USD Students to Study in Azerbaijan and Russia

Image Jenna Hayes and Kaleigh (Rose) McLaughlin USD students Jenna Hayes (left) and Kaleigh (Rose) McLaughlin earned U.S. State Department scholarships to study abroad.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two University of South Dakota students have earned scholarships from the U.S. Department of State to learn or expand their ability to speak Russian and Azerbaijani.

Kaleigh (Rose) McLaughlin, a freshman from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who’s double majoring in international studies and history, will go to Azerbaijan this summer. Jenna Hayes, a junior from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who’s pursuing a double major in English and anthropology, will go to Russia to further her learning of the language and culture.

The trips are funded through the Critical Language Scholarship Program in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Scholarship recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers. More information is available at


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