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USD Graduate Now Works in African Country He Visited as Student

Image Blake Frederick Blake Frederick (left) is working in Ghana after visiting as a USD student.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two years after a University of South Dakota student visited the West African country of Ghana on a school-sponsored trip, he has returned to work full time for the non-governmental organization UNiTED Projects.

Blake Frederick, who graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences, is the acting project manager for health education projects in Ghana, teaching health education in schools and overseeing outreach screenings in nearby villages. He also works as a volunteer coordinator and helps with administration at HardtHaven children’s home. He works in various positions, doing new things every day, making his experience busy and exciting.

As a health science student at USD, Frederick made the decision to study abroad on a faculty led trip with Carole South-Winter, assistant professor of health services administration. During his trip, he met the executive director of UNiTED’s HardtHaven children’s home and stayed in touch until graduation. Though his intent was to go to physical therapy school, the trip abroad led him to a shift in perspective, focusing his life now on human connection and universality.

“Each day brings a new adventure,” said Frederick, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to be living, working and learning here.”


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News