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USD receives 100,000 Strong in the Americas grant to fund study abroad opportunities

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota is one of nine colleges and universities to earn funding through 100,000 Strong in the Americas innovation grants. This round of grant funding was sponsored by Santander Universities, a division of Santander Bank and announced by the Department of State, Partners of the Americas and NAFSA: Association of International Educators at the first 100,000 Strong in the Americas capacity building workshop.

USD was awarded a grant to double study abroad participation by 2017, especially in smaller campuses in the South Dakota Board of Regents system that do not have the resources to develop study abroad opportunities on their own. USD is partnering with Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya of Pueblo Libre, Peru.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is thrilled to partner with the Center for Academic and Global Engagement to increase the global opportunities for our students,” noted Tina Keller, associate dean, College of Arts & Sciences at USD. “This program will build on a strong existing relationship between Associate Professor Angela Helmer of our Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya of Pueblo Libre, Peru and we look forward to the expansion of this program across multiple disciplines within the college.”

President Obama’s goal for 100,000 Strong in the Americas is to reach at least 100,000 U.S. students studying, training, or researching abroad in the countries of the Western Hemisphere each year by 2020. An equal number of students from other countries in the hemisphere is likewise expected to learn and train in the United States. The initiative is aimed at enhancing hemispheric competitiveness, at increasing prosperity, and at better preparing a globally aware workforce.

“The University of South Dakota believes it is important to provide our students with a variety of global experiences to better prepare them for an interconnected world,” said Kurt Hackemer, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at USD. “We are pleased that the State Department has recognized our commitment to international education and are looking forward to serving students from across the state.”

The awards announced in May are of approximately $25,000 each, and will leverage commitments by USD and the other eight winning colleges and universities to increase student mobility and address institutional barriers that prevent students from studying abroad.


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