School of Health Sciences students garner top research honors

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Students at the University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences have earned high recognition for their research efforts.

Natasha Fisher, Jessica Graupmann, Lindsey Jones, Alicia Ray, Stephanie Utech and Jenna Visser – all social work majors at USD – were recently announced as winners of the student poster competition at the Inaugural Social Work Student Advocacy Research Conference at Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y. The conference brought together student-participants from undergraduate and graduate social work programs in three U.S. states and six universities or colleges.

“I am very proud of this research team who has now garnered experience presenting at three different conferences,” said Peter Kindle, Ph.D., assistant professor, USD Department of Social Work. “The next generation of social work researchers is gaining momentum.”

Graupmann and Visser, representing their team, received the first place award for their project, “Career Pathways of BSW Graduates of Rural Social Work Programs.”The project collected information on alumni from four different schools who had obtained bachelor’s degrees in social work – with a rural emphasis – to determine initial employment issues, turnover, work conditions, compensation, continuing education and client population served. Their poster discussed implications for sustaining the future of undergraduate social work educational programs.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 206 undergraduate and 71 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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