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This Week's Hotline! includes the following articles:

Thanks to the Students of Valley City!
VCSU Establishes Flood Information Web Page
Off Campus Parking Shuttle Service Available
Get Into the Zone – The VCSU Zone!
Van Horn Attends Conference
Ross & Melgaard Attend ACTE Region V Conference
Ziniel Attends Convention
Walsh Presents at NDSU Graduate Research Event
James Attends Conference
Skophammer Attends OTEEA Spring Conference
STEM Graduates May Be Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness!
Earth Week Activities Postponed
Retirement Hints from HR
This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...
April Birthdays

Thanks to the Students of Valley City!

Thanks to the Students of Valley City!
by Dr. Steve Shirley, Valley City State University President

The following article will appear in the Valley City Times Record the week of April 18, 2011.

For the second time in three years, Valley City and the surrounding region is faced with historically significant Sheyenne River levels and spring flooding conditions. As this community did two years ago, we are again pulling together with one unified effort. Everyone should be proud of the volunteers and leaders who have contributed to these efforts.

The students of Valley City State University have volunteered on many occasions during the past several weeks in assisting with the flood-fighting efforts. All classes were canceled for a day earlier this month providing the entire student body with an opportunity to assist in filling and placing sandbags. On multiple other occasions, VCSU students have volunteered days, evenings, and weekends. Additionally, in several instances, VCSU student-athletes worked together as teams filling sandbags and building levees. All of our athletic teams were involved in these efforts, with tens and tens of thousands of sandbags being filled in just hours. Our coaches, their student-athletes, and all VCSU students who have volunteered are to be commended for their actions in assisting the Valley City community.

These efforts demonstrate the commitment of VCSU's student body to the Valley City community. As a University, we have been in close contact with city officials throughout these flood preparations, and we continue to be responsive to their requests for further assistance and cooperation.

Of course, Valley City's high school students have put in thousands of collective hours toward the flood fight as well. These students have heeded the call day in and day out during much of April. Their tireless efforts have been absolutely outstanding, and they should be admired for these actions.

My hope is that everyone in the community remembers the youth of our region in the weeks and months ahead. Valley City's High School and University students have been instrumental to the overall success of the 2011 Flood Fight. These students together have contributed thousands of volunteer hours without receiving a penny. What have their contributions been worth to the community? I hope everyone remembers the students' contributions (for the second time in three years!). When high school students are raising money for a school trip, a team fundraiser, new equipment, or some other activity, please help them out. When VCSU events are held to raise funds for academic, athletic, and fine arts scholarships, please reach a little deeper in your pockets this year. When a game, concert, play, performance, or some other event is happening at VCSU or VCHS, please make every effort to attend. When you see a student who has volunteered – please say Thank You. These students have been there in force for the community during the past several weeks in helping to save the city's infrastructure, and we need to be there as a community in supporting them. It is a small, but very important way that we can all help to thank the students for everything they have done for all of us.

There will certainly be more work and challenges in the days and weeks ahead, but we will all continue working closely together and successfully face these challenges. It should make everyone proud of the community in which we live. It is not the physical things that make a great community, but rather it is the people. I am appreciative of the student contribution in this flood-fighting effort, proud of the great people of the Valley City community, proud of the region-wide response, and proud to call Valley City home!

VCSU Establishes Flood Information Web Page

VCSU has set-up a web page that contains a summary of information and links pertaining to spring flooding. The page is available at FLOOD INFO PAGE or from the VCSU home page.

Off Campus Parking Shuttle Service Available

Effective this morning (Monday, April 18), VCSU is offering a shuttle service between the Student Center and the Osmon Fieldhouse to help alleviate traffic congestion and a shortage of parking on campus. The service is mandatory for all students who live off-campus and is optional for faculty, staff, and students who live in the Residence Halls. The service will be available from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday, April 18-21; and Tuesday through Friday, April 26-29. Beginning May 2, the shuttle service will be offered Monday through Friday until further notice. Students with night classes or who need to be on campus after 4:30 pm can access campus as they normally would with their own vehicles.

Get Into the Zone – The VCSU Zone!

