Educational Foundations and Research
Current Student Bios
Jay Metzger grew up in Hope, ND and has been teaching in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences since 2013. After graduating high school Jay enlisted in the United States Army as a medical specialist and after his obligation became a paramedic for FM Ambulance in Fargo, ND. While working as a paramedic he was enrolled in undergraduate courses at NDSU and transferred to Des Moines University where he completed his Bachelors of Science in 2003, becoming a physician assistant. He obtained his Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2004. Jay has worked in trauma and general surgery in La Crosse, WI, emergency medicine in Bagley, MN, and most recently practiced full-time at Family HealthCare in Fargo, ND. He continues to practice part-time at UrgentMed in Fargo. Jay, his wife Shelley, and their two boys Jack and Matthew live in Argusville, ND. Jay enjoys spending time with his family hunting, fishing, coaching football and baseball, and cheering on his favorite college and professional football teams which both wear green and gold. Jay is an EFR doctoral student with an emphasis in research. His academic and research interests include active learning strategies for physician assistant students and interprofessional practices in health sciences education.
Nate Speidel grew up in Hazen, ND and currently teaches upper level mathematics at Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck, ND. After high school, Nate played junior hockey for the Bismarck Bobcats and continued on to play at Saint John's University. Nate earned a bachelor’s degree in Math Education from the University of Mary. In the summer of 2010, he was selected as a Klingenstein Summer Institute fellow in school leadership through Columbia University Teacher College. He obtained a Master's in the Art of Teaching - Mathematics through Minot State University. His experiences as student and teacher have been the fondest of his life. Nate coaches hockey and finds creative space as founder and head instructor of Goalrobber Hockey Schools - www.goalrobber.com. In addition to teaching and coaching, Nate enjoys playing chess, guitar, piano, singing, reading, longboarding, traveling, theology, fitness, technology, worship, languages, fishing, and tinkering. Nate is currently working toward his Ph.D. in EFR. He plans to research student motivation, faculty satisfaction, and school climate in order to consult schools and organizations toward more vibrant and effective learning cultures.
Meg Swenseth was born and raised on a ranch in rural Devils Lake, ND. After high school, she went on to graduate magna cum laude with both her Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of North Dakota (UND) and Masters of Clinical Psychology from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP). During the lull between graduating from ISPP and awaiting counseling licensure, Meg obtained a 200 hour yoga teacher certification. After a bumpy start trying to find her professional niche, Meg discovered a career that she is passionate about. As a vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor with the Lake Region Human Service Center, Meg works with individuals to help them circumnavigate their disability and become successfully employed. Within her doctoral research, Meg plans to vet out evidenced based practices for VR counselors. Eventually, she would love to publish her findings and provide trainings to VR departments across the country! Meg is happily married to her favorite co-adventurer, Brian Swenseth. Recently, they sent their first child, an Italian foreign exchange student, Elisa, back to Italy. During the same week, they brought their newborn son, Forrest, home. As a family, they enjoy traveling, kayaking, biking, remodeling their old house, photography, and snowboarding. When she has the opportunity, Meg loves to read, cook, and do yoga. Adding to the chaos that energizes them, the Swenseth’s have a cat named Sasha and a dog named Silo.
Originally from California, Warren Strand has found his way to the University of North Dakota after concluding two public service careers spanning more than 30 years. Warren completed his career as a professional Firefighter and Engineer in 1993, after which he embarked upon a second career in higher education. Warren has served students as a professor, chair, dean, director, and college president, along with several corporate positions in private universities and colleges. Warren hails from the discipline of history, wherein he has taught and researched within the sub-fields of Classical Greece and American History, as well as supportive cognates in classical languages and literatures, and political philosophy. The Ph.D. program in EFR promises to elucidate Warren's ongoing research on Woodrow Wilson and his role in the rise of the American University during the late nineteenth-century; this study poses questions as to why Wilson's "Liberal Culture" educational philosophy was overrun by the competing philosophies of "Utility" (Charles W. Eliot), and "Research" (Daniel Coit Gilman). The investigation includes critical analyses of several widely-held assumptions within higher education and its governing bodies, such as dominant views about the purpose of the university, the nature of progress, the value of democratization, and the confidence in economic determinism. Warren has studied and taught at UND since 2013 and makes his permanent home in Grand Forks together with his lovely wife Janet.
Michelle Garske is a doctoral student in Educational Foundations and Research at the University of North Dakota. Michelle proudly wears green when it comes to UND, having spent the past 14 years on campus. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration, Michelle has worked for the College of Business & Public Administration for over a decade and is currently the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs and Accreditation Coordinator. Michelle is pursuing the research emphasis within the EFR Program and intends to focus her research in higher education delivery methods and assessment processes.
