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5/31/03 -- FRONT PIECE FOR GRADUATION NEWS RELEASE: UND Graduates More Than 1,400 At Spring Commencement May 17; Dr. Robert Kyle, Formerly Of Bottineau, Presented Honorary Degree; Two Faculty Awarded Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorships
Dr. Robert Kyle, a Mayo Clinic physician and a University of North Dakota graduate, was the main speaker and an honorary degree recipient at UNDs spring commencement Saturday, May 17, 1:30 p.m. in the Alerus Center. The commencement exercises were carried live over Channel 3 in Grand Forks.
Nearly 1,400 students were eligible to walk across the stage during the commencement exercises. More than 100 other students graduated through School of Law and School of Medicine and Health Sciences commencement exercises this spring. UND graduates approximately 2,200 students a year during its spring, fall and winter commencements.
Also at the ceremonies, UND honored Dr. Gordon Iseminger and Dr. Myrna Olson with the Universitys highest award for faculty members, the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship.
An expert in the field of cancer immunology, Kyle received the honorary Doctor of Letters. The Bottineau, N.D. native earned an associate of arts degree from the then North Dakota School of Forestry in his hometown and then a bachelors degree in chemistry from UND in 1948 before earning a M.D. at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 1952 and master of science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1958.
A physician with the Mayo Clinic, Kyle founded and led the research group in myeloma and related diseases at the Mayo Clinic for many years. He has been sought out as a visiting professor at schools in Canada, Europe, Japan and throughout the United States. He serves on the board of directors and chairs the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Myeloma Foundation. He is the author of several books, more than 300 papers and reviews, and nearly 1,000 abstracts and editorials. In 1998, the UND Alumni Association awarded Kyle its highest award, the Sioux Award.
SCHOOL OF LAW COMMENCEMENT
H.F. "Sparky" Gierke, a Williston, N.D., native, former North Dakota Supreme Court justice and current U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Armed Forces, delivered the main address at the School of Law May 17 in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. Gierke was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal for Meritorious Service while serving in the Vietnam War as a full-time trial judge.
SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES COMMENCEMENT
Dr. Nancy Dickey, president and vice chancellor of health affairs at Texas A&M University System Health Science Center in Houston and past president of the American Medical Association, delivered the commencement address for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The ceremony was Saturday, May 10, in the Chester Fritz Auditorium.
Dickey served as president of the AMA from 1998 to 1999. She has served on the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council on Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and, in 2003, she was appointed to an advisory committee on reproductive drugs of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She also is editor-in-chief of "Medem," an Internet based patient-education company.
CHESTER FRITZ PROFESSORS
Two professors received the institutions highest honor for faculty at its spring commencement ceremony Sunday, May 13, at the Alerus Center. The Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship was presented to Dr. Gordon Iseminger and Myrna Olson.
Dr. Gordon Iseminger
Born in DeSmet, S.D., Iseminger has earned significant recognition as a North Dakota historical scholar. He was involved in the development of the history departments first doctoral program and continues as graduate coordinator for the implementation of the new Ph.D. program offered jointly with North Dakota State University. Iseminger has been the departments director of graduate study since 1993. In 1968 he was honored with the outstanding teaching award from UND and Standard Oil (Indiana) Foundation.
Iseminger earned his bachelors degree from Augustana College, his masters from the University of South Dakota, and his doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He joined the UND faculty in 1962. His major teaching responsibilities have included Western Civilization and several areas of European history. Among his many publications during 40 years at UND are The Americanization of Christina Hillius: German-Russian Emigrant to North Dakota and The Quartite Border: Surveying and Marking the North Dakota/South Dakota Boundary, 1891-1892.
Dr. Myrna Olson
A professor in the department of teaching and learning, Olson has twice been recognized as an outstanding teacher during her 28 years at UND. In 1982 she was awarded the B.C. Gamble Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service, and in 1993 she was presented with the Saiki Prize for Graduate and Professional Teaching. In 1975, she and her colleagues in special education received UNDs outstanding research award.
Olson has published five books, three book chapters, 23 refereed articles, and 18 internally refereed articles in national and regional publications. She contracted with the American Foundation of the Blind to write the first methods book in the field of teaching Braille reading. She is the coordinator of the teaching and learning doctoral program, the largest doctoral program at the University with more than 100 students. She has served as chair for 28 doctoral students, as committee member on 39 other doctoral committees, as chair of 19 masters theses, and as major advisor to 132 non-thesis masters students, mostly in the area of visual impairment and blindness.
Olson has served as treasurer, vice president, president elect and president of the National Division for Visually Handicapped at the Council for Exceptional Children. She served as president of the North Dakota Federation of the Council of Exceptional Children and was presented with the Award of Excellence in 1977-78. She was recognized by the American Foundation for the Blind with the National Braille Access Award in 1990. In 1998, she received the Humanitarian of the Year Award of the North Star Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children that lead to the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the North Dakota Council for Exceptional Children in 1999.