“Through the generosity of our donors we are able to recognize some of our many outstanding students with these awards,” said John Dudley, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “By acknowledging our students’ exceptional research, outstanding writing, and service to their communities, these awards reinforce the value and impact of a liberal arts education at USD.”

John W. Carlson Research Grant

The John W. Carlson Research grant is an endowed fund established in memory of John W. Carlson, who served as the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of mathematics from 1988-2001. Carlson placed high importance on the role played by research in the professional development of both graduate and undergraduate students.

The students awarded with the John W. Carlson Research Grant include the following.

  • Sweta Chand, M.S. student in biology, for the project “Validating candidate genes and micropeptides putatively involved in the non-shivering thermogenesis response in the Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus).”
  • Aleah Dokter, junior in conservation biology and sustainability, for the project “Deciphering the Biochemical Composition of the Noxious Defensive Spray of the Bombardier Beetle for Biomedical Applications in Treating Chronic Pain.”
  • Emily Hermann, Ph.D. student in psychology, for the project “Examining the Psychological Functioning of First Responders’ Children and the Influence of Risk and Resilience Factors.”
  • Venkatesh Kolluru, Ph.D. student in sustainability, for the project “A reconnaissance survey to estimate plant species diversity and productivity across climatic, topographic, and grazing gradients in Mongolia.”
  • Nikole Schneider, Ph.D. student in biological sciences, for the project “Evolutionary adaptation or evolutionary reversion? Mechanistic underpinnings of a novel feeding strategy in chameleons.”

Dean Joseph H. Cash Award for Excellence in Writing

Elisabeth Kluin, a senior majoring in history and English, was awarded the Dean Joseph H. Cash Award for Excellence in Writing. This award was established in honor of Cash, who served as the Duke Research Professor of History and director of the American Indian Research Project, the Oral History Center and the Institute of American Indian Studies. In 1977, he was named dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, a position he held for 10 years. The award was created in his name to acknowledge student excellence in writing and to encourage faculty in the liberal arts and sciences to teach writing skills and require written components at all levels of instruction.

Marx Servant Leader Award

Pragati Rouniyar, a junior majoring in computer science, was awarded the Marx Servant Leader Award. This endowment was established to provide encouragement and support for students who are eager to continue their education and earn the distinction of becoming servant leaders. Gary Marx, a 1960 communications graduate of USD, and Judy Marx, who holds a 1961 associate degree from USD, hope that students, wherever they might eventually live and whatever their professions or lines of work, understand the importance of contributing to their local communities and their responsibilities as citizens of the world.

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