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School of Health Sciences Announces 2020 Faculty, Student and Staff Awards

The University of South Dakota School of Health Sciences Logo The USD School of Health Sciences announced its 2020 faculty, student and staff awards.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The School of Health Sciences at the University of South Dakota has announced its annual awards for students, faculty and staff.

"The group of 2020 award winners reflects the school’s commitment to scholarship, leadership and public service," said Haifa Samra, Ph.D., dean of the school. "The current health crisis makes this commitment even more relevant to our communities and our state."

2020 School of Health Sciences award winners:

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student Achievement Award: Cassie Echols, Medical Laboratory Sciences
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Achievement for Leadership and Scholarship Award: Stephanie Prinsen, Physical Therapy
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Achievement Award for Academics: Kara Shroll Blue, Occupational Therapy
  • Early Career Teaching Excellence Award for Commitment to Innovative Teaching: Hanz Tao, D.P.T., Physical Therapy
  • Early Career Teaching Excellence Award for Commitment to Student-Centered Learning: Mackenzie Feldhacker, O.T.D., Occupational Therapy
  • Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence: Allison Naber, O.T.D., Occupational Therapy
  • Outstanding Staff Award for Performance Excellence: Marcia Harnois, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy


USD’s School of Health Sciences is a national leader in interprofessional health sciences education. South Dakota’s comprehensive School of Health Sciences develops scholars, practitioners and leaders in health and human services, including addiction counselors, dental hygienists, health science practitioners, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, public health practitioners and social workers.


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