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Faculty Accolades


Jenny Bangsund, assistant professor of English
Presentation: presented a paper entitled “Illness and Intersection in the Work of Flannery O’Connor” at the Mideast Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature in Grove City, Pa., March 11-13. Students Taya Sandro (’11) and Kiera Frey (’10) also presented papers at the conference.


Kimlyn Bender, associate professor of theology and philosophy
Lecture: presented a lecture entitled “Karl Barth and the Question of Atheism” at the Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on Oct. 9, 2009.

Article: Published an article entitled “Whither Reformed Theology: The Trajectory of a Protestant Tradition – A Review Essay” in Perspectives in Religious Studies 36 (2009): 341-356.


Marian Casey, string instructor
Commissioned works: recent musical compositions include commissions for special events at USF and First Lutheran Church in Minot, N.D.

Training: completed training in August 2009 to become a certified cello instructor in the Suzuki method by studying cello pedagogy at Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute in Waterloo, Ontario.

Orchestra Performances: performs as associate principal bass in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Dakota Chamber Orchestra during the school year and as cello faculty at the International Music Camp each summer.


Kevin Cole, associate professor of English
Published Works: four poems published in Poetry East (Chicago) in the spring 2011 edition (Volume 71): “Little Russian Cemetery West of Utica, South Dakota,” “Late Summer Plums at Gitchie Manitou,” “When Snow Turns Blue at Gitchie Manitou” and “Drunk Woman at Falls Park: June 8, 2009, Sioux Falls.” “Field Sparrows at Gitchie Manitou” published in the spring 2010 edition of The Vermillion Literary Project.

Featured Poet: a featured poet at the bi-annual John Milton Literary Conference at the University of South Dakota.

Book Reviews: three book reviews coming out in Choice Magazine: Rev. of Badmen, Bandits and Folk Heroes: The Ambivalence of Mexican American Identity in Literature and Film, by Juan J. Alonzo; Postnationalism in Chicana Literature and Culture, by Ellie D. Hernandez; and Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican American Literature, University of Arizona, 2009.

Three book reviews coming out in Choice Magazine: Américo Paredes: In His Own Words, An Authorized Biography, by Manuel F. Medrano; The Life and Writing of Fray Angélico Chávez: A New Mexico Renaissance Man, by Ellen McCracken; and Border Renaissance: The Texas Centennial and the Emergence of Mexican American Literature, by John Morán.


Ceca Cooper, assistant professor of art
Art Contribution: contributed to Journey Women, an art exhibit of 12 regional female artists. Each artist created a journey woman form, which they traded among themselves each month over the course of a year. The artists added something new to each piece and wrote in the accompanying travel journal. The final pieces were on display at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls.

Art Contribution: submitted entries for an exhibit of South Dakota art faculty work as part of the South Dakota College Art Association annual conference held at Augustana College, Nov. 5-7, 2009.

Presentation: presented at the South Dakota Art Association Conference at Augustana College, Nov. 5-7, 2009. Her topic was The Art of Collaboration: University to university collaboration between English and art students.

Invitation: invited by Ipso Gallery to participate in the arts event of the year: “Save the State in 48.” Invited artists, sponsored by a corporate donor, will create a work of art in 48 hours, with live television cameras recording their work. Proceeds will be given to the continued reconstruction of the historic State Theater in downtown Sioux Falls.


Carol Den Otter, assistant professor of education
Presentation: presented a session entitled: Kids figure it out: A demonstration lesson of math problem solving with kindergartners at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Washington D.C. The presentation included video of kindergarten students and a teacher from Sioux Falls.


Lora Egan, music instructor
Performances: played in the Dakota Wind Ensemble, in Sioux Empire Brass, with the Prairie Song choral group and in the pit orchestra for the Schmeckfest production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat."

Revival: launched a revival of a percussion ensemble for USF (the November concert was the debut).


