Who's Who Top Educators

Kendall Earl Nygard, PhD

Title: 1) Director of the Dakota Digital Academy; 2) Emeritus Professor
Company: 1) North Dakota University System; 2) North Dakota State University
Location: Fargo, North Dakota, United States

Kendall Earl Nygard, PhD, Director of the Dakota Digital Academy at North Dakota University System and Emeritus Professor at North Dakota State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in computer science.

With decades of experience to his credit, Dr. Nygard has excelled as the director of The Dakota Digital Academy with The North Dakota University System since 2020, during which time he was distinguished as an emeritus professor at North Dakota State University. In the years prior, he was active at the aforementioned university as the director and founder of the Institute for Cybersecurity Education and Research between 2017 and 2020 as well as both the chairman of, and a professor in, the Department of Computer Science between 1977 and 2020. Over the course of his tenure at North Dakota State University, he proudly developed a cooperative faculty-focused program with a university in China, became involved in a Binational Fulbright Project in Egypt, and advocated for North Dakota State University to be designated as a national center for academic excellence in cybersecurity. He also served in the U.S. Navy and completed a fellowship in the Air Force Research Laboratory in 2000. Attributing his success to his insatiable curiosity surrounding technological advancements, Dr. Nygard has been celebrated with myriad grants and contracts with agencies including the Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation, in addition to a Distinguished Faculty Service Professor Award from North Dakota State University in 2016.

Before embarking on his professional path, Dr. Nygard pursued an education at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics in 1969. Subsequently obtaining a Master of Science in mathematics from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1973, he concluded his studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1978, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in operations research. The recipient of a Jefferson Science Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State in 2013, he is incredibly proud to have mentored and guided more than 30 successful PhD students. Looking toward the future, Dr. Nygard hopes to significantly improve the cooperative programs and agreements for the Dakota Digital Academy while leading North Dakota University Systems’s strategic planning with an eye toward 2035.

For more information, please visit:
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