Research & Sponsored Programs

Research Highlights

 

Matthew Sayre

Digging for Knowledge - Dr. Matthew Sayre 

Dr. Matthew Sayre
Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Seven students joined Dr. Matthew Sayre on an archaeological dig at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chavin de Huantar, Peru. This 3,000 year-old temple located high up in the Andes Mountains has attracted the interest of archaeologists and scholars of the pre-Hispanic past for decades. The students were trained in archaeological field techniques as well as in advanced digital laboratory methods. They had the opportunity to excavate in the monumental center of the temple as well as in the domestic sector of La Banda.

 

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Timothy Farrell

Music to Your Careers - Timothy Farrell

Timothy Farrell, D.M.A.
Department Chair, Music 

USD's Music Dept. provides students with the knowledge and skills to become professional musicians, performers, educators, scholars and lifelong learners. Two new graduate specializations were recently added: collaborative piano and conducting. USD's nationally-renowned piano faculty train students with real-life chamber music opportunities, advancing their skills in piano accompanying and performing. Experienced conductors provide technical and repertoire advice, while using the podium time as a teaching laboratory.

 

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Dr. Meghann Jarchow

Science of Sustainability - Dr. Meghann Jarchow
Dr. Meghann Jarchow
Assistant Professor, Sustainability

Sustainability graduates will be able to look at problems from multiple perspectives to address complex issues. The major is highly interdisciplinary and allows students to specialize in either natural sciences or social sciences. Dr.Meghann Jarchow's research examines reincorporating prairies back into the South Dakota landscape and quantifying the environmental benefits such as less nitrogen pollution, less soil erosion, increased plant diversity, and increased animal habitat in comparison to row crops or livestock grazing.

 

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Jeff Eckhoff

Giant Vision - Jeff Eckhoff
Jeff Eckhoff
Director, SD Small Business Development Center

Thomas Renner, a student from Hibbing, Minnesota, was the recipient of the top prize for his invention at the 2012 Governor's Giant Vision Business and Student Competition. Renner's invention was a remote sensor device that reads moisture levels and the temperature of stored grain. The annual competition is sponsored by the State Chamber of Commerce and the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED). 

 

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Miglena Sternadori

Social Learning - Miglena Sternadori
Dr. Miglena Sternadori
Assistant Professor, Contemporary Media & Journalism
Dr. Miglena Sternadori has explored what communication educators believe to be appropriate uses of social media as interaction tools. Although new privacy options have alleviated some of the ethical concerns, educators still acknowledge Facebook's and Twitter's potential to blur appropriate boundaries with students and question their usefulness in comparison to email and university-endorsed learning platforms. Her data suggest that using is believing. She found that educators who already use Facebook and Twitter for class activities are enthusiastic about their teaching potential.
 

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Chaya Gordon-Bland

Festival of Learning - Chaya Gordon-Bland
Chaya Gordon-Bland
Assistant Professor, Theatre

The South Dakota Shakespeare Festival is a joint venture of USD's College of Fine Arts and Coyoteopoly, a service-learning organization in the Beacom School of Business. The inaugural season featured performances of Shakespeare's comedy 'As You Like It'. The mission of the Festival is to increase the cultural,artistic and educational offerings of the state of South Dakota and surrounding regions by offering professional Shakespeare performance and arts education events in a lively and accessible format. 

 

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David Swanson

Feather Weather - Dr. David Swanson
Dr. David Swanson
Professor, Biology
To survive the winter cold, small birds generally show substantial increases in metabolic rates that are accompanied by increases in cold tolerance. The size of the flight muscles, which are the primary heat producing organ in birds, typically increases in winter and these larger muscles are thought to help mediate the increases in metabolic rates. However, the mechanisms underlying this winter increase in muscle size are not well understood yet.  Dr. Swanson studies factors that might regulate this muscle growth and how the birds might respond to changing climates. 
   

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Dr. Michael Watt

Bullying and the Brain. Dr. Michael WattAugust

Dr. Michael Watt
Assistant Professor, Basic Biomedical Sciences
Dr.Watt focuses his research on areas of the developing adolescent brain that may be affected by bullying. Findings to date indicate that the experience of being bullied in adolescence disrupts important functions of the brain that are responsible for normal executive function essential for allowing behavioral flexibility, emotional regulation, planning and decision making. Decreased executive function is a common symptom of all the psychiatric disorders associated with being bullied.  These studies have, for the first time, provided important neurobiological and behavioral data connecting exposure to adolescent bullying.
   

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Garreth Zalud

Reading Recovery - Dr. Garreth Zalud
Dr. Garreth Zalud
Professor, Education
The consequences of long-term literacy difficulties are both dire and immense. Irrefutably, children who fail to develop reading skills are woefully ill prepared for a success-driven market that demands a highly skilled labor force.  Acknowledging the negative impact on these individuals and society, the Reading Recovery Training Center has provided all-important literacy intervention training for teachers in a five-state region. To date, more than 62,000 children have benefitted. Simply stated, Reading Recovery changes lives.   
 

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Dr. Jessica Messersmith

October

Dr. Jessica Messersmith
Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences & Disorders

A Cochlear Implant (CI) is a small, electronic device that provides sound to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. The device works by converting sounds into electronic impulses. Dr.Jessica Messersmith researches ways to improve post-implant service provision. She is conducting studies in her laboratory, including evaluation of how specific approaches to programming a cochlear implant impact outcomes in children, means for improving music appreciation in cochlear implant users, and national legislation related to early identification and intervention.  

 

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Dan Daily

One for the Archives - Dan Daily

Dan Daily
Dean of Libraries

Gov. William Janklow (B.S., 1964, LL.B.,1966) donated his gubernatorial and political papers to USD. The letters, reports, and memoranda of Janklow's four terms as governor and Janklow's service in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 are housed in over 600 boxes. Daniel Daily oversees the organization, digitization and preparation of guides to the Janklow Papers. Future students and researchers, from undergraduates to post-doctorate scholars, will certainly delve into the Janklow Papers among other political papers at the University Libraries. 

 

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 Rick Wang

Container Molecules - Dr. Rick Wang

Dr. Rick Wang
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Rick Wang has recently designed and synthesized a series of synthetic container molecules.These molecules are termed metal-organic super-containers, because they are assembled from container precursors, metal ions, and organic components and they are comprised of cavities that can "contain" various materials. Dr.Wang's container molecules are highly unique in several aspects.  They contain both endo- and exo-cavities, and thus mimic the structure of viruses. Because of their unique characteristics, the container molecules are highly promising in a wide array of applications, including gas storage and separation, drug delivery, catalysis, and biomedical sensing.

 

 

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