North Dakota University System
Physicists return to NDSU as Distinguished Alumni

Posted on 3/20/2017

A pair of successful physicists will give a joint seminar at NDSU this week. The classmates were named 2016-17 Distinguished Alumni winners for the College of Science and Mathematics.

Darrell Strobel and Harold Korb are scheduled to give presentations from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in Minard Hall room 230. Strobel's presentation is titled "The New Horizons Mission to Pluto." Korb's presentation is titled "From Wheat Fields to Watt Fields."

Strobel and Korb were NDSU's only physics graduates in 1964. Each moved on to lengthy and distinguished careers.

Strobel earned a master's and doctorate in physics at Harvard University, then filled his resume with research. He worked at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, from 1968 to 1973, and the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., from 1973 to 1984.

He became a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1984. He has been a key member of teams carrying out various aspects of several major NASA missions. His contributions to science were recognized with the prestigious Gerard P. Kuiper Prize in 2012.

After NDSU, Korb earned a master's in physics at Dartmouth College. He began his career in research and the development of groundbreaking electronics in 1966 at Bell Labs in Pennsylvania. While at Bell Labs, he earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Illinois in 1971.

Korb has made major contributions to several novel products in the silicon wafer industry. From 1976 to 1996, he created and led research and development groups at MEMC Electronic Materials to create new characteristics in silicon materials to enable the concurrent advances in integrated circuit technology. Korb is now a consultant working on physics and engineering to solve crystal growth problems.

Strobel also is scheduled to present "The Atmosphere of Pluto: Results from the New Horizons Mission" on Tuesday, March 21, at 3:30 p.m., in South Engineering room 221. Korb is slated to present "Out-of-the-Box Solutions to Silicon Crystal Growth Problems" on Thursday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m., in the Batcheller Technology Center room 271.

Other 2016-17 NDSU Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are:

Kim Dennis Timmers - College of Human Development and Education

Dennis Timmers, BS '83, design and architecture, is managing partner and part owner of Twin Cities interiors and architecture firm bdh+young. She builds client relationships, designs commercial businesses and mentors the next generation.

"I am humbled and honored beyond words to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. NDSU prepared me to become who I am now," Dennis Timmers said. "I learned life lessons about communication and getting along with people. It did so much to teach me about teamwork and time management - things that I use every day in my career. I'm a big believer in the education NDSU provides and the value it brings."

Steve Stark - College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Stark, BA '72, drama and speech, is a noted political cartoonist, performer and historian. He works for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, and writes a feature titled "This Week in Our History." An award-winning editorial cartoonist, Stark has published more than 3,000 cartoons. He has illustrated four books, and contributed numerous illustrations for educational, newspaper and advertising publications.

Stark gives "Illustrated History" programs, speaking to about 5,000 students annually in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He has presented in 28 states and Washington, D.C. He also was named North Dakota Humanities Traveling Scholar for his portrayal of Theodore Roosevelt and a North Dakota Council for the Arts artist-in-residence.

Robert Biberdorf - College of Health Professions

Biberdorf, BS '76, pharmacy, MS '78, pharmacy, is the senior executive director for Sanford Health. He oversees the pharmacy enterprise for an extensive health system serving thousands of patients. He has served in many other administrative roles throughout his career, and has been an assistant professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of Wyoming.

Biberdorf has received numerous awards, including Preceptor of the Year, Clinical Teacher of the Year, North Dakota Hospital Pharmacist of the Year and a commendation from the Veterans Administration Hospital. He's published articles and research in Hospital Pharmacy, Journal of Geriatric Drug Therapy and the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, among others.

Andrea Travnicek - College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources

Travnicek, BS '01, MS '04, PhD, '08, natural resources management, is manager of government relations and regulatory affairs for law firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen. Travnicek helps grow and manage the firm's regional footprint outside of the North Dakota state capital with her expertise and network of relationships in the areas of business-to-business, regional lobbying management and regulatory practice.

Travnicek previously worked as natural resources senior policy advisor to North Dakota Govs. John Hoeven and Jack Dalrymple. In that job, she worked with local, state and federal agencies to advance the management of North Dakota's diverse natural resources. She also has worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Ducks Unlimited.

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