USD Marketing Hires Three Media & Journalism Graduates

Image USD Marketing Hires Michelle Cwach, Peter Chapman and Emily VanGerpen, USD Media & Journalism graduates now working in the university's marketing office.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s office of marketing communications and university relations recently hired three graduates of the school’s media and journalism program for key positions.

Michelle Cwach, who graduated from USD in 2009, is the new senior web editor. Cwach is a native of Vermillion and graduated with degrees in media and journalism and English. Cwach graduated from Iowa State University in 2011 with a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication. Prior to arriving at USD, Cwach served as media relations manager for Kolberg-Pioneer Inc. in Yankton, South Dakota. As senior web editor, Cwach leads a team of content editors producing digital communications including the USD website, portal and social media. She will also manage a community of 80 content contributors from departments across campus.

Emily VanGerpen, a native of Avon, South Dakota, graduated in December 2015 with a strategic communications emphasis and a psychology major. She interned and was a student worker in the marketing office starting in May 2015. Her experience includes writing for university magazines, newsletters, web pages and news releases. Now, as a web content editor, she will work with departments across campus to edit and maintain web pages that uphold the university’s reputation and enhance its brand position.

Peter Chapman, from Murrieta, California, also was a student worker in the marketing office since December 2014. He graduated in May 2016 and was hired for the newly created visual editor position. He won a Silver Addy Award from the South Dakota Advertising Federation this year for elements of video: animation and special effects. The award was for an animated, motion graphics video he produced through his internship. Watch the video, entitled “USD in Motion,” here.

“USD is fortunate to have a journalism program turning out so many talented young writers and storytellers. We love them as interns, and it’s even better when they become full-time staff members,” said Tena Haraldson, director of marketing communications and university relations.

Download a high-resolution image.


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