Skip to main content

USD Students Receive Prestigious NASA Scholarships

VERMILLION, S.D. – Three University of South Dakota School of Education students have been selected by the NASA South Dakota Space Grant Consortium to receive scholarships for this upcoming Spring semester.

Andrew Koch, a graduate student studying secondary education; Karissa Palmer, a junior math major pursuing a teaching certification; and Abbey Hilt, a junior elementary education major, will all receive $1,500 stipends to go toward their tuition.

According to the SDSGC website, the stipend offers educational and research opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds who are pursuing degrees in fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Koch said that as society becomes more dependent on technology it’s imperative for educators to prepare students to succeed in college by teaching critical thinking skills — something he thinks educators in STEM fields are well prepared to do.

“We talk about preventative medicine, we talk about things to do to lift people out of poverty and I think a good education in a lot of ways can be the best preventative medicine,” he 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