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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week ending August 11

Commerce hires Wegeland as business development manager

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Department of Commerce has hired Zoe Wergeland as a business development manager in the Economic Development & Finance Division. The Economic Development & Finance Division is charged with coordinating the state's economic development resources to attract, retain and expand wealth.

A native of Bismarck, Wergeland previously served as a special projects coordinator at Commerce. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and International Studies from North Dakota State University. She has additional coursework from the Aarhus School of Business in Aarhus, Denmark.

As business development manager, Wergeland will focus on special development projects, international business development and value-added energy projects.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce works to improve the quality of life for North Dakota citizens by leading efforts to attract, retain and expand wealth. Commerce serves businesses and communities statewide through committed people and partners who offer valuable programs and dynamic services.

Dr. Anita Bansal Joins Altru Health System

GRAND FORKS – Anita Bansal, MD, joins the psychiatry team at Altru Health System, specializing in treating patients with depression, anxiety and psychosis. 

Dr. Bansal earned her medical degree from American University of Antigua School of Medicine in Antigua. She completed her psychiatry residency at Creighton University-University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Outside of work, Dr. Bansal enjoys reading, cycling, running and baking.

Minnesota Pork promotes Resler to chief operating officer

The Minnesota Pork Producers Association has promoted Jill Resler to chief operating officer. Resler joined MPPA in May 2009 as director of producer services — director of education.

Dave Preisler was named CEO and will now be more heavily involved in advocacy activities in Saint Paul representing Minnesota’s more than 3,000 family pig farmers on political and regulatory issues.

Preisler joined the MPPA in 1994 as executive director and has overseen both non-checkoff and checkoff programs.

Vukovich named College of Education and Human Sciences' associate dean of research

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Jill Thorngren, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, has announced Matthew Vukovich as its full-time associate dean of research. Vukovich has been with South Dakota State University since 1999. During that time, he has been a faculty member, served as co-investigator for the National Children’s Study, BYPL Vanguard Center and currently as the department head for health and nutritional sciences. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Vukovich’s research has focused on the relationship of nutrition and exercise on body composition, hormones and muscle-bone relationships.

Graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1988 and his master’s degree in 1990 from Iowa State University, Vukovich earned his doctorate in human bioenergetics from Ball State University in 1993. He was awarded a postdoctorate fellowship at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His first academic position was at Wichita State University. Before arriving at SDSU, Vukovich served as clinical research director for EAS Inc. in Golden, Colorado.

Vukovich will promote collaborative research with the Agricultural Experiment Station that will impact South Dakotans through his new role. He began his new position July 22.