Honors Council Members

Ana Lopez-Aguilera

Ana M. Lopez-Aguilera (Ph.D. Univ. Nebraska-Lincoln) studied Translation, Interpreting and Pedagogy

in Málaga (Spain) and she obtained her Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a dissertation on Spanish novelist Belén Gopegui. In 2019, Dr. Lopez-Aguilera joined Bemidji State University where she teaches Spanish language and Hispanic Cultural Studies. She regularly incorporates high-impact practices into her teaching.

Her research and teaching interests focus on cultural products that show a strong civic commitment, environmental humanities, and translation and interpreting for the community. López-Aguilera has published literary and movie reviews in different journals, as well as teaching tips and activities on how to bring a critical analysis of visual products and environmental topics into the Spanish language class. Currently, she is working on an anthology in Spanish of ecofeminist texts by Latin American and Spanish authors.

Mitchell Blessing

A sculptor and designer, Mitch has been a student of visual communication his whole life. As an art scholar, he studied in Spain and England before returning home to Bemidji to earn his BFA in Sculpture. He then went on to receive his MFA in Sculpture and 3D Design at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. After nearly 10 years as an entrepreneur and an advertising agency Creative Director, Mitch is now in his fifth year following his life goal of teaching art and design in higher education here at BSU.

Mark Christensen

Dr. Mark Christensen, a professor of English at Bemidji State University, has published three books, one a poetry collection that was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the second a textbook for the writing of essays, the third a memoir in prose poems.

He has published poems in venues around the country, as well as scholarly articles and popular press essays and commentaries.  He maintains an active teaching and research agenda, centering on issues of composition theory, pedagogy, and the teaching of creative writing.

A regular in Bemidji’s annual Opera Night performances, he has also performed readings of his creative writing for various venues, including the Minnesota Arts Council’s Spoken Word series held in Bemidji and the university’s Honors Council lecture series.

As a singer, he has performed in recitals, ensemble performances, as a guest soloist at the Bismarck State College Spring Choral Concert, as a bass in roles such as Bartolo in the Loon Opera Company production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, as Mr. Gobineau in that company’s production of The Medium, as The Bonz in Madama Butterfly, as Zuniga in the Lake Bemidji Summer Opera Festival production of Carmen and as the title role in the same company’s production of Paul Bunyan. He has also sung roles in musical theater, including Kiss Me, Kate, as Charles Dickens in an adaptation of A Christmas Carol:  the Musical, and as Juan Peron in Evita.

Professor Christensen has earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English, an M.E.P.D. and a Ph.D. in English Education, an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and a B.A. in Music.  He began teaching in 1975; he began teaching at Bemidji State in 1990.

Colleen Deel

Colleen Deel has served as the Interlibrary Loan and Collection Management Librarian at Bemidji State University since 2017. Her research interests include critical library pedagogy and library collection strategies. She holds a Master’s of Library and Information Science from Kent State University (2011) and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Bemidji State University (2020).


Patrick Leeport

Patrick Leeport is an Assistant Professor of Library and Library Services. His current work as the Research and Instruction Services Librarian at A.C. Clark Library includes assisting students from a variety of disciplines in identifying information sources appropriate for their research. His own current research interests include critical information literacy pedagogy and exploring issues of power within information structures. He received his degree (MA) in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015.

Sue Rickers

Sue is an Associate Professor and Department Chair in Social Work. She enjoys teaching a variety of courses at BSU and interacting with future social workers. Sue has a range of work experiences working with diverse populations and in a variety of settings. Sue is interested in the experiences of social work practitioners, social work education, and holistic approaches to well-being. 


Ashik Shafi

Ashik Shafi’s research areas include media coverage of foreign events, and the use of new communication technologies in journalism and mass communication.

His education includes a Ph.D. degree from Wayne State University (2017), a master’s degree from Texas Tech University, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. His research has been published in the Journal of Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal and Communication Booknotes Quarterly, and he has presented at conferences such as AEJMC, NCA, ICA and CSCA.

Ashik has taught classes on media writing, public relations, copy-editing, and research methods in communication. He has three years of experience in newspaper and public relations agency.

Miriam Webber

Miriam Webber recently joined the BSU faculty as Assistant Professor of Music where she teaches courses in the music theory, music technology and courses in the Honors Program. She holds a Bachelor’s of Music from Ball State University in Bassoon Performance, and Master’s of Music from both McGill University and the University of Kansas in Bassoon Performance and Music Theory, respectively. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Kansas.  

Her current research investigates narrative processes within Shostakovich’s works as these processes relate to Soviet literary theory. Other research interests include pedagogy and performance studies. She has presented several papers at university events and international conferences.  She has also recently published an article in the International Double Reed Society’s The Double Reed 

Professor Webber is also an active bassoonist and has performed with orchestras across the country, including the Bemidji Symphony, Heartland Symphony, Muncie Symphony, Kokomo Symphony, Southeast Kansas Symphony, Fort Hays Symphony, Springfield Symphony, St. Joseph Symphony, Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestras. 

Marty Wolf

Honorary Lifetime Council Member, 2021
Website: Marty J. Wolf

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