Alexa Duling"USD and its alumni have provided me with many unbelievable experiences."

Alexa Duling - Gregory, SD
Major: Biology
2012 Alumna

I chose USD because I would be able to have a wide-range of experiences and opportunities. I believed the university would give me the chance to be successful academically.

I love learning about so many things however, nothing has made me want to learn more than my biology classes. I definitely could tell this when I would rather choose to be studying and reading my biology notes and books in the library on a Friday night instead of hanging out with friends.

I have been most inspired by the Honors Program. I specifically enjoyed the challenge of writing my undergraduate thesis. It has provided me with the chance to work with professors from a range of disciplines while still integrating my biology curriculum in a manner practical to my future career.

My favorite part of USD is the team atmosphere. Naturally, I get the feeling of a team from running Track and Field but, the support at USD does not stop there. The professors instill the team atmosphere in the classroom. By encouraging collaboration and communication, we are encouraged to embrace different perspectives.

I did travel internationally during college but have been most inspired by what I learned about the needs of people right here in South Dakota. I never fully recognized the devastating physical impacts that extreme poverty had upon the health of my neighbors until taking several Native Studies courses.

With this knowledge, I sought help from advisors, faculty, staff, and students at USD in order to develop "Girls on the Run" for the Rosebud Reservation. In addition, I was able to help with a campus-wide "Share Your Sole" shoe drive that donated over 5,000 pairs of shoes to South Dakota Reservations.

I am also involved in Greek Life and learned about the alumni who helped oversee the existence of my sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. Their guidance helped me meet a group of women who I have created lifetime memories with and can forever call my sisters. Additionally, the alumni also funded the Kappa Alpha Theta scholarships which I received- both locally and nationally.

Hear more from Alexa in her video.

Jordana Lamb"I knew instantly that USD really was the best school for me."

Jordana Lamb - Vienna, SD
Majors: Biology, Psychology

I decided to start my undergraduate career at a different university. Shortly after starting classes, I realized that a lot of the aspects that I did not like would be eliminated by transferring to USD.

I contacted USD admissions and they forwarded me to the professor who would become my advisor. With his help, we got my class schedule set for the next semester. Hanging up the phone I realized that USD had already provided more help and guidance than I had received at my current school. I knew instantly that USD really was the best school for me.

I was pursuing a double minor in biology and Addiction Studies, but during my senior year of college, I realized that the difference between a biology minor and major was only 16 credits. I then decided that I would enroll in undergraduate courses for a fifth year to pursue this second major.

The opportunity which taught me the most during my college experience was Prof. Hugh Britten's research I was involved in. It taught me the importance of independent learning, teamwork, attention to detail, communicating effectively with others, and an overall sense of professionalism.

My favorite parts about USD are the small-town atmosphere of Vermillion, the small class sizes at USD, and the seemingly endless activities and opportunities both on campus and in the community at large. 

My post-graduation plans are to continue my education in a master's program to become a physician assistant (PA). Upon completion, I hope to assist in the current medical provider shortage through practicing medicine in a rural area.

Hear more from Jordana in her video.