"This is truly a surprise," admitted Tassler, who thanked her family, friends and coworkers at a reception in her honor at the Lee Medical Sciences Building on The U’s campus. "I’m very glad I made the decision to work for this department, and I’m very glad you accepted me," Tassler told those in attendance.

Nominated for the award by Ronald Lindahl, Ph.D., executive dean, Sanford School of Medicine, and Steve Waller, associate dean of basic sciences, Tassler was cited for her hard work as well as keeping the department running smoothly while going above and beyond the call of duty.

"Darla is an exceptional employee," Lindahl detailed in his nomination of Tassler. "Darla’s educational support role involves everything from working with faculty to prepare course materials, examinations and recording student grades to being the student contact for returned assignments and exams. In this role, Darla has learned to deal very effectively with the diverse personalities of the division’s faculty."

A native of Dimock, S.D. and a graduate of Parkston, S.D., High School, Tassler began her USD career as a secretary in support of basic science faculty. But in less than two years at The U, Tassler has ascended to the role of senior secretary and administrative assistant to the dean where she enjoys the challenges that pop up daily.

"Every day is different," mentioned Tassler, who received her bachelor’s degree from the USD School of Education in 1991. "I handle anything that comes my way whether it’s requests from the media, reproducing notes for faculty to meeting students’ needs. It’s a good place to work."

Following her graduation from The U, Tassler taught in Iowa until moving back to Vermillion where she presently resides with her husband, Doug, and their two daughters. Her stepson and his wife also currently reside in Vermillion. A photograph of Tassler receiving her award from USD President James W. Abbott is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Darla_Tassler.jpg.

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