VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota College of Arts & Sciences has named Sandy McKeown, J.D., associate professor and director of the Criminal Justice Studies Program, as the first recipient of the newly formed Blair & Linda Tremere Professorship in the Arts & Sciences.
The Tremere Professorship recognizes a tenured faculty member of the College of Arts & Sciences who consistently demonstrates excellent teaching and mentoring. The professorship, along with a yearly salary supplement, will be awarded every fifth year to members of the college’s three academic divisions—social sciences, humanities and science/mathematics—in rotating order.
As the first Tremere Professor, McKeown embodies the attributes of an outstanding teacher and mentor. She joined the Criminal Justice Studies Program in 2006 after serving as a judicial clerk in South Dakota’s Supreme Court and as a deputy public defender in Minnehaha County. In her 14-year tenure at USD, McKeown has coordinated and supervised criminal justice student internships, coached the university’s Mock Trial Team, advised three student organizations and organized and hosted regular programming to connect students with professionals in the field. These professional engagement activities include an annual Criminal Justice Career Fair, a monthly speaking series with criminal justice professionals and a biennial crime scene investigation competition.
McKeown has taught a broad variety of courses in different specialties, including Criminal Prosecution and Defense, Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice Ethics and Juvenile Justice. She attends teaching and learning conferences to foster consistent growth as a teacher and incorporates a variety of pedagogical techniques into her classroom. In 2016, she was awarded the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching.
“The Tremeres’ constant and generous support of the College of Arts & Sciences is a great benefit to our faculty and students,” McKeown said. “I feel honored to receive this professorship and to count myself among the faculty of the college and the Department of Political Science, whose teaching and mentoring inspire students every day.”
The Blair & Linda Tremere Professorship in Arts & Sciences was established by Blair and Linda Tremere, who reside in Sioux Falls and have been loyal donors and supporters of USD since 1979 with recent focus on the College of Arts & Sciences. Linda (Schuller) Tremere is a 1970 alumna from the USD School of Business (B.S., accounting) and a native of Amherst, South Dakota. She was a Certified Public Accountant and vice president/director of financial controls for Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., in St. Paul, Minnesota. Blair Tremere, a Sioux Falls native, is a 1968 alumnus from the USD College of Arts & Sciences (B.A., government/journalism), and he also received his M.A. in public administration from USD in 1971. Blair spent more than 30 years in professional service in city, county, metropolitan and state government positions in the Twin Cities. He served as mayor and council member in Golden Valley, Minnesota.