South Dakotan Health Magazine Fall 2013 - page 8

Dona Kennealley, Ed.D., associate
professor and chair of the Department of
Addiction Studies, retired in June 2013
after 35 years of service to the University
of South Dakota.
Kennealley began her career in
1978 with USD through federal grant
funding focused on developing and
providing curriculum for South Dakota’s
Indian Reservations. After two years,
that experience segued into a full-time
teaching position with USD where she
contributed to developing the bedrock
upon which the program rests today.
In addition to serving USD in an
academic role, Kennealley served as the
department’s outreach director for 18
years, traveling throughout the state
Dona Kennealley
Retires From Department of Addiction
Studies After Distinguished Career
Health Sciences Briefs
| South Dakotan HEALTH
assisting professionals in obtaining their
credentials before the advent of online
distance education.
“It really made teaching very
worthwhile – you felt like you were
contributing to the growth of the
profession because the students would
sign up for the courses every time they
were offered, wanting to get credentialed
and work in the field,” said Kennealley.
“I didn’t have a sense of how young
the program was at the time,” she
explained. “Back then, we were really
pioneers. There were no undergraduate
addiction studies programs anywhere in
the country.”
Kennealley went on to note
that USD’s addiction studies degree
continues to be unique. “Our program
continues to be unique because of
our bio-psycho-social approach. It
makes a difference in how students are
educated and, ultimately, how patients
are treated when students are grounded
in the competencies and values of the
“I have been honored to be part
of developing our curriculum to meet
patient needs, and to watch our students
graduate and become the next generation
of addiction professionals.”
In 2010, Kennealley oversaw the
department’s most recent pioneering
move – the addition of a Master of
Arts in Addiction Studies. “There are
only a handful of other schools in the
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