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.
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Dan Rylance said he was rather surprised to find a mysterious package shipped to him in 1983 through the Grand Forks International Airport contained the ashes of Chester William Fritz. Rylance, the author of "Ever Westward to the Far East: The Story of Chester Fritz," had fostered a friendship with Fritz years earlier when he interviewed the man who had a profound financial impact on UND—the school he had attended for only two years and from which he had never graduated. "I unwrapped the ashes and said, 'Welcome home,' " Rylance said.
One of the 12 core values at Choice Financial is respect, so the bank is hoping to the community will come out to show that appreciation to area law enforcement officers Monday. Samantha Berg, the bank's director of employee development, said two police squad cars—one in Grand Forks and one in East Grand Forks—will be parked outside Monday along with sticky notes so the public can write thank-you notes to law enforcement officers and stick them to the vehicles.
A lone pair of glittery pink heels sat ignored as students in graduation robes mulled around in the organized chaos of a ballroom in the Alerus Center Saturday. A wallet that lay nearby was almost stepped on by a graduate rushing across the room clutching a Starbucks Frappucino. As the clock neared 1:30 p.m., a final call on the loudspeaker from Assistant Dean of Students Cassie Gerhardt to use the bathroom went largely unheard in the loud din of students excitedly waiting to receive their diplomas at UND's 128th general commencement.
UND is going to invest in several facilities and programs, interim President Ed Schafer announced Friday. In the lower level of UND’s Steam Plant near boilers that are more than 50 years old, Schafer said $21.5 million in cuts made to the university’s budget have resulted in a reshaped funding model that will put about $2 million annually toward repairing the plant.
Michael Jones was presented Thursday with the Energy Champion Award from UND's Energy and Environmental Research Center. Jones is the vice president of research and development for the North Dakota Lignite Energy Council. He began his career in the energy industry at the EERC in 1979, which was called the U.S. Department of Energy Grand Forks Energy Technology Center at the time. The EERC's Energy Champion Award honors those who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to energy and environmental research nationwide.
UND's Joshua Wynne said he is flattered the University of Minnesota wants to build a medical school at its campus in Minneapolis.
Bruce Smith received a standing ovation when he took the stage at his retirement picnic Wednesday. Smith has served as dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences since 2000 and will retire effective June 30. "It hasn't always been smooth, but everybody has truly, truly worked from the bottom of their heart to do everything that was right, and in the end it worked out, and I really appreciate that," he said. "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the dean of the Odegard school for the last 16 years."
Katie Davidson, Hassan Wahab and Bella Hettich have been picked as finalists to serve as director of the UND Office of International Programs. Davidson is the coordinator of International Study Programs at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Wahab most recently was the managing editor of Africa Today at Indiana University and Hettich is the director of the Grand Forks ELS Language Center.
Jeff Vaughan said he thinks there might be a connection between the way West Nile and Zika viruses are transmitted, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) has given him $50,000 to find out. Vaughan, a professor and interim chairman of UND's biology department, plans to study whether a certain kind of parasite called mansonelliasis expedites the rate at which mosquitoes contract Zika and then transmit it to humans.
The UND Writer's Conference was awarded $10,000 to support the event next year and pay for archiving footage from past conferences. This is the fourth National Endowment for the Arts grant the conference has received since 2010, director and UND professor Crystal Alberts said, and fundraising is required each year to hold the conference. "If I can find more money for general operating expenses, as I find more money I'll put more of this grant toward preserving footage," she said.