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Retirement begins for five BSC employees

Posted on 6/5/2014

Bismarck State College faculty members Carla Bickert, Bob Cossette and Keith Landeis, staff member Kathie Overson, and Dean of Academic Affairs Janelle Masters have chosen to retire.

The last day for Landeis and Bickert was BSC's spring commencement. Overson retired May 30 after 36 years of service. Cossette and Masters leave June 30.

During her 36 years at BSC, Overson processed three departments worth of data, files and student records. She spent most of her career in Admissions (1978-2004) and then helped the registrar's office transition to the PeopleSoft tracking system. Overson joined Mystic Counseling and Career Services in 2008 to coordinate job fairs, administer BSC's Job Seekers Network, and track technical program graduates' employment. A Staff Award of Excellence nominee, she was a member of Staff Senate and the Multicultural Committee.

Bickert, associate professor of management, spent 33 years teaching marketing, advertising, organizational behavior and human resources in the Business Department. She embellished her classes with company speakers and BSC management graduates and used technology to teach how business connects with customers. Her service included two terms on Faculty Senate, BJC's All-Campus Senate, and participation in several state and national business organizations. An entrepreneur, Bickert founded Java Rose Floral & Cappuccino in Washburn, N.D., 15 years ago.

Janelle Masters influenced the lives of her British literature, poetry and writing students, but also led their instructors as BSC's first dean of faculty. At BSC 30 years, she spent 20 of them teaching, among them five years as Arts and Communications Department chair and three years as assistant dean of instruction. Masters left the classroom in 2004 to become dean of faculty and then dean of academic affairs. Her ideas for new events and learning opportunities changed the campus. Masters received the Staff Award of Excellence in 2005. She has been honored with two leadership awards from the National Institute for Leadership Development and The Chair Academy.

At BSC 22 years, Keith Landeis retired as associate professor of electrical lineworker. A BSC Lineworker graduate himself, he helped develop Lineworker into a nine-month certificate program along with the Associate in Applied Science. His innovations include a required summer climbing program to help students test their interest in Lineworker and Commercial Driver's License training. Landeis helped acquire a skid steer loader and pole-setting trencher with grants and addressed student safety with a fall restraint belt that was ahead of industry.

Bill Cossette, associate professor of automotive technology, taught inmates at the State Penitentiary and Missouri River Correctional Center (MRCC) for 18 years with BSC, when the college took over the Automotive Technology program in 1996. He developed the open entry/exit program for students to enroll and study at their own pace. He started the first SkillsUSA chapter in a correctional facility and managed the process for the MRCC program to receive national certification. The program won multiple excellence awards from the State Board for Vocational Technical Education and the Industry Planning Council. Cossette is recipient of educator and teacher of the year awards from three state and regional organizations.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit

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