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English Instructor Receives Arts & Sciences Outstanding Instructor Award

Photo of Green. Ken Green is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Instructor Award in the College of Arts & Sciences.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Ken Green, an instructor in the USD Department of English, is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Instructor Award in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Green joined USD in 2005 and currently serves as an English instructor and coordinator of Business Writing classes. He has also filled administrative roles as acting director of the USD Writing Center as well as the USD Writing Program. He teaches a variety of courses, including English Grammar, Business Writing, Introduction to Literature, and Professional, Technical, and Grant Writing.

Teaching such a wide variety of courses appeals to Green, he said. “It keeps things interesting and I stay excited because I get to teach so many different things.”

No matter the course, Green’s expectations of students are the same. “The most important thing is holding the students to a very high standard,” he said. “I think the students really appreciate it. Knowing that I’m holding them to a high standard helps them do better work.”

That high standard extends to the community service that Green’s Professional, Technical, and Grant Writing students undertake through their coursework. Each semester, his students coordinate with a non-profit organization or community group in the area to assess community needs. They then research and write funding proposals that the group can submit to a grant-making organization. Last semester, the students worked with the Vermillion Community Theatre; a previous class wrote proposals for the Vermillion Chamber and Development Company.

“The students in the Professional, Technical, and Grant Writing class get to see the application of their skills in a professional environment,” Green said. “They get real, hands-on experience with writing professionally.”

One student who took the class became a writing intern with the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce and Development Company.

“We hope that we can have another student intern with them each year,” said Green. “It’s a great thing for the chamber and also for the student.”

The Outstanding Instructor Award is given annually to a faculty member in the College of Arts & Sciences who demonstrates outstanding classroom teaching and mentoring of students. The winner receives a cash prize, made possible through an annual gift of the Johnson family. Mary Elizabeth Johnson is a USD graduate in mass communication who served as chaplain at the Mayo Clinic for more than three decades, working closely with women experiencing health issues and loss. Johnson completed graduate work at Seattle University, and served as an adjunct member of the Mayo Medical School.


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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News