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On Campus: UND buys three high-tech planes

UND has three new twin-engine airplanes.

Piper Aircraft, which provides training and aircraft for the university's aerospace students, delivered the three Piper Seminole high-tech planes to UND earlier this month.

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Director of Extensions Programs Don Dubuque said the school purchased them after selling one older plane.

"When you look at the panels, instead of round gauges you see big glass panels," he said. "Newer airlines have them. It's just the newest technology for flight."

UND owns a total of 108 airplanes and nine helicopters, Dubuque said.

He said the last two years have been a time of rapid fleet growth. UND already has 17 older Seminole models and beginning next year, the plan is to slowly replace them with the new models.

Dubuque said this process is normal and usually happens about every eight years. The oldest planes the school currently owns are from 2008.

Other news

• A community panel discussion on human rights, religion and freedom of speech and press issues in light of shootings at the Charlie Hedbo magazine and a Jewish market in Paris will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Grand Forks Herald Community Room.

• The University of Minnesota-Crookston is hosting the 40th Annual Ag Arama Jan 30 - 31. More information can be found at

• There will be an African arts festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Empire Arts Center. It is organized by Amoussa Koriko, a Grand Forks-based playwright and student in the UND Department of Educational Foundations and Research and winner of one of this year's UND Civic Engagement Awards.

• Chris Stedman will be discussing his book "Faitheist," which chronicles his own faith journey, at 7 p.m. Monday in the UND Memorial Union Ballroom.

• Gary Schwartz has been named the founding chair of the Department of Population Health at UND's School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Schwartz will be working collaboratively to found the Department of Population Health and to develop the department's programs.

• An interdisciplinary team of UND faculty and administrators has been selected to take part in the National Center for Engineering's (Epicenter) Pathways to Innovation Program. The group, led by Interim Director of the School of Entrepreneurship Tim O'Keefe and Chemical Engineering Department Chairman Brian Tande, will work throughout the course of two years to create plans that will incorporate innovation and entrepreneurship into undergraduate engineering education.

Northland Community and Technical College has received a $250,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Minnesota Crop Research Grant Program to study the use of technology in farming.

• Tara Miller was awarded the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award at the Red River Valley celebration of the holiday last week. Miller works at the Northwestern Mental Health Center in Crookston and is a social worker in the Crookston High School.

Bemidji State University has expanded its nursing completion program to East Grand Forks at Northland Community and Technical College's campus.

• UND's online programs are standing out in affordable colleges rankings, as determined by In its most recent rankings, UND was listed 14th in "Best Online Psychology Degree," 23rd in "Best Colleges Online," and 23rd in "Best Online Communications Degrees."

More info: To see more regional higher education news, visit the websites of UND, University of Minnesota-Crookston, Northland Community and Technical College, Mayville State University and Lake Region State College.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.