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Crookston Campus E-Update
an internal administrative news digest

June 5, 2012


Inside this Issue

From the Chancellor
Featured Events & Activities
Around Campus
Campus and Community
U of M System

From the Chancellor

Four weeks have already passed since graduation.  Many people assume the campus pretty much shuts down over the summer, but there continues to be a lot of activity occurring on campus such as:

• Upkeep on the grounds with mowing of grass, cleaning and grooming of the multiple shrubs, and the planting of the flower beds

• The remodeling of a number of classrooms

• Cleaning and painting of many faculty offices on campus

• Summer maintenance of the campus heating plant

• Construction of the new residence hall

• Work to register new students for the upcoming academic year

The campus has also hosted a number of meetings and events on campus including:

• Crookston High School Commencement

• RiverView Health Staff Training

• Northwest Minnesota Foundation Education Summit

• Northwest Minnesota Higher Education Presidents Alliance Meeting

President Kaler and Senior Vice President Jones have announced the appointment of Dr. Fred Wood from the University of California, Davis as the new chancellor.  Dr. Wood has been in contact with my office, and his tentative plans are to arrive on campus during the week of July 2-6.  That could change over the next few weeks.  I know the campus community is looking forward to his arrival and beginning his appointment as chancellor, and I wish him the very best as he takes on the position.

The Northwest School of Agriculture reunion will be held on campus on Saturday, June 30. I plan to attend this event.  It’s always a fun time when this great group of alumni return to campus.

Over the next four weeks I hope to be able to see many faculty and staff who I’ve had the honor and privilege to work with over the nearly seven years as chancellor.  I appreciate all you have done for students and your contributions to the success of the campus.  Barbara and I will continue to live in the area and hope to have a chance to see you from time to time.  Again, we thank you for your support.

– Chuck
Charles H. Casey, Chancellor
University of Minnesota, Crookston


Featured Events & Activities


Webinar - Removing Suicidal Students from Campus: The Significance of recent changes in Federal Policy, Wednesday, June 6 – 2 to 3:30 p.m., Alseth-NWSA Business Board Room (Dowell 116)

New Student Registration, Monday, June 11 through Friday, June 15
– 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, check-in at Sargeant Student Center

Retirement Reception for Chancellor Charles H. Casey and Barbara J. Muesing, Thursday, June 14
– 2 to 4 p.m., Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center, open to the public

Relay for Life Sponsored by the West Polk County Chapter of the American Cancer Society, Friday, June 15
– 6 p.m. activities, 7 p.m. opening ceremonies, 2 a.m. closing ceremonies, UMC Campus Mall (rain site: UMC Sports Center), open to the public

Entrepreneur Experience Camp, Sunday, June 17 through Thursday, June 21

Mark Olsonawski Scholarship Golf Tournament, Thursday, June 28
– 9 a.m. registration, 10 a.m. tee-off, Two River Golf Course, Hallock, Minn., $40 per person, four-person teams, 18 holes

Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) Alumni Reunion, Saturday, June 30
– 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., registration in Sargeant Student Center

Independence Day Holiday, Wednesday, July 4
– classes excused, campus offices closed

For details on these and a comprehensive listing of other events or to discover what’s happening this week, visit UMC Today at or review our news page at

Learn more about events across the entire University of Minnesota system via Brief.



Around Campus

Administrative Affairs –

A public reception for retiring U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey and First Lady Barbara J. Muesing will be held on the Crookston campus on Thursday, June 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Northern Lights Lounge of the Sargeant Student Center.  At 3 p.m. Crookston Mayor Dave Genereux will sign a special city-wide proclamation.  University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and alumni as well as individuals from Crookston and surrounding communities are welcome.   A social, dinner, and program by invitation will be held that evening starting with the social at 5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, followed by the dinner at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m., both in Brown Dining Room.  Those attending the evening events from among the faculty and staff are reminded to RSVP to Chris Winjum, 218-281-8343, by Thursday, June 7. 

Fred E. Wood, PhD, has been named chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Crookston.  He will take the helm on July 2.  Wood comes to the U of M from the University of California, Davis, where he has been vice chancellor of student affairs and has held other leadership roles for 26 years.  A first-generation college student, Wood earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1980 and his doctorate in inorganic chemistry in 1984, both from UC Davis.  He spent two years as a faculty member at a small community college in northern Idaho before returning to UC Davis in 1986 as vice chair of its chemistry department, responsible for coordinating curricular and co-curricular experiences for undergraduate and graduate students.  From 1991 to 2004 he served as associate dean of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science.  In 2004, he was named interim vice provost for undergraduate studies, a position he held until becoming vice chancellor of student affairs in 2007.  Wood and his wife, Mary, have two daughters, both of whom have attended college in Minnesota.  One graduated from Carleton College, and the other is studying at St. Olaf College.  View his CV.


Academic Affairs

The Bachelor’s Degree Program in Elementary Education proposed by the Liberal Arts & Education Department was approved by the U of M Board of Regents at the May 2012 meeting.  One final step is needed before the program can be implemented and marketed to students.  Final approval must be granted by the Minnesota State Board of Teaching.  The required paperwork has been submitted, and the campus awaits word from the Board of Teaching, which could come as early as this summer.

