University of North Dakota campus successes

March 31, 2017

Pulitzer Prize Winner a Highlight for UND Writers Conference

Among the authors featured at the 48th Annual University of North Dakota Writers Conference was Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Viet Thanh Nguyen.  The Vietnamese American author and cultural critic won the esteemed fiction prize in 2016 for the best-selling The Sympathizer.  Other writers included NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names, and Jennine Capó Crucet, author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, Jeff Shotts, Executive Editor at Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, Layli Long Soldier, the recipient of the Whiting Award in 2016, the 2015 NACF National Artist Fellowship and a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship, Mai Der Vang, whose work has appeared in appeared in American Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, The Journal, The Collagist, Radar, Fairy Tale Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere, and Mario Ybarra Jr., a Los Angeles-based artist and founder of the art collective Slanguage who creates artworks that he considers forms of portraiture and landscape.


UND’s Marcus Weaver-Hightower Honored for Innovative Teaching

University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy and Provost Tom DiLorenzo surprised UND Educational Foundations & Research professor Marcus Weaver-Hightower by presenting him the North Dakota University System Commendatory Faculty Award.  The award recognizes the innovative use of technology in teaching.  Weaver-Hightower uses a lightboard studio, which offers a “look-through” experience for the viewer. Its centerpiece is a large pane of tempered glass with LEDs (light-emitting diodes) embedded on the edges. The studio also includes lighting, microphones, video camera and computer.  Facing the video camera, an instructor stands behind the lightboard glass and can write directly on it with whiteboard “neon” markers. A black background behind the instructor makes the writing stand out.  When the lightboard’s LEDs interact with the writing, “it literally glows,” said Weaver-Hightower.  “It’s the first one on campus, and as far as I know, it’s the only one in North Dakota,”


UND Graduate Student and Team Takes First Place in NASPAA Competition

University of North Dakota Master of Public Administration student Nick Jensen and his team recently took first place at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Student Simulation Competition at Columbia University in New York.  His team also took runner-up in the world competition where they competed against seven other universities across the globe. His subgroup of four, which he led, took MVP.