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Arens Caps USD Career with Second Fulbright Award

Josh Arens Joshua Arens has won the prestigious Fulbright Open Study Research Award.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Joshua Arens, an honors student majoring in chemistry and double-minoring in Spanish and mathematics at the University of South Dakota, has won the prestigious Fulbright Open Study Research Award.

It’s the third selective scholarship Arens has won. He previously received the Fulbright Summer Institute award allowing him to study at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2014 and a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study.

Arens, from Yankton, South Dakota, credits former Honors Program Director Susan Hackemer with his success. “While there are many individuals who’ve helped me out through the years, I’d like to single out Susan Hackemer. I wouldn’t have received any of these awards without her guidance,” said Arens.

Arens, whose award will focus on renewable energy at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia in Spain, has pursued multiple research and scholarship opportunities in the field of climate science. He has studied at the University of California Berkeley Center for Sustainable Polymers and held an internship at the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry at Oregon State University. This summer, Arens will complete an internship through the Department of Energy’s Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California.

Sparked with an interest in politics after interning for former U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, Arens hopes to continue his advocacy in the field of science.

“I look forward to conducting renewable energy research in a country that implements policies that create a welcoming environment for international scientists and promote research of innovative technologies to combat climate change,” said Arens.

The Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards, the commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


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.