47th Annual UND Writers Conference line-up announced

The University of North Dakota Writers conference is pleased to announce the line-up for the 47th Annual UND Writers Conference, “The Art of Science,” which is slated to take place April 6-8, 2016 on campus.

Among the authors for the 2016 UND Writers Conference is Brian Greene — one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and founder of the World Science Festival — whose work has been featured on PBS’s Nova. Other participants are novelist and emergency room physician Frank Huyler, fiction writer and Fulbright fellow Tania James, visual artist and Fulbright fellow Allison Leigh Holt and poet and Guggenheim fellow Katharine Coles.

The UND Writers Conference also is excited to announce that Kim Stanley Robinson — one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world, who has won the Hugo, the Nebula, the Locus and the World Fantasy Award — will be participating in this year’s conference.

Books by this year’s UND Writers Conference authors are currently available at the UND Campus Bookstore.

For a complete list of the authors, their works and additional Conference information go to www.undwritersconference.org or contact UND Writers Conference director Crystal Alberts.

About the 2016 UND Writers Conference Authors:

Brian Greene

String theorist and author of The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene is one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and a brilliant, entertaining communicator of cutting-edge scientific concepts. The Washington Post described him as “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.”

Greene’s national bestseller, The Elegant Universe, which recounts the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics, transformed the world’s understanding of the universe and introduced string theory, a concept that might be the key to a unified theory of the universe. The book sold over a million copies and became an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning NOVA special that Greene hosted.

His second book, The Fabric of the Cosmos, spent six months on The New York Times Best Sellers list and was adapted into a NOVA miniseries on PBS. Greene’s latest bestseller, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, was published in January 2011.

His illustrated novella, Icarus at the Edge of Time, retells the Greek myth in a futuristic light. Greene and David Henry Hwang adapted the story to be a film and symphonic performance in collaboration with composer Philip Glass; the world debut was in the spring of 2010.

Greene co-founded The World Science Festival in 2008. As the WSF Chairman, Green made it the festival’s mission to take science out of the laboratory, making the esoteric understandable and the familiar fascinating to the general public. In 2014, Greene and the World Science Festival launched World Science U, a series of free online courses led by Greene.

A Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Greene is a professor in Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University. His work has been published in Wired Magazine and The New York Times. Greene appeared as himself in a 2011 episode of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. He has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Nightline, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report.

Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson was born in Waukegan, Ill., but moved to Orange County, Calif., when he was two. As a child, he loved to play in the orange groves stretching out for miles around his home, so when suburban sprawl began to encroach and the groves were torn out and paved over, the rapid change of modern life hit him close to home. It was not until college that he would stumble on new wave science fiction and find in it an expression of that very sense of rapid change that had made such an impression on him growing up. At that point he became committed to science fiction as the best realism for our time.

Robinson has since become one of the most well-known and respected science fiction writers in the world, with a reality-based approach in the spirit of Isaac Asimov that has made him a social thinker speaking “for the future and from the future.” His work has received 11 major awards from the science fiction field, and has been translated into 23 languages. His Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars) was an international bestseller, and continues to be one of the most widely read works of science fiction, a benchmark in discussions of humanity in space. His environmentalist work closer to home was the basis for him being named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Environment” in 2008. He has worked with the U.S. National Science Foundation, and was part of their Antarctic Artists and Writers program in 1995, when he spent two months in Antarctica courtesy of NSF. He was part of the Sequoia Parks Foundations’ artist program in 2008. His articles and stories have been published in Nature, The New York Times, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post, The New Scientist and Wired. He was the guest of Honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, in Melbourne in 2010. His most recent novel, 2312, was a New York Times bestseller.

Robinson has lectured at over a hundred institutions over the last 25 years in North America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica on a wide variety of subjects. He has advisory board or guest lecturing affiliations with the University of California at Davis’s Science and Technology Studies program; the University of California at San Diego’s Muir College, Sixth College, Environmental and Sustainability Institute, and Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Imagination; Georgia Institute of Technology’s Science, Culture and Technology program; the Planetary Society; the Mars Institute; the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop Foundation; and the Sequoia Parks Foundation. He has given commencement addresses at University of California, San Diego’s Sixth College, and the University of California, Berkeley’s English Department. Because of the intensively researched nature of Robinson’s fiction, and the integrated nature of his various interests, ranging from the physical and human sciences to sustainability issues, political economy, urban design, utopia, space, and future history, he has over time built the capacity to speak on a wide variety of subjects, with the emphasis often on what the future may hold for these subjects. He does not repeat talks, and crafts them to match the invitations he accepts. Topics he can speak about include: California, its history and future, especially the Sierra Nevada; Antarctica, its history and future; Mars and the solar system, especially their human potential; Galileo and the scientific revolution; utopia, in both real-world urban design and in literature; climate change and sustainability issues; science and society; post-capitalism; and literary talks on fiction, nature writing, writing techniques, and writers such as George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, John Muir, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Robinson has a B.A. and a Ph.D. in literature from University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He taught literature at the University of California, Davis, before becoming a full-time writer and parent.

