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Retirement begins for 13 BSC employees

Published: May 05 2016
Retirement begins for 13 BSC employees - Photo
Thirteen faculty and staff at Bismarck State College have chosen to retire over the next two months, including the provost and two department chairs.
Their departure marks the first large wave of the baby boom generation leaving the BSC workplace, along with a few of the greatest generation’s youngest members. Together, they take 411 years of experience with them.
Dr. Drake Carter, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, worked for BSC 29 years. He spent 12 of them teaching biology courses and received the Faculty Achievement Award in 1998. Carter entered administration a year later as academic dean and was named to his current position in 2008.
Retiring department chairs are James Wright, Business Department, and Dr. Henry Riegler, Social Sciences, Humanities & Education Department.
Wright worked 44 years teaching 18 different business courses and every class in the Management program. His business credential steered him into nearly every BSC planning and governance committee. He received the Faculty Achievement Award in 1991 and worked statewide on faculty issues.
Riegler, 25 years, taught psychology and held positions that enabled him to develop and expand curriculum for BSC social science and humanities programs. He became department chair in 2011 and served as president of the Faculty Senate and the state Council of College Faculties.
J. Michael McCormack, longtime professor of history and campus and community raconteur, leaves after 50 years in the classroom. With his witty, rigorous teaching style, he made himself memorable to countless students. An Alumnus of the Year and Faculty Award of Excellence recipient, McCormack is well known for his high profile work in the Bismarck-Mandan community and his professional activities.
Associate professor Richard Malsam is a graduate of the Auto Collision Technology program he taught single-handed for 37 years. He initiated national certification for it and achieved Master Automotive Service Excellence certification as an instructor. Malsam served 30 years as chair of the Auto Collision Committee for the North Dakota Department of Career and Technical Education.
The Rev. Marv Mutzenberger, associate professor of sociology, started at BSC as a campus minister 36 years ago. BSC began giving him things to do, first coaching baseball and cross-country, then sociology, and for the past 10 years, all religion courses – 29 years as full-time and seven as adjunct. He has given more than 100 invocations and benedictions at BSC events and also serves area churches.   
Katherine Netzer, assistant professor of English, spent the first 16 of her 30 years in the Sykes Student Success Center tutoring. She taught as an English adjunct before going full time in 2002. Netzer was a faculty mentor and involved in Faculty Senate, ArtsQuest, Embracing Diversity Committee and Campus Read. She received the Faculty Award for Excellence in 2007.
Debbie Van Berkom has been executive assistant to three full-time BSC presidents and three interim presidents. Hired by Dr. Kermit Lidstrom 39 years ago, she has managed the offices of current BSC president, Dr. Larry C. Skogen, Dr. Donna Thigpen, and interim presidents Dr. Kent Alm, BSC Foundation Executive Director Gordon Binek, and BSC Executive Vice President David Clark. Van Berkom received the Staff Award for Excellence in 2006.
Mike Wavrin, food service manager, leaves BSC after 35 years of feeding thousands of students and employees, often working seven days a week. His experience ranges from a single cafeteria line and a few offerings to the new BSC MarketPlace of 500 items and catering. He attended University of North Dakota and graduated from BSC’s discontinued Hotel Restaurant Management program.   
Other staff retirees are Dr. Patrick Bjork (25 years), website manager, and Vicki Voskuil (14 years), public information specialist. Bjork taught composition and literature courses as assistant and associate professor of English before transitioning to website manager. Voskuil had a long career in print journalism before coming to BSC, where she focused on writing for the news media, alumni and college publications, academic catalog, website, BSC Foundation, admissions and human resources.
Daniel Landeis, assistant professor National Energy Center of Excellence the past 14 years, came to BSC after a 32-year career in the energy industry. He taught electric system components, print reading and safety courses for the Electric Power Technology program, and other courses for Power Plant Technology. He served on the General Education Committee.
Marilyn Eckroth was an administrative assistant and receptionist for eight years in the National Energy Center of Excellence. She provided office support to BSC administration, Great Plains Energy Corridor, and energy program administrative assistants.
To read more about these long-time employees, view the spring 2016 issue of BSC Magazine.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.