Van Erdewyk honored as DSU Faculty Legend

Longtime Dakota State University faculty member Dr. Zeno Van Erdewyk is the 2011 Faculty Legend award winner at Dakota State University.  Van Erdewyk will be recognized at the annual Legends and Legacy Banquet, Friday, February 25 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. 

In 41 years on the DSU campus, 4 as a student, 37 as faculty, Van Erdewyk touched generations of students and thousands of lives.  He graduated from then General Beadle State Teacher's College in 1959. He went on to teach at Trent High School for 5 years, and from there to earn a master's degree from SDSU and an Ed.D at the University of North Dakota by 1967.

Van Erdewyk returned to DSU in 1967 to teach psychology.  His 37 year career in the classroom at DSU means that he was instructor to over 15,000 students as they passed through his general psychology course. He also taught graduate and undergraduate courses in education, special education, and computer science.  His student evaluations consistently reflected teaching excellence in the classroom.

A unique experience presented itself in 1972 when Van Erdewyk's proposal for a student teaching program at the American School in London was accepted.  He and his family spent a year living in London, where he oversaw student teachers from Dakota State College, South Dakota State University, and Northern State College.  Students from these schools would sign up to do their practice teaching at private schools in London, with Van Erdewyk as their resident supervisor.  He set up the same type of program with the Caribbean Consolidated School in Puerto Rico, which accepted its first student teacher in 1992. Zeno returned to London and to Europe many times over the ensuing years, as the director of student tours for Dakota State.  He has taken 275 people to Europe on these tours, with participants ranging in age from 18 to 81. 

During his last 15 years at DSU, Van Erdewyk gave more than 30 presentations at national and international conferences, including in Nice, France, St. Croix, St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He consulted for both the private and military sectors frequently throughout the United States and Europe. He also spent a week as a visiting scholar at the English International College in Marabella, Spain.

On campus, Van Erdewyk co-directed the DSU/Tamagawa University program for 19 years. 

In the spring of 2002, Van Erdewyk announced his planned retirement.  He stayed on to teach part-time for two more years, continuing his consulting and presenting at national and international conferences. 

A Dakota State University education has become something of a tradition in the Van Erdewyk family. Wife Carol Taft, originally from Mitchell, is a 1976 graduate. All four Van Erdewyk children are Dakota State alumni: Julie Streff, Class of 1986, Mary Vogel, Class of 1985, John, Class of 1984, and Michael, Class of 1983. A third generation of the family is following tradition as Zeno and Carol's grandchildren attend DSU.

The annual Legends and Legacy Banquet is open to the public. Tickets are available at the DSU Foundation, 256-5693.

Last Updated: 1/10/12