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 eight years with at least three 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.

2016 Winners

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

Hongli Sun, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences

Sun’s research is focused on developing novel nano-biomaterials-based strategies for bone repair. As a junior faculty member, Sun has authored several articles in the leading journals of the field, and his work has been highly appreciated by his peers. He also actively serves as a manuscript and grant reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals, conferences and founding agencies. His research is currently funded by South Dakota Board of Regents, S. T. Li Foundation and NSF EPSCoR (BioSNTR).

President's Award for Research Excellence: Established Faculty

Gina Forster, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences

Forster's research focuses on understanding the neurobiology of anxiety, and how factors such as early life stress, substance use and traumatic brain injury affect brain function to produce anxiety states.

President's Award for Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Victor Huber, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Arts & Sciences

Huber studies host immune responses against influenza viruses, in particular those associated with vaccine-induced immunity and susceptibility to secondary bacterial infections. The goal of this research is to develop vaccines and therapeutics that can be used to limit deaths associated with these infections.

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

2015 Z. Rick Wang College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
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

2015 Yuhlong Lio College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences
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

2015 Grigoriy Sereda College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Chemistry
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