Wes Christensen"Allow yourself to have an open dialogue with your professors and advisors and be honest with them, then there is no way that you can't succeed."

Wes Christensen - Vermillion, SD
Major: Earth Sciences

I chose USD for many reasons. It is a great value and close to family and friends, it allowed me to work as a research assistant after graduation while taking graduate classes and has a lot of opportunities to work with different professors in different departments.

I chose my major because of my love for the natural sciences and being able to work outdoors on occasion. All the great professors in the Earth sciences program helped guide me and focus my talents.

My favorite part about USD was being able to tailor my educational needs to suit my situation. I had military duties that required me to be away from school for long periods of time, but the professors in the College of Arts & Sciences worked with me and I was able to complete my degree. If I had not had this support and willingness from them to work with me and my situation, I could have easily been lost in the shuffle and who knows where I'd be at now.

I am currently an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Geological Survey in Vermillion.

Lucy Dahl"Get involved. Take opportunities, join groups and reach out to professors and classmates. Taking an active role in your education can make all the difference in your college experience."

Lucy Dahl - Bode, IA
Major: Earth Sciences

I chose USD because it was a great value for me as an Iowa resident and offered big school opportunities while maintaining a small town and community feel.

I chose my major because I had always been interested in rocks and Earth sciences, so it was a natural choice.

My favorite part about USD was the feeling of community and tight-knit friendships formed with other students in my major and other classes. It also offered a variety of hands-on experiences and field trips that were very beneficial.

I always appreciated the feeling that my professors actually cared about us and our education. Professor Brennan Jordan became my advisor my senior year, but quickly became one of my favorite professors. He managed to keep us interested and motivated even in some of our toughest classes. Even after graduation, he has stayed in touch and thought of me when employment opportunities arose.

In addition to my studies, I was involved in the Geology Club, choir and I was able to work on campus as a tutor. This enabled me to work, focus on my studies and gave me the opportunity to help others.

I currently serve as an environmental scientist for the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, regulating oil and gas activity in the state.