3 Receive USD School of Education 2015 Faculty Excellence Awards

The 2015 Faculty Excellence Awards in the USD School of Education went to Karen Kindle, Gera Jacobs and Kelly Duncan. 


Kindle, Ed.D., assistant professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, received the Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. Kindle has developed an English Language Learner (ELL) minor and an Integrated Literacy course for students in teacher preparation programs. She said it’s her responsibility not only to develop challenging content for her students but also to help her students serve as exemplars in the classroom. “It is critical for teacher educators to stay current with the content, and that the course adequately prepares future teachers to enter the profession with the knowledge and skills to be successful,” she said.

Jacobs, Ed.D., professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction, received the Faculty Excellence Award in Research. She co-authored her second book, “Supporting Students, Meeting Standards: Best Practices for Engaging Learning in First, Second, and Third Grade,” which the publisher expects to be a high-impact book for early childhood educators. Jacobs visited primary grade classrooms and interviewed teachers and researchers to understand the Common Core State Standards and other national standards, and to find the best educational practices for meeting these standards. She also received a grant from the South Dakota Department of Education to chair a committee rewriting the state’s preschool standards.

Duncan, Ph.D., a former associate professor in USD's Division of Counseling and Psychology in Education, received the Faculty Excellence Award in Service. She is now dean of the School of Education at Northern State University. While at USD, Duncan was active on campus with a variety of student-related group and is a long-time member of the South Dakota Board of Education. Internationally, she has led delegations of school counselors to Russia, China and Egypt, and has shared her expertise in India regarding approaches to deal with bullying in schools. “While service may compose 15 percent of my assigned effort, I feel I give 110 percent of effort in this area,” she said.

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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 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, 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 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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