Tim Dudley
, PhD, has been hired as an assistant professor in the Math, Science & Technology Department, where he will teach chemistry.  He earned his PhD in physical chemistry with a minor in physics from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  He has served as a postdoctoral research associate at Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, and most recently he held the rank of associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2005.  He has authored or co-authored sixteen academic publications in the last five years and has administered a $33,500 research grant.

Omar Al-Azzam,
PhD, has been hired as an assistant professor for the Math, Science & Technology Department, where he will teach software engineering.  He holds a PhD in computer science from North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, and an MSc in computer information systems from Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.  He has served as an IT trainer, as an IT programs director, and most recently as a research assistant at NDSU in the areas of data mining and bioinformatics.  In the past two years he has co-authored eight academic publications and has five publications in progress.

Abdorrahman “Abdo” Alghamdi,
PhD, has been hired as an assistant professor in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, where he will teach courses in animal and equine science.  He holds a PhD and an MS in theriogenology (reproductive physiology and immunology), both from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where he also served as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate.  Since 2008 he has served as an assistant professor of equine science at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri.  He has authored or co-authored six publications since 2005, with two additional publications in progress.

Vanessa Lane,
PhD, has been hired as a lecturer of fisheries and wildlife management in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.  She earned her PhD in forest resources from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia in Athens and her MS in animal and range sciences from Montana State University in Bozeman.  She has served as a graduate assistant and postdoctoral research associate for the University of Georgia, most recently managing and analyzing a data set for the USDA’s Forest Service.  She has also served as a fisheries technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Barry Stephens,
CPA, and Scott Leckie, JD, CPA, have been hired as accounting lecturers in the Business Department.  Stephens holds a Master in Professional Accounting from the University of Texas in Austin and has completed coursework for a Doctor of Business Administration degree at Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.   He has served as a faculty member in accounting at University of the Southwest, Hobbs, New Mexico; at Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minn.; and most recently at the University of Great Falls, Great Falls, Montana.  Leckie is all but dissertation (ABD) in the PhD program in business through Capella Universtiy and holds a Juris Doctorate from the J. Rueben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University.  He also holds a Master of Accountancy - Taxation from Brigham Young.  He has served as a tax attorney and tax CPA and a senior tax manager for firms in San Diego, California, and Salem, Oregon, and most recently taught accounting and business courses for Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon.

William Christopher Brown,
MA, and Dani Johannesen, PhD, have been hired as lecturers in composition for the Liberal Arts & Education Department.  Brown holds an MA in English from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, and he is working to complete his PhD in English at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he has worked as an associate instructor teaching composition and professional writing courses.  Johannesen earned her PhD in English with a specialization in creative writing from the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermilion and her MA in literature from Northern Arizona University.  Since 2008 she has taught composition, introductory literature, and creative writing courses at USD.

As of May 1, Jacoba De Boer-Wiersma has transitioned into a new position as a teaching specialist and online student support assistant for the Math, Science & Technology Department.  Her time will be spent supporting students enrolled in online programs in information technology management, applied health, and health management. 

Krista Anderson
is the new office support assistant for this summer for the Math, Science & Technology Department. She is a student who transferred to the U of M, Crookston spring semester 2012, and she is studying business management.  Before enrolling at UMC, she worked at Polaris in Roseau as a production planner and scheduler.  She can reached by phone at 218-281-8380 and via e-mail at

Student Affairs

New Student Registration will take place on campus during the week of June 11-15.  The daily schedule begins with a brief welcome session at 8:30 a.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.  UCard photos, information sessions, meetings and registration with academic advisors, and a student success fair are scheduled throughout the morning, with lunch and campus tours rounding out the day through 2 p.m.  Each day’s session can accommodate up to 60 students.  Learn more.

Jennifer Schoenecker
has been hired as a community area coordinator (student personnel worker) for the Office of Residential Life and Security Services.  She completed her master’s in education, student affairs administration in higher education, at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the U of M, Duluth.  She has served as a graduate assistant for the Student Life Office at UW-La Crosse.  With the growth in the number of on-campus student residents at UMC, she will supplement the Residential Life staff.   She is set to begin her duties on July 16 and will serve as an additional “live-in” professional operating from the new residence hall once it is completed in December.


Technology Support Services –

Debra Race
has been hired as an information technology professional for Technology Support Services in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology.  She holds bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Mayville State University and in business education from Dickinson State University, and she is completing an MEd in teaching with technology at Valley City State University with expected completion in July 2012.  Most recently she has served as a lecturer in education and computer information systems (CIS) at Mayville State and as a business and office technology educator at May-PortCG Public Schools in Mayville, N.D.  She began her duties at UMC on June 4.

