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Former Faculty

Following is some information about Professors Emeriti as well as faculty who spent more than a year in the department and who retired from or left the department since about 1980.

Professors Emeriti

Dr. Ray Carlson
Retired 1984

Ray arrived at Bemidji State Teachers College in 1952 as the first Assistant Professor of Psychology at the school. He was instrumental in establishing and expanding the psychology program. He did this, in part, by requiring that psychologists working in the Counseling Center also teach part-time in the Psychology Department. This gave the counselors another perspective on the students they were serving as well as increasing the number of course offerings. Ray taught in the Psychology Department from 1952 - 1956 and again from 1981 - 1984. The remainder of his tenure at Bemidji State College and BSU was spent as Dean of Students. Among other classes, Ray taught statistics. Ray was named a Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. Ray is happily involved in a host of the usual retiree activities, traveling, gardening, volunteering, etc. Professionally, he and an associate recently completed a quasi-experimental venture to reclaim a derelict, crime-ridden housing complex. The outcomes were highly successful, and the program could serve as a model for similar efforts.

Dr. Jack Downing
Retired 1993

When Jack arrived at Bemidji State College in 1961, he was on the Education faculty. He taught in the Psychology Department and was Director of Counseling and Remedial Services from 1965 - 1969. He became Dean of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences and continued serving as Dean until he retired. Since retiring, Jack's "volunteer job" is doing disaster relief as a mental health specialist for the American Red Cross. He has worked more than 20 disasters (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, tropical storms, wildfires, a supertyphoon, and an act of terrorism) in 13 different states plus the territory of Guam.

Dr. Don Dyrhaug
Retired 1993

Don began teaching at Bemidji State College in 1965. Along with other courses, Don regularly taught Abnormal Psychology. He served as Department Chair for 10 years. In the early years, Don shared an appointment in the Counseling Center; he also served as Director of the Counseling Center. He was named a Professor Emeritus upon his retirement. Don and his wife, Sylvia who was a professor in the Music Department, provided the initial endowment for the Dyrhaug Scholarship, awarded in alternate years to an outstanding student majoring in Psychology and an outstanding student majoring in Music. Don and Sylvia now live in the metro area and enjoy being close to their children and grandchildren. 

Dr. Louise H. Jackson
Retired 2010

Louise Jackson taught in the Psychology Department for 27 years, from 1983 to 2010.  She was instrumental in intensifying undergraduate training in the Community Service, and Applied Psychology majors, teaching the Advanced Counseling Skills practicum for most of those years.  Her teaching style was punctuated with connecting University and Community in a variety of ways, e.g. Death and Culture students traveled to funeral homes and cemeteries for first hand experience with the business of death, Lifespan Development students had service learning experiences in day care centers, Boys & Girls Clubs, and after school learning programs.  Students in Living in Isolated and Confined Environments took long field trips to SuperMax prisons to study confinement.   She is most proud of her initiation of the Applied Psychology Advisory Committee, consisting of area professionals who offered input and advice to the department.  That committee has been updated to Psychology Advisory Committee and consists of professionals who supervise our undergraduates and graduates on their internships.

Another hallmark was her joy at offering new courses in expanding programs across campus.  Since first arriving at BSU, she was part of the development of a number of new programs offered to meet changing career paths for students.  These included: Women’s Studies minor, the Master of Arts in Behavioral Sciences (MAABS), Space Studies minor, Early Childhood Education concentration, and most recently the Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (MSCP) in the Psychology Department.  As she approached retirement, she collaborated with Dr. Russ Lee to offer the Jackson & Lee Graduate Scholarship for outstanding students in the MSCP program.

Dr. Jackson found special meaning in traveling abroad to teach her favorite courses in other countries.  She was able to engage in four teaching abroad experiences.  The first at Taras Schevchenko University in Kiev, Ukraine in 1993-4, followed by her first Fulbright Scholarship at Tallinn Pedagogical, in Tallinn Estonia,2000-2001, then an exchange at Aalborg University in Aalborg, Denmark, 2004, and finally, her second Fulbright at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.  She taught Counseling and Psychotherapy Practicum and other clinical courses at each of these schools, as well as conducted research into the lives of professional women.

Following her first teaching abroad experience in Ukraine, Dr. Jackson wrote grants to fund five students to take their senior year with the Psychology Department in an effort to bridge the international gap between BSU and Ukraine.  Those students left an indelible mark on the department and have gone on to fine careers around the world.

She retired in August, 2010 and left immediately for her Fulbright assignment as Scholar, Tallinn Pedagogical, Estonia and Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic. 

Dr. Russell Lee
Retired 2008

Dr. Lee taught at Bemidji State University for 35 years: from 1973 until 2008.  Early in his career here he served as Director of the Counseling Center.  Later, he served nine years as Chair of the Psychology Department, and was the long-time Director of BSU's award-winning faculty development center, which he founded.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Masters degree in Counseling Psychology. Near the end of his career he was offered the position of Dean, but turned it down so that he could continue the teaching that he loved.

One of the university's most popular teachers, Russ won the university-wide Outstanding Teacher award, and several statewide Outstanding Faculty Developer awards.  His classes usually filled to the maximum, and some of his lectures drew standing room only crowds. Among his publications is a book: Lee, R. F. & Casey, D. (2004). (Eds.) Crisis & trauma in colleges & universities. Ellicott City, MD: Chevron Publishing.

