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Upcoming events at the Center for Research and Innovation

BEMIDJI, Minn. (April 5, 2010) — Upcoming events sponsored by the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation include Academy of Lifelong Learning lectures on the Open World exchange program and Mary Gibbs, former director of Itasca State Park.

All events are held at the Center for Research and Innovation, 3801 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji, unless otherwise noted.

Academy of Lifelong Learning lecture: “Open World—Russian Medical Exchange Program.”
Presenter: Alice Thompson, Community Coordinator, Open World Exchange Program.
Open World’s mission is to improve understanding and cooperation between the United States and Eurasian and Baltic states by developing a network of leaders in the region who have gained significant, firsthand exposure to America’s democratic, accountable government and its free-market system. Over 14,000 people have participated in Open World programs and learned about business, civic, home and community life in the United States. Presenter and Bemidji State alumnus Alice Thompson has worked as a registered nurse and a nursing instructor. After 34 years in nursing education, she retired in 2004 and is currently the community coordinator for the Open World Exchange Program in Bemidji.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 13, 10-11:30 a.m.
Admission: free

Academy of Lifelong Learning: “Mary Gibbs: Defining Itasca.”
Presenter: Janet Rith-Najarian, Teacher-Consultant, Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education.
Janet Rith-Najarian will present a “living history” re-enactment of the life and work of Mary Gibbs, the first woman to serve as director and park manager for a state or national park. Gibbs was the third commissioner of Minnesota’s Itasca State Park, the second state park designated in the United States. Rith-Najarian’s presentation will include background on the founding of Itasca State Park and the difficulty involved in trying to determine and map the Mississippi headwaters region. Rith-Najarian has master’s and doctorate degrees in environmental science and geography and is on the board of directors for the Beltrami County Historical Society.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.
Admission: free

Webinar: “Productive Conflict: A Collaborative Process for Conflict Resolution.”
Presenter: Doug Peters, DS Performance Group
Participants will learn an actionable process for resolving conflicts quickly, productively and with minimal stress. This is the last webinar in the four-part “Working Together Better” series.

Date and time: Tuesday, April 20, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Fee: $39.00
Additional information:

Individuals who wish to be added to the center’s mailing list or have questions regarding these events should contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; or via e-mail,

• Center for Research and Innovation:

About Bemidji State University Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling more than 5,000 students, the University offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and nine graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding. For further information about the University, visit Become a fan of Bemidji State University on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.