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USD College of Arts & Sciences Announces 2021 Faculty Awards

A drone shot of Old Main and East Hall. The sun is rising, peaking through Old Main The USD College of Arts & Sciences named its 2021 faculty award winners.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota named its 2021 faculty award winners.

Monsignor James Doyle Humanities Teaching Award

Nathan Bates, Ph.D., German lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages & Linguistics, earned the Doyle Teaching Award, which is given to a college faculty member in a humanities discipline. Bates joined the faculty at USD in 2018 and has taught various courses in German and modern foreign languages, including Novice and Intermediate German, German Cultural History and Foreign Language Teaching Methods. Bates has received grants from the German embassy to the U.S. to host “German Weeks” with student activities on campus, and he is president of the local chapter for the American Association for Teachers of German. With colleagues at South Dakota State University, he has participated in a collaborative program that offers additional course options to students at both universities. This summer, his research at the Heritage Hall Museum archive in Freeman, South Dakota, will allow him to produce German-language materials from German-speaking immigrants for use in courses at USD and SDSU.

The Doyle award is made possible thanks to a gift from Monsignor James Michael Doyle, former chair of religious studies at USD and a prominent theologian inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Blaire and Linda Tremere Faculty Service Award

Molly Rozum, Ph.D., associate professor and Ronald R. Nelson Distinguished Professor of History, received the Tremere Award, which is presented to a member of the college faculty who has demonstrated outstanding public service to the local community or to the state of South Dakota. Since 2016, Rozum’s research has focused on the woman suffrage movement in the Northern Plains States, including South Dakota. Beginning in 2018, she began a three-year public outreach project to educate South Dakotans and others on woman suffrage and South Dakota’s role in the movement, which coincided with the 2020 centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In her civic-education tour, Rozum gave 24 public talks at museums, libraries, historical societies and book festivals. She also participated in educational media programming on woman suffrage and served as state coordinator and editor of South Dakotan Woman Suffrage Biographies for the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States.

All tenure-track and tenured faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences are eligible to receive the Tremere Award. Linda (Schuller) Tremere is a 1970 alumna from the USD School of Business (B.S., accounting) and a native of Amherst, South Dakota. Blair Tremere, a Sioux Falls native, is a 1968 alumnus from the USD College of Arts & Sciences (B.A., government/journalism), who also received his M.A. in Public Administration from USD in 1971.

Richard and Sharon Cutler Faculty Awards

One faculty member in each of the college’s three divisions has earned the Cutler Award, which are presented to faculty who advance liberal arts education through teaching and research over a three-year span.

Jean Caraway, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, won the award in the social sciences division. Caraway fosters an awareness of culture and diversity in her courses, which range from large undergraduate lecture courses to small graduate courses that involve supervision of clinical work. Her research involves mental health disparities in diverse populations, interpersonal violence and personality assessment issues. Caraway joined USD in 1996.

Kelly McKay-Semmler, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies, earned the honor in the humanities division. She has taught a wide range of courses at USD since 2008, and embraces the perspective that learners construct knowledge by building upon the existing understanding they have. Students in McKay-Semmler’s courses are instilled with the idea that communication is the best hope for solving society’s most pressing challenges. Her research interests are intercultural communication and pedagogical studies of successful teaching tools.

KC Santosh, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of computer sciences, is the recipient in the math/science division. A USD faculty member since 2015, Santosh structures the courses he teaches with an emphasis on research, the development of writing skills and the generation of enthusiasm for scientific inquiry. He is the author of eight books and 210 research papers on the topics of artificial intelligence and machine learning in areas such as healthcare, medical informatics and document analysis.

The Cutler Awards were endowed in 2003 by Richard and Sharon Cutler of Sioux Falls. A former member of the board of directors of Senior Companions of Sioux Falls, Sharon Cutler has been active in Sioux Falls community organizations. Richard Cutler (1941-2019) earned a B.A. in history (’63) and a J.D. (’65) at USD, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in 1997. He has been chair of the USD Foundation, co-chair of Campaign South Dakota, and chair of the board of trustees of the National Music Museum. He was a founding partner of Cutler Law Firm in Sioux Falls.

The Johnson Family Outstanding Instructor Award

Gary Larson, Ed.S., lecturer in the Department of Media & Journalism, earned the Johnson Family Outstanding Instructor Award, which is given to a faculty member in the College of Arts & Sciences who demonstrates outstanding classroom teaching and mentoring of students. Larson joined USD in 1987 and now teaches courses that are computer-lab based, large-lecture style and field-based practicum. His course responsibilities include Graphic Communication, Introduction to Sport Marketing & Media, and the Sport Marketing Practicum. Larson strives to create a welcoming classroom that contains the most up-to-date materials and technologies and that is well organized with clear expectations. As a mentor, he has guided students through their academic careers and helped place students in internships with organizations such as the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce, The Summit League, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Storm and Canaries teams, the Sioux City Explorers, Daktronics and sports commissions throughout the Midwest.

The award is made possible through an annual gift of the Johnson family. Mary Elizabeth Johnson is a USD graduate in mass communication who served as Chaplain at the Mayo Clinic for over three decades, working closely with women experiencing health issues and loss. Johnson completed graduate work at Seattle University, and served as an adjunct member of the Mayo Medical School.


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