University staff and faculty can request short-term wireless access for University guests and visiting associates by “sponsoring” them.  Short-term guest accounts expire at midnight four days after the effective date selected.  The sponsor receives an e-mail confirmation of the account activation shortly after the request is submitted. This confirmation includes the Internet ID and password that the guest can use to access the wireless network.  There is no charge to sponsor an official guest. 

is the University's emergency notification text messaging system to provide students, faculty, and staff with critical campus safety information.  To increase its effectiveness and reach, the University will enroll all students, faculty, and staff systemwide in TXT-U.  Individuals will be able to opt out if they choose not to use this safety tool.  For more information, see TXT-U.


Development & Alumni Relations –

Teambackers will host the Mark Olsonawski Scholarship Golf Tournament on Thursday, June 28, at the Two Rivers Golf Course, 903 Seventh Street South, Hallock, Minn.  The tournament is a four-person scramble.  The entry fee is $40.  Registration begins at 9 a.m. with 10 a.m. tee off.  Anyone interested in playing should contact Bill Tyrrell, director of athletic fundraising, at 218-281-8436.  Proceeds support scholarships for student-athletes.

Bill Tyrrell
, director of athletic fundraising, attended the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Athletic Fundraising Conference held May 2-4 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The annual Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) Alumni Reunion is scheduled for Saturday, June 30.  The day begins at 9 a.m. with registration, tours, videos, and visiting in the Northern Lights Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.  The Top Aggie Luncheon is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Brown Dining Room followed by the annual business meeting at 1:30 p.m. also in Brown Dining Room.  Class meetings will be held across campus from 2 to 5 p.m. with class photos taken from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.  At 5:30 p.m. a summer barbecue supper will be served in Bede Ballroom, followed by a video tribute program at 7:30 p.m. and dance and social from 7:45 to 10:30 p.m.  To register or receive more information, contact Rose Ulseth at 218-281-8439.


University Relations –

University Relations will sponsor a booth at the Polk County Fair Thursday, July 12, through Sunday, July 15, in Fertile, Minnesota.  Individuals from University Relations and Development & Alumni Relations will assist with the booth.  Additional faculty, staff, and alumni volunteers are welcome to help staff this booth over the four days.  Interested individuals should contact Andrew Svec at 218-281-8438.


Joe Alianiello (a-lee-a-nel-low) has been hired as the new head women's soccer coach for the Golden Eagles.  Alianiello comes to the U of M, Crookston from Winona State University, where he served as assistant women's soccer coach and student-athlete success center supervisor for the 2011 season.  Prior to that he served as the head women's soccer coach at Concordia University – St. Paul for five seasons. While at Concodia, he was named NSIC coach of the year in 2006 and also earned NSIC playoff bids three times (2006, 2007, 2009).

Richie Wessman
has been hired as an assistant football coach in charge of quarterbacks and wide receivers.  Wessman is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in international relations.  He comes to the Golden Eagles from the NFL’s Tennessee Titans with whom he worked for five seasons serving in various capacities such as an offensive assistant working in running game and pass protection, assisting with the offensive line, and serving as an offensive quality control coach.  He will begin his duties at UMC on July 30.

Jason Tangquist
, assistant director of athletics; Cleon Melsa, outgoing NCAA faculty representative; and Lyle Westrom, incoming NCAA faculty representative, attended the NCAA Regional Rules Seminar May 16-18 in Anaheim, California.  NCAA's Regional Rules Seminars serve as educational forums regarding NCAA legislation, athletics compliance, and associated issues.



Campus and Community

The West Polk County Chapter of the American Cancer Society will host its annual Relay for Life on the evening of Friday, June 15, on the UMC Campus Mall.  Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m., and closing ceremonies will take place at 2 a.m.  Relay for Life is an overnight, community-led, non-athletic event.  Teams set up camp and take turns walking around the campus mall from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.  The teams raise money in the months leading up to the event and on the day create a party atmosphere for the whole community.  Everyone is invited to celebrate the lives of those who have been touched by cancer and to show their support of West Polk County's vital work. Learn more.

The Business Department and the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) will host Entrepreneur Experience Camp June 17-20 on campus.  The mission of the camp is to introduce young entrepreneurs to business concepts, basic fundamentals of entrepreneurship, and stimulate innovation.  High school students will learn about finance, credit, business contracts, and marketing.  This unique program will help foster creativity, innovation, and teamwork. 



U of M System

Newly-elected Regent Thomas Devine was sworn in at the May 2012 meeting of the Board of Regents.  A resident of Chanhassen, Minn., Devine co-owns the David Agency, an insurance firm based in Edina.  He is an alumnus of the U of M and has been active in the Alumni Association and the University Legislative Network.  He was elected by the Minnesota Legislature in April to replace Regent Steve Sviggum, who resigned in early March. Devine will represent the 2nd Congressional District and will serve the remainder of Sviggum’s term, which ends in 2017.


U of M, Crookston faculty members Harouna Maiga, PhD, and Lyle Westrom, PhD, who teach in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, both have been promoted to the rank of professor.  Their promotions were approved at the May 2012 meeting of the U of M Board of Regents.  The campus community offers hearty congratulations to each of them.


Publication notes:  The E-Update is published twice each month August through April and once each month May through July.
Issues are posted online.

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