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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Much To Be Thankful For
Champions of Character
VCSU Art Faculty Exhibition Open
This Week's Brown Bag: Lose the Lectures???
Century Club Hosts Wild Game Feed
Portraits of Distinguished Alumni on Display
Instructional Design Tip of the Week: Online Office Hours
Building a Better VCSU!
Energy Conservation: Facts of the Week
Winter Safety and Tips
Viking Athletic Update
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ..
January Birthdays

Much To Be Thankful For

Much To Be Thankful For
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

This article appeared in the Valley City Times Record the week of December 27, 2010.

As the Holiday Season winds to a close and celebrations surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays come to an end, our attention begins shifting to a New Year in 2011. As we anticipate another year turning over on our calendars, there is much to consider (beyond just remembering to write 2011 on checks!), and much to be thankful for.

We are fortunate to live during such an exciting time in history. With new research, technological breakthroughs, medical advancements, and new boundaries of discoveries being pursued, it is indeed an amazing time to be on our planet. No doubt, there are many challenges around us, but we are also aware of the tremendous opportunities, possibilities, and resources we have been blessed with. Our country faces some significant challenges of financial, geo-political, global conflict, and other concerns, but we also know that our nation has faced many equally and far more serious challenges during the past 230+ years and has always risen to the task. I have no doubt that our society, and the future generations that will come after us, will likewise rise to meet and resolve our current challenges.

We are also thankful to live in a region as wonderful as North Dakota. Beyond the economic successes our state has recently enjoyed with surging per capita income, extremely low unemployment, and rapidly expanding new industries, we are also fortunate to live in a state and region with clean air, open spaces, low crime rates, well-educated citizens, an abundance of opportunities, and where neighbors look out for one another. I am so proud of my roots as a native North Dakotan, and have no hesitation in stating that we live in the greatest state in the Union. We can all be thankful for our state and the wonderful residents who call it home.
Personally, I am grateful to work in a University System with outstanding leadership. From the dedicated members of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education to the Chancellor and those who work in the System Office, I feel fortunate to be surrounded by such leadership. Everyone in our state's public higher education arena is committed to ensuring the best for the students served by the North Dakota University System. Education is a fundamental ingredient to the long-term sustained success of our state, and these devoted leaders are moving our System forward with great momentum.

Of course, it is also a privilege to work in a campus setting surrounded by such hard-working and dedicated faculty and staff. The people who comprise Valley City State University are here for one overriding reason: to help our students succeed. It is great to be at a university that is surging forward on a mission of continuing the 120+ year history that VCSU has in educating the future leaders of tomorrow. It is this singular mission that pulls the University together and keeps us moving ahead. We are surrounded on campus by enthusiastic students who are here to learn new skills, broaden their horizons, make new discoveries, and grow in their personal development.

Yes, there are certainly obstacles and challenges in front of and all around us. However, in pausing for a few minutes to consider and reflect upon our good fortunes, it is clear that as we head toward 2011 there is so much to be thankful for. All the best for a Happy New Year!

Champions of Character

by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

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

Valley City State University was once again named this year as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Five Star Champions of Character institution. This designation is awarded by the NAIA to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of student-athletes. The Five Star designation also recognizes those academic programs that emphasize the NAIA's five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership. Beyond simply the wins and losses that are earned through athletic competition, the purpose of the Champions of Character program is to recognize the conduct of these student-athletes outside of the competitive arena.

Each year, NAIA colleges and universities complete a "Scorecard" to evaluate the success of their student-athletes based on the following categories: character training; conduct in competition; academic focus; character recognition; and character promotion. These scores recognize such attributes as sportsmanship, community outreach activities, overall grade point averages, and other related activities that highlight the core values and character-driven focus of the NAIA.

VCSU student-athletes maintain an active schedule with practices, games, workouts, training, and other commitments dedicated to their team and individual successes, and so it is worth recognizing the responsibility these students also have with their academics as well as various community volunteering efforts. These students truly wear "many hats," and represent some of the very best and brightest young men and women at Valley City State. The coaching staffs at VCSU play a key role in setting priorities and expectations with the members of their respective teams, and, therefore, share in the important recognition that this special Five Star Champions of Character designation signifies.

