tech Incubator. This workshop is required by state fleet for all UND employees who drive state vehicles on a regular (monthly) basis, received a traffic violation, or had an accident while operating a state vehicle. Employees are encouraged to bring a family member (spouse and/or dependents). This workshop may also reduce your North Dakota insurance premiums and could possibly remove points from your driving record. Presenter: Officer Tom Brockling.

Reserve your seat by registering with U2 by phone, 777-2128; e-mail,; or online, Please include workshop title and date, name, department, position, box number, phone number, e-mail address, and how you first learned of the workshop. Thank you for registering in advance; it helps us plan for materials and number of seats.

— Julie Sturges, U2 program assistant


Faculty encouraged to inform students about summer course

Faculty are encouraged to inform students about IDS 495, Service and Citizenship. Students will get outside the traditional classroom by engaging in a community service partnership that will involve gathering life history interviews, community survey collection, and location mapping of a local Grand Forks neighborhood. The three-credit course, which runs during the first summer school session, is open to students with junior or senior standing.
Please contact Marcia Mikulak, 777-4718, or Leah Johnson, 777-2706, for more information.

– The Center for Community Engagement


Authors sought for feature in next issue of Dimensions

The June 2006 issue of Dimensions will feature faculty authors published in 2005/2006. If you or someone in your department has written a book, please send the author’s name and title of the book, along with a brief description to me. I will contact you for further information. Thank you.

— Jan Orvik, editor, Dimensions, 777-3621,


Faculty Q&A: Total eclipse of the sun

Editor’s Note: Timothy Young is an assistant professor of physics, where he studies and computer-models supernovae, or exploding stars. A lifelong stargazer, Young is advisor to the UND Astronomy Club. Young and UND computer scientist Ronald Marsh, also an avid sky watcher, are building a global reputation for their solar eclipse webcasts. Young and Marsh head to Turkey later this month to web- and podcast the full solar eclipse on a network of servers that will be interactively accessed in real time by tens of thousands of participants worldwide, including several primary and secondary school classes in the United States and elsewhere.

Q. A total solar eclipse — when the moon totally blocks the sun for a few moments and day turns into night — is a magical event.

A long time ago, a solar eclipse would terrorize people, including many who worshipped the sun as a god. Today, eclipses are well known, if no better understood, by most people — it’s unlikely that they scare anyone, but they remain, largely, a mystery.
On Wednesday, March 29, the shadow of the moon will sweep across a band starting in eastern South America, across the Atlantic Ocean, the Gold Coast of Africa, the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, across central Asia, ending in Mongolia. Totality — when the sun is totally blacked out by the moon — will last as long as 4 minutes 7 seconds in North Africa, with a shadow stretching about 190 kilometers (about 120 miles) across at that moment.

Q. You and Ron Marsh aim to demystify these regular celestial events and to share, through the magic of the Internet, their transient beauty and excitement. You also want to use these magical astronomical happenings to sharpen the scientific thinking of school-age children. Tell us about this upcoming solar eclipse and your Webcast project.

A. A total eclipse of the sun is inspiring; everyone should see at least one in their lifetime. We will be in Antalya, a 2,200-year-old resort city on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, for the total solar eclipse March 29. It’ll get completely dark there during the eclipse at about 2 p.m. Antalya time (6 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time). We plan to take students with us each time we go—this time we are taking UND physics graduate student Tricia Johnson. She will take digital photographs and post them on our web site.
About the eclipse: at certain times, the moon can blot out the sun. It’s simple geometry, really; the sun is 400 times the size of the moon, but it also is about 400 times farther away from us than the moon is. Every five or six lunar months, the moon comes into perfect alignment with the sun, producing—from our point of view on Earth—an eclipse; so we get a solar eclipse twice a year. Not every eclipse produces total darkness. But every year to year and a half, on average, total solar eclipses can be seen, though in different parts of the world. Solar eclipses occur only at new moons and lunar eclipses only at full moons.
We will be webcasting the whole show from a hotel in Antalya; we’ll be in contact with San Francisco’s Exploratorium and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and plan to provide a backup webcast for them. Our multicast technology is possible with our collaborators Tim Lawlor at Pennsylvania State University-Wilkes Barre and George “Chip” Smith at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At least one class in the Grand Forks public school system will be watching, too.

This is our third solar eclipse webcast; we were in Madrid last October and Panama last April.

