Apr 2, 2012

USD student awarded top prize in Native American Essay contest

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Lindsey Montileaux, a student at the University of South Dakota, won first place in the 21st annual Native American Essay Competition sponsored by the Institute of American Indian Studies at USD. Montileaux, of Vermillion, received a $1,500 first place prize for winning the competition that was open to all USD freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

Prizes were also awarded to students finishing second and third in the contest, which was judged by USD faculty and staff for originality, style and relevance to the announced topic. Samantha Taft, of Norris, S.D., received a $1,000 prize for second place while Tyler Stolsmark of Hartford, S.D. and Tyler Jordan Smith of Sioux City, Iowa received $750 each in a tie for third place. All four winners of the competition are Native American students and they were announced at the Tiospaye Wacipi powwow at the DakotaDome recently.

Students entering the essay competition were required write at least 750 words and defend their opinion on a recent editorial in the Rapid City Journal that proclaimed South Dakota as a “state that readily advertises its Native population but regularly ignores its presence.” The contest also required students to explain how they would try to change the situation if they were in a position of authority in their community.

According to Emily Haddad, acting chair of the Native Studies Department at USD, the amount of students entering the competition exceeded last year by about five times the entries received. She added, “The essays were so good that the faculty committee reviewing submissions ended up awarding four prizes rather than the three that had been advertised.” For more information about Native Studies at USD, please visit the department’s website at www.usd.edu/nativestudies or send an email to nativestudies@usd.edu.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

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Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
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