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Chiesman Center to Offer Grant Opportunities for South Dakota Schools and Organizations

A drone shot of Old Main and East Hall. The sun is rising, peaking through Old Main The Chiesman Center for Democracy invites proposals for two grant opportunities that will support the research and civic engagement activities of South Dakota schools and organizations.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Allene R. Chiesman Center for Democracy invites proposals for two grant opportunities that will support the research and civic engagement activities of South Dakota schools and organizations that address the issues of democracy, democratic principles and active engagement.

The Chiesman Center will also support activities encouraging active and informed engagement in the democratic process or promoting civic competence and responsibility among South Dakota’s residents and leaders.

The Chiesman Educational Grant is open to South Dakota K-12 and post-secondary educators for educational projects in fall 2020 or spring 2021. Non-profit organizations designing materials or programs for K-12 schools are also eligible. Though not required for funding, the center encourages projects that incorporate ideas and activities from KidsVoting USA or Get Out the Vote campaigns.

The Chiesman Civic Engagement Grant is open to South Dakota non-profit organizations supporting civic engagement, voter education and voter turnout.

“We are incredibly excited to be able to support the creativity and innovation of teachers and organizations throughout South Dakota that support civic engagement and participation in the democratic process,” said Shane Nordyke, Ph.D., associate professor of political science and the Allene R. Chiesman Distinguished Professor of Democracy. “Our teachers know their students and often have the best ideas for keeping students engaged. Likewise, local community organizations are often in the best place to know what the people in their community need. I can’t wait to see and support their visions.”

The call for proposal deadline for both grants is Oct. 12 by 5 p.m. The Chiesman Center will announce its decisions on the proposals on or before Oct. 16.

To learn more about the Chiesman Educational Grant and the Chiesman Civic Engagement Grant, visit the grant proposal website.

The Chiesman Center is housed within the University of South Dakota Department of Political Science and collaborates closely with the W.O. Farber for Civic Education and the Government Research Bureau. These organizations bring the expertise of USD faculty to the broader South Dakota public, from the private citizen to the state’s elected leaders.


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