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Finalists chosen to present Phi Kappa Phi lecture

Photo of Stephenson Beck

Stephenson Beck

Photo of Thomas DeSutter

Thomas DeSutter

Photo of Mark Meister

Mark Meister

Three outstanding NDSU faculty members have been selected as finalists to present the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lectureship. The lecture is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Plains room.

The finalists include:

• Stephenson Beck, associate professor and department chair of communication

• Thomas DeSutter, professor of soil science

• Mark Meister, professor of communication

Stephenson Beck

Beck’s research concentrates on the areas of social support groups and government meetings. “This is a very special award because it focuses on reaching out to the community through research, emphasizing the alignment faculty have with the land-grant mission of the university,” Beck wrote in a nomination letter. “I feel this is a good match for me simply because I have always taken a very applied approach to my research. Over the past several years, my research has directly benefited local community organizations, which I feel is a culmination of my applied research efforts.”

Beck joined the NDSU faculty in 2008. He earned his doctorate in communication studies at the University of Kansas.

Beck’s honors include the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 2015 Outstanding Educator Award and 2014 Outstanding Teacher Award. He also received the 2010 and 2014 Stanley L. Saxton Applied Research Award, as well as the 2011 Distinguished Award for a Special Journal Issue from the National Communication Association’s Applied Communication Division.

Thomas DeSutter

DeSutter’s research interests are environmental soil science, soil reclamation after energy development, feasibility of coal by-products for agricultural uses, drainage and sub-irrigation impacts on soil quality, soil salinity, and phosphorus concentration and distribution in wetland soils.

“Dr. Desutter is passionate about all aspects of soil science as demonstrated by how he has applied his scientific skills and his profound impact on the lives of others,” said nominator Frank Casey, director of the NDSU School of Natural Resource Science. “Dr. Desutter has been involved in very high-profile projects that include remediating the largest land oil spill in the United States and helping poor communities adopt modern production practices in arguably the most ambitious agricultural project in Africa.”

DeSutter joined NDSU in 2006. He earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in plant science from South Dakota State University, and his doctorate in agronomy at Kansas State University.

His honors include the 2015 Teaching Award of Merit from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, the 2012 NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources Larson/Yaggie Excellence in Research Award and the 2010 Citation for Excellence in Manuscript Review from the Soil Science Society of America.

Mark Meister

Meister’s research interest focuses on environmental communication, including the concept of moral character as a requirement for leadership. “He has a long and impressive record of presentations and service to the university and community,” said Ross Collins, professor of communication, who nominated Meister. “Certainly his 22 public presentations reflect his ability to communicate his research to an audience beyond his discipline, and his enthusiasm for the fascinating topics he considers in communication apply to not only his discipline but to everyone.”

Meister joined the NDSU faculty in 1997. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Carroll College, Helena, Montana; master’s degree in speech communication from NDSU; and doctorate in communication studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

His honors include a Scholar of the Year Award, Emerging Scholar Award, Remele Memorial Fellowship, Gehrts Endowed Professorship Award, three Apple Polisher Awards, NDSU Faculty Institute for Excellence in Teaching Award and 16 top paper awards. Meister was Department of Communication chair from 2011-2017 and University Senate president in 2009-2010.

The lectureship was established in 2015 by NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani to recognize faculty whose outstanding, high impact research, scholarship or creative activity consistently supports NDSU’s top-tier research status, and who can effectively present their research to a broad community in the land-grant tradition.

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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