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High school students diagnose career possibilities at USD camp

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Fifty high school students from South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota received a firsthand look at careers in the health care industry during the fifth annual Health Care Careers Camp, June 19-24, at The University of South Dakota.

With the help of various lectures and activities, students learned of the skills required to pursue a future in health care. Health care professionals were on hand to inform camp participants of various career options and discuss important issues in health care such as salaries, educational requirements and the need to augment the future health care workforce – in all disciplines – in order to accommodate projected health care demands.

According to Jerry Yutrzenka, Ph.D., director of Diversity Affairs for Sanford School of Medicine and the University’s Health Professions Advisor, the camp was created to allow high school students the opportunity to observe, ask questions and interact with professionals. Throughout the week, campers attended group activities and discussions; presentations by faculty and health care professionals from USD, the Sanford School of Medicine and USD School of Health Sciences; and participated in field trips to area medical facilities, including a tour of Sanford Research in Sioux Falls. Additionally, the camp consisted of a gross anatomy session and physiology lab, and medical demonstrations.

Students attending the camp included Matthew Preszler of Menno, S.D., Lucy Benitez, Stacy Deibert, Riddhi Gandhi, Adam Kost, Jordan Larsen, Jessica Leat, Narysse Nicolet, Rachel Noonan, Geralyn Palmer, Suzie Richards of Sioux Falls, Rachel Uhrich of Aberdeen, S.D., Haylee Erickson of Akron, Iowa, Shayna Frost of Ashton, S.D., Nora Lueth and Hayley Naasz of Brandon, S.D., Emily Van Roekel of Corsica, S.D., Julianne Miner of Eagle Butte, S.D., Matthew Dykes and Emily Miles of Hartford, S.D., Niki Riley of Hazel, S.D., Shelby Sieverding of Humboldt, S.D., Melanie Fetherhuff of Ipswich, S.D., Mariah Pierce of Kadoka, S.D., Holly Clifford of Kyle, S.D., Lacey Van Laecken of Letcher, S.D., Sarah Maberry and Christina Parsley of Madison, S.D., Stephanie Haiar of Marion, S.D., Lindsey Hendrickson of Meadow, S.D., Greg Hauer of Mission Hill, S.D., Lottie Grimshaw and Tanner Colombe of Mission, S.D., Karlie McEntee of Mitchell, S.D., Delayna Paulson of Mount Vernon, S.D., Katherine Van Gerpen of Pierre, S.D., Ashley Woldt of Slayton, Minn., Jackson Roberts of Spearfish, S.D., Beth Reiser of Spencer, Neb., Elizabeth Karge of Springfield, S.D., Elana Kaup of Stuart, Neb., Dustin Javers of Tea, S.D., Siehera Thibodeau of Toronto, S.D., Jonni Blake-Kosmicki of Tulare, S.D., Morgan Hower and Kelsey Meadows of Vermillion, S.D., Justine Soukup of Wagner, S.D., Tierra Axdahl of White River, S.D. and Taylor Dumke of Yankton, S.D.

USD students Seth Parsons of Pierre, S.D., Collin Michels of Yankton, S.D., Emily Reinbold of Timber Lake, S.D., Janine James of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Robyn Oster of Eureka, S.D. served as counselors and guides for the camp. Support for the camp was provided by a $10,000 grant from the South Dakota Workforce Partnership Fund and additional sponsors included USD, Sanford School of Medicine, Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Relations Council, USD School of Health Sciences, Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Vermillion Medical Center and the Dakota Hospital Foundation.

For more information about the camp, please visit or contact Kathy VanKley, Healthcare Careers Camp Coordinator, Sanford School of Medicine, at (605) 677-7288 or e-mail


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News