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Family Support Organizations to Form Rural Health Network April 25, 2008

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Minot, ND, May 1, 2008. Rural North Dakota (ND) families that have children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and providers will soon be able to access a new support network in ND. The North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD) received a 3-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop a self-sustaining network that will achieve outcomes in collaboration, training, system navigation, leadership and sustainability to strengthen its capacity to help rural families.

NDCPD will partner with Family Voices of ND, the ND Center for Rural Health, and several other family support organizations to develop this recently formed rural health network. The Rural Health Network for Family Support (RHNFS) will assist rural ND families and providers to improve the health and well being of children with special health care needs through enhanced family support services.

The network will serve families whose children “have, or are at increased risk for, chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally” (Maternal Child Health Bureau, 1998).

This grant will provide the resources for participating agencies to come together and create something that is difficult for any one organization to achieve alone,” said Cathy Haarstad, the project director. “Network activities will benefit not only families and providers but participating network agencies as well.”

The RHNFS is in the formative stage of network development. The RHNFS was formed in 2007 when the North Dakota Family Support Coalition planning grant project was funded. Project personnel focused on rural families with children with CSHCN who may have limited or no access to necessary specialized supports for ongoing health care. Over the past year the RHNFS has completed five regional and statewide focus groups and developed a preliminary strategic plan to guide formation of the network. Leadership has been able to overcome several significant trust crises and forge a positive working relationship that can serve as a model for other partners. The result of this effort has been that several additional agencies have signed Memorandum of Agreements to join the network.

The goals of the RHNFS are to: 1) Operate a rural health network, 2) Increase collaboration to enhance family support, and 3) Secure the sustainability of the network. The project will support development of a new non-profit organization and board that will direct the network’s efforts.

Objectives for network implementation address: developing a board structure, designing strategic and business plans, recruiting membership, and evaluation. Objectives for collaboration target development of joint training programs, planning for creation of a universal application, implementation of rural leadership development models, and creation of an educational policy platform for system change. Objectives for sustainability address implementation of a sustainability plan for the network and identifying collaborative services that support efficiencies in health service delivery. The project’s evaluation objectives address measurement of health and collaboration outcomes.


The Ever Changing Face of DSU March 2, 2008

Posted by westernconcept in Campus Life, News, Opinions/Editorials.
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The New Badlands Activity Center January 29, 2008

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Hello fellow Blue Hawks. The DSU Student Senate will be holding an open forum concerning the new Badlands Activity Center on Thursday, January 31 2008 in the student center ballroom. This is the time to let your voice be heard on the subject and to find out what exactly this new facility means for you as today’s students. The appointed time for the open forum is set for 6:00 pm.

Upcoming Entertainment January 29, 2008

Posted by westernconcept in Arts & Entertainment, Campus Life, News.
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Greetings fellow Blue Hawks. Just a quick reminder about some upcoming events that you won’t want to miss: Our Valentine semiformal will be held on Sunday, February 10 in the student center ballroom from 9:00 pm – midnight with music provided by K-Hook. February 18, at 8:00 pm you will not want to miss A.D. The Voice. A.D. has attended Oxford and Harvard Law schools; he is a Rhodes Scholar who has turned to Hip-Hop. To find out more about A.D and for a sample of his music you can go to his my space page. www.myspace.com/adthevoice

Welcome January 22, 2008

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Hello fellow Hawksters and a belated welcome to another fantabulous semester here at Dickinson State University. I apologize for getting this welcome out to you so late; however, once again the Western Concept is in need of writers and photographers; so if anyone is interested in filling one of our positions contact Les Hancock, Joshua Nichols or any English professor. Let me try to bring you up to speed on a few of the things we have planned for this semester: Tuesday at 9:00 pm will be the second CAB meeting of the semester to be held in room 18 of the student center, everyone is welcome to attend and or to join CAB, Saturday January 26 will be a COUNTRY DANCE from 10:00 pm. To 1:00 am, January 31 Senate will hold an open forum in the student center to discuss the new activity center and February 10 will be our Valentine Semi Formal dance in the student center from 9:00pm – midnight. The Semi Formal colors this year are blue and silver and our theme is Dancing Under the Stars. Again, welcome to a fantabulous semester.

— Les Hancock – Editor

Ashley Martin’s Last Article December 7, 2007

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by Ashley Martin       

It has been four and a half years, nine semesters, and thousands of dollars and headaches since I first began attending classes at Dickinson State University. Although I have certainly enjoyed my time here, it is time to say farewell. I will finally be graduating from DSU at the end of this semester.


I am definitely excited to be finished with this chapter of my life, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little scared. Everyone has to do it some day, and I guess it is my turn to grow up.

Since this is my last semester at DSU, I would like to share a few things that I have learned in my years here. Hopefully, current students who read this will learn a little something from the wisdom I have gained, and the many mistakes that I have made.

