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National scholar author highlight IdeaFest 2012 lecture slate

VERMILLION, S.D. -- For the 20th straight year, students at the University of South Dakota will showcase their research during IdeaFest 2012, April 11-12, at the Muenster University Center on the USD campus.

This year’s schedule includes keynote lectures from author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Dr. Dana Miller, an assistant professor in the department of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Lemmon was previously the deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program. Prior to joining the Council, Lemmon covered public policy and emerging markets for the global investment firm PIMCO, after working for nearly a decade as a journalist with the ABC News Political Unit and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she received the 2006 Dean’s Award for her work on women’s entrepreneurship. Lemmon’s address, “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana,” is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11 at the ballroom of the Muenster University Center. “The Dressmaker of Khair Khana” is also the name of her most recent book, which highlights the relationship between women and work in war-torn regions and shows that leadership and empowerment can come out of even the most difficult situations. A photo of Gayle is available at

Miller’s lecture, “Suspended Animation in Nature and Medicine,” is at noon on Thursday, April 12 and focuses on understanding suspended animation and the beneficial effects of the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide. Miller investigates how cells and organisms can be protected from damaging effects of low oxygen. She is a frequent contributor to “science café” talks to engage non-scientists about topics in her research and the importance of basic research and model organisms in biomedical research. She completed post-doctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Division of Basic Sciences. Her Ph.D. is from the Johns Hopkins University. A photograph of Dr. Miller is available for download at

Initiated in 1992 as a celebration of academic and cultural diversity at USD, IdeaFest celebrates student research, creative scholarship and academic engagement. In addition to the keynote lectures, undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines will present their work in oral and poster presentations, live performances, readings, exhibits and displays, and panel discussions. While IdeaFest is an opportunity for students to present their work, it's also a chance for the community to see how research and other academic activities enhance student education. USD has been a national leader in creating and supporting programs for undergraduate research and creative scholarship for two decades, and, since the first year of IdeaFest, many other campuses nationwide have followed USD’s lead in showcasing its students’ work in this way.

Sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Center for Academic Engagement, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Farber Center, Council for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity, Graduate Council and, Sigma Xi, IdeaFest 2012 information is available online at, by calling (605) 677-6338 or at


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