Skip to main content

Berry named interim vice president of research at USD

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota announced today that Mary Berry, Ph.D., will serve as interim vice president of research effective June 23 following the retirement of Laura Jenski, Ph.D.

Berry, a member of the USD faculty since 1990, serves as director of Photo Active Nanoscale Systems (PANS) and director of South Dakota Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (SD IGERT). For more than a decade, she was chair of the Department of Chemistry and has been a professor of chemistry at USD since 2001.

“Research is crucial to the mission of the University of South Dakota and I am honored for the opportunity to assist the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in this period of transition,” Berry said.

Berry joined the department of chemistry faculty at USD in 1990 as an assistant professor after serving as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pennsylvania. While at USD, she has been recognized for her outstanding research, including the President’s Award for Excellence in Research in 2012 and the Award for Academic Innovation and Excellence in 2005. Additionally, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), the University of California at Los Angeles and at Argonne National Laboratories. Berry earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Virginia and a B.S. in chemistry from the College of Charleston. Download a photo of Berry.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Berry in this position to serve as interim vice president,” stated USD President James W. Abbott. “Her credentials and outstanding reputation will provide a steady direction for the university while we identify the next long term leader for the university’s research mission.”


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 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson 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