Brian Han Gregg, assistant professor of biblical studies
Published: “1 Peter” pages 582-95 in The Blackwell Companion to the New Testament.
‘“Why Do You Call Me Good?’: A Markan Riddle.” Pages 68-78 in Scripture and Interpretation.


Mike Grevlos, associate professor of psychology
Presentation: presented the Feb. 22 USF Local Societies Initiative lecture entitled “Psychology and Christian Character.”

Presentation: presented talk entitled “The Mediocre Mindset: How to think your way to a lousy golf game” at the South Dakota Golf Expo.


Michelle Hanson, associate professor of education
Presentation: presented a session entitled: Kids figure it out: A demonstration lesson of math problem solving with kindergartners at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Washington D.C. The presentation included video of kindergarten students and a teacher from Sioux Falls.


Jan Hilderbrand, assistant professor of graphic art design
Art Contribution: submitted entries for an exhibit of South Dakota art faculty work as part of the South Dakota College Art Association annual conference held at Augustana College Nov. 5-7, 2009.


Gretchen Hoffman, assistant professor of psychology
Presentation: presented "Spirituality and the Therapeutic Encounter" at the 51st annual South Dakota Counseling Association Conference on April 24, 2010, in Aberdeen, S.D. The presentation chronicled the historical tensions between psychology and faith, with special emphasis on the identity confusion still faced within the branch of psychotherapy as it desires to detach itself from its philosophical roots and establish it as a science.


Beth Jernberg, professor of education
Higher Learning Commission: chaired a Higher Learning Commission visit in Missouri on Nov. 16-18, 2009.

Presentation: presented at the 10th Annual Systems Change Conference held Nov. 4-6, 2009, in Sioux Falls. The event was part of the Midwest Alliance for Professional Learning and Leadership. The presentation was entitled: Benefits of a Collaborative Master's Degree Program.


Joy Lind, assistant professor of mathematics
Paper: co-authored an article entitled "Real-World Graph Connectivity" that was published in Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications: International Journal of the IMA in August 2009

Presentation: presented at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in September 2009 to mathematics faculty and undergraduate students on “The Value of Math in the ‘Real World’: An Applied Mathematician’s Perspective.”

Conference: attended the Leadership Summit at Central Baptist Church in August 2009.

Section Meeting: attended the North Central section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. on April 23 and 24, 2010. Jason Douma and Shawn Chiappetta also attended.


Rachelle Loven, professor of education
Presentation: presented a session entitled: Kids figure it out: A demonstration lesson of math problem solving with kindergartners at the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Washington D.C. The presentation included video of kindergarten students and a teacher from Sioux Falls.

Presentation: presented at the 10th Annual Systems Change Conference held Nov. 4-6, 2009, in Sioux Falls. The event was part of the Midwest Alliance for Professional Learning and Leadership. The presentation was entitled: Benefits of a Collaborative Master's Degree Program.


George Mwangi, assistant professor of chemistry
Appointment: appointed to the executive council of the South Dakota Academy of Science on April 3, 2010, as a member-at-large.


Nathan Nassif, associate professor of communication studies
Seminar Presentation: presented “Negotiation and Conflict Management” for the Real Estate Association of South Dakota.

Presentation and Workshop: presented “Leadership Dynamics” for the South Dakota Association of Construction Managers.


Jonathan Niederhiser, assistant professor and director of instrumental music
Performance: played fourth horn on the March 20 and 21 concerts of the South Dakota Symphony.

Board Member: has been named vice-president of the Sioux Empire Arts Council Board of Directors.


Randy Nelson, assistant professor of education
Pastor: served as pastor – reading scripture and delivering the sermon in German – at a service at First Lutheran Church, Sunday, Dec. 13.


Nancy Olive, associate professor of art
Board Member: became a board member of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in August 2009.

Art Contribution: submitted entries for an exhibit of South Dakota art faculty work as part of the South Dakota College Art Association annual conference held at Augustana College Nov. 5-7, 2009.

Art Contribution: submitted an entry in fall 2009 for the P3 Exhibit at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science.