Stacey Borboa-Peterson is a doctoral student in the foundations track of Educational Foundations and Research. Stacey has an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Mayville State University and a Master of Education from the University of North Dakota. Her graduate interests have focused on educational history, diverse populations, and educational access, specifically in higher education. Stacey's doctoral research centers on university mission statements and how they reflect what is happening in society at the time they are created.
Shayne Daku is a faculty member in Aviation. Since arriving at UND in February 2009 he has held various roles within the Aviation Department from Turbine Instructor to Lecturer. Preceding employment at UND he was a Captain with Air Wisconsin Airlines. Academically, he just completed an MS in Instructional Design and Technology. He is married with a 11 year-old son and an 8 year -old daughter.
Mandi Peterson was raised near McCanna, North Dakota. She is currently a research analyst at the Center for Rural Health. Her current research involves health workforce, policy, and health geography.
Matthew Myrold lives in Fargo, North Dakota where he has been a special education teacher for those identified with emotional disturbance for the past 13 years. With the permission of his administration, the special education director and the assistant superintendent, he initiated a self-contained classroom that focuses on social and emotional well-being using Cognitive Behavior Interventions. He received both his BS in English Education and MS in Special Education with a concentration on Emotional/Behavior Disorders from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Matthew is currently a doctoral student in the department of Educational Foundations and Research and has an emphasis in foundations. His research interests focus on social justice and systemic racism in the K-12 environment. In his free time, he enjoys spending as much time as possible in the out of doors enjoying all that Mother Earth offers daily.
Craig Garaas-Johnson grew up in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. The son of two teachers, one a Vietnam veteran who became an English teacher after his tour, Craig was always taught education was a means to address social inequalities. He graduated with a BA in composition from S.U.N.Y. Potsdam, and an MFA in poetry and fiction from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. He is pursuing a doctorate in Educational Foundations & Research with the goal of working in higher ed administration, or consulting in higher ed communications and marketing. Craig has been at UND for almost five years and currently serves as the Director of Advancement for the College of Arts & Sciences.
A native of Togo in West Africa, Hamzat A Koriko is a PhD student. As a published playwright, he is interested in art-based research methodology and feminism in Africa, and construction of identity through plays which addresses social issues related to language use and identity. He worked at the French National Theater "Comédie de Saint-Etienne" and is now the artistic director of African Arts Arena. Hamzat has been inducted into the "Tapestry of Diversity Talent" at NDSU in 2009, and received numbers of awards including a "McNair Scholarship", the "Delsie Holmquist Memorial Scholarship" and was nominated for the Grand Prix Afrique du Théâtre Francophone in 2009. He also received in 2014 the "Exceptional U Award" at UND. He wrote, translated and directed "Quand l'oiseau s'envole" that was invited to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region V in Kansas In 2010. Hamzat was featured in the Writers Conference 2011 at University North Dakota and is now a Graduate research assistant in EFR after having taught French for four years. His publications are « Quand l'oiseau s'envole » (2008) and « L'ombre d'une nuit » (2012). As a McNair Scholar, Hamzat has conducted a research on theater arts and the sacred. His dissertation topic addresses African play writing, gender and feminism using auto-ethnodrama.
Jacque Nyenhuis lives in Cavalier, North Dakota. Previously she was an Associate Professor at St Catherine University in St Paul, MN. teaching Interprofessional Education, Food Science and Intercultural Foods. She has also taught health education and nutrition at community colleges. Prior to that she taught Health Education in Hospitals and community venues. Jacque earned a BS in Food Science from Iowa State University and a MS in Nutrition from Louisiana State University. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Research interests include studying the impact of interventions aimed at improving the nutrition environment in schools and the community.
Lindsey Leker lives in Moorhead, Minnesota where she is a professor of psychology at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She received her master's degree in psychology from North Dakota State University in 2008, where she was a recipient of a research fellowship in cognitive neuroscience. Lindsey is currently a doctoral student in the department of Educational Foundations of Research and has an emphasis in research. Her current research interests include gender differences in math and science performance, student motivation and athlete motivation. In her free time, Lindsey enjoys spending time with her sons, Brody and Jace, and participating in triathlons and half marathons.
Aly Wilhelmi Downs is proud to hail from a fifth generation North Dakota farming community. Graduating with a Masters of Occupational Therapy from UND and a Dru Sjodin Memorial Scholarship Recipient, Aly has worked in the areas of mental health, addictions, and acute care hospitalization. It is from those experiences of helping people regain their lives that she has gained insight on stress's negative impact and developed the four step program "Coping with Stress: Crowning Your Health." In her current roles at CHI St. Alexius Health and the University of Mary as Adjunct Professor, her passion for education has flourished as she works on her PhD. When time for creativity and activity arises, Aly has been known to sing, cross country ski with her husband, scrapbook, and volunteer. She shares her life adventures at peacegardenstatestyle.blogspot.com, chronicling her love of North Dakota living.