Welcome back to campus

While this August may look and feel a bit different than in years past, the College of Human Sciences and Education is excited to welcome students back to campus. The energy and excitement can be felt all around.

As with any new semester, there are new faces everywhere you look. With that comes the opportunity to meet new people and develop meaningful connections with those around you.

In this newsletter, we will introduce you to the new faces of faculty joining our college beginning this semester. Please join us in welcoming them to the NDSU community.

New faculty spotlight

This month we would like to introduce you to the new faculty members within the College of Human Sciences and Education. Each faculty highlighted below will teach within the School of Education.

Sara Bano

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught:

Educational and Organizational Leadership

Occupational and Adult Education

About me: I have more than seven years of experience teaching in Pakistan, U.S., Japan, and Thailand from high school to graduate level both in person and in online formats. I use an international comparative lens to understand major global issues and approach problems in higher education from a scholar-practitioner perspective. As a researcher, I believe in collaborative efforts between different constituents for developing high-quality critical research projects for individual, institutional, and social change to create a more inclusive and democratic world. I know about 7 languages. I daily use at least three or four and I can read scripts from right to left (Arabic, Persian, Urdu), left to right (English) and top to down (Japanese).

Justin Benna

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught:

Administration of K-12 Schools

Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior

Supervising graduate student practicums that are required for licensure as elementary and secondary school principals

About me: I spent 28 years in public elementary schools as a teacher and the last 18 as a principal. I am thrilled to be at NDSU and look forward to helping prepare school leaders who make a positive difference in the learning and lives of educators, students, and communities. My research examines the social and political contexts of schools, educator moorings, and the professional relationships between and among school leaders.

Amanda Cordova

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught:  

Educational Law Policy

Leadership, Planning, and Organizational Behavior

About me: I come from San Antonio, Texas where I worked as a clinical social worker and K-12 teacher. My research focuses on socially just educational leadership, decolonizing methodologies, and anti-racist educational pathways. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, and attending live music performances.

Jessica Danielson

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught:

Masters and PhD Practicum

Counseling Theory 

About me: Before coming to NDSU, I worked as a Counselor Educator at Northern State University. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) with experience working in inpatient, outpatient community settings, and on college campuses. My research interests include feminist issues in counseling and creative pedagogy and supervision. I enjoy connecting with people, being creative, drinking soy lattes, cuddling cats, playing bingo, eating pizza, and supporting feminism.

Jessica McQueston

Title: Lecturer

Courses being taught: Teaching Students of Diverse Backgrounds (both undergraduate and graduate levels)

About me: As a former K-12 special and general educator, my research aims to understand and break down the barriers to inclusive education. I have one dog, Bucky, who I rescued. We enjoy going on adventures, such as exploring different parks and hiking, as much as possible.

Cailen O’Shea

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught: Curriculum, Instruction, and Learning Theory

About me: I am deeply concerned about the prevalence of uninspiring instruction in many low-income schools. My research focuses on school innovation through collaboration between schools and universities to foster instructional transformation and the development of ‘future-ready’ students. Before moving to North Dakota, I lived in Michigan and Nebraska. While in Nebraska, I taught in a Title I building as a behavior interventionist, 5th-grade teacher, and instructional technology coach. My wife Amber and I, along with our son, Elliott, are all very excited to be in Fargo and look forward to learning how to ice fish!

Laura Parson

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught: Higher Education Law

About me: In my research, I seek to identify where and how institutional disjuncture occurs in higher education for women and members of minoritized groups. Building on that research, I use curriculum and course development to recreate the teaching and learning environment in higher education to promote equitable and effective learning spaces. My research questions ask how decolonizing pedagogical and curriculum approaches can create a more inclusive and equitable higher education space. I am a qualitative methodologist, with a focus on ethnographic and discourse methods of inquiry.

Brooke Thiel

Title: Assistant Professor

Courses being taught:  

Planning the Community Program in Agricultural Education

Teaching Methods for Agricultural Education Lab

About me: I grew up in Kindred, North Dakota. I taught high school agricultural education for seven years prior to returning to NDSU to work on my Ph.D. in Education. My husband, Patrick, is a middle school band director at Carl Ben Eielson in Fargo and we have a 20-month old son named Lincoln who keeps us VERY busy and constantly on our toes. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, cooking and baking, and cheering on the Bison at various athletic events. Go Bison! 


Margaret Fitzgerald, Dean




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