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School of Health Sciences announces 2014 faculty award recipients

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences announced that three faculty members have been honored with 2014 School of Health Sciences Faculty Awards.

Kay Rasmussen, M.S., M.L.S., assistant professor and chair of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, was on hand to announce the recipients at the School of Health Sciences Research Conference.

“I feel so very fortunate to be able to work with such an outstanding group of individuals,” Rasmussen stated. “I am constantly learning from the best.”

Debralee Nelson, professor, dental hygiene, is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Nelson has been a member of the School of Health Sciences faculty for three decades and was nominated based on her integrity, knowledge, skill, and dedication to the Department of Dental Hygiene. Nelson received her B.S. in dental hygiene from USD and her M.A. in dental hygiene from Antioch University. Download a photo of Nelson.

Stacy Smallfield, DrOT, associate professor of occupational therapy, was honored with the School of Health Science Faculty Research Achievement Award. Smallfield’s research includes low vision systematic review and practice guidelines in collaboration with the American Occupational Therapy Association, and she created a program that provides older adults with training and technology through the use of iPads. The purpose of this is to reduce social isolation and engage them in leisure activities as they age. Smallfield earned a B.A. in Psychology from Gustavus Adolphus College, her MSOT, Occupational Therapy, from Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.) and a DrOT, Occupational Therapy, from Nova Southeastern University. Download a photo of Smallfield.

Lana Svien, P.T., Ph.D., professor of physical therapy, is the recipient of the School of Health Science Award for Distinguished Service. Svien recently completed her ninth service trip to Guatemala instituting a program that has led to the creation and implementation of developmental clinics for children with special needs. She was also recognized for her work in the area of interprofessional education. Svien received a B.S. in physical therapy from the University of Wisconsin, her M.A. in anatomy from the USD, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Download a photo of Svien.

“These faculty are outstanding representatives of the School of Health Sciences and we are very proud of them,” said Michael J. Lawler, dean of the School of Health Sciences.


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, 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