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New assistant dean of medical student affairs is named at USD Sanford School of Medicine

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine announced today the appointment of Dr. John Wempe as the new Assistant Dean of Medical Student Affairs.

Wempe, a native of Parkston, S.D., received his undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University; a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University; a Master of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Master of Science degrees from the University of California – Davis; a Ph.D. in Pathobiology from the University of Illinois; a Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine; and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

He comes to the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he served as CEO of the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board at the United States Air Force Academy.  Col. Wempe served in numerous administrative and leadership positions during more than 30 years in the military.

Wempe’s duties at the medical school include career counselling for medical students at the school’s four teaching campuses, and assisting students as they progress through their medical training to graduation. He will also be involved in medical school admissions and recruitment programs, with an emphasis on recruitment efforts at the high school level, and he will be based in Sioux Falls.


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 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.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News