Q. You mentioned that your primary goal with this webcasting project is to show young school kids what the moon is all about. Please tell us how you aim to accomplish this.

A. First, we want to bring these events to people who couldn’t otherwise see them. We aim to educate people — especially younger children — about how many eclipses there are per year and why. That’s because we know that so many people remain confused about why there are phases to the moon and why there are eclipses. Studies have shown that 60 percent of people think that phases of the moon are caused by shadow of the earth. This is astounding and we want to change that.

Q. You’re going after a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. What do you aim to accomplish with that grant?

A. The NSF grant that we’re trying to get is about educating children about the whole sun-Earth-moon system. In doing that, we want to get funding to go to these eclipses, about two a year. The point of the grant is to create higher-order thinking in preadolescent children and changing misconceptions about astronomy. We want to start them thinking early about what’s going on in this system. If you’ve learned incorrectly about the moon phases and eclipses at an early age, you tend to hold onto those beliefs, so it’s important to start getting the correct information early.

On this eclipse—the one we’re traveling to Turkey for — we’re starting a pilot study in a fifth-grade class in Grand Forks. We’ll measure how their perceptions change in viewing the webcast; we’re doing this collaboratively with Prof. Mark Guy of teaching and learning in the College of Education and Human Development.

We believe that if we can get elementary school children to grasp the basic concepts involved in the sun-Earth-moon system, then we’d be preparing them for higher-order thinking in many areas, especially mathematics and science.

This is all about getting children interested in accurate science.

Q. We’re talking specifically about a solar eclipse in this case; but it seems what you’re driving at is a core principle of education.

A. Yes, that’s what we’re driving at. The larger issue is science education. It’s about preparing the next generation of adult leaders. It’s hard to develop correct thinking about what you’re seeing and about the concepts behind what you’re seeing. For example, in terms of the moon, current teaching of the phases of the moon usually includes two-dimensional images of the moon. This is really not descriptive enough to understand what is going on. Moreover, we’re only spending a fraction of a (science) class time on these principles, so kids rely on stories in books about the moon, and on hearsay.

Q. Can you tell us how you’d improve this system of teaching?

A. With my undergraduate classes here at UND, I do a semester-long project that I call “Moon Project.” Students observe the moon over a month and then report on the observations. I encourage them to interpret their data, specifically to correlate the Moon’s phases to its position in the sky. We’re reinforcing that in the classroom, but this about teaching young people to do their own real science.

Q. How does the webcast work?

A. We need the Internet to make our webcast work. That is difficult in some places. We usually collaborate with a local university or hotel that has Internet access; we use the infrastructure of our host country to get on the net. Once we are on the Internet, we link our servers at UND computer science. Then we have a point-to-point feed to collaborators that do multicasts. We don’t want everyone trying to use our server. We give the signal to other universities, which then spread that signal. We had over 50,000 people participate in our last eclipse webcast (in Madrid last fall). And that’s counted people; a lot of folks aren’t counted because they bring up the webcast in a stand-alone viewer, and that isn’t counted by the Webcast counter.

We will have two webcams and a chat room; people feel like they’re part of the whole event and that’s one of the unique things about our webcast. We also have audio; people type in their questions, and we answer them verbally as well as in text. The lag time is, at most, a few seconds. The webcast is live. We also have a separate recording computer that’ll put our solar eclipse observations out on a podcast; we will produce radio clips for iTunes and also have them on our server.

What we’re doing with regard to the kids is to use technology to enhance their learning, get them into higher-order thinking. This is a major push. Most science is taught as facts, that’s what children believe science is, answering questions like, what is the moon’s age, what is the moon made of, and what is the size of the moon; that’s called lower-order thinking, memorizing facts

With these live webcasts and similar tools we get kids to understand concepts, to make two step logical statements that you need in order to explain complex systems, like the phases of the moon.

What we’re hoping is that (this type of education) eventually gets into school systems. We’re seeing that they need more time on science subjects they don’t get that now. This will further science education and will give students with tools of higher-order thinking to use in other science classes.

Q. Where can we find more information about the eclipse and your webcast?

A. You can find out more about what we’re doing with this upcoming eclipse at We’re also listed on the NASA web site at; click on “Total solar eclipse 2006” and then scroll down to the section on live web coverage, you’ll find us third down on the list. We’re one of only two U.S. groups that will provide this kind of coverage.


