Board Chair - Fargo
Dennis Cooley received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Rochester in 1995. His teaching and research interests include theoretical and applied ethics with a focus on pragmatism, bioethics, business ethics, personhood, and death and dying. He is the author of Technology, Transgenics, and a Practical Moral Code, Death’s Values and Obligations: A Pragmatic Framework, and co-edited Passing/Out: Identity Veiled and Revealed. He is Secretary General of the International Academy of Medical Ethics and Public Health; Editor of Springer’s International Library of Bioethics; Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Ethics, Medicine and Public Health; and Director of the Northern Plains Ethics Institute.
Vice Chair - Dickinson
Growing up in Minnesota, Linda Steve graduated from Moorhead State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting. She has been a Certified Public Accountant in Dickinson since 1981 and now semi-retired in her private practice. Steve has served as a member and officer of many boards of directors and committees, both state and local, including nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She lists among her favorite those which expanded her interest in the arts and humanities. She has two adult children.
Sarah Vogel is a lawyer from Bismarck. In 1988 she was the first woman in the United States to be elected to lead a state Department of Agriculture. Her legal practice has been in North Dakota and nationwide and has centered on representing farmers and ranchers against unfair treatment by federal agencies, state agencies, and businesses. She is now semi-retired and a published author. Her book, The Farmer's Lawyer, was released in 2021.
Lyle Best enjoys variety and has had many varied experiences in life, including washing dishes in the 7th grade to earn his 35 cent hot lunch ticket, smoke jumping for the US Forest Service, assembly line work in a German VW plant, 20+ years as a physician for the Indian Health Service, and his current work as a genetic researcher. Lyle is a lifelong learner and an avid reader of history, government, religion, ethics and science. His wife and he are currently living with his son's family on their ranch 14 miles SE of Watford City.
Dina Butcher has worked the past twelve years as a private investigator in her family owned business, but prior to that had extensive experience in state government, serving as North Dakota Human Rights Division director for Gov. John Hoeven, director of Community Services Division and senior staff member for Gov. Ed Schafer, as well as director of his state Leadership Initiative, and deputy agriculture commissioner in the 1980s. She owned and operated Association Management Services, Inc., for nine years, working as a lobbyist for various agricultural interests, managing agricultural associations, and launching grass roots businesses.
Patty teaches sociology at North Dakota State University where she is a pioneer in teaching online classes. She is one of the early instructors to encourage students to volunteer in the community which later became known as service learning. She taught at Great Falls College- Montana State University and United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. She was a police detective with the Fargo Police Department and is a motivational speaker and corporate consultant. Patty lives in Fargo and has 4 children and 6 grandchildren.
Angela Samfilippo Gorder
Angie has spent her 20+ year career in finance. Originally from Michigan, she relocated to Chicago after college, shortly thereafter was hired by a Minneapolis-based firm and, while there, met and married a North Dakota native. They relocated to Bottineau where her husband farms and she continues her career remotely. She currently serves on the investment Committee for the Northwest Area Foundation, a St. Paul, MN non-profit that focuses on reducing poverty in the Dakotas and six other upper midwest and western states. She has been a bookworm her entire life, enjoys gardening and has truly enjoyed becoming part of the ND community.
Dr. Johnson is an Associate Professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. He serves as the Assistant Medical Director for the Diabetes Center at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota. A graduate of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dr. Johnson completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of North Dakota-Fargo Program and is Board Certified in Family Medicine.
Prairie Rose Seminole
Prairie Rose has a passion for community and civic engagement. She brings experience serving on a diverse range of boards such as the Fargo Film Festival, Native American Voices, Fargo Human Relations Committee, Center for Interfaith Projects, among many more. She has been a part of efforts, institutions, and organizations that have seeded, supported, and strengthened public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement on local, state, and national levels. Prairie Rose grew up in North Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of ND on the Fort Berthold Reservation.
Barb Solberg graduated with a B. S. Ed and MA degrees from the University of North Dakota. She taught humanities both in public schools and at Minot State University including literature, writing, and communication. She left the classroom in the mid-1990s to be a pioneer in web-based learning as the instructional designer and faculty developer for online learning at Minot State University. She subsequently became an online learning consultant with one of the two foremost online learning software companies. Solberg and her husband, Richard, have two adult children and five grandchildren all of whom reside in North Dakota.
Amy Stromsodt, CFRE, is a Development Director for the North Dakota Community Foundation working out of the Foundation’s Larimore, ND office. She is a UND grad and a former ND House member. Amy is an active volunteer having served 6 years on the ND Supreme Court Disciplinary board, 12 years on the Emerado School Board and the ND Association of Fundraising Professionals Board. She is a Bowhay Institute of Legislative Leadership Development Fellow and alumni of the American Council of Young Political Leaders. She has traveled internationally and brings her unique perspective to the Humanities ND Board.
Rebecca Thiem is a North Dakota native who grew up in Fargo, ND. After attending Valparaiso University where she obtained a Humanities degree, she volunteered in VISTA for a year in Rapid City, SD. She clerked for a year with Judge Myron Bright after graduating from UND Law School in 1980. She has practiced law in Bismarck since 1982. Rebecca loves to learn and is pleased to join the Humanities North Dakota board.
Hamzat is the Chair of the North Dakota New American Foreign-Born Immigrant Advisory Board. With a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations, he teaches Research Scholars in the Honors Programs at the University of North Dakota. As a playwright, he wrote, among others, L’ombre de nuit, Quand L’oiseau S’envole. He worked as an actor and director in France and Togo, crossing paths with Robert Wilson. He is the CEO of Kori-ko, LLC and Kori Art and serves as the Director of Praxis Africa. In addition, he is the Community Outreach Specialist for the City of Grand Forks. He speaks multiple languages and is a 2021 NEA Translation Fellowships recipient.
Harley D. Engelman
Harley Engelman and his wife, Rebecca, are the co-founders of The Engelman Group. The company is an integrated marketing and management solutions company specializing in vocational rehabilitation business partnership strategies, disability-related messaging and imagery, and arts and education program development. Engelman is currently a contract consultant with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and current president of the Bismarck Public Schools Foundation. During his 45+ years of professional experience, he served as the Business Relations/Marketing Director for the North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NDDVR). Engelman holds a M.B.A. and a B.S. in Organizational Leadership/Management from the University of Mary and an Associates in Management form Bismarck Junior College.