Skip to main content

U. Discover Summer Research Scholars Selected

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Thirteen USD students were recently selected to participate in the University of South Dakota U. Discover Scholars Program.

It is a joint project of the Council for Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (CURCS) and the Center for Academic and Global Engagement (CAGE). This highly selective program is designed to give undergraduate students experience conducting a scholarly research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Students applied to participate in the program during the early spring semester and went through a rigorous application review and interview process before being selected as a U. discover scholar. As part of the program, the scholars meet bi-weekly as a group for lunch hour presentations on various topics related to conducting research and creative scholarship. Peter Kindle, CURCS chair-elect and committee chair, said, “I have been involved with the U. discover reviews and student interviews for the last three years, and I have been amazed at the quality of the students and projects. Nothing has given me more pride in being a part of the Coyote family.”

Summer 2016 U. discover scholars, their major and faculty sponsor: Kalie Leonard, biology-conservation and biodiversity, Kearney, Nebraska, faculty mentor Jacob Kerby; Christian Pollema, medical biology, North Sioux City, South Dakota, faculty mentor Jacob Kerby; Nicco La Mattina, anthropology, faculty mentor Matthew Sayre; Emily Hattouni, psychology, Lakeville, Minnesota, faculty mentor Sara Lowmaster; Marguerite Squyer, biology-conservation and biodiversity, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, faculty mentor Meghann Jarchow; Filip Radev, medical biology, Kishinev, Moldova, faculty mentor J. Scott Pattison; Zahra Rasouli, physics, Gorgan, Iran, faculty mentor Catalin Georgescu; Nicholas Wood, biology-physiology, cell and molecular, Chelsea, South Dakota, faculty mentor Scot Ouellette; Breanna Fischer, biology-conservation and biodiversity, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, faculty mentor Daniel Soluk; Craig Stanton, addiction studies, Vermillion, faculty mentor David Posthumus; Alexa Kruse, biology-conservation and biodiversity, Brandon, South Dakota, faculty mentor Meghann Jarchow; Sydney Strait, biology-physiology, cell and molecular, Watertown, South Dakota, faculty mentor Patrick Ronan; and Benjamin Hawkins, medical biology, Renner, South Dakota, faculty mentor Grigoriy Sereda.

Among the student project topics: cognitive flexibility of mindfulness and rumination, a linguistic ethnography of the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria and CMA-targeting peptide technology as a novel therapeutic approach to combat disease-causing mutant proteins.


USD’s Center for Academic & Global Engagement (CAGE) gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and knowledge and connect with their community and the larger world. CAGE offers academically based opportunities that create skills employers and graduate schools seek. Among them: off-campus service-learning programs, studying abroad, student exchange, undergraduate research and nationally competitive awards and fellowships. CAGE also provides support to international students with cultural and academic adjustments as well as immigration concerns.


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