Van Eck featured on cover of national education magazine

For education professor and digital games expert Richard Van Eck, scoring the cover of the current issue of EDUCAUSE Review is par for the course. Van Eck, nationally known for his research on the use of computer games in the classroom, says it’s another positive step in his pursuit of innovative instructional technologies adapted for today’s “digital natives.”

“We’re trying hard to get the word out about the value of computer games in a classroom setting,” says Van Eck, an associate professor of instructional design and technology in teaching and learning. His March-April 2006 EDUCAUSE Review cover story, titled “Digital Game-Based Learning,” says DGBL is now getting lots of attention as a teaching tool that goes way beyond “having fun.”

A diehard gamer and authority on how games carry education a big step beyond traditional text-based instruction, Van Eck argues that while American teachers are mostly dedicated to reaching kids and engaging them in learning, the education system itself needs revamping. And that includes updating instructional technology.

Van Eck says the Industrial Revolution introduced mass-produced education, but that system now often fails students, especially in terms of teaching technologies. That party, so to speak, now is over, he says. That’s where DGBL—digital game-based learning—comes in.

Digital games, with their computer-based technology so familiar to youngsters—today’s so-called digital natives—are among several new education tools that should be mustered into service for those students, he says. DGBL has the potential to revolutionize how students learn, Van Eck says in his EDUCAUSE article, because the technology supports “some of the most effective learning principles identified during the last hundred years.”

“If we continue to preach only that (games are effective learning tools), we run the risk of creating the impression that all games are good for all learners and for all learning outcomes, which is categorically not the case,” Van Eck writes. “If we are to think practically about DGBL, we need to separate the hype from the reality.”

And that means carefully delineating the difference between digital games as recreation and digital games specifically engineered, built, and evaluated for the classroom, Van Eck says. In fact, research conducted by Van Eck and others indicates that what accounts for the positive learning effects of DGBL is “what they embody and what learners are doing as they play the game.”

Van Eck says the big lesson of past classroom technologies is that we should not confuse the medium with the message. He points to the largely unmet expectations of media (audio-visual and, later TV) technology and computers: both technologies were widely adapted for classroom use, but largely failed to produce the promised improvements in learning. Van Eck notes that classroom teachers and instructional designers have learned as a result of these experiences about the difference between use and integration of new technologies in the classroom.

“If we learn from our past, and if we focus on the strengths of the medium and provide the support and infrastructure needed to implement DGBL, we may well be present for a true revolution,” Van Eck says.

Read the whole article at


Recipes sought for Staff Senate cookbook

The Staff Senate fundraising and scholarship committee is preparing another cookbook which features recipes from staff and faculty. Please be a part of creating the next Staff Senate Cookbook: submit your favorite recipes to Linda Skarsten, Box 7092, by March 31. Along with your recipe(s), include your full name and department. If you need a copy of the recipe collection form, it is available at

— Joneen Iverson, Staff Senate secretary


Volunteers sought for body composition study

The Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking men and women age 18 and over for a body composition study. The assessment will last approximately 90 minutes and volunteers could earn up to $40.

This study will identify a valid field (non-laboratory) method for measuring body composition. Body composition is used to describe the amount of muscle, bone, fat, and water in the body. Body composition assessment is useful for identifying risk factors for chronic disease. For example, excess body fat increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and low bone mineral density may increase the risk for osteoporosis.

The study is open to people who are:

  • Non-smokers;
  • Weigh less than 350 pounds;
  • Shorter than 6 feet, 3 inches;
  • Women must not be pregnant or lactating;
  • Have no known condition that may affect body composition or body water balance, such as cancer, kidney disease, or liver disease;
  • Have no metal or plastic inserts, such as hip or knee replacements;
  • Have no known condition that affects your breathing, such as asthma or lung disease;
  • Not taking any diuretics (water pills) or medications that influence body water or lung function(e.g. beta-agonists).
    Volunteers are required to:
  • Wear tight-fitting clothing, such as spandex;
  • Will not consume caffeine, not participate in physical activity, and not shower/bathe/sit in a shower four hours before testing;
  • Will not consume alcohol 24 hours prior to testing;
  • Refrain from eating two hours before testing or eat only a light meal two hours before testing;
  • Men will shave beard on the day of testing; mustaches and goatees okay.

