Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!
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UND faculty and staff received notice Tuesday that the university will once again be offering a voluntary separation program. Meloney Linder, vice president of marketing and communications at UND, said the move is to align with options that were given to state employees earlier this year. In June, the state offered agencies a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, which gave them discretion about whether to offer such a program. More than 250 employees applied for the program and 224 applications were accepted.
A group of UND students is headed to space. Well, sort of. The "Dinonauts," a team of UND student researchers, won the 2018 Ken Souza Memorial Student Spaceflight Research Competition, the university announced in a news release. The team was awarded a $1,000 grant and a free ride into space for their science project aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.
A UND graduate student has been nationally recognized for his manuscript about unmanned aircraft systems. Jonathon Nord won this year's national Pi Alpha Master's Student Manuscript of the Year from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, the school announced on its faculty research blog. Nord's thesis focused on the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems and how the policies surrounding drones can adapt over time.
BISMARCK—The North Dakota National Guard is a step closer to funding its tuition assistance program for the rest of the biennium. The state Emergency Commission, chaired by Gov. Doug Burgum, also includes Secretary of State Al Jaeger and legislative leaders, voted 6-0 in favor of the Guard's proposal to move $450,000 within its budget to fund the program. Additionally, the commission approved $110,000 to be transferred from the State Contingency Fund to the Guard for the program that helps Guard members pay for college.
A partnership with the city of Grand Forks and UND could bring a more consistent bus schedule for UND students, along with a reduced expense for the school, city and university, leaders said. Plans are in the works for the city to take over the university's three bus routes next fall, including trading out three outdated buses for new ones. The city receives federal funding for its bus services, but UND would have to pay a cost share of the yearly cost as a part of the new bus share program.
UND students will be casting a vote next week that could impact generations of students to come. Students will decide Tuesday if they want to make an $80 million investment in a new Memorial Union. Students currently pay $1.21 per credit hour on a bond for the current union. However, should the referendum pass, that would go up to $14 per credit hour to pay for the new building, in addition to other student fees they already pay.
BISMARCK—Grand Forks has been selected as one of North Dakota's eight dispensary sites for medical marijuana, the state Department of Health announced Thursday. We-Mend LLC will be operating as Strive Life and will locate its facility in Grand Forks, the department said in a news release.
UND President Mark Kennedy will be away from the school for a few weeks for a planned medical procedure for his heart, the university said Wednesday. Kennedy will be out of the office on scheduled medical leave beginning Thursday. He will return to office on Monday, Dec. 3. The president will be "having a preventative, minimally invasive, robot-assisted mitral valve repair procedure, which was planned for November for minimal disruption," the university said in a statement.
The recommendation to split North Dakota's higher education governance into three boards is receiving mixed support from legislators and higher education officials. Members of Gov. Doug Burgum's Higher Education Task Force voted to advance the concept of a three-board governance model for the state's 11 colleges and universities on Tuesday after almost 10 months of discussions and meetings.
North Dakota National Guard leaders are working to restore funding for their tuition assistance program, which provides scholarships to ROTC students and soldiers across the state. The Guard does not have enough money in its budget to pay for student tuition for the upcoming spring semester, but the organization is actively trying to solve the issue, National Guard Adjutant Gen. Alan Dohrmann said.