|President and First Lady Kelley lead bus tour|
President Robert O. Kelley led more than 30 new faculty members, top administrators and their guests on a three-day tour of North Dakota, including stops at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the historic town of Medora, Aug. 18-20. This year’s tour - the 18th since the inaugural launch in 1990 by then-president Thomas Clifford - is the first for Kelley, who succeeded Charles Kupchella as University president on July 1, and UND First Lady Marcia Kelley.
Funded by the UND Alumni Association and the President's Office, these trips are designed to acquaint new faculty and administrators with the state and its landmarks as well as provide them with an opportunity to form connections with other people on campus, according to tour coordinator Fred Wittmann, assistant to the UND vice president for student and outreach services.
The tours alternate each year between southern and northern routes. This bus tour traveled the so-called "southern route" and began with a tour of MeritCare Hospital in Fargo, followed by a visit to the farmstead of North Dakota Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple in Casselton. School faculty also made stops at Valley City State University, the Heritage Center and State Capitol in Bismarck, the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, and the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Dickinson before heading into the Badlands of southwestern North Dakota.
On the way back to Grand Forks, the faculty members visited the Freedom Coal Mine in the Beulah area, the Knife River Indian Villages historic site, and a community dinner in Northwood, a community on its way to recovery after a devastating tornado nearly one year ago.
A few of the new key administrators on the tour this year were Joshua Riedy, associate vice president for outreach services and dean of continuing education; Edward Sauter, associate dean at UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Michelle Eslinger, director of student health services; and Cara Halgren, associate dean of students.
Tour participants got an education about their new state that they will be able to translate to the classroom; the tour also gave new faculty a sense of where many of their students will come from, organizers say.
Douglas Munski, a UND geography professor with a vast knowledge of North Dakota geographic, cultural, and political lore, was the tour's color commentator for the eighth time. Veteran UND motor coach driver Fran Kryzsko - now officially retired - was the tour driver again this year.
Other new faculty and administrators on this year’s tour were:
* Amanda Boyd, assistant professor, languages
* Kyle Conway, assistant professor, communication
* Guodong Du, assistant professor, chemistry
* Melissa Gjellstad, assistant professor, languages
* Jared Keengwe, assistant professor, teaching and learning
* Sara Mosher, assistant professor, languages
* Jeremiah Neubert, assistant professor, mechanical engineering
* Chean Ngo, assistant professor, mechanical engineering
* Cynthia Prescott, assistant professor, history
* Jaakko Putkonen, assistant professor, geology and geological engineering
* Kate Schreuer, assistant professor, political science and public administration
* Pradosh Simlai, assistant professor, economics
* Pauline Stonehouse, assistant professor, educational leadership
* Deborah Worley, assistant professor, educational leadership