South Dakota State faculty recognized for excellence

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BROOKINGS — The annual South Dakota State University Celebration of Faculty Excellence recognized 30 faculty members, researchers and scientists on Feb. 20. The event honors faculty members in the university’s colleges for outstanding research, teaching and service.

Before the evening banquet, seven faculty scholars delivered Sewrey lectures to raise awareness and show scholarship in the categories of research and scholarship, creative and fine arts, teaching and learning, and service.

School of Performing Arts faculty members Immanuel Abraham, David Reynolds and Xuan Kuang provided a musical performance during the event.

Jihong Cole-Dai delivered the David Fee Memorial Lecture, “Climate Change: How Much More Warning?” He is a professor in the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics. Fee taught philosophy and religion at SDSU for more than 20 years. Annual presenters of the named lecture are selected based on their topics and contributions to Fee’s example of crossdisciplinary learning, inquiry and collegiality.

Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension awards were awarded to these faculty members:

  • Dr. Sherwood and Elizabeth Berg Research Young Faculty Award to Brandon Varilek, assistant professor in the College of Nursing.
  • Dr. Harold and Barbara Bailey Award for Excellence in Academic Department Leadership to Christine Garst-Santos, associate professor and director of the School of American and Global Studies.
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Research to Mary Isaacson, associate professor in the College of Nursing.
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Community/Professional Service to Brandi Pravecek, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing.
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Teaching to Michael Gonda, professor in the Department of Animal Science.
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Extension/Outreach to Ken Olson, professor and Extension beef specialist in the Department of Animal Science.
  • Edward Patrick Hogan Awards for Teaching Excellence to Patrick Hales, associate professor and assistant director of K-12 teacher education in the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development, and Sharon Vestal, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award to Joshua Reineke, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.
  • Excellence in Online Teaching Award to Ekaterina Koromyslova, associate professor in the Department of Construction and Operations Management.
  • Excellence in Outreach and Engagement Award to Lora Perkins, associate professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management, lead faculty for the Native Plant Initiative, and affiliate associate professor in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.
  • Faculty Award for Global Engagement, International Education and Student Engagement to Maneesha Mohan, associate professor in the Department of Dairy and Food Science.
  • Faculty Award for International Research to Saikat Basu, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Timothy J. Nichols Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Student Advising to Christine Larson, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
  • Distinguished Professor designations to Molly Enz, professor in the School of American and Global Studies, and Xiaoyang Zhang, professor in the Geospatial Science Center of Excellence, College of Natural Sciences.

The 2024 Outstanding Researchers, Scholars, Performers and Artists from the university’s colleges include:

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Lin Wei, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Abdallah Badahdah, associate professor in the School of Psychology, Sociology and Rural Studies.
  • College of Education and Human Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Erin Lavender-Stott, assistant professor in the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development.
  • Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering’s Outstanding Researcher to Saikat Basu, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • College of Natural Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Parashu Kharel, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics.
  • College of Nursing’s Outstanding Researcher to Brandi Pravecek, clinical assistant professor in the College of Nursing.
  • College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions’ Outstanding Researcher to Erin Miller, assistant professor in the Department of Allied and Population Health.

Delivering the Sewrey lectures were (area, name, title, department):

  • Creative and Fine Arts: Andrew Robinette, associate professor, Emily Toronto, professor, and Casey Paradies, instructor, in the School of Performing Arts.
  • Research and Scholarship: Amanda Blair, professor in the West River Agricultural Center.
  • Teaching and Learning: Laura Ackerwold and Jamie Fryslie, instructors in the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development.
  • Service: Brad Laible, professor, and Shanna O’Connor, associate professor, in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.