USD Honors MLK Jr. With Day of Service

Image Crystal Sellers-Battle Crystal Sellers-Battle, associate professor of music at Bluffton University in Ohio

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday with various community outreach projects and a concert featuring "Songs of Black America" later in the week.

For more than a decade, USD has been contributing to the MLK Jr. Day of Service, and the tradition continues on Jan. 18. All community and university members are invited to join the nationwide effort to embody the visions of societal equality inspired by King.

“It is a great way to connect students and community members in answering the call to serve the greater good,” said Emily Dykstra, assistant director for Academic Engagement. “There are no skill requirements necessary – just a willingness to make a difference."

Participants will check into the Muenster University Center Ballroom at 9 a.m., then serve from 10 a.m. to around 1 p.m. Projects include serving meals to the community, organizing food donations, deep cleaning at an animal shelter and day care facility, and interacting with residents at the Avera Yankton Care Center.

The event continues at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, in the Aalfs Auditorium. Crystal Sellers-Battle, an associate professor of music at Ohio’s Bluffton University, adds to the week’s theme of equality with a recital and lecture entitled “Songs of Black America.” Sellers-Battle received her vocal performance doctorate degree from The Ohio State University and serves as a recitalist, judge, vocal clinician and honors choir conductor throughout Ohio.

To sign up for the MLK Jr. Day of Service or find more information, visit the Center for Academic and Global Engagement website.


USD’s Center for Academic & Global Engagement (CAGE) gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and knowledge and connect with their community and the larger world. CAGE offers academically based opportunities that create skills employers and graduate schools seek. Among them: off-campus service-learning programs, studying abroad, student exchange, undergraduate research and nationally competitive awards and fellowships. CAGE also provides support to international students with cultural and academic adjustments as well as immigration concerns.


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