UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

Posts Tagged ‘graduate program

A Busy Week for our Department of Space Studies

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Last weekend, the world lost a pioneer in Neil Armstrong whose name is synonymous with space exploration. Several of our Space Studies faculty reflected on that historic flight and what Armstrong and his team achieved for humankind, as well as how the moon landing impacted them personally.

Congratulations are also in order. The Department also announced that the North Dakota Space Grant Consortium recently received an award of $860, 000 for FY12 & 13 from NASA’s Department of Education. The award is for promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at college level in North Dakota through “hands on” student projects. ND Space Grant is a statewide program.

And to round out the week, the Space Studies and Astronomy Club will host a public start gazing party tonight. Click here for details for tonight’s party and those scheduled for September and October.

Learn more about our Space Studies Department, the Master of Science in Space Studies and the PhD in Aerospace Sciences.


Written by School of Graduate Studies

August 31, 2012 at 7:12 am

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New Graduate Certificate in College Teaching

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The Department of Teaching & Learning is offering a new graduate certificate to start this Fall. It is designed to provide skills and knowledge for teaching at the college level. Read below for information from the fact sheet. The deadline for applications is July 15 for the Fall 2012 term.

If you are interested in applying for the certificate, visit My GradSpace and complete the online application.

The Graduate Certificate in College Teaching offers a 12-credit graduate level program teaching effective college instruction in terms of both principles and techniques. It is targeted, but not limited, to faculty (full-time and adjuncts) and graduate students who are, or intend to become professors, college instructors, academic advisors, internship supervisors, program trainers, and curriculum coordinators.

Through this certificate program, students will:

  • Gain knowledge about various pedagogical approaches
  • Experience and demonstrate effective teaching skills
  • Connect institutional and department missions as well as disciplinary norms
  • Foster ethical behaviors and professional standards
  • Understand the complexities of the academic profession
  • Identify emerging trends in college teaching excellence
  • Participate in professional forums as a means to enhance the knowledge and practice ofeffective college teaching during the period of the program and beyond

If you would like to learn more about the new College Teaching graduate certificate you can read the fact sheet here, or contact us at questions@gradschool.und.edu

Written by School of Graduate Studies

May 9, 2012 at 8:12 am

UND’s new Aerospace Sciences PhD is now calling for applications.

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The Graduate School is excited to announce a new doctoral program at the University of North Dakota. The departments of Aviation and Space Studies in the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences will jointly offer an interdisciplinary PhD program in Aerospace Sciences beginning in Fall 2012. The program is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in government, industry and academia.

Speaking with the Grand Forks Herald prior to the State Board of Higher Education’s meeting, Associate Dean Paul Lindseth said, “the focus is on developing researchers at the highest level in this country and around the world. We need more well-qualified people to help solve, for example, integration of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace”.

UND’s Aerospace Sciences program is the only one of its kind in the country with very few similar programs offered internationally. It will be offered both on campus and online making it accessible to distance students.

About the Program:

The mission of the Aerospace Sciences PhD program is to provide interdisciplinary teaching and research at the highest academic levels. The goal is to provide highly educated scholars and leaders with the skills necessary to mix technology and science with an understanding of the politics and economics of the aerospace fields.

Program Goals

  1. Students will develop a thorough knowledge of the aerospace elements specifically related to the Aviation and Space Studies disciplines that will allow them to be successful leaders in the industry by applying solutions gained through theory and applied research.
  2. Students will enhance their analytical, technical, research and communication skills through classroom and research activities to further develop an ability to carry out independent, original and applied research.
  3. Students will further develop the critical skill set needed to enable them to fill leadership roles within government and research agencies, educational institutions or private aerospace and aviation sector companies.



More information about the Aerospace Sciences PhD can be found here.  To apply, visit My GradSpace on The Graduate School’s website. The deadline for Fall 2012 admission is May 30th.  

Written by School of Graduate Studies

April 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

New Master of Public Health program is now accepting applications

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The University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the Master of Public Health (MPH). This collaborative program between the two institutions is the first of its kind in the state, perhaps the country. It will prepare graduates to deliver important health promotion and disease prevention programs to citizens of the state, and give graduates the skills and training to address health care issues for North Dakota’s rural population.

The (MPH) is a professional degree program designed for graduates and employees in health-related fields holding a bachelor’s degree or higher in their field of practice. This unique integrated program is offered by UND and NDSU, and focuses on rural health and health care, health promotion and disease prevention, disease management, health policy and related activities of interest to North Dakota public health care practitioners and policy makers.

