UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

PHOTO FEATURE: On the road with UND’s new faculty and administrators

More than 20 campus newbies enjoy 31st annual bus tour of North Dakota

Some of UND’s newest faculty members disembark from their official UND-branded bus that took them across the northern half of North Dakota on an introductory tour of their new home state Aug. 14-16. Photo by David Dodds.

Several of UND’s newest faculty and administrators trekked to the western edge of North Dakota and back recently on a three-day bus tour Aug. 14-16 to learn firsthand about their new state.

This year’s New Faculty & Administrators Bus Tour, the 31st of its kind, mostly straddled U.S. Highway 2, with stops in Devils Lake, Dunseith, Belcourt, Minot, Tioga, Watford City, Grafton and rural Gilby, before heading home to Grand Forks to kick off the new academic year. More than 20 touring participants were treated to stops at the North Dakota Peace Garden, Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, an oil drilling site near Tioga, the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Minot State University, the UND Center for Family Medicine in Minot, a tour of the Marvin Windows manufacturing plant in Grafton and a down-home farm picnic at the Jack Scott family farm about a mile east of Gilby.

Along the way, bus riders also heard from North Dakota residents and experts in a variety of fields, including state agricultural leader Chris Griffin, a former North Dakota legislator; Turtle Mountain Community College President and UND alumna Donna Brown; oil and gas industry expert Kathy Neset of Neset Consulting in Tioga; conservationists Lillian Crook and Shannon Straight; Kae Watson, of the Scandinavian Heritage Museum; Minot State University President and three-time UND graduate Steve Shirley; Suzie Kenner, head of the Chamber and Tourism in the Devils Lake region; and many more.

The new faculty also enjoyed breakfast with high-achieving, UND-bound freshmen and their parents in Minot on the final day of the bus tour.

UND Provost Eric Link and Vice President for Student Affairs Art Malloy co-hosted this year’s bus tour.

The tour, free for participants and supported by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation, alternates between northern and southern routes of the state each year. It was introduced in 1990, when Tom Clifford was president of the University.

Check out the sights and sounds of this year’s bus trip across North Dakota through the video and photo tour below.

New faculty members Cassandra Flick (left), assistant professor of Psychology, and Lee Ann Williams, assistant clinical professor and program director in Education, Health & Behavior Studies, check out varieties of cacti and other plants that are part of the world’s largest private collection of succulents at the International Peace Garden near Dunseith, N.D. Photo by David Dodds.
New UND faculty members and others reflect in solemnity at the 9/11 Memorial at the International Peace Garden. The giant steel beams once supported the World Trade Center towers in New York City until they were felled by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They were transported to the Peace Garden by rail and truck to create a lasting memorial. Photo by David Dodds.
Christine McGrail (from left), Teaching, Leadership & Professional Practice, Adewale Lukman, Mathematics, and Jeffrey Anvari-Clark, Social Work, are partially silhouetted by the sun-bathed golden glass of the Peace Chapel at the International Peace Garden. They are reading quotes etched in granite along the chapel walls about peace and humanity from thought leaders throughout human history. Photo by David Dodds.
Sherif Gaweesh, assistant professor of Civil Engineering, straddles the 49th parallel, which follows the political border of the United States and Canada, at the International Peace Garden near Dunseith, N.D. Photo by David Dodds.
Kae Watson, a tour guide at the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, leads a group of UND faculty through the various exhibits at the park. Photo by David Dodds.
The sun sets Aug. 14 on the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot as new UND faculty and administrators take their final photos following a jampacked first day of touring across the state. Photo by David Dodds.
UND Provost Eric Link, a co-host of the 2023 New Faculty & Administrators Bus Tour, addresses an audience of new faculty while thanking Kathy Neset, a former member of the State Board of Higher Education and owner of Neset Consulting, for a tour of a working oil drilling site just north of Tioga, N.D. Photo by David Dodds.
New UND faculty get a firsthand lesson in oil drilling bit technologies at a Hess Corp. drilling site near Tioga. Photo by David Dodds.

Weixin Huang, assistant professor of Chemistry, and Hairui Liu, assistant professor in Education, Health & Behavior Studies, inspect photos taken of the Riverbend Overlook area of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Ahmed Abdelhadi, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, is in the background sporting a baseball cap. Photo by David Dodds.

UND faculty members (left to right) Mahmut Ersan, assistant professor of Civil Engineering; Lee Ann Williams; Whitney Mayo, assistant professor of Music Education; Jeffrey Anvari-Clark; Elizabeth Suazo-Flores, assistant professor in Teaching & Leadership; and Christina Cole show off their new temporary Fighting Hawks tattoos at Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Watford City. Photo by David Dodds.
UND faculty members get an up-close look at the inside of a SIM truck, a state-of-the-art mobile medical training lab, equipped with simulated patients that are able to react and respond to varying medical scenarios. The SIM Truck demonstration was part of a larger tour of the UND Family Medicine Center tour in Minot. Photo by David Dodds.
UND faculty members, including Montana Etten-Bohm (center), assistant professor of Atmospheric Sciences, check out the control center of the SIM Truck at the UND Family Medicine Center in Minot. Photo by David Dodds.
UND President Andy Armacost greets Blake Klinkner, assistant professor of Law; Christina Cole and the rest of the bus tour participants upon their arrival at the Jack Scott Family Farm near Gilby, on the final stop of the bus tour before heading back to Grand Forks. Photo by David Dodds
UND Assistant Professor of Biology Melissa Schmitt stocks up on sweet corn, straight from the stalk, on the Scott Farm near Gilby. Photo by David Dodds.
The Scott Farm also was the site of a buffet-style picnic meal, prepared especially for UND’s newest faculty, including Amber Adgerson, assistant professor in Teaching, Learning & Professional Practice; Christina Cole, Whitney Mayo, Cassandra Flick and Montana Etten-Bohm. Photo by David Dodds.
After supper, UND President Andy Armacost and First Lady Kathy Armacost joined the new faculty and administrators who participated in the 2023 bus tour for a group photo along with bus tour support staff, the Scott family and extended family, as well as Scott Family Farm employees. Photo by David Dodds.
UND Vice President for Student Affairs Art Malloy takes time for one final selfie with a few of his newest friends, Pempho Chinkondenji, Christine McGrail, Adewale Lukman and Sherif Gaweesh, before boarding the bus to head back to the UND campus on the final leg of the tour. Photo by David Dodds.