Faculty & Staff

Avera gift will honor longtime NSU coach

Photo of basketball coach talking to players

ABERDEEN, S.D. – A significant gift from Avera to Northern State University will strengthen the organizations’ ties – and honor a longtime NSU coach and athletic director.

Thanks to Avera’s recent donation, the fitness space on the top floor of the NSU Barnett Center will now be named the Bob Olson Strength and Conditioning Center. Olson, who retired in 2012 after a 37-year career at Northern, previously served on Avera’s Board of Directors.

Around the world, spring 2020 was a season of change – rapid, unpredictable and unprecedented change.

Wolves Country is no exception. Students left for spring break thinking they would return in a week, but the spread of the COVID-19 virus led to uncertainty and upheaval. After a spring and summer of online courses, classes are scheduled to resume in-person this fall.

While spring 2020 will always be the season when people learned to navigate life during a pandemic, at Northern, it has also been a season of other lessons learned:

Regents adopt tiered face covering protocol for NSU, other universities

Wolf statue wearing mask

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Face coverings will be required in all public indoor spaces on the Northern State University campus starting this fall, as mandated by the South Dakota Board of Regents’ new tiered protocol.

On Wednesday, the BOR approved adopting a tiered approach to face covering requirements for Northern and the other five public universities when fall semester begins Aug. 19.

Northern State University names new Dean of Students

Sean Blackburn

Northern State University has named Sean Blackburn its new Dean of Students.

Blackburn comes to Northern with 18 years of experience in the field of Student Affairs, most recently at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. There, he served as Vice President for Student Affairs, previously holding the position of Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

NSU to merge schools of business, education into College of Professional Studies

View of campus green with pillars

ABERDEEN, S.D. – This summer, Northern State University is merging two of its academic areas to create one larger administrative unit that blends business and education.

Northern’s new College of Professional Studies will bring together the Millicent Atkins School of Education and NSU School of Business, creating a shared mission of preparing students for professional careers.

Northern distributes CARES Act grants, creates Student Emergency Relief Fund

Advisor helping student with paperwork

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Northern State University is helping students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic any way it can including finding ways to provide financial assistance.

One method of financial help was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Northern received $329,889 in CARES Act funding to be awarded to students, said NSU Director of Financial Aid Sharon Kienow. Nearly all of the funds have been disbursed to 274 students, Kienow said.

NSU Library awarded NEH grant to preserve oral history interviews

View of outside of library

ABERDEEN, S.D. – A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities will allow the Northern State University Library to resume its work preserving and increasing access to oral history interviews.

The $49,397 NEH CARES Grant will fund Williams Library’s work generating transcripts and making them accessible in the library’s digital repository a project that was stalled due to the COVID-19 virus.

NSU student will teach English in Japan

Image of NSU logo and student headshot

ABERDEEN, S.D. – ShyAnn Springer’s future career plans were solidified over a restaurant children’s menu as a teen, Springer used the kids’ menu at a local Denny’s to teach English words to the Japanese exchange student staying with her family.

“I knew from that moment that I wanted to teach in Japan or South Korea,” said Springer, a Northern State University senior from Bradley.

Now, her dream career is about to become a reality.


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