The year in review
Review of noteworthy UND stories from 2013:
• Buildings and infrastructure: Several building and infrastructure projects made news at the University of North Dakota in 2013. The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and School of Law each garnered support from the North Dakota Legislature to replace their existing campus facilities. UND also saw its former home to hockey ― the Old Ralph Engelstad Arena ― come down to make room for a new UND Athletics High Performance Center ― a practice facility ― last year. Thanks to a partnership with the North Dakota University System, UND also became home to the new NDUS/UND Information Technology Building, an IT hub for the entire university system. The College of Engineering and Mines was the recipient of large private-sector donations which will help bring a new Collaborative Energy Complex building to campus, to be located between the existing CEM buildings of Upson Hall I and Leonard Hall. And last but not least, President Robert Kelley delivered a holiday gift to the campus with the long-awaited revamped Campus Road Bridge in December.
• Alumni Association: A change in leadership for the UND Alumni Association & Foundation was announced in 2013. Tim O'Keefe will turn over duties as executive vice president of the Alumni Association & Foundation to DeAnna Carlson Zink. The Alumni Association also announced the culmination of its successful fundraising drive for the University last year. North Dakota Spirit | The Campaign for UND ended with a final tally of $324,128,078. It was by far the largest fundraising campaign ever undertaken in North Dakota and will benefit the entire University in the form of faculty endowments, student scholarships and other capital support. Finally, the headquarters of the Alumni Association & Foundation, the Gorecki Alumni Center, made headlines in November when it became the first building in the state to be certified Platinum by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for compliance with stringent environmentally friendly building standards.
• Re-accreditation: UND celebrated the centennial of its first official accreditation as an institution of higher education in 2013. A team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accrediting body visited UND in October. The HLC team is expected to announce the results of UND's re-accreditation process this spring.
• UAS developments: UND and the State of North Dakota got great news on the next to the last day of the year in 2013 when the FAA announced that the North Dakota Department of Commerce had secured one of six federally designated UAS test sites. UND and its UAS enterprise, working with the North Dakota Governor's Office and the state's Congressional Delegation, was an integral part of the proposal. Earlier in the fall, in October, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley was at UND to announce a partnership with the U.S. Air Force to offer cutting-edge Predator Mission Aircrew Training System (PMATS) opportunities for future UAS pilots. UND's UAS program also welcomed throngs of media and other visitors from around the world , such as U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, to see what was taking place on campus in the area of UAS education, training and research.
• COBRE: The School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) received a major $10.5 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE )in the epigenetics of development and disease. It is the second COBRE award for SMHS.
• New leadership: President Robert Kelley appointed Dr. Thomas M. DiLorenzo as UND's newest Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. DiLorenzo had been Associate Vice President for Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He began his new duties at UND on May 1, replacing Paul LeBel, who returned to the UND School of Law. DiLorenzo laid out his vision for UND's academic and research enterprise in an online feature on UND's homepage shortly after his arrival. Also, the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education & Human Development welcomed new deans in 2013 in Debbie Storrs and Robert Hill, respectively.
• Astronaut alumna: UND alumna and U.S. Astronaut Karen Nyberg completed her second mission in space in 2013. This time, it was a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station. During her time in space, Nyberg, who studied mechanical engineering at UND, became a social media favorite with her onboard activities and personable demeanor, as well as her breathtaking photos of the world from her lofty vantage point. She also delivered a taped message from the space station to UND's summer graduates in August.
• Moon habitat: Three adventurous graduate students had the research opportunity of a lifetime in October, exploring the surface of the moon without leaving campus. The NDX Planetary Exploration System research team took on a simulated moon mission, living inside a pressurized inflatable habitat, or moon base for 10 days as part of a trial funded by NASA.
• FAA exemption: UND Aerospace became the first flight school in the nation to be exempt from more stringent flight-training requirements initiated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Because of UND's top-notch program and established training curriculum, UND aviation graduates are able to be hired by the nation's airlines with less flight time than required by a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule.
• Original production: The cast and crew of the Department of Theatre Arts' original production of 'My Generation' were invited to perform at a regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last January. An invitation to perform at the Kennedy Center festival is an honor extended to theatre groups who display exemplary work.
• Cold topic: Tim Pasch of the UND Communication program played host to an Arctic Symposium on campus, attracting high-profile speakers and experts on the Canadian Arctic and the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913.
• End of mission: UND's student-designed and student-built International Space Station Agricultural Camera (ISSAC) was retired last year, after several months of monitoring the earths soil, vegetation and the aftermath of some weather disasters.
• New program: The College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines began its inaugural class of students for its new Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program.
Top 10 UND Homepage Feature Stories in 2013 (ranked in order of page views)
1. "UND readies for 'Welcome Weekend'" : UND welcomed the class of 2017 to campus on Aug. 24. Students attended a Convocation ceremony and were given the chance to get acquainted with campus and other students through concerts, pep rallies and other activities. The new freshman also posed for a class picture.
2. "UND in the spotlight" : A Japanese television drama used the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, along with other spots on the UND campus, as a back drop and subject line for three episodes of Miss Pilot. The show featured high-profile Japanese actresses and actors, along with UND students, chosen to be extras in the film.
3. "Signs of danger-at 80,000 feet" : A scary decompression incident at 80,000 feet was no match for the training Dan Fluke received in UND's altitude chamber. With an aircraft full of passengers, Fluke was able to identify that the aircraft was depressurizing and land safely at the closest airport.
4. "UND breaks ground for UND Athletics High Performance Center" : On Sept. 5, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for Phase I of the new UND Athletics High Performance Center. The new facility will serve as the indoor training center for all UND Athletics programs as well as a competition facility for track and field events.
5. "UND fields its first women-only Air Race Classic Team" : UND student Amy Warbalow and UND flight instructor Katrina Kugler were the first UND team to compete in the historic Air Race Classic, a globally renowned women-only event pioneered by Amelia Earhart. The 2,400 mile race started June 18 and ended June 21 in Fayetteville, Ark.
6. "Time-Out Week and Wacipi powwow" : The University community took "time out" to reflect upon American Indian culture past, present and future with special activities, presentations and lectures. The 43rd annual Wacipi powwow took place during the week and featured tribes from all over the United States and Canada.
7. "Student Laura Harmon headed to Miss America Pageant": UND student Laura Harmon was crowned Miss Grand Forks and later Miss North Dakota, earning a chance to compete in the Miss America Pageant. Harmon tied in her major, environmental geography, with her platform which was "Energy Kids: Raising Responsible Energy Users."
8. "Wellness Center getting used to positive national attention" : The UND Wellness Center was named one of the Top 25 Wellness Centers in the nation. The facility stood out with its Culinary Corner, Quiet Lounge, circuit deck, spin studio, rock wall, Zen Den and student study area.
9. "'My Generation' Cast and crew headed for Kennedy Center Festival" : Cast and crew of the Department of Theatre Arts' production of My Generation were invited to perform at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival last January in Lincoln, Neb.
10. "UND alumna Nyberg set for six-month mission aboard International Space Station" : NASA and its International Space Station partners chose UND graduate Karen Nyberg to be part of the 36th crew to live and work aboard the International Space Station. Nyberg, a NASA flight engineer, is the first UND alum and sixth Minnesotan to launch into space.
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