The start of each new year is full of excitement and anticipation. Some of that excitement showed on the campus lawn last week at our annual Marketplace event. It was a great time for our students to experience the wealth of campus and community organizations available to them. The mood was festive, and the weather cooperated fully for an enjoyable evening.
The start of the new year also brings new teachers to our community. We are very happy to welcome fourteen new teachers this fall. Please join me in welcoming this group of highly skilled and exceptional educators to the Valley City campus and community. They are thrilled to be here and we hope they will share their unique skills and experiences with students and colleagues. Some of them shared personal information which is included below.
The Department of Computer Systems and Software Engineering welcomes Bhavana
Bhardwaj as a new assistant professor. Originally from India, she holds a BS from
University of Delhi, Sikkim Manipal University’s Masters in Information Technology and Ph.D. in
Software Engineering from North Dakota State University. She loves to cook and bake.
Mary Anderson joined the School of Education as a special appointment
assistant teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a secondary honors in English language
Arts, an ND Reading Diploma and a Masters in Reading from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. We are
happy to have a faculty member with his outstanding background join our School of Education.
Our business department welcomes two new professors. assistant professor
Pierre Amah joins us from Seattle and will teach as a business generalist and in
business education. Originally from Nigeria, he holds three master’s degrees from Fordham University,
Catholic University of America and University of Washington, Bothell. His doctorate. in leadership studies
is from Gonzaga University.
Wesley Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in
accounting from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Florida State University. He teaches
courses in accounting, macroeconomics and international trade. It is a third generation university
teacher. Her grandfather taught at BYU, her uncle teaches at the University of Calgary, and her father
teaches at NDSU.
The Languages and Literature department welcomes two new professors. Emily
Wicktor joins us as an associate professor of English. She holds the doctorate. in English from
University of Kansas and teaches writing and composition classes as well as grammar classes
Analysis and British Literature. She was a competitive springboard and platform diver for 13 years and has
club and high school diving coach for several years.
Travis Knapp is an Assistant Professor of English and holds a BA
from Oklahoma State University in History and English, an MA in English Literature, and a Ph.D. In English
Literature both from the University of Missouri. When asked about his transition to VCSU, Travis states,
“Having spent my entire professional life at leading research universities, I am looking forward to
time in a more tight-knit community where I can get to know most of the people I interact with on a
regularly. I also look forward to discovering what North Dakota offers in nature, trails and
Three new professors join the Department of Kinesiology and Human Performance.
Marcus Kopporiginally from Bismarck, joins us as a special appointment assistant
Teacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from North Dakota State University and his master’s degree in
Kinesiology from the University of Mary.
Barbara Matson is a new Special Appointment Assistant Professor at KHP
education in the fields of sports management and sports leadership. She holds an Associate of Arts from Snow
College, a bachelor’s degree in human performance and physical education with a specialization in exercise science and sport
Administration and a master’s degree in sports administration and coaching.
Amber Thompson joined our KHP department as an assistant professor for
physical education and health education programs. His undergraduate degrees are from St. Edward’s
University and are in Kinesiology and Business Administration. She holds a master’s degree from Sam Houston
State University (Curriculum and Instruction) and University of Texas, Pan-American (Kinesiology). She
is currently pursuing a doctorate. in Health and Human Performance at Concordia University, Chicago.
Joining our math department as an assistant professor means Well
noteboom. He holds BS, MS and Ph.D. in Mathematics all from NDSU. He spent the last 8
years teaching math at NDSU while pursuing his graduate studies. He also studied vocal music
during his undergraduate experience, therefore looks forward to singing with the concert choir once settled in
the new post.
The Department of Music welcomes two new professors with special appointment:
Stephen Cunningham and Oswald (Ozzie) Johnson. As an Assistant Professor of Voice and Hearing
skills, Stephen received the BMA from the University of North Texas, the MM from Oklahoma State
University in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy, and the DMA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
He spent 5 weeks last summer teaching and playing several operatic roles in La Musica Lirica Opera
Program in Novafeltria, Italy.
Oswald (Ozzie) Johnson is the new assistant professor of music (piano).
His BM is from Wheaton College, IL and he holds the MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Ohio
University, OH and the DA in piano from Ball State University, IN. In addition to his teaching
functions, he will serve as a collaborating pianist for the department.
Trista Montgomery joined the Department of Science as a specialist
appointment as assistant professor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biology with
a specialization in forest ecology from the State University of Bemidji. When asked about a moment that helped shape her
future career, she shared, “As soon as I found out my favorite science teacher was climbing trees to
his research, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – and that was climbing 100-foot tall white pines in the
in the middle of winter, in the middle of the night – collecting measurements. She can’t wait to take
his VCSU students in the area grasslands to collect plants for our own herbarium during the first week
Luis Alejandro Betancur Sheepskinbut everyone calls him
Lando, is the new Spanish teacher by appointment. He holds a master’s degree from EAFIT in
Medellin, Colombia, a BS in Spanish from Valley City State University and a BA in Advertising from
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia. His service as a language consultant in Forest Lake, Minnesota
changed his life, because it was there that he understood that he wanted to become a teacher. we are happy to
welcome Lando back to VCSU.
The impressive background, experience, and credentials of this new group of faculty members represent a powerful addition to our teaching and learning community at Valley City State University. I will share the list of our new staff members in the next update from the President’s Office.
Welcome, new faculty members. Go Vikings!