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School of Education Contest Honors Fallen Military Vets

Image Clay County “Clay County’s Fallen” contestants and judges: Front row (left to right): Andy Howe, Vermillion VFW Post 3061 quartermaster; Jing An, assistant professor of social studies education; Lexy Zimmerman, of Flandreau, South Dakota; E. Lee Felder Jr., VP of Human Resources and member of Vermillion VFW. Second row (left to right): Master Sgt. Jason Clayton, senior military instructor, ROTC; Delaney Clark, of Fremont, Nebraska; Matt Viereck, of Larchwood, Iowa; William Mart, finalist; Bruce Williams, Vermillion VFW member. Back row (left to right): Arianne Aasen, finalist; Margo Hegge, finalist; Sean Bredl, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Shelby Keil, finalist.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Several University of South Dakota students who plan to be teachers gave oral presentations Thursday on research they did about fallen military veterans for a School of Education contest called “Clay County’s Fallen.”

The Vermillion Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3061 sponsored the effort that is tied to Memorial Day and aims to enhance undergraduate students' research skills and to recognize veterans as an important component of the university's Inclusive Excellence.

Students researched and wrote about a fallen hero from Clay County and submitted a total of 36 research projects in March. A ROTC committee reviewed each submission and recommended 10 to the Vermillion VFW, which narrowed the pool to the top five who gave their oral presentation to a panel of veterans on Thursday in Delzell Education Center.

The cash prize winners: first place ($300), Lexy Zimmerman, a junior secondary history education major from Flandreau, South Dakota; second place ($200), Sean Bredl, a senior secondary history education major from Cedar Rapids, Iowa; third place ($100), Delaney Mae Clark, from Fremont, Nebraska, and Matt Viereck, from Larchwood, Iowa, both seniors majoring in elementary education/special education.


USD's School of Education is transformative in preparing students both inside and outside the classroom. Its research- and practitioner-based programs train future educators, counselors, leaders, fitness and sport-related professionals for successful careers. The school focuses on a comprehensive learning experience, lifelong learning and developing professionals grounded in best practice. The school’s divisions include counseling and psychology, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, kinesiology and sport management, and teacher residency and education.


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