The annual President's Awards for Research Excellence and Innovation & Entrepreneurship recognize outstanding research achievements by our faculty. The selections are a strong endorsement of each researcher's creativity and innovation, and an honor for the university to bestow.

Each award recipient receives a $3,000 grant and a plaque.

President's Awards for Research Excellence

These awards recognize research and creative activity that make extraordinary contributions to knowledge and artistic expression and bring positive national visibility to USD. Evidence for accomplishment includes but is not limited to: publications, grants, high-status presentations, juried exhibitions, service on prestigious editorial boards and grant review panels, and national honors. Early/mid-career faculty nominees must be an assistant or associate professor, employed as a USD faculty member for at least one year, with less than eight years of faculty rank, and having research as a significant component of workload. Established faculty nominees must be an associate or full professor, having faculty rank for a minimum of 8 years with at least 3 years as USD faculty, and assigned research as a significant component of workload.

President's Awards for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recognizes applied research, commercialization, and economic development activities that significantly advance USD. It recognizes innovative thinking and significant efforts to realize the commercial potential of the innovation for the collective benefit of society, the university, the state's economy, and the inventor/entrepreneur. Nominees must be full-time faculty or full time staff employed by USD.

2015 Winners

President's Award for Research Excellence: Early-Mid Career Faculty

Z. Rick Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Wang is a tenure-track assistant professor of chemistry working in the area of inorganic chemistry. He has been an active mentor for his post-docs, graduate students and undergraduate students. His first postdoctoral associate now has a prestigious position at a university in China and he has just begun to graduate Ph.D. students from his group. Wang has supported numerous undergraduate students, many of whom have given presentations at national chemistry meetings.

Wang publishes in the highest-standard chemistry journals, which attests to the quality of his research. Among them: The Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie and Chemical Communications. The publications represent the flagship journals of the American, European and British chemical societies, respectively. Last year, Wang was also awarded a $650,000 National Science Foundation-CAREER grant, which brings tremendous national recognition to the investigator, department and university.

Wang actively participates in all the major research programs within chemistry, including National Science Foundation-EPSCoR, NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program (IGERT) and the department’s current NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

President's Award for Research Excellence: Established Faculty

Yuhlong Lio, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, College of Arts & Sciences

Lio is a tenured professor of mathematical sciences with significant research accomplishments over the past few years. He has demonstrated a consistent record of publication, with more than 50 publications in internationally peer-reviewed journals. His research is published in diverse venues and includes work in theoretical and pure mathematics, applied mathematics, industrial mathematics, medical mathematics and computational skills for mathematics.

Lio has been recognized for his expertise at the national/international level by external agencies seeking his input as a scholar. He has served as a panel member to review proposals for the National Science Foundation, as a reviewer on external research proposals for an institution in Hong Kong, as a visiting scholar for the National Science Council at the Institute of Mathematics Academia Sinica in Taiwan from 2009-2013, as a visiting scholar for the mathematics research promotion center for the Ministry of Science and Technology at the Institute of Mathematics Academia in Taiwan from 2014-2015, and as the keynote speaker for the 2010 Conference of the Intelligent Technologies and Applied Statistics at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

Lio has also been recognized for his expertise at the national and international levels through his work as editor of many prestigious journals. He has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, Electronic Journal of Applied Statistical Analysis, the Journal of Statistics and Mathematics (co-editor in chief), and the British Journal of Mathematics and Computer Science. In addition to this, Lio has been invited to review manuscripts for 28 different international peer-review journals.

President's Award for Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Grigoriy Sereda, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Sereda is a tenured professor of chemistry working in the area of organic chemistry. A routine visit to a local dentist led Sereda to begin investigating dentin tubule occlusion in collaboration with Dr. Josh Brower of Siouxland Smiles. Brower provided the samples and Sereda began researching new nanoparticles as dentin tubule occlusion materials that could potentially reduce the sensitivity of teeth. This initial research led to a donation of $25,000 by Brower and his wife with the intent of supporting this research in order to develop these materials into a product with commercial potential.

Sereda is also involved in collaborative research with faculty in the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences (BBS) in the Sanford School of Medicine and in the Biomedical Engineering (BME) Program in Sioux Falls. He and his BBS collaborator, Victor Huber, have applied for a U.S. patent involving a quick assay that uses nanomaterials to determine the efficacy of vaccines. This research is supported by an internal ORSP grant and they have applied for further external funding from National Institutes of Health. Sereda has support from the BME program to develop antimicrobial paints as well, and he has recently been awarded (as co-PI) a $200,000 Governor Research Center sub award in collaboration with South Dakota School of Mines & Technology involving nanocomposite polymers. Sereda also played a major role in crafting the recently awarded NSF-MRI NMR (2013) and SEM (2014) grants as well as the NSF-REU (2015) program within the Chemistry Department.

Dr. Sereda’s synthetic ability in organic and materials chemistry has allowed him to develop a diverse array of valuable research collaborations within USD and South Dakota.

Past Winners: Research Excellence - New or Mid-Career Faculty

2014 Haoran Sun College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2013 Chaoyang Jiang College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2012 Mark Dixon College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2011 Jacob Kerby College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2010 Ranjit Koodali College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2009 Gina Forster (Tie) Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2009 Dongming Mei (Tie) College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Physics
2008 Patrick Garry School of Law
2007 Dan Soluk College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2006 Lee Ann Roripaugh College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of English
2005 John Swallow College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2004 Jeffrey Simons College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
2003 Kurt Hackemer College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of History
2002 Richard Braunstein College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Political Science
2001 Stanley May College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2000 Joyce Keifer Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
1999 Robin Miskimins Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
1998 Robert Morecraft Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences

Past Winners: Research Excellence - Established Faculty

2014 Dongming Mei
College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Physics
2013 Ranjit Koodali (tie) College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2013 Carlos Telleria (tie) Sanford School of Medicine Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2012 Mary Berry College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2011 Patrick Garry School of Law
2010 John Koster National Music Museum
2009 Robert Morecraft (Tie) Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2009 Paula Mabee (Tie) College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2008 Xuejun (XJ) Wang Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2007 Teri James Bellis College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Communication Disorders
2006 Keith Weaver Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2005 John Banasiak College of Fine Arts, Dept. of Art
2004 Kathleen Eyster Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2003 Keith Miskimins Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2002 Douglas Martin Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2001 Timothy Heaton College of Arts & Sciences, Earth Sciences
2000 Martin Gerdes Sanford School of Medicine

Past Winners: Innovation & Entrepreneurship

2014 Stanley May College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
2013 Gopinath Mani Graduate School, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
2012 Andrew Shim School of Education, Dept. of Kinesiology & Sports Science
2011 Young Ae Kim College of Fine Arts, Dept. of Art
2010 William Anderson College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Political Science
2009 Yuyu Sun Sanford School of Medicine, Div. of Basic Biomedical Sciences
2005 DaQing Yang Sanford School of Medicine
2004 Carol Lushbough College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Computer Science
2003 Paula Mabee College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology
2002 Zoran Ristic College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Biology