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USD Graduate School Dean Receives Best Paper Award

Ranjit Koodali A collaborative paper by Ranjit Koodali, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School and professor of chemistry, received the 2018 Best Paper Award.

VERMILLION, S.D. – A previously published, collaborative paper by Ranjit Koodali, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School and professor of chemistry at the University of South Dakota, was recently selected as the 2018 Best Paper Award by the journal, “Catalysts,” in the research article category.

A selection committee chose the paper, “Charge Transfer Mechanism in Titanium-Doped Microporous Silica for Photovoltaic Water-Splitting Applications” by Wendi Sapp, Ranjit Koodali and Dmitri Kilin, based on originality, significance and on the number of downloads and citations of the paper in 2017 and 2018.

“This work was published due to a successful collaboration between experimental and computational chemists that include former USD graduate student Wendi Sapp and former USD computational chemistry professor Dmitri Kilin,” said Koodali. “This work validated a previously published experimental work from our group that had been well received by the scientific community, including a highlight in the National Science Foundation budget request to Congress for FY13.

The computational work related to solar energy conversion published in ‘Catalysts,’ is a reflection of the talent and caliber of USD graduate students and of the outstanding computational resources available at USD to conduct high-quality research.

“We are grateful to ‘Catalysts’ for recognizing the scientific importance of this paper and for the recognition,” added Koodali.

Koodali joined USD in 2005 and become a full professor and dean of the Graduate School in 2016.

View the award announcement


USD is the largest provider of graduate education in the state of South Dakota, with 78 graduate and professional programs. The mission of the Graduate School is to provide high-quality graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, business, fine arts, law and medicine; to promote excellence in teaching and learning; and to support research and creative scholarship. In partnership with individual degree programs, we accomplish this mission by providing students with excellent academic preparation and extraordinary opportunities for research, creative scholarship, clinical experiences and internships.


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