Students to Present Research at South Dakota Capitol

Image Kit Asfeldt Kit Asfeldt, a musical theatre major at USD.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota students studying biology and music will represent the school Tuesday, March 1, at the annual Legislative Poster Session in Pierre, South Dakota, that showcases undergraduate research projects.

Kit Asfeldt, a senior from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, studying musical theatre at USD, created a poster entitled “Being Alive: A Performative Examination of the Human Experience.” For his research, he produced a short musical theater performance for faculty and peers in the Theatre Department at USD. Asfeldt also presented his performance at Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region V Festival in Burnsville, Minnesota. Asfeldt used character research and examined acting techniques to understand what “being alive” means to specific people.


Elizabeth Berg, a senior from Owatonna, Minnesota, is a biology major specializing in conservation ecology. Berg worked in an ecology based research laboratory at USD to study the decline of amphibian populations due to infectious disease and examined the pesticides used globally in amphibian habitats.


The poster session is co-sponsored by the Research Affairs Council of the South Dakota Board of Regents, the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Office and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. It is an opportunity for undergraduate students to present their research and for universities to highlight the state’s investment into research and graduate education. Undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty researchers will be available to answer questions and meet with legislators, media and visitors to the capitol building.

More information on USD research can be found at


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


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 205 undergraduate and 73 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.


Michael Ewald
USD News