Reserve tickets by Monday for Women's Day conference
The theme for this year's Women's Day conference is "Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination."|
The conference is Wednesday in the Mundt Foundation from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended for those who plan to attend the luncheon. Cost is $12 per person. Members of the public and Dakota State University faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. Tickets can be reserved by calling Shelly Rawstern at 256-5177 by Monday.
This year's luncheon keynote speaker is Public Utilities Commissioner Kristie Fiegen. Afternoon speakers are DSU Vice President for Academic Affairs Cecelia Wittmayer; Trinity Lutheran Church Pastor Constanze Hagmaier and DSU Associate Professor of Physics Barbara Szczerbinska. Wittmayer's talk begins at 1 p.m.; Hagmaier is at 2 p.m.; and Szczerbinska is at 3 p.m.
Fiegen was appointed to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Aug. 9, 2011. She was then elected to a six-year term on the commission in 2012. Prior to joining the PUC, Fiegen was the president of Junior Achievement of South Dakota for 17 years and was recognized as the top Junior Achievement USA President in 2008. Her career also includes serving as the South Dakota area manager for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for nine years and as a sales representative for Monsanto Company. Her public service career includes four terms in the South Dakota House of Representatives, from 1993 to 2001.
Fiegen is a South Dakota State University graduate who also holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of South Dakota. She grew up on her family's farm near Chancellor and is a graduate of Parker High School. She and her husband Tim have two sons, Alexander and Jackson.
Wittmayer has been vice president for academic affairs at DSU since 1998. She has a Ph.D. in business administration/ marketing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She also holds a bachelor's degree in science-writing journalism (technical writing) and a master's degree in mass communications from South Dakota State University. She came to DSU as an assistant professor of marketing in 1986. Prior to that, she worked in a long list of sometimes-interesting jobs, including manufacturing plants for Tonka Toys, plastic bags and ironing boards.
She also worked for the Sioux Falls bureau of the Associated Press; Montana Department of Fish and Game's Outdoors magazine; a Catholic grade school as the bookkeeper; SDSU's academic assessment center for undecided majors; South Dakota Public Radio; and Gurney Seed and Nursery Company. Wittmayer and her husband live in rural Howard. Their daughter is an architect in Bismark, N.D.
Hagmaier was born in Walsrode, Germany, to Klaus and Ingrid Geselle. She has one brother, Thorsten. A defining time for her in high school was when she became a Rotary exchange student in 1987-88 and spent a year as a high school junior in Brandon, where she attended Brandon Valley High School. During that year she not only became more proficient in English, but also grew as a person and finished her schooling at Gymnasium Walsrode in 1991 majoring in English & Art, and acquiring minors in biology and religion. Upon graduation she enrolled at the Ruprecht Karl's University in Heidelberg, Germany to study theology.
She graduated in 1999 and immigrated to the United States with her husband and son in 1999. They made their first home in Sioux Falls, but soon moved to Waubay, where they served as many as five congregations. Both she and her husband were ordained in 2001. From 2004-09 she served Salem Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Parkston while her husband served at First Lutheran (ELCA) in Mitchell. In 2006, during their time in Parkston and Mitchell, they became naturalized citizens of the United States. In 2009 they both accepted calls to Trinity Lutheran (ELCA) in Madison, where she currently serves as the Administrative Pastor. She and her husband Dirk have a son Paul and two foster children Lymann and Lamy Walker.
Szczerbinska has been an Associate Professor of Physics at DSU since 2006. She received her PhD in Physics with an emphasis on theoretical nuclear physics from the University of South Carolina (USC) in 2006. Prior to that, she spent 18 months working at the Institute of Nuclear Physics (present the Polish Academy of Science) in Poland. She also holds a master's in theoretical physics from University of Wroclaw in Poland.
Her current research interests focus on neutrino physics, geoneutrinos and dark matter. She established the Center for Theoretical Underground Physics and Related Areas, the main goal of which is to bring together scientists from around the world with different talents and skills to address the most exciting questions in particle and nuclear physics, astrophysics, geosciences, and geomicrobiology. She also supervises the Women in Science and Technology organization at DSU and serves on the Board of Directors for the Kirby Science Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion.
The Women's Day conference is organized by a committee that includes Vicki Sterling, Maria Harder, Lynette Molstad, Nancy Moose, Jennifer Nash, Chrystal Pauli, Gina Peak and Lynn Ryan.