Nursing professor Glenda Lindseth and chemistry professor Julia Zhao have received UND’s highest academic honor – the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship. The award is given to faculty who have made significant achievements in research, teaching, and service…and who have also been nationally acclaimed or recognized for their work inside and outside the classroom.
It’s not easy to make fun of a UND professor, but that’s exactly what her colleagues had to do to surprise Glenda Lindseth with the University’s highest academic honour, the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship. .
It took three weeks of planning, a fake research budget meeting, a secret text message to the provost’s office, a fake brown bag lunch and another SOS call for his “help” – but they did it. They succeeded.
“It was kind of a convoluted lie but hopefully we’re all forgiven,” laughed Maridee Shogren, clinical professor and acting dean of the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines. “We wanted to make this special for Glenda. She is wonderful and so deserving of this award. She truly embodies a true mentor for all our colleagues in the three departments. »
A faculty member for nearly 40 years, Lindseth – the former director and former associate dean of nursing research at the CNPD – was one of only two UND professors who were surprised on Monday by the president of UND Andy Armacost and Provost Eric Link. The other was chemistry professor Julia Zhao from the UND College of Arts and Sciences.
Neither professor had a clue what was going on when the president and provost arrived early Monday afternoon with a small news crew in tow.
“Hello, it’s great to be here. We just went out for a walk on this beautiful day,” Armacost said with a smile, along with sarcasm at least as thick as the ice left by the storm of the eve.” I just decided to drop by because I have a meeting later this week with a large group of faculty members. They’re known as the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professors, and we thought we’d add one to this group…how about that?
“I say we should do this…Glenda?” Link responded as the room, all eyes on Lindseth, erupted in applause.
“Oh my God, it’s a great honor,” Lindseth said. “I can’t believe you survived all of this (stormy weather) to come this afternoon.”
“It’s our honor to be here to honor you,” Armacost said, inviting him to join them at the front of the room, where Link shared some glowing remarks from a thick stack of letters of recommendation. .
From a colleague he read: “Research is a central aspect of her career as a research scientist, educator and service provider at UND. She has been and continues to be successful in securing grants and research topics related to the effects of nutrition and diet on performance outcomes.
“With credentials and training supporting a unique combination of nursing, nutrition, and behavioral sciences, Lindseth has earned millions of research dollars from highly competitive sources such as the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. .”
She also formed an interdisciplinary research team to secure funding for the construction of the Northern Plains Center for Behavioral Research, the letter author said. Well known nationally, she was the first nurse to win the coveted Behavioral Research Application Planning Grant.
Another letter stated, “Her accomplishments place her beyond any doubt among America’s top scholars in her field. And over the years, she has evolved as UND’s ambassador on the world stage.
And from a third letter: “Our UND community is a better place to learn and grow professionally thanks to Dr. Glenda Lindseth. I can think of no one more worthy of this great honour.
With that came a standing ovation from the crowd of colleagues. Moments later, Armacost invited her to receive an official medallion and early spring honors on May 14, “if your schedule permits,” to which Lindseth quickly joked, “Oh my time will permit”, and the room erupted into more applause and laughter.
The president then presented Lindseth with a presidential coin showing the eternal flame and words from the alma mater: “We raise our grateful song.”
“This is just a small way of saying thank you for all you have done for the University, for your students and for your colleagues,” Armacost said. “We are honored to present you with this honour.”
“Thank you. It means so much to me,” Lindseth said. “It’s just an honor to be with everyone today. I can’t believe all these people showed up. They came for a presentation (brown bag) and they’re probably more shocked than I. I’m really grateful.
As friends and colleagues surrounded Lindseth in personal congratulations, the presidential entourage marched across campus to surprise the next unsuspecting winner at Abbott Hall.
This is where they blocked Professor Zhao’s chemistry class in session.
“We just heard there was an awesome conference going on, and we thought we’d invite each other to sit down and listen,” Armacost said. “Students, you must realize that the most distinctive honor for a faculty member on our campus is an award called the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship…and we are here to congratulate you on your selection, Dr. Zhao.”
“Ohhhh, thank you,” Zhao said as his class burst into exuberant applause.
Link said the award is given only to faculty who have made significant achievements in research, teaching and service and who have also been nationally acclaimed or recognized for their work internally and externally. of the classroom.
And, of course, there were more words of praise to share from the 35 pages that colleagues had submitted in Zhao’s name.
Since 2004, Zhao has developed into a preeminent expert in nanoparticles and nanomaterials, he said. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, several guest book chapters, and a book on the subject. She has also presented her work at conferences around the world.
Of a letter, Link read, “She leads one of the largest and strongest research groups in our department, serving as a role model for her students. Additionally, it is committed to protecting the University’s intellectual property rights, while licensing its technology through eight approved patents and two pending patents.
And from another: “His positive influence on others extends far beyond the individual level of his lab team and associates through his service and outreach efforts. …She is a tireless advocate for underrepresented groups and STEM disciplines, continually seeking ways to reach out and connect effectively with others.
“Her Sunday Academy and virtual learning videos have helped her build relationships among the tribal student communities of North Dakota. She generously gives of her time and encourages her students to participate as well, firmly embodying the importance of better understanding between cultures and languages.
The students in the class supported these thoughts.
“I really appreciate Dr. Zhao being here,” said senior Jackson Hopfauf. “She is a great person to be around. She is always enthusiastic about teaching and she is always happy to see our involvement in our research, our articles and all that goes with it.
Senior Lincoln Kranz added, “She is super encouraging. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s not a harsh criticism, but a very encouraging criticism, and it’s really beneficial for most students.
Armacost presented Zhao with the presidential coin and also invited her to the Spring Commencement to receive official stage honors.
Only about 80 faculty members have earned the position of Chester Fritz Professor Emeritus since its inception. As the University’s highest academic honor, it was established through an endowment gift from the late UND benefactor Chester Fritz (1892-1983).
Each year, income from the endowment provides cash stipends to one or more full-time UND faculty members, who may then use the title Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor.