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.