Get Into the Zone – The VCSU Zone!
The 17th annual VCSU Scholarship Auction, scheduled for Friday, April 29 at the Valley City Eagles Club, is taking on a sports theme this year.

Kim Hesch, assistant director of Advancement at VCSU, said, "The scholarship auction is the single biggest event in terms of generating scholarship dollars, and it seems to get bigger and better every year."

The theme this year is "The VCSU Zone." The Eagles will be decked with sports decor, and attendees are encouraged to come dressed in keeping with the theme. The auction committee will award auction dollars for the most creative individual, couple and group.

The social hour and the silent auction begin at 5:00 pm. A buffet dinner will be served from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and the live auction will kick off at 7:00 pm. This is your chance to bid on some great deals while contributing to a great cause. All proceeds from the auction go directly to scholarships.

Some of the items up for bid are:

A youth bike donated by Sanford Clinic, two airline tickets donated by Allegiant Airlines, a Phoenix Grill donated by Dakota Plains Cooperative, a Kindle donated by Tom Glandt of Investment Centers of America along with popular items like Minnesota Twins tickets, tools, golf clubs, and gift certificates.

After April 18, a list of auction items will be available at (click on the "Auction" button).

According to Hesch, "We will be trying a couple of new things with this year's auction. A 'Mystery Wine' table will feature bottles of wine that have been boxed to hide their identity. Each of the bottles will have a minimum value of $20, but will be available to attendees to choose from for $20 each. This is an opportunity for attendees to get a great deal on some great wine!"

In addition to the live and silent auctions, the evening will feature fun activities. For example, in a game named "Heads-n-Tails," participants will have a chance to win an iPod nano. The "horse race" is another fun event that has become popular in recent years and will be back this year.

Hesch said that scholarships are vital to VCSU's success and all proceeds from the auction go directly to V-500 and Century Club scholarships. "Our goal is $45,000 this year, and we would like to sell 500 tickets to the event."

Everyone who buys a ticket will be entered into drawings for valuable prizes including an iPod (sponsored by Dacotah Bank), a $500 gift certificate from Leever's SuperValu (sponsored by Leever's), and a Magnovox 26" TV/DVD Combo (sponsored by Great River Energy). Ticket holders need not be present to win.

Tickets to the auction are $35 each or two for $60. The ticket price includes admission, two beverage tickets, a full buffet dinner, and participation in three drawings held throughout the night. Tickets can be purchased from the VCSU Foundation office by calling 845-7203 or from an auction committee member. The auction is a collaborative effort of the V-500 and Century Club boards.

Van Horn Attends Conference

Van Horn Attends Conference
Assistant Professor Shannon Van Horn attended the Central States Communication Association conference in Milwaukee, April 6-10. The theme of the conference was "Home."

Van Horn presented in three sessions: "Going Home with the Students: On Meeting Students Where They Are," where she discussed Web 2.0 tools and apps faculty can use to engage students "on their turf;" "Inspecting my Home: Learning Assessment Techniques and Outcomes," where she presented "Reflection is the Key: Using Portfolios for Assessments" and discussed VCSU's digital portfolios and how they are used , and "Oh Give Me a Home: Establishing Community in Communication Programs and Courses", where she discussed ways to establish and maintain community in online courses.

Additionally, Van Horn attended two short courses. One, "Using Technology to Enhance Collaborate Learning: An Overview of Emerging Technologies," looked at specific online collaborate tools, such as Elluminate, Second Life, and dimdim, and discussed how to integrate these tools in our courses. The second short course was "Practical Assessment : Assessing Learning Objectives in the Communication Discipline," discussed placement, formative, and summative assessment procedures, as discussed by Barbara Walvoord in helping schools get out of assessment purgatory and make meaningful tools and action from assessment.

Other sessions Van Horn attended were on academic administration, three sessions on Web 2.0 and app technology, a panel on new technology such as whiteboards and panopto, a panel on impact of clicker technology, and a panel on creating effective communication in online courses.

Van Horn felt validated to hear of many of the apps the ID team at VCSU has discussed using are being used elsewhere. For example, the Web 2.0 and app technology panels discussed using Facebook, Twitter, dimdim, Poll Everywhere, Jing, Camtasia, audacity, Wallwisher, Pirate Pad, Google docs, Moodle, Drop Box, Prezi, Glogster, etc. and the successes and lessons learned while using these apps.