Beth O’Toole, associate professor of social science and criminal justice
Presentation: wrote an abstract accepted for the Academy of Criminal Justice Science annual meeting in San Diego in February 2010. She and Jess Thomas (’10) gave a roundtable presentation entitled, “Building Community through Service: Lessons Learned from an Integrated School-based Mentoring Program.”


Keith Perkins, associate professor of biology
Research: in fall 2009 finished a multiyear field investigation and report for The National Park Service entitled “Response of Unionid Mussels to Changes in Discharge in the Missouri National Recreational River from Gavins Point Dam to Ponca, Neb.”

Service: serves as the vice president and a founding member of the board of directors for the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum Society located on Sioux Falls’ east side.


Dennis Roark, associate professor of computer science & math
Series: arranged for and hosted the principal guest speaker Dr. Paul Vitz for the series Conversations in Theology and Science. Dr. Vitz is professor emeritus at New York University and the author of many books and articles on the relationship of psychology and religion.

Nicholle Schuelke, assistant professor of English
Dissertation: defended dissertation entitled “Teacher Identity: A Shifting Work in Progress for Student Teachers” on April 2, 2009, in partial fulfillment of her earned Doctorate in Education from Hamline University. Her doctoral course of study was focused in literacy education.

Presentation: presented “Student Teacher Identity: Voice in Becoming a Teacher” at the College English Association National Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in March 2010.


Willie Suarez, assistant professor of Spanish
Paper: presented a paper entitled, “Television Espanola as a Hook in the Spanish Classroom,” at the 2009 South Dakota World Language Association conference held at USF in October 2009. Teachers from area high schools and universities attended.

Paper: presented a research paper entitled: “The Black Death and communities in persecution in the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile,” during the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature held at the University of Kansas in November 2009.

Presentation: presented a research paper titled: La transitoriedad del pretende ser lo que se quiere ser y no se es en Don Catrín de la Fachenda or “Pretending to be who you cannot be in Don Catrin de la Fachenda: the passing process” at the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference at the University of Kentucky April 15-17, 2010, and at the 63rd Annual World Language Conference at the University of Kentucky on April 17, 2010.

Radio program: participated in “Dakota Midday,” a radio program broadcast by South Dakota Public Radio, on May 5, 2010, to discuss the importance of the Fiesta del 5 de Mayo in México and the United States.


Willie Suárez and Diane VanDenOever, assistant professors of Spanish
Service: along with 17 students from the Spanish department, volunteered to help set up for the Cinco de Mayo festival in Falls Park. The anual event benefits the Presentation Sisters and their ministries with Hispanic people in Sioux Falls.

Esther Tschetter, business instructor
Jeff Tschetter, associate professor of business administration
Paper: presented “Operationalizing Tacit Knowledge” at the National Business and Economics Society Annual Conference in March 2010. Last year they presented “Tacit Knowledge: A Field Study,” which has now been accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Business and Economics.


Diane Van Den Oever, assistant professor of Spanish
ETS Spanish Praxis: participated on an ETS Spanish Praxis standard-setting panel in Princeton, N.J. Twenty-one teachers and university faculty from around the country who work with student teachers worked to set the recommended cut-off score for the new version of the Spanish teacher certification exam.

South Dakota World Languages Association: elected president of the South Dakota World Languages Association at the group’s October 2009 meeting.


Liz Venenga, adjunct faculty (Rapid City program)
Presentation: presented at the 10th Annual Systems Change Conference held Nov. 4-6, 2009, in Sioux Falls. The event was part of the Midwest Alliance for Professional Learning and Leadership. The presentation was entitled: Benefits of a Collaborative Master's Degree Program.


Nancy Wilcoxson, assistant professor of music
Service: vice president for the Sounds of South Dakota, Inc., an organization promoting opera and opera singers from South Dakota. The organization is part of the Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation events for summer, hosting Opera in the Park that promotes opera for children.