Throughout the Valley City community, VCSU student-athletes participate in such activities as going door-to-door to solicit contributions for the annual United Way Campaign, serving as mentors for elementary students, assisting with the Ruckus at the Rec event, volunteering with reading activities for local elementary students, and bell-ringing for the Salvation Army. All of these activities are the kinds of outreach events that make our community such a special place to call home, and it is heartening to know VCSU student-athletes assist with these efforts.

Finally, I would be remiss not to mention past flood-fighting and sand-bagging efforts. As we continue to watch the snow fall this winter, spring flooding is on many people's minds. In reflecting back to March and April 2009, there were many, many VCSU students who participated in efforts to fight back the floodwaters and historic river levels. Certainly, students from across the campus were involved in those efforts, but student-athletes in particular did much of the 'heavy lifting' (literally!). They truly made a huge difference in Valley City's successful flood fight.

I hope you are able to make it out to a VCSU athletic game or competition sometime in the near future, and when you do – please keep in mind all of the many activities these student-athletes are involved in across campus and throughout the community. Go Vikings!

VCSU Art Faculty Exhibition Open

VCSU Art Faculty Exhibition Open
The 2011 Art Faculty Exhibition is now installed in the VCSU Art Gallery. The exhibition includes clay sculptures and mixed media works by Armando Ramos, digital photographs by Alice Beauchman (example at right), and mezzotints by Linda Whitney.

The Art Faculty will present their work in a public lecture February 7, 7:00 - 8:00 pm in McCarthy 356. An Artists' Reception will be held in the Gallery February 10, 7:00 - 8:30.

The Exhibition runs through February 11.

This Week's Brown Bag: Lose the Lectures???

Have lectures become passé? Do students learn well in lecture formats? Are there other formats classes can take to enhance learning?

This week's Brown Bag session focuses on The Lecture, including the history behind it, various ways to create lectures and keeping students attentions both f2f and online, inverted classes (where the lectures are homework) and other methods of getting material to students besides lecturing.

When? Wednesday , January 12, Noon-12:50 pm
Where: Student Center Norway and Presidents Room

Purchase a boxed lunch for just $5! Please RSVP to Shannon Van Horn by 8:00 am Wednesday.

Century Club Hosts Wild Game Feed

The Century Club will host its 1st annual Wild Game Feed at the VFW on Wednesday, January 26. Tickets are available at the Fieldhouse or through Century Club Board members for $10. The social starts at 5:00 pm, and the all you can eat meal starts at about 6pm. For more information you can contact Deb at 845-7161.

Portraits of Distinguished Alumni on Display

During the winter break the Foundation office and Facilities Services staff members Ray Nelson and Steve Olson began work to display portraits of recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award. The award was adopted to recognize alumni who have achieved prominence in their chosen field of endeavor. They must have received national or international recognition and must have been identified as an expert in their chosen field to receive this award.

Stop by second floor McFarland hall across from the Foundation office to see the display. This is a great way for us to highlight our distinguished alumni and give visitors to campus a chance to see who our Distinguished Alumni are.

The project should be complete in the next two weeks. If you know an alum who meets the award criteria please contact Kim Hesch for nomination information.

Instructional Design Tip of the Week: Online Office Hours

Are you teaching a course online this semester? Do you have online office hours? If not, consider including them.

As you create these online office hours, think about your audience. Who are the students in this online course? Are they parents? Do they have a job? When would they most likely be online? Your online hours may need to be one or two evenings a week.

How will students reach you? Please consider a messaging system, such as Pronto, which is already built into the Blackboard system. Social presence and verbal immediacy are two important components in online course satisfaction for both students and faculty members. Messaging systems provide this synchronous communication between the student and faculty.

Building a Better VCSU!