In addition to the core coursework, individuals will select one of seven tracks at either the University of North Dakota or North Dakota State University. Applicants will apply to the institution that houses the track they wish to follow. Both institutions offer core coursework. More tracks are anticipated in the future.

Mission Statement and Goals
The M.P.H. program will prepare individuals who will serve as practitioners competent to carry out broad public health functions in local, state, national, and international settings.

Goal 1: Students will be knowledgeable in the core discipline areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, social and behavioral sciences and health services administration.

Goal 2: Students will be able to demonstrate competencies in leadership, communication and informatics, diversity and culture, public health biology, professionalism, program planning and systems thinking.

Goal 3: Students will be able to apply social, administrative and population health skills to meet public health needs.
Specialization Coursework: Students will complete additional course work in one of the following tracks of specialization.

UND offers specialization tracks in Rural Health Management and Policy, Rural Health, and Health Care and A Healthy Society. Students interested in these tracks will apply to UND.

NDSU offers specialization tracks in Health Promotion, Pharmacy and Public Health, Infectious Disease Management, and Emergency Management. Students interested in these tracks will apply to NDSU.

Read the MPH program fact sheet for the University of North Dakota.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

January 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

Posted in around campus, what's new?

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New Grad Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship seeks Agents of Change

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The University of North Dakota has announced a new graduate certificate program in Social Entrepreneurship, and The Graduate School is now accepting applications.

So, what is it?

Social Entrepreneurship is a rapidly evolving field. It can be generally described as the use of entrepreneurial principles to address existing social problems. The entrepreneur is a creative person dedicated to a social cause, creating and managing ventures and social enterprises.

New graduate certificate uses entrepreneurial principles to address social problems

The certificate program evolved out of a cross-disciplinary partnership at UND. Students are provided the diverse academic background needed to succeed as a social entrepreneur.

Dr Jason Jensen, MPA Program Director said, “Students are often very socially conscious and are looking for academic offerings that allow them to pursue this interest. Focusing on social entrepreneurship allows us to match a student’s interests with societal needs. We want tomorrow’s leaders to think about if they want to just live in the world or whether they want to change it for the better.”

The program provides a regionally-unique educational opportunity to students at all points in their career paths. The student body has diverse backgrounds, since solutions to social and community problems can come from creative-minded people from a ariety of fields.

The courses are designed to complement each other with minimal overlap or repetition. They are ‘non-linear’ so students may begin in any semester. The certificate is made up of four courses – one offered each semester – in the evenings, to accommodate working professionals. The courses are offered both online and on campus in a hybrid format. They include Creation and Management of Social Enterprises; Political Advocacy and Social Entrepreneurship; Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship; and Sociology of Social Entrepreneurship.

If you would like to learn more, you can download the Social Entrepreneurship fact sheet or visit My GradSpace to apply. The deadline for Spring admission is December 1st!

Written by School of Graduate Studies

November 4, 2011 at 8:22 am

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Women in Science: Nicole talks about her Microbiology & Immunology program

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Nicole Haese is a graduate student and is also the Treasurer of the UNDWIS student group.

What is your field of science?

I am graduate student in the Microbiology and Immunology department, my research focuses around the subject of Immunology.

Can you describe your research?

I started out my research focusing on autoimmunity and ways to prevent the body from seeing itself as foreign. Specifically I am interested in the role immature dendritic cells play in tolerizing the immune system to antigens. It has been shown in the past that the protection conferred by immature dendritic cells is specific to the disease causing antigen. That is the antigen that the body attacks as foreign and causes diseases, if you treat immature dendritic cells with the antigen and give them to a mouse with the autoimmune disease, it has the potential to decrease the severity or delay the onset of symptoms. Previous work done in my lab suggested that the tolerance induced by immature dendritic cells may be antigen non-specific, and that protection can be induced by presentation of a tissue-associated antigen. I am working on further developing this idea by obtaining data from another autoimmune model.

Another project I am working on is developing a hybridoma to produce a monoclonal antibody using the B-cells from goose blood. The reason for using goose blood is to make a hybridoma that secretes IgY, an avian antibody. IgY is the primary avian antibody, it is similar to human IgG. The advantages of using IgY are that it does not interact with Fc receptors on host cells therefore activation of complement and rheumatoid factor are not an issue. In other words, IgY does not have to be humanized before being used in humans. Also, IgY has a higher avidity for antigens than IgG, meaning it will bind mores sites on an antigen. Right now I am working on the protocol for making such a hybridoma. It is thought that in the future antibodies will be able to be made against toxins produced by bacteria, and also viruses.

