New Faculty in 2015


Alyssa Walker

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines


This year we welcomed five new faculty to the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines. We are excited to have their expertise and talent at UND.

Social Work

Barbara Kitko, MSW, LSW – Assistant Professor

Professor Kitko graduate with an MSW in 2002 and BSSW from UND in 2008. She has more than 25 years of direct social work practice including 17 years as a school social worker for Grand Forks Public Schools. She served as an adjunct faculty member with the Department prior to her full-time appointment in August. She will be teaching SWK 424: Generalist practice with Individuals & Families, SWK 553: Advanced Generalist Practice with Families, and a Children’s Mental Health elective for graduate students. She also serves as a field liaison to BSSW & MSSW students.

Yi-Ping Hsieh, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor

Dr. Hsieh has a degree in Medical Sociology and Social Work, an MS in Language Education, and a PhD in Educational Psychology from Indiana University. She worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Florida State University in mental health research, as an assistant professor at the Department of Medical Sociology and Social Work at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan, and worked at the Institute of Education at National Cheng Kung University. Yi-Ping is an interdisciplinary scholar within the college. She collaborates with all three departments to provide direction for interdisciplinary research. Her research interests include child maltreatment, parenting, domestic violence, behavioral and mental health problems of children and adolescents, and problematic internet use.

Todd Sage, MSW, LCSW, LAC – Assistant Professor, NCWWI & Title IV-E Coordinator

He receive his BASW fromm California State University, San Bernadino, MSW for Portland State University and completed his addiction studies at Portland Community College. Professor Sage’s career includes work as a Child Protective Services worker in Oregon and North Dakota, serving as a Guardian ad Litem, a Hospital Social Worker, child Forensic Interviewer, and Disability Analyst. His research and practice include the use of motivational interviewing in child welfare, ICWA compliance, ethical use of social media, and addressing North Dakota child welfare workforce shortages.


Dawn Denny, Ph.D., RN, ONC – Assistant Professor

Dr. Denny received her BSN from Bethel University and her PhD from the University of North Dakota. Her nursing practice spans almost 25 years as she worked in orthopedics, Medical-surgical nursing, oncology, and nursing administration. She also taught at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, MT for three years prior to coming to UND. This fall, Dr. Denny is teaching Nursing 474: Professional Development II and Nursing 282: Health Promotion.

Rhoda Owns, Ph.D., MS, BSN, RN – Clinical Assistant Professor

Dr. Owens received her BSN from Minot State University, MS from University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, and PhD in Teaching and Learning from the University of North Dakota. Her nursing practice spans 23 years as she worked in medical-surgical nursing, home health and hospice, hospice coordinator, pediatrics, staff development, walk-in clinic, and hospital supervisor. During the next 6 years of her nursing career, she taught for Williston State College, Dakota Nursing Program prior to coming to UND. This fall, Dr. Owens is teaching Nursing 474: Professional Role Development II and Nursing 371 Adult Nursing Care I.