Achieving a New Level

Mar 14th, 2007 @ 9:31 am | Author: By Ellen-Earle Chaffee
In the next several weeks, I will introduce you to three of our fine VCSU faculty members: Don Hoff, Dr. Tanis Loverchek-Saunders, and Dr. Kerry Gregoryk. These three share the distinction of having been recommended by the faculty, academic vice president, and me for the status of tenure at VCSU.

Tenure typically requires six years of satisfactory performance in the areas of "scholarship in teaching, contribution to a discipline or profession through research, other scholarly or professional activities, and service to the institution and society," in the words of State Board policy. The purpose of tenure is to protect academic freedom.

Earning tenure signifies that the individual is worthy of a significant commitment from the institution. And so it is with these three! The State Board will act soon on our recommendation for their tenure. Today, Don Hoff introduces himself.

I am an Assistant Professor of Science in the Mathematics, Science and Health & Physical Education Division at VCSU. I have degrees from Dickinson State University and North Dakota State University in Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Science Education plus extensive post graduate work from numerous institutions. This is my 5th year at VCSU. Prior to coming here I was a secondary science teacher in North Dakota and the Marshall Islands for more than 20 years and worked for NASA for a year. I enjoy travel and photography and often combine them to enrich my teaching. I have been in all 50 states, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Morocco, England, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

My position at VCSU involves teaching Chemistry, Earth Science/Geology , Science Teaching Methods, and supervising science student teachers so most of my time is spent teaching, assisting students, or supervising student teachers. I enjoy interacting with students, faculty, and staff and have always loved the intellectual environment of a university campus, especially one like VCSU where one can get to know most people personally.

A career highlight was recently (Fall 06) receiving a grant from NDView to purchase geospatial technology/remote sensing equipment to incorporate into science classes at VCSU. This will enable student use of equipment for laboratory work, field work, and student research.

My campus activities include Faculty Senate Vice President and Education Committee member. I have been VCSU Team Leader, North Dakota Space Grant Consortium program; Southeast Regional Science Olympiad, event director; and a member of the Instruction and Professional Development Commission of the North Dakota Education Association (NDEA). My service also includes the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), serving as North Dakota Section Representative on the National Council; the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Review Team for Mayville State University and Jamestown College; North Dakota State Coordinator for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching; and member of geology course alignment and admission standards review committees for the ND University System. I am also a member of the Barnes County Wildlife Club.