This month the Communication, Speech, Theatre Association of North Dakota (CSTAND) recognized Mary Haslerud Opp as CSTAND Teacher of the Year for 2014. Mary is the Director of Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication courses for the University of North Dakota Communication Program where she has taught since 1980.
In 2004 Mary was awarded the Bertin C. Gamble Award for Individual Excellence in Teaching. She has also won the outstanding teaching award from the Communication Program and very dear to her heart is being named a ‘Faculty Star’, when Presidential Scholars invite their favorite teacher to the Faculty Star Banquet which she has attended several times.
For Mary, teaching is who she is. She often says she was born to be a teacher and feels most invigorated when she can make a difference in a student’s life. She cherishes the thank you notes received from students from all walks of life, the older than average student, the student who is scared to death and ends up being the best speaker in class, the student who needs support, the students new to this country, and so many more that have just warmed her heart.
When hearing that she received this award, she asked if it was for real. Being recognized by her colleagues means the world to her and she is extremely grateful. We are so proud to have such an active, exciting person at UND. Congratulations, Mary.