Alumni Achievement Award recipients are recognized for Professional Achievement, Public Service, Service to the University, and Emerging Leader. Tickets for the dinner are available online.

Honored alumni this year are Hon. David Gienapp of Madison, South Dakota (B.A. ’64 in History, Political Science) for Public Service; Bryan Hisel of Mina, South Dakota (B.A. ’73 in English and Psychology, M.P.A. ‘82) for Professional Achievement; Frank Leibfarth of Carrboro, North Carolina (B.S. Chemistry and Physics ‘08) for Emerging Leader; and Dan Radigan of Sioux Falls, South Dakota (B.S. ’79 in Criminal Justice) for Service to the University.

Gienapp, a retired judge in South Dakota’s Third Judicial Circuit, is being honored for dedication to public service both professionally and personally. Prior to his appointment as a judge, Gienapp served on the South Dakota Board of Regents from 1993-2002. He has also served on the South Dakota State Board of Education, the Lake Central (Madison) School Board, as commissioner of the Western Interstate Compact for Higher Education, as president of both the State Bar of South Dakota and the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association, and a board member for the Karl E. Mundt Foundation, as just a few of the organizations to which he has donated considerable time and energy.

Hisel has spent more than 30 years developing Mitchell, South Dakota into the vibrant and growing community it is today. As the executive director of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, Hisel has been instrumental in securing business development for the region such as Toshiba, Trail King, and Cabela’s over the past three decades. A life-long public servant, Hisel has also served as Executive Director of Planning & Development District III, Deputy Director of the SD Office of Energy Policy, Special Assistant to the Governor, and Deputy Secretary of the SD Department of Commerce.

Leibfarth, a Yankton, South Dakota native currently living in Carrboro, North Carolina, was selected as the first recipient of the new Emerging Leader Alumni Achievement Award. Leibfarth graduated in 2008 with a double major in Chemistry and Physics. While on campus Leibfarth was involved in Honors, Strollers, and was a student-athlete in football. After graduation, Leibfarth went on to earn his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara and began his career as a postdoctoral fellow with Professor Timothy F. Jamison at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, Leibfarth is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Radigan, a Vermillion, S.D. native, now residing in Sioux Falls is the president of the Howling Pack board of directors, a group he helped to found before it even had a name or official affiliation with the university. Radigan's leadership over the years has seen the Howling Pack grow from a Sioux Falls-based booster group into an annual fundraising program providing close to $1.5 million annually, and growing, to support student-athlete scholarships.

For more information about the Alumni Association or the Dakota Day activities, please visit or contact the Alumni Association office at (800) 521-3575.

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