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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 2)
Hoff Joins Earth Expeditions Mongolia
Siglo de Oro Drama Festival
VCSU DECA Students Compete Nationally
IT Faculty and Staff Present at ND IT Symposium
This Month At VCSU & In Valley City ...
May & June Birthdays

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 2)

VCSU Top 10 List (Vol. 2)
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record this week.

As this academic year comes to a close, I want to again continue with a tradition begun last year in compiling a Top 10 List. This List is a reflection of activities and accomplishments successfully achieved at Valley City State during the past year. There have been a number of wonderful successes throughout the campus, and these are the result of much hard work by many dedicated individuals across campus. Some of these items you may be well aware, and some others might be less well-known. Here is the second annual 'VCSU Top 10 List of Outstanding Accomplishments' (in no particular order):

1) The Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 Enrollment figures for VCSU were both the largest numbers they have been in a number of years. In Fall 2009 VCSU enrolled 1,083 students (a 6.3 percent increase over last year, and the largest figure in nine years); and in Spring 2010 VCSU enrolled 1,034 students (a 7.8% increase over last Spring and the largest Spring enrollment in two decades). These figures are exciting, and are made even more inspiring considering the flood-altered Spring Semester from which we were emerging heading into this academic year.

2) VCSU was awarded a $750,000 congressionally-directed grant to continue and expand upon our efforts focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education. This grant will allow VCSU to increase STEM Education and training for K-12 teachers, and comes on the heels of last year's $381,000 grant for our STEM efforts.

3) In December, it was announced that VCSU has been selected to participate in a major teacher-education grant being supported by the Bush Foundation of St. Paul, MN. During the next ten years of this grant, VCSU will partner with NDSU and Minnesota State Moorhead in a $5.65 million consortium to improve teacher training and further strengthen teacher education in our region. The Bush grant encompasses a number of universities from the tri-state area, and VCSU and NDSU were the only two North Dakota universities selected to participate.

4) VCSU was awarded funding through the North Dakota Department of Health to establish the Prairie Waters Education and Research Center (PWERC). The PWERC will be housed at the Kathryn School in Kathryn, ND and will formally open in Summer 2010. This five-year, $732,000 grant will help establish the PWERC and allow the Center to serve as a statewide resource for water education, research, and management.

5) This past weekend, VCSU held its 118th Commencement Exercises with a graduating class of 153 undergraduate and 39 graduate students. This was VCSU's largest class ever of Master's students (surpassing the record of graduating Master's students set last year by nearly 70 percent). We wish all of the members of the VCSU 2010 Graduating Class the very best in the next steps of their academic and professional careers.

We are only half-way finished. Unfortunately, much like last year's column, due to space constraints it will be a two-part series. This is of course a nice problem to have since there are so many wonderful happenings at VCSU! Check the next column for five more additions to the Top Ten list.

Hoff Joins Earth Expeditions Mongolia

Hoff Joins Earth Expeditions Mongolia
Don Hoff, Associate Professor of Science, at Valley City State University was recently selected to be a member of Earth Expeditions Mongolia. He will travel to Mongolia, the "Land of Blue Sky" in June, 2010, for research and study. Mongolia was birthplace of the Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire in human history. Mongolia is now a vibrant democracy and home to an open wilderness that has few parallels in the modern world.

Research in Mongolia will involve study of Przewalski's horse, also called takhi, considered to be the only true wild horse left in the world. A reintroduction project based in Mongolia has returned this remarkable species to its former homeland after being driven to extinction in the wild. Also studied will be the Pallas cat, an important steppe predator whose conservation provides insights into the challenges facing the survival of small wild cats worldwide.

Earth Expeditions is a global conservation and education program supporting university courses, graduate research, and collaborative projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Earth Expeditions, the Cincinnati Zoo, and Miami (Ohio) University are part of long-term partnerships with conservation efforts worldwide.
Hoff Joins Earth Expeditions Mongolia

Siglo de Oro Drama Festival

Siglo de Oro Drama Festival
On March 3 and 4, VCSU Theater Director Jenni Lou Russi and Spanish instructor Dina Zavala-Petherbridge, attended Golden Age Drama Festival in El Paso, Texas.

For over thirty years, Chamizal National Memorial Park has hosted international groups in their professional theatre operated by the National Park Service. Groups from Spanish-speaking countries from around the world have performed works from the Spanish Golden Age of Drama at the park.

Zavala-Petherbridge and Russi attended "Entre Clásicos Anda el Juego," a Compilation of Works, performed by Escuela Superior de arte Dramático from Murcia, Spain and "Casa con dos Puertas, Mala es de Guardar," a play by Pedro Calderón, and performed by Perro teatro from Mexico City, Mexico. Performances and post-show discussions were in Spanish.

