Northern faculty, staff part of Aberdeen cohort attending bushCONNECT 2018

Campus pillars

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Three Northern State University faculty and staff members are part of an Aberdeen cohort attending bushConnect 2018, a day-long conference in Minneapolis on Monday aimed at building across differences.

Northern employees attending this diversity, equity and inclusion training are:

  • Lara Nelson, director of the American Indian Circle Program
  • Ioana Hojda, assistant director of international admissions
  • Melinda Millermon, ESL instructor

All three are members of the Aberdeen Area Diversity Coalition, a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to creatively connecting Aberdeen’s diverse cultures. Layton Cooper, assistant director of admissions/diversity coordinator, and Hassan Niazi, instructor of accounting, are also members of the AADC. Cooper and Hojda serve as board members.

In December 2017, the coalition was awarded a $20,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to involve Aberdeen area residents in this diversity training and event. Monday’s conference will host 1,200 community leaders from the Dakotas, Minnesota and the Native Nations that share the same geography. Keynote speaker is Michelle Norris, a Peabody Award-winning journalist.

According to the Bush Foundation, the goal of bushConnect is to “build stronger and more meaningful connections among networks of leaders in our region to better equip people to lead change.”

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $45 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.