As you are all aware, Facilities Services staff is always busy working on projects to make VCSU a better place for our students and staff. Here are the projects that are taking place on campus now and projects that have recently been completed:

Renovation of Snoeyenbos Hall (complete interior renovation)

Various projects at Foss Hall including:
- Office remodeling (new carpet, paint, sound-proofing)
- Office/Classroom Rearrangement
- Balcony in the band room

Remodel of 4th Floor McFarland including:
- Office remodeling (new office complex, carpet, paint)
- Classroom 424 remodeling

Osmon Fieldhouse including:
- Office remodeling (new office complex, carpet, paint)
- Racquetball court conversion (two new classrooms)

Vangstad projects including:
- Fire escape
- Auditorium lighting upgrade
- Balcony stabilization

Turf project (Lokken Field)

For descriptions, pictures and updates of these projects check out the new VCSU Projects

Energy Conservation: Facts of the Week

- Enough aluminum is thrown away to rebuild our commercial air fleet four times every year.

- Recycling of one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
- Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year.

- Every year, enough paper is thrown away to make a 12-foot wall from New York to California.
- Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.

- Plastic milk containers are now only half the weight that they were in 1960.
-We use enough plastic wrap to wrap all of Texas every year.

For more facts and information, visit: EARTH911 .

Winter Safety and Tips:

Snowplows are out and about in full force to make sure the roads are clear of snow and safe for other drivers. Remember these tips while driving this winter:

- Yield to snowplows; they travel slower than posted speeds.
- Give snowplow drivers plenty of room to do their jobs.
- NEVER drive into a snow cloud.
- Slow down and never use cruise control on wet or icy roads.
- Be aware of your surroundings. A snowplow weighs 17 times more that a car, in an accident the occupants of a car are more likely to be seriously injured.
- Have patience and follow snowplows at a safe distance. Allow at least five car lengths between your vehicle and a snowplow.

(Facts and Information taken from: THIS SITE )

Viking Athletic Update

Viking Athletic Update
* The Viking Men's basketball team earned a split at the Westmont Tournament in Santa Barbara, CA, December 29-30. They were defeated by a strong University of British Columbia team by a score of 75-65. They then defeated Bethany Lutheran College by a score of 80-69.

The Viking Men also dropped a pair January 7 and 8 as they were beaten by #6 Black Hills State 80-68 and then by South Dakota School of Mines by a score of 69-47. The men currently stand at 7-11 on the year and 1-3 in the DAC conference play.

* The Viking Women continued on a roll as they swept their three games in Fullerton, CA, December 28-30 with wins over Holy Names international 79-55, Pacific Union College 69-34 and Hope International 70-65.

The Viking Women dropped a pair of contest January 7 and 8. They were defeated by #7 Black Hills State on Friday night by a score of 77-70. On Saturday, the women were beaten by South Dakota School of Mines by a score of 64-48. The Viking women currently stand at 12-6 overall and 2-2 in DAC conference play.

Upcoming Games:
@ Jamestown College this Thursday, January 13. The Viking Women play @ 5:30 pm and the Men @ 7:30 pm.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, January 10

VCSU Art Faculty Exhibition, VCSU Art Gallery (McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor)
Spring Semester Evening Classes Begin at 4:00 pm
5:30–6:30 pm ON THE MOVE Event, Coaching for Lifestyle Change, Health Education Center at Mercy Hospital

Tuesday, January 11

Spring Semester Classes Begin
Barnes County Girls Basketball Tournament, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile & Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym

Wednesday, January 12

9:00 am ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 Mile, Hi-Liner Activity Center
12:00 pm Brown Bag Session, Presidents/Norway Rooms
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activity Center

Thursday, January 13

5:30 pm Viking Women's Basketball @ Jamestown College
7:30 pm Viking Men's Basketball @ Jamestown College
7:00 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Intro to Fitness Center, Valley City Fitness Center

Friday, January 14

Pay Day
Barnes County Girls Basketball Tournament, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Open Door Center
7:00 pm VC High School Wrestling vs Red River, VCHS

Saturday, January 15

9:00-11:00 am District 24 Legislative Forum, Valley City Eagles
10:00 am ON THE MOVE Activity, Cross Country Skiing, Chautauqua Park
Barnes County Girls Basketball Tournament, W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse

Sunday, January 16

Monday, January 17

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday
No Classes, Offices Closed
5:30 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Strength Training for Weight Loss, Health Education Center