Katharine Coles

Katharine Coles’ sixth collection of poems, Flight, will be published by Red Hen Press in spring 2016. Her fifth, The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen 2013), was written under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Her poems have been or are being translated into Italian, German, Spanish, and Chinese. Her scholarly work is focused on close reading and the development of digital close reading tools. Recent poems and prose have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Seneca Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Image, Crazyhorse, and Poetry. A professor at the University of Utah, in 2009-10, she served as the inaugural director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. She has received grants and awards from the NEH, the NEA, and, in 2012, the Guggenheim Foundation.

Dr. Frank Huyler

Frank Huyler is the author of The Blood of Strangers: Stories from Emergency Medicine (UC press/Holt/Picador), the novels The Laws of Invisible Things (Holt/Picador) and Right of Thirst (HarperCollins), as well as a novella, The Castaway (Byliner). His essays, poems, and opinion pieces have appeared in a wide variety of publications including The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The American Scholar, The Georgia Review and The New York Daily News. His work has been anthologized, optioned for film, and translated widely. He has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs including Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Voice of America, C-SPAN Book TV, and the BBC World Service.

He has taught at both the Taos Summer Writer’s Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, as well as in the MFA program at the University of New Mexico.

For the past 20 years, Huyler has practiced medicine full time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he is a Tenured Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

Tania James

Tania James is the author of the novels The Tusk That Did the Damage and Atlas of Unknowns, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Indie Next Notable, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Best Book of 2009 for The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. Her story collection Aerogrammes, was a Best Book of 2012 for Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories have appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Kenyon Review, One Story, and A Public Space. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and son and teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland.

Allison Leigh Holt

Allison Leigh Holt is a cross-disciplinary artist living in Oakland, Calif. Using hybrids of sculpture, video, installation and performance she pursues a dialogue between divergent ways of experiencing, comprehending and describing time and reality.

Holt has received numerous awards from institutions including the U.S. Department of State (Fulbright Fellowship, Indonesia), Djerassi Artist Residency Program, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the David Bermant Foundation, Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), the Experimental Television Center, Kala Art Institute and the North Dakota Museum of Art. She also is a 2015 finalist for a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Her work has exhibited internationally, notably at SFMOMA, Stanford University, Anthology Film Archives (NY), Cemeti Art House (Indonesia), Axiom Gallery for New and Experimental Media (Boston), San Francisco Cinematheque, the Boston Cyberarts Festival, the Urban Screens Conference (Melbourne) and the Yogyakarta International New Media Festival. She has presented at cellsBUTTON(s) and Video Vortex conferences in Indonesia, the Cultural Studies Association Conference, the 20th Annual Science of Consciousness Conference, and Imagining the Universe: Cosmology in Art and Science at Stanford Arts Institute.

Holt is a member of San Francisco Cinematheque’s Board of Directors (VP), and studied at The Evergreen State College (BA) and Massachusetts College of Art (MFA).


David Dodds
University of North Dakota
University & Public Affairs
701.777.5529 | david.dodds@UND.edu

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UND Wind Ensemble to hold concert Nov. 30

The University of North Dakota Wind Ensemble, under the direction of James Popejoy, director of bands at UND, will present a concert at 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 30, in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. Tickets, available at the door, are $7 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens or $14 per family.

The program will feature two works by acclaimed film composer John Williams, starting with the opening song, “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” composed for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Donald Hunsberger’s setting of the music from one of the most recognizable film scores ever composed — “Star Wars”  — will close the concert.

Other works on the program include Vincent Persichetti’s “Symphony No. 6” and “Ye Banks and Braes O’Bonnie Doon” by Percy Grainger. Rounding out the program will be two traditional “war horse” compositions for band, “Light Calvary Overture” of Franz von Suppé, and Henry Fillmore’s entertaining “Lassus Trombone.”

Selected by audition, the UND Wind Ensemble consists of the finest wind and percussion musicians from across the campus and includes students from many academic disciplines. They have performed at various conferences and events, most recently presenting a featured performance at the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle.

For additional information, please contact the UND Band Department at 777.2815.

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O  701.777.5529 | D  701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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UND ranked top choice for online education in North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has been recognized by OnlineColleges.net as the top choice for online education in North Dakota.

