First N3 Cohort Begins at USD

Photo of N3 Cohort in front of Old Main. The University of South Dakota–Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks Program (USD-N3) was created by a National Science Foundation grant.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The first cohort of fellows participating in the National Science Foundation sponsored University of South Dakota–Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks Program (USD-N3), are finishing their first semester of coursework this fall.

Three students, Megan Bruns of Maple Lake, Minnesota, Riley Paulsen of Yankton, South Dakota, and Jazmine Yeager of Spink, South Dakota, will be working on team-based interdisciplinary research projects with faculty in the Departments of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, and Chemistry to develop innovative treatments and understand the function of the brain. Graduate students in this program will receive training from multiple disciplines both in classroom and laboratory settings, to develop key interdisciplinary skills.

The first class of USD-N3 students feel the unique interdisciplinary aspect of the program will benefit them academically and professionally

“In my undergraduate years I developed an appreciation for an interdisciplinary approach to science, both within science and with training outside of science,” said Bruns. “So when I heard about this program I knew it was right for me and would help me find the career in science that is right for me.”

“The development of programs like USD - N3 is critical for preparing prospective STEM Ph.D.’s for a more adequate range of careers extending beyond academia. I have always had an interest in public service and engaging in the political space, particularly from a scientific platform,” said Paulsen. “I am excited for the opportunities that the N3 program will facilitate for me.”

“I anticipate the N3 program's interdisciplinary approach will help me better achieve my career objectives. The program will also expand my research tool repertoire and guide me to think differently about scientific problems,” said Yeager.

The University of South Dakota – Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks Program is a National Science Foundation grant that offers novel interdisciplinary training to prepare graduate students for diverse career paths in STEM professions.


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