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USD students to showcase research at Pierre Poster Session

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two University of South Dakota students have been selected by faculty for their outstanding undergraduate research and they will be recognized at the Capitol Rotunda in Pierre, S.D., on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Dan Davies, a junior history and biology major from Vermillion, and Sara Boyum, a senior accounting major from West Point, Neb., are among a select group of students from colleges and universities in South Dakota invited to display their research, in poster form, during the Pierre Poster Session, which is co-sponsored by the Research Affairs Council of the South Dakota Board of Regents, the South Dakota EPSCoR Office and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Davies’ poster, “Increased Anxiety States and Contextual Fear Conditioning in Closed Traumatic Brain Injury Mirroring Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” illustrates his research to determine whether mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) resulted in neurological and associated behavioral changes similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Overall, results of neuroanatomical analysis, as well as fear conditioning and anxiety testing, show a neurobiological link between mTBI and anxiety states similar to PTSD. This has important implications for reducing the long-term consequences of mTBI in military and non-military populations.

A photo of Dan is available for download at

Boyum’s poster, “The Robinson-Patman Act Price Analysis: An Integral Study of the Consistency of Enforcement and Local Business Opinion,” seeks to determine whether small businesses in the tri-state area of southeast South Dakota, northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa are impacted by price discrimination. In particular, whether the Robinson-Patman Act has influence on these entities or if stronger enforcement of this Act is needed in order to protect small business interests. To determine a recommendation for her research, Boyum will survey 95 businesses within the designated area to gain valuable insight from small business owners.

A photo of Sara is available for download at

The Pierre Poster Session is an opportunity for undergraduate students to showcase their research and for universities to highlight the state’s investment into research and graduate education. In addition, research collaborations between various state institutions, industry and federal agencies will be exhibited with undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral and faculty researchers available to answer questions and meet with legislators, media and visitors to the capitol building.

For more information about research at The University of South Dakota, please contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at (605) 677-5370.


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