First of all, it is extremely important that you get enough sleep. I know many students have the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, but sleep is much more important than you may realize. Rest will help you concentrate, perform better in class and will give you a better chance at passing your finals. If you get enough sleep, you are also less likely to catch all the illnesses that get passed around.

Secondly, I don’t mean to sound like a beer commercial, but please drink responsibly. Too many accidents and stupid crimes happen under the influence of alcohol.  I am no angel, but I can tell you from experience that drinking too much is not worth it. Take care of yourself.

Another warning I would like to give current students of DSU is strictly for those of you living on campus. It is imperative that you wear flip flops while showering on campus. The janitors do clean them, but if you are not the first person to use the shower after it has been cleaned, there is no limit to what you could be stepping in.

If you would like to save yourself some money and a bit of trouble, it is wise to pay your parking tickets immediately. You may be thinking that this does not apply to you if you have purchased a parking permit. For those of you who are like me and are notorious for parking in “No Parking” zones when there are no open parking spots, remember that your fine is cheaper if you pay within three days. Also, I have learned that if you get too many parking tickets, do not have a permit, and do not pay your fines with in a reasonable amount of time, your car will be towed.

I have learned the hard way how important it is to choose your roommates wisely. I will not go into detail about my personal horror stories, but I will say that seven roommates later, I gave up. I now live happily by myself. I hope you all have better luck.

If you have the time, enroll in classes outside of your required credits. Doing this really breaks up the monotony that similar classes can bring. Taking different classes can also give you the “well rounded education” that we are all supposed to acquire at DSU.

Make as many friends as possible while enrolled at DSU. There are so many people from all over the world who are enrolled at DSU. Please do not miss this opportunity to learn about different cultures and expand your circle of friends.

Finally, the most important part of going to college is that you have fun. I know that sometimes this seems impossible, especially during finals week, but it is necessary that you enjoy your college experience. If you hate every second of every class, you definitely need to rethink your major. If it seems like you have no time for anything except schoolwork, you desperately need to organize your time and pencil some recreation into your schedule. Otherwise, you are going to burn yourself in a hurry.  I have held a job all through college and still found plenty of time to play, so I know it’s possible.

Well I hope some of you learned a few things from my experience, and if not, I hope you have enjoyed reading the stories I have posted for The Western Concept. I will miss this all—someday—but for now, I must eagerly say goodbye!

Presidential Search November 26, 2007

Posted by westernconcept in Campus Life, News.
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 by Ashley Martin 
The Presidential Search Committee has narrowed the selection down to three candidates. The three candidates chosen to move forward are Dr. Richard J. McCallum, Dr. Bruce W. Speck, and Dr. Joseph W. Bascuas. Dr. William A. Nevious and Dr. John Ryder were chosen as semifinalists, but did not get voted in with the three finalists. Dr. Gregory Aloia was also a semifinalist, but he withdrew from the search for personal reasons. 

Dickinson State University’s current president, Dr. Lee Vickers, announced April 30th, 2007 that he would be retiring. The Presidential Search Committee was formed shortly thereafter. When the Search Committee narrowed the presidential candidates down to the six semifinalists, each candidate was invited to DSU.

When the semifinalists arrived on campus, they were interviewed individually, and subjected to a number of qualifications. Each member was given a tour of DSU and of the community. Finally, the semifinalists all had to participate in a campus and a community forum.

Finalist Dr. Richard J. McCallum is currently employed as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Missouri Southern State University. During his community forum on November 8, McCallum stated that he has “developed a very strong commitment to higher education.” 

One of the features that attracted McCallum to out campus is DSU’s wide range of international students. “Your commitment to international education and to global awareness is one of the great strengths of this University,” he stated.

Finalist Dr. Bruce Speck stated at his community forum on November 13, that he would like to see Universities strive to incorporate spirituality into their programs. His definition of spirituality is “whatever brings meaning to your life.” An example he gave for this idea was teaching doctors and nursing students to be empathetic with patients to help comfort people.

Speck is currently employed at Austin Peay State University. He is Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. He mentioned that, if he became DSU’s president, he would like to look into recruiting more Native American Students.

Dr. Joseph Bascuas, the third finalist, was formerly president of Medaille College. Bascuas stated that one of his major contributions to Medaille College was his effort to increase enrollment by fifty percent.

“I’m passionate about having really good instruction” and “seeing students succeed,” Bascuas stated at his community forum on November 13.  He also stated that he believes Universities need to work on making classes, such as math and science, “relevant” to students.

