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South Dakota Alpha Omega Alpha chapter inducts 12 new members

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The South Dakota chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha inducted nine students, one faculty member, one alumnus and one resident at an induction banquet in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Thursday, May 8. It was the 37th new member installation of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine South Dakota’s chapter. Alpha Omega Alpha is the only national honor medical society in the world.

Six students from the Class of 2014 were elected last fall: Adam Bledsoe of Aberdeen, S.D., Derek Gearman of Lennox, S.D., Kayla Haines of Mitchell, S.D., Laura Hill of Madison, S.D., Kayla Norenberg of Hurley, S.D., and Erin Williams of Sioux Falls, S.D. Three students from the Class of 2015 were elected as juniors this spring: David Brennan of Colstrip, Mont., Brian Juber of Worthington, Minn., and William Sheaffer of St. Paul, Minn.

Alpha Omega Alpha is organized for educational purposes and aims to promote scholarship and research in medical schools through the encouragement of a high standard of character and conduct among medical students and graduates. The USD chapter was granted its charter in 1978. Members of Alpha Omega Alpha at USD must rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating class with no more than one-sixth of potential graduates elected for membership. Scholastic excellence is not the only criterion for election; integrity, capacity for leadership, compassion and fairness in dealing with colleagues are considered to be of equal significance.

In addition to the students, the chapter elected one faculty member, Dr. Keith Hansen; one alumnus, Dr. Eric Larson; and one resident, Dr. Michelle Schimelpfenig.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


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.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News