Message from the VP for Research
Research and Creative Activities...Why We Do It
Why does the University engage in research and creative activities? The answer is both simple – it is our mission – and as complex as each individual faculty member and student on campus. Research contributes to medical advances and to improvements in technology. It helps teachers develop better ways to teach, and students to learn. Research offers opportunities to start and grow businesses and create wealth. Equally important, artists produce art, music, literature, and other creative works to raise the quality of life in our communities.
Prominent among USD's accomplishments is research in materials for capturing and using solar energy, and for detecting new types of energy; materials to reduce infection and encourage new tissue growth; and molecular strategies to prevent or treat several human diseases. Teams of scientists study how the brain works, remodels, and adapts to stress, injury, and disease; and seek ways to link human behavior to brain structure and function. USD is home to the Oral History Center, with almost 6,000 recorded histories of Native peoples and the Northern Great Plains dating back more than one hundred years. The Oscar Howe Gallery at USD has the most extensive collection of the art and papers of legendary Native artist and late USD faculty Oscar Howe. The Department of Native Studies and the Institute of American Indian Studies underpin the academic and research efforts on various issues of importance to Native persons, the state, and the nation. Also on the Vermillion USD campus is the world-class National Music Museum, which hosts collections of more than 15,000 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods – the most inclusive collections anywhere.
Graduate study is an essential component of USD's research and creative activity. The university offers the research degree, PhD, in eight programs (Basic Biomedical Sciences, Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Counseling & Psychology in Education, English, Materials Chemistry, Political Science and Psychology). In addition, undergraduate students have many varied opportunities to engage in mentored research and creative activities, advanced by the Council for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.
I encourage you to visit the various USD webpages that tell more of the stories of accomplishments of USD faculty and students, and the many benefits that derive from this work.