Najla Ghazi Amundson joined North Dakota State University in May 2008, as media relations director. Her essay "Wearing the hijab for the first time" on p. 42-47, is excerpted from a piece written for a communication class during her doctoral program at NDSU. She has a master's in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor's in journalism from South Dakota State University. Najla has worked in television news, public relations, advertising, higher education, and freelance media consulting.
Kevin Brooks n associate professor of English at NDSU, writes about his experience traveling to Africa to help a student make a film, "Trip of a lifetime," p. 8-15. Everything he knows about making films he has learned from his stepdaughter, Caity Birmingham (MFA Colombia College, Chicago), and from the on-the-fly training he has received working on African Soul, American Heart. He lives in Fargo with his wife, Elizabeth Birmingham (who might have been nervous about the trip, but never let it show), and their son Griffin. The film premiered November 9 at the Fargo Theatre.
Joel Hagen is a staff writer at NDSU who retains a childlike fascination with all things scientific and an interest in crime procedurals. He first met Berch Henry while writing a short article on NDSU's Forensic DNA Facility in its early building stages. Hagen knew he wanted to go back for the full story once the lab was well established, "A new way for DNA," p. 18-27. What he found when he returned was a distinctive working relationship between two DNA veterans, a unique facility created to find answers other labs can't, and a process that helps analysts stay as detached as possible while investigating the worst actions of others.