Rankings were determined using data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and every school that was ranked has programs that can be completed entirely online.  According to the site, 22.9 percent of students enrolled in Title IV institutions in the state were enrolled in exclusively online programs, with more than 40 bachelor’s degrees offered online throughout the state.

At UND, more than 10 online bachelor’s degrees are offered, in addition to roughly 25 online master’s degree programs, three online doctoral degrees and more than 10 online graduate certificate programs. Approximately 22 percent of UND’s student body is enrolled exclusively in distance or online classes.

In the past, UND also has ranked as one of the top 10 online communication programs in the nation (SuperScholar.org), one of the top 25 online MBA programs in the nation (Princeton Review) and one of the 50 best online colleges in the nation (The Best Schools).

David Dodds
University & Public Affairs

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TODAY: UND visiting instructor from Pakistan to present on Paris attacks, Middle East

Muhammad Samin Khan, a visiting professor for the University of North Dakota, will present on the recent Paris attacks on Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at UND’s Lecture Bowl, located in the Memorial Union.

The theme of the talk will be informative and not a representation of religion or politics.

The talk will pay tribute to the innocent victims of the Paris attacks. It will also cover ISIL’s (also referred to as ISIS) popular media projection and what the group hopes to accomplish with these types of attacks.

Khan will address how France and the Middle East relate, the United States policy regarding ISIL, the regional powers and their strategic objectives and the divide among different Islamic sects.

Khan, a scholar from Pakistan, is working with UND’s Department of Political Science & Public Administration, and the Institute for Philosophy and Public Life. The Grand Forks Herald featured Khan earlier this year, in an article written by Anna Burleson.

This event, sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UND (OLLI@UND), is free and open to the public. University students, faculty and staff, as well as OLLI@UND members, are encouraged to attend. Attendees should park in the nearby parking ramp or metered zones.


Justin R. Fraase
Marketing Manager
Office of Extended Learning
University of North Dakota

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O 701.777.5529 | D 701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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UND Children’s Learning Center Nature Explore Classroom earns national certification

University of North Dakota’s Children’s Learning Center, located at 525 Stanford Road, has earned national certification for its second Nature Explore Classroom, serving toddlers, from Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and the Arbor Day Foundation Nebraska City, Neb.

There are only three certified classrooms in the state of North Dakota.

Nature Explore Classrooms are part of the Nature Explore program, a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation developed in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature. Certified Nature Explore Classrooms help fill the void by integrating research-based outdoor learning opportunities into children’s daily lives.

The classrooms, which are being developed across the country, offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden or pathway areas and natural materials for building and creating art. Children who learn and grow in Certified Nature Explore Classrooms enhance concentration, develop creativity and problem-solving, relieve stress and improve skills in many areas of development.

“University Children’s Learning Center has shown tremendous leadership in growing the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore Outreach director. “Their commitment to providing research-based and nature-rich learning offers a wonderful example to educators throughout the country.”

University Children’s Learning Center is a part of a growing network of organizations and institutions that have created effective nature-based outdoor learning environments for children. This network allows for idea-sharing, peer support and continuous development between students.

The first Nature Explore Classroom is located in the Tree Adventure attraction at Arbor Day Farm, the Arbor Day Foundation’s interactive conservation venue in Nebraska City, Nebraska. More information on the program can be found at www.natureexplore.org

About Arbor Day Foundation

Arbor Day Foundation is a million member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation is available at arborday.org.

About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation

The mission of the non-profit Dimensions Educational Research Foundation is to inspire children, families and educators to connect more deeply with the world around them by providing innovative, research-based programs and resources.


Lana Gilson
Outreach Coordinator
Nature Explore | Dimensions Educational Research Foundation
P: 402.873.8709

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O  701.777.5529 | D  701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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UND’s Chester Fritz Library raises money for books for Head Start classroom

The Chester Fritz Library just completed a rousing round of “Penny Wars” fundraising in order to buy books for a local Head Start classroom. This is the third year that the library has done this, the first classroom being from Buffalo, N.D., and the second, a classroom at Lake Agassiz Elementary School in Grand Forks. This year’s recipient is Linda Hoplin’s classroom at Head Start in Grand Forks.

The Library staff divided up into three teams, contributed their loose change, and raised more than $335 during the month of October. With the money they were able to purchase over 30 books for the teacher from lists she provided. The winning team was then treated to a pizza party by the Staff Association. Dean Stephanie Walker generously chipped in funds to supply pizzas for the rest of the library staff. The books will be delivered to the classroom the first week in December by the Library’s Staff Association, who spearheaded the project.

