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Five faculty to receive honors at Celebration of Faculty Excellence

Hinsz

Knudson

Kaler

Snyder

Cook

Five NDSU faculty members have been selected to receive special recognition. Greg Cook, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry,
will receive the Odney Award; Verlin Hinsz, professor of psychology, will be recognized with the Waldron Award; Dean Knudson, associate professor of computer science, will be acknowledged with the Peltier Award; Nancy Kaler, senior lecturer in human development and family science, will receive the Service-Learning Award; and Herbert Snyder, associate professor of accounting and information systems, will receive the Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Faculty Service Award.

The recipients will be recognized during the 14th annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence scheduled for April 28, at 3 p.m. in the NDSU Alumni Center. The NDSU Development Foundation sponsors the awards.

“This year we had a large number of excellent nominees,” said Craig Schnell, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Final decisions were difficult, so we are very proud of this group of outstanding awardees. Many of those nominated will be future awardees.”

Cook will receive the honor established by the family of the late Robert Odney to recognize outstanding faculty teaching. Cook earned his bachelor’s degree at Olivet College and master’s degree and doctorate at Michigan State University. He was a National Institutes of Health fellow at Stanford University. Cook joined NDSU in 1996 and has taught more than 3,200 students while on campus.

“He is an excellent teacher, cares about his students and is very personable,” wrote Felicia Lamb, a senior majoring in nursing, in a letter of nomination. “Dr. Cook is the type of professor that every university envies, and it has been a privilege to have him as my chemistry instructor.”

Department of Psychology colleagues Paul Rokke, Mark McCourt and James Council nominated Hinsz for the Waldron Research Award. They noted Hinsz’s research focuses on social and informational factors that facilitate and hinder motivation, decision-making and performance.

“Dr. Hinsz has boundless energy and his productivity seems to climb every year,” they wrote in a letter of nomination. “The recent years of output have been particularly impressive (seven publications in 2009, eight in 2010 and several currently in press). Dr. Hinsz has produced a model of the sustained, well-funded and productive research program.”

Hinsz earned his bachelor’s degree at NDSU, and master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He joined the NDSU faculty in 1983. His vita includes more than 182 national and international professional presentations.

Brian Slator, professor and department head of computer science, nominated Knudson for the Peltier Award for Teaching Innovation. Slator said Knudson has transformed the computer science capstone experience into a course integrating theory and industry methods in conjunction with regional businesses. 

“Over the years, this course has been refined and expanded, following industry initiatives, and providing students with authentic ‘learn-by-doing’ experiences using modern tools and methods borrowed from the regional companies that sponsor the projects,” Slator wrote. “Students do real projects for real companies, drawing on their NDSU course work and training in order to effectively learn company methods and tools.”

Knudson earned his bachelor’s degree at Concordia College, master’s degree at Bowling Green State University and doctorate at Northwestern University. He joined the NDSU faculty in 2004, after a career with companies such as Microsoft Business Solutions, Fargo; Northrop Grumman Corp., Rolling Meadows, Ill.; and Honeywell Inc., Minneapolis.

Margaret Fitzgerald, professor of human development and family sciences, nominated Kaler for the Service-Learning Award, a new award that recognizes instructors who incorporate real-world community projects into their courses. In her nomination letter, Fitzgerald highlights Kaler’s approximately 13 years of cultivating relationships with partner organizations, while arranging and supervising field experience placements for the department. She notes Kaler has worked with approximately 75 agencies in the Fargo-Moorhead area, as well as South Dakota, Texas, Illinois and Washington, D.C. “Nancy has worked very hard to ensure that HDFS Field Experience incorporates the benefits and objectives of service-learning. It is organized to meet community needs, is integrated into the academic curriculum, provides the students with opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in ‘real-life’ settings and fosters the development of social responsibility,” Fitzgerald wrote.

Kaler earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, in 1979 and 1981, respectively. She has held various administrative and teaching positions at NDSU since 1987. 

“Dr. Snyder is one of the pre-eminent fraud educators in the United States,” wrote William Bowlin, professor and head of accounting, finance and information systems, and James Clifton, assistant professor of accounting practice, in a letter of nomination. “Herbert Snyder embodies the best aspects of what a faculty member at NDSU should be. He excels in the classroom, service to student learning and scholarly work.”

“Professor Snyder’s service and vast financial expertise played an important role in planning and diligence for helping ensure the Fargo Public Libraries were built right, on time and on budget,” wrote Fargo city commissioner Mike Williams. “In my opinion,
he is very deserving of this prestigious award.”

Snyder earned his bachelor’s degree at Babson College and his doctorate in information transfer from Syracuse University.


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