Van Horn asked about FERPA in the three panels, as well as in the Short Course, and no one had a definitive answer, although one person said that they were told by their campus attorney that as long as they (the professors) did not put any evaluative comments on the material in the public sphere, they were not in violation of any privacy issues. Van Horn was surprised, though, to hear of the number of campuses knowing about and using these tools. "Usually I am ahead of people at Central States, and they give me their cards wanting to know more about apps and such. This year more people were talking about how they use technology in their courses."

Ross & Melgaard Attend ACTE Region V Conference

Assistant Professor Rick Ross and Professor Dave Melgaard attended the Association for Career and Technical (ACTE) Region V Leadership Conference April 6-9 in Rapid City, South Dakota. ACTE Region V is composed of the western most 15 states in the nation.

The conference entitled, Leadership as a Matter of Choice, was well attended by CTE instructors and administrators with about 10 educators representing North Dakota. Region V is known throughout ACTE for have a strong regional leadership tradition. This professional development conference left attendees recharged, refreshed, and ready to complete the academic year. Ross has accepted a leadership role with a three year appointment to the Region V Nominating Committee.

Conference keynote addresses were given by Kevin Honeycutt using a unique "Tradigital" approach to education, Malcom "Chap" Chapman, with the theme "Harvesting the Company Mind," and Pat Bortnem's on "Managing your Morale and Making Positive Changes." There were also many educational breakout sessions and roundtables to attend.

Ziniel Attends Convention

Ziniel Attends Convention
VCSU Instructor Jonna Ziniel attended the Central States Communication Association's annual convention April 6-9 in Milwaukee. During the conference, she presented as a part of a panel called "Going Home with the Students: On Meeting Students Where They Are." She also chaired the panel "Oh Give Me a Home: Establishing Community in Communication Programs and Courses."

While at the conference, she was able to gain new ideas for class assignments, and innovative strategies to use in both the basic public speaking course, as well as Gender Communication.

Walsh Presents at NDSU Graduate Research Event

Walsh Presents at NDSU Graduate Research Event
VCSU Instructor Rob Walsh presented on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at the 3rd Annual NDSU Graduate Research and Arts Forum and the College of Human Development and Education Fifth Annual HDE Research Showcase. Walsh will have a second presentation on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

His presentation is entitled "Buying Local Foods--Closing the Conversation Gap."

A buying local foods movement has burgeoned in the United States over the last 30years. From organic farmers to community supported agriculture, conscientious consumers have fueled the chain of demand and supply for locally grown organic consumables. The appeal of eating healthy food grown by local farmers who use natural methods has become a force in American agriculture. Long embraced in population centers, this movement has now found a mechanism in rural areas, especially in North Dakota. His research project examines the subtleties of the communication gap between the consumers and producers in rural local foods initiatives. Over nearly two years, through interviews conducted on both sides of the equation, assessments into successes and shortfalls in this rural effort provide insights into how local consumers-particularly schools, hospitals, prisons, groceries, etc-can collaborate with producers to buy food that goes directly from the garden to the table. Misunderstandings and misconceptions serve to widen the communication divide between two factions that often have the same outcomes in mind.

James Attends Conference

James Attends Conference
Donna James, VCSU Library Director, attended the 26th Annual Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC, last month, participating in discussions which primarily focused on Digital Rights Management as it relates to ebooks, ebook collections and ereaders. Keynote speakers at the conference were James Crawford, the Engineering Director for the GoogleBooks Project and Michelle Manafy, author of Dancing With Digital Natives.

Of particular interest was the panel discussion involving representatives from the four major providers of ebook content: eBrary, netLibrary, Overdrive, and iLibrary. The representatives fielded questions from librarians concerned about the struggle for control (and profits) among ebook publishers, econtent providers and ebook devices causing collection development dilemmas for libraries. 'DRM-Free' was the battle cry of the librarians at the conference.

Allen Memorial Library has several eCollections including an Overdrive and a netLibrary collection. Donna encourages faculty and staff to request a training session by on the use of subscription eResources available to VCSU students, faculty and staff.

