School of Education honors three faculty members with 2014 awards

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Education announced that three faculty members have been honored with 2014 Faculty Excellence Awards. Hee-sook Choi, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Education, announced the recipients at a School of Education faculty meeting May 8.

Loralee LaPointe, Ph.D., lecturer in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, is the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. This award recognizes faculty members for collegiality in teaching, outstanding instruction and mentoring (in and out of the classroom), and current content and methods that advance the mission of the School of Education. LaPointe teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Special Education. She received her B.S. in elementary education and her M.Ed. in special education from the University of North Dakota, and her Ph.D.in counseling and psychology in education/educational psychology specialization from USD.

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Lisa Newland, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Counseling and Psychology in Education, was honored with the Faculty Excellence Award in Research for exemplary performance in creating and disseminating knowledge through research. Newland describes her research as focused on “contextual influences on children’s development from infancy to adolescence in culturally and economically diverse populations (with a focus on family and school influences and interactions across those contexts).” She is currently directing three international research projects and has submitted a grant proposal for more than $2 million. Newland received her B.A. in Scandinavian studies from Concordia College, her M.S. and Ph.D. in family and human development from Utah State University.

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Gera Jacobs, Ed.D., professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, received the Faculty Excellence Award in Service. She was nominated for high impact service to the School of Education, university, profession, and community. Jacobs is currently the president of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She can also be seen in the community at the Center for Children and Families, South Dakota Voices for Children, and at Kindergarten Round-Up. Jacobs received her B.A. in elementary education at the University of Dayton, her M.A. in early childhood education and Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction/early childhood both from USD.

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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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