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O  701.777.5529 | D  701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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UND again named ‘Top Military-Friendly School’

rotc-student_insideThe University of North Dakota has once again been named a Top Military-Friendly University by Military Advanced Education & Transition (MAE&T) and will be listed in the 2016 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities, which serves as a research tool for service members, education services officers and transition officers.

Military-friendly universities show “strong support of the student veteran and service member community” by “implementing the best practices asserted by various higher education groups and reinforced by veteran groups,” according to KMI Media Group, Inc., which serves the military and defense industry.

To compile the 2016 guide, MAE&T evaluated schools on flexibility of online learning options, extent of transfer credits accepted by degree level, on-campus Reserve Officer Training Corps programs, Service member Opportunity Colleges participation, on-campus active duty/veteran assistance, the support provided to the families of service members, faculty trained in veteran reintegration issues, presence on military installations, and  full-time counselors trained in veteran-specific mental health concerns, in addition to others. The guide displays each school with gauges measuring their military culture, financial assistance, flexibility, general support, online support and on-campus support.

More information about resources UND offers to active service members and veterans is available through the Veteran & Military Students page on UND’s website.

About Military Advanced Education & Transition and KMI Media Group, Inc.

Military Advanced Education & Transition serves education services officers and transition officers at every U.S. military installation, along with the service members they counsel.  Published 10 times yearly, MAE&T’s editorial coverage includes exclusive interviews with military executive leadership, educators, and members of Congress; best practices; career and transition spotlights, service member, school, and program profiles, and periodic special reports.

KMI Media Group, Inc. is the leading independent publisher of targeted information about military requirements, technologies and operations. Serving as a unique forum for senior military and Department of Defense leadership, KMI focuses on distinct and essential communities within the defense market.

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O  701.777.5529 | D  701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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UND Psychology presents DeCoteau-Kwant with Distinguished Alumni Award

Tami DeCouteu-Kwant, left, a distinguished alumna of the University of North Dakota Psychology Department spoke on "historical trauma" during a Nov. 13 presentation hosted by the ND SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Project) and the Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) program at UND’s Memorial Union. After speaking, DeCouteu-Kwant was presented a “star quilt” by UND Psychology Professor Doug McDonald, who also led a prayer in his native language. ( Jackie Lorentz photo/University of North Dakota)

Tami DeCouteu-Kwant, left, a distinguished alumna of the University of North Dakota Psychology Department spoke on “historical trauma” during a Nov. 13 presentation hosted by the ND SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Project) and the Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) program at UND’s Memorial Union. After speaking, DeCouteu-Kwant was presented a “star quilt” by UND Psychology Professor Doug McDonald, who also led a prayer in his native language. ( Jackie Lorentz photo/University of North Dakota)

University of North Dakota alumna Tami DeCoteau-Kwant, a clinical psychologist and an expert in cross-cultural considerations involving American Indians and psychology, was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by the Department of Psychology on Friday, Nov. 13 for her advocacy and dedication.

DeCoteau-Kwant was visiting UND to deliver a lecture on “culturally competent” practices in addressing historical trauma as part of an event hosted by the ND SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment project) and the Indians into Psychology Doctoral Education (INPSYDE) program. Following her lecture, she was recognized with the alumni award at a surprise ceremony.

During the ceremony, Doug McDonald, a UND professor of psychology and director of the INPSYDE program, presented DeCoteau-Kwant with a traditional American Indian “star quilt.”

McDonald was DeCoteau-Kwant’s advisor and mentor when she was an undergraduate at UND. He said that even then DeCoteau-Kwant was active when it came to helping communities cope with challenges.

McDonald recalled that Decoteau-Kwant was a member of a UND-led disaster mental health response team responding to the Red River Flood of 1997. And following her graduate training, he said that she established and expanded several frontier, reservation-focused pre-doctoral internship programs that emphasized reservation trauma assessment and treatment.

“She has also advocated tirelessly at the tribal, state, regional and national levels for increasing behavioral health resources for trauma survivors and their families,” McDonald said.

Currently, DeCoteau-Kwant serves as a consultant in culturally responsive practice for the ND SBIRT, and is the owner of Trauma-Informed Care & Practice in Bismarck. Her services address trauma-related issues by promoting client safety, dignity and privacy. She has given numerous lectures on cross-cultural considerations for working with Native American patients.

DeCoteau-Kwant is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and a long-standing member of the American Psychological Association. She is a 1998 graduate of UND, and earned her Ph.D., in Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Department of Psychology of the College of Arts & Sciences.

David L. Dodds
Media Relations Coordinator/Writer/Editor
Division of University & Public Affairs
O  701.777.5529 | D  701.777.2731
david.dodds@UND.edu | UND.upa@UND.edu

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