Message of gratitude from the deans

Greetings from the dean’s office. We are often reminded to practice gratitude in November, so we wanted to use this space to share some of the things we are grateful for as we wrap up our second year co-leading the College of Human Sciences and Education. 

We are thankful for our students. Undergraduate and graduate students in the college have shown us that they are hardworking and resilient. They have remained flexible in the face of many changes in course delivery and in the college experience overall. It’s been great to have more students back on campus this year, and for that we are grateful.

We also are thankful for the faculty and staff. There isn’t a better group of people on campus. The people of HSE work tirelessly to ensure that our students have an excellent educational experience. They do it with a cooperative spirit, kindness and humor. The dean’s office is a place where people come to say hello, update us on projects, ask for support or sometimes just to share a funny story. We are grateful to work in an environment like the one we have here.

Last, but not least, we are grateful for our friends, supporters and alumni. Being in the dean’s office has allowed us to meet so many people who are supporters and champions of the work we do in the college. It’s a joy to hear the stories people share of their NDSU experiences, and how faculty have positively impacted lives over the years. Please don’t hesitate to stop by when you’re in town.

NDSU’s Giving Day is Tuesday, November 30. When you give to the College of Human Sciences and Education, you’re supporting students who have made a commitment to help shape a better world.

With gratitude,

Jill Nelson and Jim Deal, interim deans

Student scholarship recipients say thank you

Name: Alaina Driscoll

Majors: Health Education and Physical Education

Scholarship awarded: HSE Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarship

What the scholarship means to them: My first scholarship award banquet was my sophomore year and I remember entering the room and thinking ‘Wow, look at all the students and look at all of the generous supporters our college has.’ It was so eye-opening that we students have so many supporters. 

Receiving a scholarship means so much more than just money. It is the gift of time. I am working multiple jobs, alongside going to classes, studying and trying to make the most of our three-to-six years of college by participating in student organizations and other activities such as intramurals, sporting events, spending time with friends and, of course, studying at the library. Receiving a scholarship allows more time to be present in the classroom as well as to participate in extracurricular activities and less time stressing over financial hardships. One specific area of time that has stuck out to me is time to go into the schools and shadow different teachers and volunteer for more events within organizations.

Name: Nancy Carriveau

Major: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Scholarship awarded: Dean Virginia Clark Johnson Graduate Scholarship

What the scholarship means to them: Receiving the Dean Virginia Clark Johnson scholarship was an incredible honor and I am so grateful to the selection committee and financial supporters for making this award possible. As a 38-year-old working mother of two, this was the first scholarship I had received and I have such a deep sense of pride in sharing this with my family. The scholarship has reduced financial stress and has allowed me to focus my attention on my school work and family. It is important for me to show my children that it is never too late to follow your dreams. This scholarship helps me do just that. I am equally honored to be the recipient of the scholarship because of the namesake it honors. I hope to carry on a piece of the leadership Dean Virginia Clark Johnson imprinted on so many throughout her years at this university. This scholarship and who it honors inspired me to strive higher and be a leader who brings others along with me.

Faculty funding recipients say thank you

Name: Elizabeth Hilliard

Department: Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences

Funding received: Dean’s Funding

What the funding means to them: I have been lucky enough to receive funding to support undergraduate research assistants on multiple occasions over the past 10 years. When I started at NDSU, I was an assistant professor of practice, so research wasn’t a large part of my workload. Therefore, I wasn’t assigned graduate research assistants. I conducted smaller studies, but still had need of an assistant. So, I started applying for the dean’s funding to support undergraduate research assistants. This was tremendously helpful. I have published research articles with two of these assistants, articles that would not have been possible without their help. Now that I am an associate professor with a much larger research commitment, I still rely on dean’s funding for undergraduate research assistants. In spring 2021, I had another student who helped produce an article that is currently under review. This same student also assisted with preparing a National Institutes of Health grant. The funds from the dean’s office have helped me meet my research goals and provided valuable research experiences to undergraduate students. The students can list these experiences on resumes and take the skills into the workforce. I cannot understate the appreciation I have for the donors who provide funding for these types of opportunities and the value it provides to the faculty and students of HSE.

Name: Jeanette Hoffman

Department: School of Education

Funding received: Robert and Patty Hendrickson Faculty Development Fund

What the funding means to them: The teacher education faculty are grateful for the Hendrickson family’s support of our professional learning community: “Incorporating Social, Emotional and Cultural Competencies in Teacher Education.” The teacher education faculty is engaged in collective inquiry and action research with a goal of incorporating SEC competencies in teacher education coursework. The funding received is supporting a faculty wide book study and a consultant who will help the faculty recognize conditions for failure and to establish paths toward success in incorporating social, emotional and cultural competencies throughout the professional education courses.

As teacher educators, we have identified social, emotional and cultural competencies as content that is lacking in our professional education courses. In order to help our teacher candidates be effective in their own classrooms, our curriculum needs to include content in social, emotional and cultural competencies and experiences to assist them in developing these competencies. If teachers are not aware of their own social and emotional development and are not taught effective instructional practices for SEC, they are less likely to assist students to thrive in school, careers and life. The PLCs and the consultant provide us with an opportunity to increase our own knowledge and understanding of social, emotional and cultural competencies so that we can effectively incorporate SEC competencies into our courses.

Research shows that educators who are effective understand how students learn and develop and have the social, emotional and cultural competencies necessary to succeed. This funding has given our faculty an opportunity to become more effective educators of our teacher candidates. When we as teacher educators become more adept in our knowledge and skills in SEC competencies, our teacher candidates will also become more knowledgeable and adept in those competencies.

The teacher education faculty is thankful for the funding to support this very important work that will reach beyond our classrooms and into the classrooms of our teacher candidates.

Dr. Jim Deal, Interim Dean


Dr. Jill Nelson, Interim Dean


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