How important is mentorship in the development of young scientists?

I think that mentorship is important in the development of young scientists because science is not just about learning the information and taking a test. Science is about applying knowledge, which at times can be difficult. Looking at it from a research point of view, mentorship is important to help prevent the small bumps in the road from causing huge meltdowns. A majority of the time things do not work and it is much easier to keep going when there is someone to turn to, who has been through the same thing, that can say it will be okay and things will work out. There are also so many different aspects of life that are affected by research, personal life, social life, family life, and personal sanity. The library does not have a book to teach how to deal with those parts of life in the science field. One of the best ways to learn about how to deal with the non-science part of being a scientist is by talking with other people. When I started my graduate work I had a million questions, and I felt lost for quite a while. I think that mentorship would have helped me with the transition into becoming a graduate student and will help with future transitions. All in all, mentorship can provide a source of support, information, or just friendship to young scientists.

Do you feel there are still stereotypes surrounding women in the sciences?

Yes, I feel that there are stereotypes surrounding women in the sciences. I grew up in a very small farming town. One of the main career choices was agriculture. I grew up on a farm, but sure did not have the desire to spend the rest of my life raising cows and driving a tractor. There was not much of a focus on science in my high school years of education, but I feel that it was somewhat biased. In high school, all of the math and sciences teachers were male. Some of the teachers assumed that girls did not have much interest in science. I do not think the message was women are not as good at science and math, it was that, women belonged in a different field, maybe they could be a nurse, but that was it. I fell in love with science during my freshman year in high school. My freshman biology class was taught by a new teacher, one of his first teaching jobs. Most people did not like him as a teacher because he made us work really hard, but I thought it was all interesting. I became especially interested in genetics and how easy it was to see the connection between science and human life. This is what inspired me to get my undergraduate degree in cytogenetic technology.

Looking at the stereotypes of women in science at thing point in my career, the view is different. I do not think that the overall message is that women are unable to succeed in science. There are definitely a lot of female graduate students in the sciences, there are plenty of assistant and associated professors that are females, but there are not as many heads of departments or higher that are women. At some point in their career most women make a choice to either have a family or not, and I think that plays a big role in the lower numbers of women holding higher offices. It is no secret that being a head of a department and raising a family both take a lot of time, and sometimes sacrificing one or the other is not worth it.

What barriers have you had to overcome?

I have been fortunate in that I have not had to overcome many barriers to get to my current position. I had very supportive parents who pushed me to be successful and do whatever it is I wanted to do. During my undergraduate education I had a very very supportive research advisor who provided me with many opportunities to succeed in my research. She inspired me to pursue my PhD in Microbiology and Immunology and continues to be a person I turn to.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

October 5, 2011 at 8:02 am

PhD student continues to earn success

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Regular readers of our blog may recall that one of our Atmospheric Sciences graduate students was awarded a prestigious NASA Earth System Science Fellowship (NESSF) last year. Yingxi Shi continues to impress peers and colleagues with her research, having been awarded the Outstanding Student Paper award for the past AGU (American Geophysical Union) fall meeting. See below for her paper title and abstract:

Evaluation of the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product over the North Africa Regions for aerosol forecasts related applications

Yingxi Shi1, Jianglong Zhang1, Jeffrey S. Reid2, and Christina N. Hsu3

The MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product provides aerosol properties over bright surface regions such as the Saharan desert with a wide spatial coverage that is of a great value to applications such as aerosol data assimilation and aerosol forecasts. The reported uncertainties for the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol optical depth are on the order of 20-30% of the AERONET data.  A noise and bias reduced, quality assured aerosol product with well-categorized error statistics, however, is needed for advanced applications such as aerosol data assimilation.

In this study, we evaluated the noise and uncertainties of the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product using both ground based observations and space-borne observations from other sensors, such as MISR.  Uncertainties in the MODIS Deep Blue product were analyzed as functions of surface characteristics, observational conditions, and aerosol microphysics properties.  The possibility of including the MODIS Deep Blue aerosol product in aerosol modeling and aerosol forecasts were also explored.

1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of North Dakota.
2Marine Meteorology Division, Naval Research Laboratory.
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Congratulations to Yingxi on this recognition. Yingxi’s advisor is Dr Jianglong Zhang who was the 2011 Dean’s Lecture Series Speaker at the recent Graduate School Scholarly Forum.

Written by School of Graduate Studies

May 4, 2011 at 7:56 am