Mar 21, 2014

USD Center for Disabilities to give Collaboration Award and Distinguished Service Award at the Spring Symposium

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The Center for Disabilities Spring Symposium, which takes place in Chamberlain, S.D. April 14–16, features a variety of workshops and sessions in areas like Autism, job matching/employment, social skills, healthcare transition and much more. Today, the Center for Disabilities announced two awards will be given at the symposium — the Collaboration Award and the Distinguished Service Award.

The Collaboration Award winner is the South Dakota Department of Education, Special Education Programs, represented by its director, Linda Turner, M.S. The award is given to a person or program that through a partnership has helped further the Center for Disabilities mission.

“As director of the Special Education Programs, I am honored to work collaboratively with the Center for Disabilities,” said Turner. “Our partnership provides professional development and direct supports to districts and families in Autism, computer-based interventions, traumatic brain injury and other areas that call for specialized knowledge and skills. We look forward to building on this partnership in the future to further promote and make accessible this vital resource to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities.”

The Distinguished Service Award winner is Kari Oyen, Ed.S., NCSP. This award is presented to an individual in the state of South Dakota who has made a significant contribution to the field of developmental disabilities. Both Turner and Oyen will be presented with their awards at the symposium lunch program on April 15.

“I am honored to receive the Distinguished Service award from the Center for Disabilities,” said Oyen. “As a vocal advocate for positive behavioral supports and safe learning environments for students with disabilities, I am thrilled to receive this award as recognition of the progress we’ve made together in the great state of South Dakota.”

For registration and other information about the Spring Symposium, please go to

About the Sanford School of Medicine

For more than a century, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has set the standard for medical education of students, residents and professionals in the state. The school’s mission includes education, research and service. It emphasizes family practice to help create the next generation of doctors for all parts of the state. The school’s economic impact includes attracting $17 million annually in research funding as well as hosting two of the four 2010 Research Centers designated by the governor.

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

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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