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USD Division of Health Affairs Selects Kenyon to Lead Diversity and Inclusion and M.P.H. Programs

Photo of Dr. DenYelle Baete Kenyon, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Dakota DenYelle Baete Kenyon, Ph.D., will serve as associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota’s Division of Health Affairs is pleased to announce that DenYelle Baete Kenyon, Ph.D., has been selected to serve as associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and also as director of the USD School of Health Sciences’ Master of Public Health program.

Kenyon received a Ph.D. in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in adolescent health at the University of Minnesota.

She has served as a scientist and researcher at Sanford Research in Sioux Falls since 2008, and since 2015, she has served as an associate scientist and director of the Population Health Group at Sanford Research. Since 2014, Kenyon has served as an associate professor at the USD Sanford School of Medicine.

Kenyon’s research work includes increasing opportunities in research for underrepresented students, particularly Native American undergraduate students. Several of her specific projects emphasized and encouraged Native American success and persistence in college, and she studied teen pregnancy and sexual health among Native Americans. She served as the administrative lead for the “Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health,” which brings together tribal communities, academic institutions, community organizations, service providers, health care systems and government agencies to interact in conducting cutting-edge transdisciplinary research with the goal of eliminating health and other disparities experienced by American Indians.

“Dr. Kenyon brings a wealth of experience, and we are pleased to welcome her to USD,” said Dr. Mary Nettleman, vice president for Health Affairs at the University of South Dakota.

Kenyon will begin her new duties at USD in March 2019.


USD's Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.


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