Lynne honored for work at SHSU

Aaron Lynne, associate professor of Biological Sciences at Sam Houston State University

Earlier this week the pages of the Williston Herald touted the accomplishments of Kristi Anseth, a former Williston High School student who is making a huge splash in the world of science.

We applaud her.

However, today, we are happy to pass along another WHS success story.

Dr. Aaron Lynne, associate professor of Biological Sciences at Sam Houston State University was the 2019 recipient of the SHSU Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Accomplishments Award.

SHSU is a public university located in Huntsville, Texas, with an enrollment of more than 20,000 students.

We learned that each year the university honors faculty members whose teaching, scholarly accomplishments, along with service and academic engagement stand out among their peers.

Lynne, the son of Lila and Larry Lynne of Williston, is a 1996 graduate of WHS.

The award was given for his tremendous impact on others in his time at SHSU.

An article written by SHSU staff provided a great background for us to share.

Serious academic

While Lynne is labeled as a “serious academic,” he reportedly remains fond of video games, comic books and Star Wars memorabilia.

He is credited with having a laid-back style, but at the same time he is considered to be a dedicated scholarly researcher.

That commitment to creative pursuits is proven with 41 peer-reviewed publications, two review articles, eight book chapters and 10 grants being funded at $1,400,000.

Lynne considers this to be a “great honor,” while on the other hand he didn’t “really expect it.”

As a matter of fact he considered just to be nominated as a big honor, pointing to a lot of “good” research going on right now at SHSU.

Add knowledge

Lynne pointed out that his role as a professor at SHSU is education for the students, but being a scientist he knows he is called upon to add to the scientific knowledge overall.

He credits SHSU with allowing him to be able to blend those two duties together really well.

That balance of education and research is what stood out to Lynne about SHSU, back when he was starting his career.

A statement supporting his nomination for the award stated: “Dr. Lynne has been active in both research and scholarly activity for the past 10 years.

His research has been dynamic during this time and has ranged from the investigation of antimicrobial resistance in foodborne disease to forensic microbiology, in addition to projects aimed toward antibiotic discovery and host-pathogen interactions.”

Been rejected

Obtaining grants is no easy task, according to Lynne.

While working in collaboration with a number of researchers, Lynne indicated he has been rejected for more grants than he has received.

However, he added rejection is typical of all scientists and researchers.

Lynne is pumped when receiving a grant, pointing at that as validation, pushing one forward to do even more good work.

Along with the grants, Lynne is credited with helping the advancement of students’ careers with his mentorship of 10 graduate and 31 undergraduate students.

At the same time, he makes sure to keep students involved in his research.

Lynne is proud of the fact that in all the grants he writes, an allowance for financial support for students is included.

This comes from him recalling what it was like to be a college student.

The added funds allow for the students to be in the lab 10 to 15 hours per week.

Credits SHSU

Lynne makes sure to credit SHSU in helping to further his research through what he lists as interdisciplinary studies across several colleges and programs.

He loves the fact he is able to “have the freedom, to come up with new ideas across disciplines.”

Lynne has worked at other colleges where they would not cross-research.

He likes the fact at SHSU they are encouraged to produce projects “that could have really big impacts and benefits for future generations.”

Another comment supporting Lynne’s nomination for this award stated:

“I am impressed with Dr. Lynne’s sustained research program since coming to SHSU. He has produced high-quality work and brought recognition to the department, college and university.”

That being said, we send out a Scope Salute to Dr. Lynne, another former Coyote doing some great work.

Recall Anseth

Our second Scope Salute today is reserved for Anseth, as this young lady continues to impress.

We recall her high school days in Williston, as we covered her play on the basketball and volleyball courts.

While in high school she was also an impressive trumpet player and represented her school at a national marching event, as we recall.

She went first to the courts of the University of North Dakota-Williston (Now Williston State College) to further her play, while proving to be standout student/athlete along the way.

After two years at Purdue University she continued her education and finally landed in Colorado, where she dons the white lab coat these days.

Between Kristi and Aaron, it appears the field of science is in pretty good hands.

Jason Olson

We might as well make it a hat trick with our third Scope Salute going out to another former Coyote, 1985 graduate, Jason Olson.

Olson, the son of Eleanor and the late Dr. Bob Olson, stepped down as Chief of Police in Minot on Jan. 31 after 31 years of service, at the age of 53.

That comes after beginning his career at the age of 21 as a patrol officer, working his way through the ranks.

Olson joined the force in Minot in 1988, during his junior year studying law enforcement at Minot State University.

He was one of only four individuals that were selected as officers, from a pool of 120 during his schooling.

Olson opted to hire on, while continuing to earn his degree from MSU.

The rest is pretty much history.

He served as chief since 2012, while he spent 18 years as a member of the Minot Swat Team.

One quote we found on a Facebook story stood out about Olson.

“Chief Jason Olson is the type of police executive that officers of all ranks and experience levels hope to work for.”

Those words go a long way, for a man coming from a great family.

We recall our first road football game in the fall of 1984 when we first met Dr. Bob, as he was filming the play of Jason and the Coyotes, where else but in Minot.

We can only wish Jason and his family the best in what lies ahead.

My friend Rex

We have to end this Scope column on a sad note after learning of the passing of our good friend Rex McCaughtry, at the age of 79.

Rex had made the move to northern Minnesota to the town of Grand Rapids where he was involved in a number of things, including hockey.

We made every effort to remain connected with Rex, as while in Williston we had worked on numerous projects, while our most fun was getting the North Dakota Chokecherry Festival off the ground.

That event is now on solid ground, in the hands of some good people.

We will long remember his smile and his gift to give back and make things better for everybody.

May he Rest in Peace!

Thomas A. Kvamme is a former resident and long time sports editor and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at

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