If you would like an application for this study, please call Dorothy Olson at (701) 795-8396 or (800) 562-4032; or apply online by going to or

— Brenda Ling, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center


Some RecSports cancelled

The following RecSports programs have been cancelled at the Wellness Center: kickball, 4 on 4 flag football, and outdoor soccer.

– Wellness Center


Golf course offers specials

Although it doesn’t look like it outside, it is time to start thinking about your golf game! The Ray Richards Golf Course clubhouse is now open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can purchase your season tickets now so you can be the first one on the course when the season opens up! Faculty/staff season tickets will be $250 for a single or $490 for a family. Student season passes will be $225 for a single and $440 for a family. You can also pick up driving range season passes which will be sold as single for $150, couple for $199 or family for $250.

We also have some spring bargains in the clubhouse. Select a dozen golf balls for $12 and check out the great deals on clubs. We also have Sioux headcovers, golf towels and apparel in stock.

— Jeff Nerby, assistant manager, Ray Richards Golf Course, 777-4837


Remembering Theron Nelson

Theron Nelson, professor and chair of finance, died at home in Grand Forks March 23 of esophageal cancer. He was 59.

Nelson was born in Corinth, Miss., to Robert L. and Edna (Kranig) Nelson. Although the family home was in Eau Claire, Wis., they settled in Atlanta, Ga., when Theron was in third grade. He attended Georgia Tech, and then earned his undergraduate degree in 1973 from Georgia State University’s inter-disciplinary urban life program after a two-year stint in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War era. He completed his master’s degree in governmental administration in 1975. He held an administrative position at Georgia State, where he completed his doctorate in real estate and urban economics in 1983.

While in the doctoral program, Theron met Susan Logan, a fellow Ph.D. student in Georgia State University’s marketing program. They were married in October 1977. Erik Andrew Nelson was born in July 1979, three weeks prior to the family moving to Bowling Green, Ky., where Theron and Susan had joined the faculty at Western Kentucky University to begin teaching.

In 1983, the Nelsons headed for what they thought would be a two-year “adventure” in Grand Forks, as faculty members at UND. After their second child, Alex William Nelson, joined the family in 1985, the adventure turned out to be a lifelong commitment to Grand Forks and UND.

His primary teaching interest was real estate finance, and his primary research interests were in brokerage and service quality measurement. He enjoyed a long and productive publishing career with his articles appearing in the Journal of Real Estate Research, AREUEA Journal, Financial Services Review, Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, The Appraisal Journal, and other journals, as well as authoring or co-authoring four books. Susan often partnered with Theron as a co-author of real estate articles and papers.

Recently, Theron was instrumental in the development of the Lanterman Investment Center, a facility in the College of Business and Public Administration with 19 Reuters-enabled computers. He assisted with fundraising efforts and oversaw construction and design of the Center, which provides the resources for numerous class-related projects as well as serving as the home for the newly created $600,000 student-managed investment fund. The Center’s trading room and investment research facility is the culmination of a long-term dream by Theron and other finance faculty at UND.

Theron was also a founding member of the American Real Estate Society (ARES), which held its first official conference in October 1985. Over the years, Theron served the organization in many capacities and never missed an annual meeting. He was elected the sixth president for 1990, served as its secretary and treasurer for over 15 years, as executive director for two years, and was director of publications upon his death. Theron valued his association with ARES as an important part of his overall career. He found great joy in watching the fledging ARES organization take hold, grow, and spawn sister societies around the globe. In Theron’s words: “It’s not very often that we have an opportunity to be a part of something much greater than ourselves, that hopefully will have a lasting impact on many people.”

He was an avid woodworker and took much pleasure in designing, renovating, and caring for their 100-year-old home.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Nelson, professor of marketing and director of the MBA and sports business programs; sons Erik Nelson, Santa Monica, Calif.; Alex Nelson, Grand Forks; brothers Ron (Rene) Nelson, Atlanta, Ga.; Steve (Cindy) Nelson, Calhoun, Ga.; sister Gayle Nelson, Atlanta, Ga.; sister-in-law Becky McGinnis, of Virginia Beach, Va.; six nieces and nephews, and one great niece.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a nephew, Christopher Nelson.

— Jan Orvik, editor, with information from the Grand Forks Herald

University Relations
University of North Dakota
411 Twamley Hall
Box 7144
Grand Forks, ND 58202
Tel: (701) 777-2731
Fax: (701) 777-4616