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School Psychology Graduate Student Recognized for Research Presentation

Photo of Brittany Lewno with research poster. Brittany Lewno was recognized as a Blue Ribbon Walk winner at the 2017 American Psychological Association Convention in Washington D.C.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Brittany Lewno, a University of South Dakota School of Education graduate student, was recently recognized as a Blue Ribbon Walk winner at the 2017 American Psychological Association Convention in Washington D.C.

Lewno was awarded the prestigious recognition for a presentation given on research she conducted with Ethan Villeneuve, another USD student, and her advisor, assistant professor Daniel Hajovsky.

“This award was unexpected, but I am greatly humbled for this recognition,” Lewno said.

Through a sample of 558 sixth grade students attained from a national database, the group studied how school climate influenced the relationship between limited social skills and bullying behaviors and the relationship between limited social support and bullying behaviors.

“I feel passionate about this research because the outcomes highlight preventative ways to address bullying behaviors. Although many predictors of bullying behaviors are out of our control, a focus on factors that we can influence, like school climate and social skills, is imperative to reduce and prevent school bullying,” Lewno said.


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