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USD-N3 Third Cohort Receives Tailored Interdisciplinary Approach to STEM Education

USD-N3 third cohort in front of Old Main on the USD campus. USD-N3's third cohort is in the midst of their first semester of coursework. Pictured from left to right is Marie Severson, Kevin Krupp, Raegan Nelson and Bethany Freel

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Neuroscience, Nanotechnology & Networks Program (USD-N3) is currently on its third cohort of graduate students who receive training from multiple disciplines, both in classroom and laboratory settings, to develop key interdisciplinary skills.

The four students in this year’s cohort include:

  • Bethany Freel, pursuing a Ph. D. in Basic Biomedical Sciences
  • Kevin Krupp, pursuing a Ph.D. in Biology
  • Marie Severson, pursuing a Ph.D. in Basic Biomedical Sciences
  • Reagan Nelson, pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences

The USD-N3 program, co-directed by Brian Burrell, Ph.D., and Ranjit Koodali, Ph.D., provides graduate students in STEM disciplines opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary research at the interface of neuroscience, nanotechnology and bioinformatics.

“Between the internship opportunity, professional development workshops and travel awards offered by the USD-N3 program, this mechanism provides an outstanding training environment for my doctorate work,” said Freel. “The coursework not only establishes a strong foundation of knowledge in the basics of neurobiology and nanotechnology, but also allows for individualized learning opportunities tailored to my interests.”

USD-N3 is currently in search of its fourth cohort. Support is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. There are different processes whether one applies through the Basic Biomedical Science graduate program or the Department of Chemistry graduate program. For more information, contact

USD-N3 is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship program.


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