The next step for the three finalists is to have an interview with the State Board of Higher Education. They are scheduled to do so on December 5. The new president of DSU will assume office in January of 2008, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Alumni Wrestling Tourney November 21, 2007

Posted by westernconcept in News, Sports.
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by Beth Hurt 

Just months after having completed their time as members of the Dickinson State University wrestling team, seven alumni affiliates returned to the floor to triumph in the annual Alumni Wrestling Dual.  The alumni wrestlers were paired with current members of the DSU wrestling team for a match of three one-minute periods.   Five of the seven alumni competitors were victorious.           

Brothers Mark and Cory Johnston were paired for the first match.  Mark Johnston won the match when he scored the last takedown of the match for a total of 5 points.            

Alumni wrestler Frankie Schoonover defeated Matt Pridgeon 4 to 1 with two takedowns and one reversal.  Pridgeon only managed to score one escape.           

Keri Stanley was also victorious in his match against DSU’s Colt Goff when he pinned his opponent for the required three seconds.             

Wade Blankenbaker was one of only two alumni wrestlers who did not win his match when Brett Owen took down Blankenbaker and scored with a reversal.             

The fifth match between Gabe Harry and Matt Michaelson ended with Harry in the lead when he rode his opponent for the total amount of time, breaking their current tie with one point.             

Jay Danbom defeated Cody Jamgaard with a takedown after obtaining a bloody nose from his challenger.           

Clay Rodgers wrestled the final match with Brett Mathern, Rodgers was defeated after he lost his footing.  Mathern capitalized on his opponent’s loss of position and went in for a takedown, scoring five points.           

The final score for the alumni dual ended with the alumni wrestlers victorious over the Blue Hawk’s 13 to 9. 

New Education Professor November 21, 2007

Posted by westernconcept in Campus Life, News.
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by Beth Hurt    

If Assistant Professor Christine McCoy were a color, she would be a bright one.  Personable and friendly, McCoy is very approachable, a characteristic that is undoubtedly appreciated by her students.

This is McCoy’s first semester at DSU, where she teaches two reading classes, Teaching for Diversity, and Education of Exceptional Learners. So far, McCoy seems quite satisfied with her position at Dickinson State. “I’m enjoying DSU a lot.  It’s stretching me professionally, and I am enjoying that fact.”  McCoy is also pleased with the students at DSU, stating that they are friendly, polite, and make good conversation in class.  McCoy is also very appreciative of the support available for new faculty members. “Everything has been very positive,” she said.              

McCoy grew up on a farm in Southern Minnesota as the oldest of 11 children. She originally decided to pursue a degree in Theatre after participating in plays in high school.   It was through her college theatre experience that McCoy met her husband when the two were cast as brother and sister in a production.  McCoy eventually graduated from Southwest State University in Minnesota with a degree in Speech and Theatre and a degree in Secondary Education.  In 1987 she went back to school in Maine and began work on her Elementary Education and Special Education degrees.              

Throughout her career as a teacher, McCoy has taught at a variety of locations, including Indiana, Maine, Florida, and South Dakota.  With her late husband being involved in the radio industry, McCoy and her family found themselves traveling a lot.  McCoy stated that her experiences in teaching African American students and Native American students were very different.  She said that it was a life lesson on how to deal with diversity and that it gave her a greater understanding of fairness.               

Dr Glashan, Chair of the Teacher Education Department was quite emphatic about her experience with diversity: “She was the most qualified.” He said McCoy’s experience in teaching students of diverse races as well as her experience in teaching students from poverty conditions and students with learning disabilities was definitely a deciding factor in the hiring process. Glashan also expressed enthusiasm for McCoy’s background in Reading.  “In the Reading area, it is much more difficult to find qualified applicants.  Reading is her genuine specialty.”              

Frankie Schoonover, a student in McCoy’s Education for Exceptional Learners class, said that “she is fun to take class from.  You can tell she loves what she does.”              

Currently McCoy is working on completing her doctorate through the University of South Dakota and plans to accomplish that soon.  “I’m a person who loves to learn,” McCoy says.  While that may be so, it is also very clear that Christine McCoy is one individual who was born to teach.

Student Senate Meeting November 21, 2007

Posted by westernconcept in Campus Life, News.
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by Beth Hurt

The Dickinson State University Student Senate welcomed guest speakers Charles Conrick and Professor Hanson of the Business Department to discuss the addition of a new major in Finance at their weekly meeting on Thursday, November 1st.  Conrick and Hanson asked Senate for their help in spreading the word about the new course of study.  “Hopefully you can help us get the word out,” said Hanson. 

The pair were largely concerned with making sure that students of Dickinson State would be aware of the differences between the Accounting major and the new major in Finance.  “Anyone walking around campus undecided, send them to me…I‘ll help them explore different career options,” said Hanson.  The Business Department plans to circulate fliers with information about the new major but hopes to find other ideas about how to spread the news.  The student senate agreed to put some thought into how they could assist in this matter.