Lane and Porter Honored with Belbas Larson Awards

David Lane and Jason Porter, 2017 Belbas Larson award winners in front of Old Main. David Lane (Left) and Jason Porter (Right) won the 2017 Belbas Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Professors David Lane and Jason Porter are the recipients of the 2017 University of South Dakota Belbas Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching. They will be honored at the USD commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, and each will receive $5,000.

Candidates for the awards are nominated by students and colleagues and selected by a faculty committee based on a variety of metrics such as demanding rigorous standards of performance, inspiring students to greater achievement and ensuring course content represents the highest standards in the field.

Lane, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of anthropology and sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences and was honored in the tenure-track category. He joined USD in 2013 after previously teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary and the University of Delaware. He currently serves as the chair of the Social Problems Theory Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Lane earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware in 2013. He earned a Master in Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Salisbury University in 2004.

Lane, who said he was honored by the award, explained his teaching philosophy.

“Underpinning my approach to teaching is that students should be challenged to question the answers, including their own assumptions about truth or knowledge,” said Lane. “Much of my interaction with students involves helping them question how they know what they know by using theory or concepts from sociology.”

Porter, Ph.D., an associate professor of accounting at the Beacom School of Business, was honored in the tenured category. He joined USD in 2014. He was previously a professor at the University of Idaho and an instructor at the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, Utah Valley State College and Brigham Young University.

Porter earned his Ph.D. in accounting at the University of Georgia in 2006. He earned a Master of Accountancy in 2002 and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting in 2001 from Brigham Young University.

“I felt very humbled by the recognition and very grateful for all of the wonderful students I have taught through the years who make teaching worthwhile,” said Porter.

The Belbas-Larson Awards are made possible by a gift from Dean Belbas, a former vice president of General Mills and former chairman of the board of the USD Foundation and his close friends Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Scottsdale, Arizona.

ABOUT USD

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.

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