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Odney, Waldron, Peltier Awards recipients named

Published: 28 February 2014

Three NDSU faculty members have been selected to receive prestigious university honors. David Herda, assistant professor of accounting, finance and information systems, will receive the Odney Award; Robert Littlefield, professor of communication, will be recognized with the Waldron Award; and William Wilson, University Distinguished Professor of agribusiness and applied economics, will be acknowledged with the Peltier Award.

The recipients will be recognized during the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence on May 1 at the NDSU Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center. The awards are sponsored by the NDSU Development Foundation.

“We had an impressive array of talent brought forward through the nomination process,” said Provost Bruce Rafert. “The selection committee was impressed by the distinguished records of research and academic ability of our nominees.”

Herda received 28 nominations for the Odney Award, which was established by the family of Robert Odney to recognize outstanding faculty teaching.

“He is an icon for an outstanding faculty member at NDSU,” wrote student Kayleigh Biloki, NDSU Accounting Club president, in a letter nominating Herda for the Odney Award. “Dr. Herda is the best candidate for this prestigious award based on his powerful and inspiring enthusiasm for teaching.”

Student John Fraase wrote, “Dr. Herda exemplifies all of the ideal characteristics in a professor. He is clear and very well spoken during his lectures, naturally connects to each and every one of his students and brings a wealth of professional experience with him.”

Known for engaging students with real-world problem solving in his classes, Herda joined the NDSU four years ago after working 10 years in public accounting. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in accounting at the University of Texas at Arlington. He received the Accounting Club’s Professor of the Year Award in 2011 and 2013.

The Fred Waldron Research Award was established with the NDSU Development Foundation Board of Trustees to recognize outstanding faculty research. Littlefield was nominated for the honor by Betsy Birmingham, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

“He has not only had a distinguished career as a researcher, he has, if anything, increased his publications, grant activities and national influence in the last 10 years,” Birmingham wrote in a nomination letter, noting Littlefield has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than $2.25 million in external funding during the past five years.

Littlefield’s nomination states he has published 65 peer-reviewed articles and 30 book chapters. In addition, his vita lists more than 85 refereed conference papers and more than 100 invited presentations. Littlefield has directed 13 doctoral dissertations, as well as holding 32 different elected positions in nine national and statewide disciplinary organizations.

“Robert and his work have a national reputation for excellence, and he has been able to marshal that disciplinary capital to support the work of NDSU,” wrote Birmingham.

Littlefield joined the NDSU faculty in 1978. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, his master’s degree in speech at NDSU and doctorate in speech communication at the University of Minnesota. Among his many honors are induction in the Halls of Fame of the Communication, Speech and Theatre Association of North Dakota, National Forensic League and Pi Kappa Delta National Forensic Honorary.

The Peltier Award was established by Joseph and Norma Peltier to recognize outstanding innovation in teaching. Wilson was nominated by faculty colleague William Nganje, chair of agribusiness and applied economics.

“Dr. Wilson has been instrumental in developing the Commodity Trading Room at NDSU. It is the first such room focused on agriculture in the United States,” Nganje wrote, describing the Barry Hall facility as “a fully interactive computerized room with 32 live work stations with live market information for teaching and illustrating the points being taught.”

Nganje also wrote Wilson was recognized as one of the top 10 agricultural economists in 1995, and, more recently, was rated among the top 2 percent of all agricultural economists nationally. He noted Wilson advises large agribusinesses, railroads, beverage companies and foreign governments on such topics as risk and procurement strategy.

Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree at NDSU and his doctorate in agricultural economics at the University of Manitoba. His numerous honors include the H. Roald and Janet Lund Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011, Eugene R. Dahl Excellence in Research Award in 1998 and the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award in 1987.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


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Last Updated: Friday, February 28, 2014