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USD Sanford School of Medicine Installs New Members in AOA Honor Society

Alpha Omega Alpha - Honor Medical Society logo The USD Sanford School of Medicine installed new members into the AOA Honor Society at is annual induction ceremony on May 7.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine's chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society, held its 43rd annual induction ceremony on May 7. AOA is the only national honor medical society in the world.

Five students from the medical school’s class of 2020 were installed in AOA. They include Michael Blankespoor of Rock Valley, Iowa, Taylor Den Hartog of Rapid City, South Dakota, Lauren Fanta of Yankton, South Dakota, Cory Hewitt of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, and Chandler Jansen, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Six students from the Class of 2021 were inducted, including Adam Bleeker of Mitchell, South Dakota, Ahna Buntrock of Eyota, Minnesota, Jacob Haiar of Mitchell, South Dakota, Christopher Lucido of Omaha, Nebraska, Logan Radtke of Jefferson, South Dakota, and Christopher Van Hove of Plymouth, Minnesota.

The chapter also inducted alumnus Samuel Schimelpfenig, M.D., faculty member Jennifer Hsu, M.D., and residents Mohamed Abdallah, M.D. and Wade Paulson, M.D.

AOA recognizes and encourages excellence in the medical profession and honors high standards of character and conduct among medical students, faculty and medical graduates. AOA specifically recognizes high academic achievement among students, gifted teaching and leadership in academia and the community, and the ideals of humanism and service to community.


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