VERMILLION, S.D. -- John Dudley, Ph.D., of the Department of English, Molly Nepokroeff, Ph.D., of the Department of Biology, and Miglena Sternadori, Ph.D., of the Department of Contemporary Media and Journalism, are the 2011 recipients of the prestigious Richard and Sharon Cutler Faculty Awards in Liberal Arts at The University of South Dakota.
Dudley, the recipient in the Humanities Division of the College of Arts and Sciences, is chair of the USD Department of English. He was recognized for outstanding teaching of American literature and exceptional contributions to graduate education in English. A scholar of African American literature and the literature of the American West, and a nationally esteemed expert on the literary movement of American Naturalism, Dudley’s recent accomplishments include chapters or entries in the Oxford Handbook to American Literary Naturalism, the Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, and the Research Guide to American Literature: Realism and Regionalism, 1865-1914. He earned a Ph.D. in English at Tulane University and has taught at USD since 2003.
Nepokroeff received the award for the Mathematics/Natural Sciences Division for her excellent teaching of advanced plant biology classes as well as general biology courses, and for her dedicated mentoring of undergraduate students conducting research in her laboratory. As a specialist in the origin of plant diversity and patterns of distribution in plants, Nepokroeff has been awarded multiple National Science Foundation grants. Her recent publications include articles in the International Journal of Plant Science and the American Journal of Botany. She earned a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Wisconsin and has taught at USD since 2001.
Sternadori was recognized in the Social Sciences Division for her exemplary teaching of journalism and of the study of contemporary media at both introductory and advanced levels. Blending quantitative and qualitative methodologies, her research focuses on how the structure and elements of a news story influence the perceptions of the audience. Scholarly articles by Sternadori have recently been published in the Journal of Media Psychology, Media Report on Women, and the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. She received her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Missouri and has taught at USD since 2008. Sternadori is also the coordinator of the Women’s Studies Program at USD.
The three awards, each carrying a $3,500 cash prize payable through The University of South Dakota Foundation, are presented annually to faculty who advance liberal arts education through teaching and research over a three-year span. Download a photograph of Sternadori, Nepokroeff and Dudley.
The Cutler awards were endowed in 2003 by Richard and Sharon Cutler of Sioux Falls, S.D. to recognize distinguished faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. A former member of the board of directors of Senior Companions of Sioux Falls, Sharon Cutler has been active in Sioux Falls community organizations. Richard Cutler earned a B.A. in history and a J.D. at USD, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by USD in 1997. He has been chair of USD Foundation, co-chair of Campaign South Dakota, and chair of the board of trustees of the National Music Museum. He is an attorney with Cutler & Donahoe, LLP, in Sioux Falls.