He established, along with Louise Jackson, the Jackson & Lee Scholarship in Counseling Psychology.  He continues to practice as a Licensed Psychologist, supervising other psychologists, and travels around the country conducting workshops on a variety of faculty development issues. 

Other former faculty

Ms. Daryl Bayer
Taught 1982-1985

Daryl is deceased.

Dr. Carol Borden (aka Bennett)
Taught full-time 2006-2010 and part-time previously

Carol taught as adjunct faculty off and on for many years in the Psychology Department before joining the department as a full-time member in 2006.  She taught a variety of courses, including Cognitive Psychology, Lifespan Development, and Research Methods.  She was a research mentor to a number of students, leading to conference presentations of their work.

Drs. Katie and Gene Bradfield
Retired 1979

Katie and Gene started teaching at Bemidji State College in 1966.  Gene was half-time in the Counseling Center, and Katie was full-time teaching in the Psychology Department.  Katie was hired for the primary purpose of developing the experimental aspect of the Psychology major.  Katie served as Chair of the Psychology Department for eight years and was instrumental in developing the Community Service major.  While she was Chair, the Department expanded with the addition of five new full-time positions.  Gene developed the Human Sexuality course as well as a course on Psychosocial Adjustment of the Handicapped.  They were early adopters of using technology for teaching, utilizing audio and video taped lectures for courses offered through the extension program.  After retiring, they became the first psychologists at the State Nursing Home in Walker (Ah-Gwah-Ching).  Katie served as Director of Resident Programs and Gene as Director of Psychology.  They remained at Ah-Gwah-Ching for 12 years before retiring.  They continued to be active with psychology, doing contract work with the Social Security Administration and volunteering in the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Program in Minnesota.  Until recently, they lived in rural Backus.   They currently live in Florida where they not only weathered the hurricanes of 2004 but helped out as volunteer radio operators.

Dr. Jan Callin
Taught 1987 - 1990

Jan worked in the Counseling Center as well as teaching in the Psychology Department. She taught a variety of classes, including General Psychology.

Dr. Tom Duncan
Taught 1979 - 1980

Tom taught at BSU for an academic year plus a summer session. He has the distinction of having retired a number of times before his first Minnesota winter set in. After leaving BSU, Tom returned to California to teach at Woodland Community College, a part of the Yuba Community College District. Tom and his wife and daughter live on a small farm, and Tom has earned his private pilot's license.

Dr. Ross Keiser
Taught 1985 - 1988

Ross is teaching in the Psychology Department at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Dr. Tim Martines
Taught 1989 - 1992

Tim is deceased.

Drs. Linda and Kurt Plachetta
Taught 1978 - 1982 (Linda) & 1977 - 1982 (Kurt)

Dr. Oscar Rouck
Retired 1982

Oscar arrived at Bemidji State College in 1967. He primarily taught statistics and learning. Oscar is deceased.

Mr. Richard Vogel
Taught 1965 - 1980

Dick worked in the Counseling Center as well as teaching in the Psychology Department.

Dr. Jay Wilimek
Taught 1979 - 1983

Jay taught a wide variety of courses, primarily in the Community Service program. Since leaving BSU, Jay has been in independent practice in Bemidji as a Licensed Psychologist. He shares office space with three other Ph.D. psychologists, two Licensed Independent Clinical Social Workers, and two psychiatrists.

Current Faculty

picture of Desiderato,  Dr. Laurie Desiderato, Dr. Laurie

  • Office: HS 208      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2945

Ph.D. West Virginia University
B.S. Connecticut College

picture of Driscoll,  Dr. Marsha Driscoll, Dr. Marsha
Professor, Department Chair

  • Office: HS 211      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2848
  • Website

Ph.D., M.A. Ohio State University,
M.A. University of East Anglia-England,
B.A. University of North Carolina-Greensboro

picture of Fournier,  Dr. Angela Krom Fournier, Dr. Angela Krom
Associate Professor

  • Office: HS 206      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2530

Ph.D. Virgina Tech,
B.S. Christopher Newport University

picture of Fultz,  Dr. Dwight E. Fultz, Dr. Dwight E.

  • Office: HS 210      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-4050
  • Website

Ph.D. University of Minnesota,
M.Ed. Georgia State University,
B.A. Bryan College

picture of Gonzalez,  Dr. John Gonzalez, Dr. John
Associate Professor

  • Office: HS 207      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2881

Ph.D. University of North Dakota,
B.S. Bemidji State University

picture of Gora,  Dr Keith M Gora, Dr Keith M
Assistant Professor

  • Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2882

Ph.D.University of Texas - Austin
M.S. Missouri State University
B.A. Northwestern University

picture of Hook,  Dr. Richard Hook, Dr. Richard

  • Office: HS 211      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2870
  • Website

Ph.D. Virginia Tech,
M.A. West Virginia University,
B.A. SUNY - Binghamton

Larson, Dr Kate
Assistant Professor

  • Office: HS 209      Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 755-2803
  • Website

Ph.D. Walden University
M.Ed. Washington State University
B.S. Bemidji State University


picture of Bennett, Russ Bennett, Russ

Ph.D., M.S., B.A. Ohio University

picture of Jackson,  Dr. Louise H. Jackson, Dr. Louise H.
Adjunct Faculty

  • Box #23
  • Phone: (218) 751-4820
  • Website

Ph.D. Indiana University
M.A. Eastern Michigan University
B.A. University of Michigan

picture of Lee, Russell Lee, Russell

Ed.D. Rutgers University
Ed.M. Rutgers University
B.A. The College of William and Mary