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Master of Public Health Program Sends First Graduate to Workforce

Image Michaela Seiber Michaela Seiber, who grew up in Sisseton, South Dakota, and works at Avera McKennan Hospital, is the first graduate of a joint master of public health degree offered by SDSU and USD.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The first graduate with a master of public health degree offered jointly by South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota will use the advanced training in her position at Avera McKennan Hospital’s oncology research department.

Michaela Seiber, from Sisseton, South Dakota, an enrolled tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, began her studies in the MPH program in January 2015 and just graduated 18 months later.

Seiber graduated from SDSU in 2013 with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies. She started working at Avera in Sioux Falls in 2015 and wanted to continue her education in public health while working full-time. Seiber said the SDSU and USD online master of public health program was the solution.

“The introduction of this program in my home state, where I want to continue to work, was absolutely perfect,” she said. “The flexibility the online program offers has been a huge benefit.”

Seiber credits her success in the MPH program not only to the faculty and students but also to the SDSU and USD collaboration.

“Both schools have things to offer that the other does not, which allows for a well-rounded learning experience for students in the program. It lets students make connections with professors and classmates that they might not otherwise interact with,” Seiber said.

Download a photo of Michaela Seiber.


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