The festival featured a display of period costumes, crafted with historic accuracy. Costumes were very important during the Golden Age of Drama. Colors, designs, and patterns defined characters for the audience.

The purpose of this trip was to discover new ideas for cross-curricular activities in which VCSU Theater and Spanish departments can collaborate. Zavala-Petherbridge and Russi hope to offer VCSU students the opportunity to attend this festival so they can immerse themselves in the Hispanic culture without leaving the country, better understand border issues along the U.S. border with Mexico, use their Spanish language skills, experience Theatre history by watching international productions of works from The Golden Age of Drama, and appreciate theatrical design elements by artists from around the world.

VCSU DECA Students Compete Nationally

VCSU DECA Students Compete Nationally
In April, four students from VCSU DECA competed at the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Louisville, KY.

Sabrina Heywood, Elise Murphy, Richard Wright, and Cy Kirsch qualified for the competition at the State Career Development Conference in Fargo in February. Sabrina and Elise competed as a team in the Business Ethics event, qualifying for finals which placed them in the top 12 out of about 50 teams. Richard competed in Restaurant and Food Service Management, and Cy competed in Retail Management. Another VCSU student, Titus Stenberg, participated as a judge in the Sports Entertainment and Marketing event. The students were accompanied by VCSU DECA advisor, Kristin Slyter, who had the opportunity to attend professional development workshops as a part of the conference.

While in Louisville, in addition to conference activities, the VCSU group took in "Thunder Over Louisville," a festival that precedes the Kentucky Derby. They also toured the Louisville Slugger Factory and purchased a couple personalized bats to raffle off as fund-raisers. The group also attended a AAA baseball game of the Louisville Bats. VCSU DECA would like to thank the campus and community for your support as we have raised funds to compete at these conferences. Next year, we will be seeking to compete at ICDC in Orlando, FL.

Pictured are Cy Kirsch, Titus Stenberg, Sabrina Heywood, Elise Murphy, Kristin Slyter, Richard Wright. The picture is taken in front of the Louisville Slugger Factory

IT Faculty and Staff Present at ND IT Symposium

VCSU faculty and staff had a great showing at the 2nd Annual North Dakota IT Symposium. The event was co-sponsored by the Fargo CIO Exchange and the Information Technology Council of North Dakota (ITCND). The North Dakota IT Symposium is recognized as the leading event in the state for IT leaders. The IT Symposium is a by invitation only event. There were about 100 IT professionals in attendance.

VCSU has been a member of ITCND since 2000. ITCND was founded in 2000 by North Dakota business, government and education leaders who recognized the need to strengthen the state's information technology infrastructure and position itself as a national leader in IT.

The goal of the Symposium is to create an environment conducive to peer networking amongst IT Executives, their respective management teams and selected vendors. This is achieved through providing peer-driven content addressing the relevant topics of today's IT leaders. The ability to receive information on opportunities and challenges facing all of us and capture actionable information from peers that you can apply to your own challenges.

Joe Tykwinski and CJ Kotta delivered a presentation entitled "IP Telephony and Unified Communications: Tell and Show" which described VCSU's partnership with Cisco Systems and Corporate Technologies of Fargo to become the first university we know of in the world to provide every user with unified communication capabilities.

Dr. Kerry Gregoryk and Susan Pfeifer delivered a presentation entitled "Are We Producing the Best-Fitting IT Employee for You?" which informed participants what VCSU is currently doing to make IT exciting again draw in your potential new IT employees. Participants also could provide input on ways VCSU can further address employer needs for highly-qualified IT workers with strong professional skills.

This Month At VCSU & In Valley City ...

Monday, May 17

First 3 Week Summer School Session Begins
7:00 pm Public Forum to discuss proposed 1/2 cent sales tax, Hi-Liner Activities Center

Tuesday, May 18

Spring Semester Grades Due
12:00 noon Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking & Internet/Facebook Safety, Hi-Liner Activities Center

Wednesday, May 19

8:30 am -3:30 pm Chalk it up for Spring, Central Avenue

Thursday, May 20

7:30 pm Barnes County Historical Society Lecture Series featuring Joe Stickler, Medicine Wheel Park

Friday, May 21

Saturday, May 22

Sunday, May 23

Monday, May 24

Eight Week Graduate Summer Session Begins

Tuesday, May 25

Wednesday, May 26

Thursday, May 27

Friday, May 28

Saturday, May 29

Sunday, May 30

Monday, May 31

Tuesday, June 1

STEM Workshops Begin (Various two day workshops throughout the summer - Go to>Summer 2010 Schedule for details)

Wednesday, June 2

Thursday, June 3

State Firemen's Convention Begins in Valley City

Friday, June 4

Saturday, June 5

10:00 am Fort Ransom State Park Hike & Canoeing Trip (visit for more information)

Sunday, June 6