Last week, Minot Public Schools superintendent Mark Vollmer did what the students he oversees look forward to -- he graduated.
Mark Vollmer is now Dr. Mark Vollmer after completing the doctoral program at the University of North Dakota.
His dissertation revolved around flood recovery.
Perry Olson talked with him about it recently.
(Dr. Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "When I started the program in 2010 I had no idea what my final dissertation or research would be..."
But this -- made things pretty clear.
The Mouse River Flood of 2011 dominated the lives of so many...including that of the then brand new superintendent in Minot. He knew then it would be the work he would do to fulfill his doctoral requirements...
(Dr. Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "You can read lots of stuff about disaster and floods. You can get the picture easily of the financial loss for a community because of a flood but very little research about social and emotional effects and even more so very little information about what is recovery."
To get that answer, Dr. Vollmer spent hours with those who were directly impacted by the raging water...and the mess left behind...
(Dr. Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "Focus groups and interviews were awesome. We had several groups, 9 altogether that were to last 90 minutes but most lasted longer. What we found was a lot of people stayed after to visit. They were visiting with people who had a shared experience."
It's led to a final dissertation -- 265 pages -- searching for the answer of what exactly constitutes emotional and social recovery. It's something you can read by visiting the University of North Dakota's Grad Studies website in fact...
(Dr. Mark Vollmer - MPS Superintendent) "30 years ago this fall I started as a Freshman at UND and now in August I graduate with a doctorate so it has been a long and good process."
In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.
Dr. Vollmer graduated on Friday.