casnews2013

The College of Arts and Sciences is extremely proud to now house the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree and to provide advisement for all NSU students in this program. The BGS is a unique program option designed for students who have accumulated a significant number of credit hours and want to complete a bachelor’s degree, yet for whatever reason are no longer interested in completing a degree in their original program of study. In addition to the standard system general education core and the NSU institutional graduation requirements, students may organize their coursework into three, fifteen- credit emphasis areas including allied health, business, education, fine arts, humanities, social science, science, engineering and mathematics, technology, and wellness. The new program allows a high degree of flexibility in course selections for those students who wish to design their own degree from a variety of disciplines that better fit their career goals. Many of the BGS students are working professionals who are thrilled to discover how accessible this program is. The online course selections offered through NSU, and in partnership with the other South Dakota public universities, allow for these students to successfully manage their professional and personal lives while pursuing their goal of earning a degree. Since the inception of the program in the fall of 2010, NSU graduated six students with a Bachelor of General Studies in the 2010-2011 school year and that number more than doubled to seventeen students in the 2011-2012 school year. Dr. Andrzej Duszenko, Professor of English, regularly teaches the capstone course in the program. For additional information on this degree option, please contact Ms. Andrea Prehn, academic and special project coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences, NSU, at Andrea.Prehn@northern. edu or 605-626-3402. Bachelor of General Studies The theme of this year’s competition was “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, and Events.” More than one hundred middle and high school students submitted sixty-four judged entries. The event was organized by Dr. David Grettler and Dr. Ric Dias, both Professors of History at NSU. Entry categories included individual and group exhibits, websites, research papers, performances, and documentaries. Twenty NSU history students helped judge these events, along with Dr. Brad Tenant of Presentation College and Lynn Klundt, Jonna Underwood and Kristen Echtenkamp from the NSU Williams Library. According to Grettler, “One of the primary goals for hosting this event on campus is to connect our history students with the best history teachers and programs in the region.” Dias and Grettler have worked with regional National History Day competitions for the last twelve years, and they hosted the event on the NSU campus in 2012. “Having our students participate in the National History Day as judges is a terrific opportunity for them to apply what they have learned in our classes about making history, about what could be called the ‘craft’ of making history,” said Dias. “It is thrilling to hear our history students ask the middle and high school participants about the strength of their sources, or applying the national theme to their work, or the clarity of their argument. It’s a great teaching tool and great fun too.” Dr. Alyssa Anderson joined NSU faculty in 2012. Dr. Anderson received her Ph.D. in entomology, along with a graduate minor in Conservation Biology, from the University of Minnesota; prior to receiving her doctorate, she completed undergraduate training at St. Olaf College. At Northern, she will be teaching various biology and environmental studies courses including ornithology, vertebrate and invertebrate biology, and evolution. Additionally, she hopes to develop courses in the areas of entomology, aquatic ecology, winter biology, and animal behavior. Her primary research interests are in the field of aquatic entomology and aquatic ecology, and she is particularly interested in the aquatic fly family Chironomidae and its role in stream communities. This group of flies is very diverse and abundant in aquatic systems, and is quite unique in that it is one of the few groups of insects with representatives that emerge from streams as fully-active adults during the cold winter months. Along with ecological questions surrounding these flies, Dr. Anderson also has a great interest in finding and describing new species within this diverse insect group, and is excited to explore some of the aquatic habitats of South Dakota with her students in search of new species. Dr. Peter Ramey joined the English faculty at Northern as the new medievalist in August 2012. Hailing from northern Minnesota, Dr. Ramey recently completed his doctorate at the University of Missouri, where his studies focused on the oral traditional aspects of Old English verse. His present research interests include medieval aesthetics, Latin hymnody, and aspects of vernacularity in Old and Middle English verse, and he has published articles on early English oral poetics and performance. He also served for several years as the managing editor for the journal Oral Tradition. Apart from research and teaching, Dr. Ramey loves medieval-themed movies, and enjoys visiting Wylie Park and exploring Storybook Land with his wife and four young children. NEW FACULTY AT NSU National History Day Lindsey Abens and Shayle Finnesand from Aberdeen Central High School and their Senior Group Exhibit The NSU Department of History and Geography again hosted the Region 4 National History Day competition on March 20.

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