Skophammer Attends OTEEA Spring Conference

Skophammer Attends OTEEA Spring Conference
VCSU Assistant Professor Roger Skophammer attended the Ohio Technology and Engineering Education Association (OTEEA) Spring Conference April 1 - 2. The conference was held at Granville Middle School in Granville Ohio.

During the conference, Skophammer presented information concerning the Engineering is Elementary curricula out the Museum of Science, Boston to the approximately 40 teachers in attendance. His presentation generated a lot of interest in the VCSU STEM Certificate.

In addition to his presentation, the conference included presentations concerning the implementation of STEM Education in Elementary Schools. Particularly exciting was the improvement in Ohio standardized tests for schools that changed to a STEM focus. One school has a turnover rate of 100% for students and had almost that great of turnover in staff before the transition. Test scores for math went from 16% to 65% at one of these schools, and saw similar improvement in language arts and science. These teachers uniformly credit problem-based learning, using STEM methodology (inquiry and design/engineering activities) as key the success in these schools. In discussion with these teachers, a key component of the success in implementing STEM education was in their believing that they could do it. They expressed that professional development was the most important part of developing that confidence. Many suggested that STEM methodology needs to be emphasized more in pre-service teacher education.

STEM Graduates May Be Eligible for Student Loan Forgiveness!

College graduates employed for at least one year in science, technology, engineering or math-related occupations in North Dakota may be eligible for up to $6,000 in student loan forgiveness. For more information, go to NDUS PAYING FOR COLLEGE.

Earth Week Activities Postponed

Due to the challenges on campus with spring flooding, we have decided to postpone our Earth Week activities until a time when it is more appropriate.

Retirement Hints from HR

Retirement Hints from HR
Are you contributing what you can to retirement?

There are several options for you to contribute to retirement, whether your retirement plan is through NDPERS or TIAA-CREF.

The IRS allows the following amounts to be contributed pre-tax:
2011 Limit - $16,500
Catch-Up Limit(Over 50 years old) - Additional $5,500
These limits are for contributions made in addition to the University's contributions.

What is my first step?
Act Today. Many put off retirement conversations because they think they are difficult and confusing – they are actually quite simple. Let us show you how.

How and when do I add more?
Stop by the Office of Employee Services (McFarland 208). Retirement can be increased at the beginning of any pay-period.

How can I afford to add more when I need all my money?
If you have adjusted your lifestyle to live on your current income, consider adding a portion of your salary increase. If you increase your deductions 1-2% each year you will rapidly increase your retirement contributions, and you will still save some for yourself.

Who do I talk to?
Employee Services can help you with the paperwork, as well as point you to a consultant that will help personalize your retirement.

This Week at VCSU and in Valley City ...

Monday, April 18

Passover begins at Sundown

Tuesday, April 19

4:00 pm Viking Baseball vs Mayville State University, Charlie Brown Field
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile & Hand Weights, St. Catherine Gym

Wednesday, April 20

Viking Men's & Women's Golf @ Black Hills State Invitational, Spearfish, SD (April 20-21)
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Hi-Liner Activity Center
5:15 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Strong People & Walk Away the Pounds 1 mile, St. Catherine Gym

Thursday, April 21

Viking Track & Field @ Dickinson State University
4:00 pm Viking Baseball vs Concordia College, Charlie Brown Field
7:00 pm BCHS Lecture Series Presents Tony Dutton

Friday, April 22

Good Friday – No Classes, Office Closed
World Wide Earth Day
12:10 pm ON THE MOVE activity, Walk Away the Pounds & Hand Weights, Open Door Center
1:00 & 3:00 pm Viking Softball vs Mayville State University, VCSU Softball Complex

1:00 & 3:30 pm Viking Baseball @ Jamestown College
4:00 pm Laura Youngbird Exhibition Reception, VCSU Gallery, McCarthy Hall 3rd Floor

Saturday, April 23

1:00 & 3:00 pm Viking Softball @ Mayville State University
1:00 & 3:30 pm Viking Baseball vs Jamestown College, Charlie Brown Field

Sunday, April 24

Easter Sunday