Close to 100 students participated at the 11th annual session, which was sponsored by South Dakota EPSCoR, the South Dakota Academy of Sciences and the regental institutions in South Dakota. Students from all institutions of higher education in South Dakota are invited to present at this event in the Capitol Rotunda during the legislative session each year. Policymakers often interact with students and discuss the impact of student research projects on their undergraduate education.

"The poster session is important because it gives our state legislators an opportunity to see extraordinary research and creative activities our students are conducting at The U," said Dr. Karen Koster, professor of biology and chairperson of the Undergraduate Research Council. "USD students presented themselves and their research professionally and with enthusiasm. They are compelling reminders that research and creative activities performed in collaboration by students and faculty in all disciplines help build an extraordinary University."

USD students presenting their research in Pierre were: Nicole Barclay, Austin, Minn.; Jaimie Bender, Humphrey, Neb.; Shelly Brandsrud and Evie Johnson, Watertown, S.D.; Tanya Brettmann, Hickman, Neb.; Brandy Budden, Ashton, Iowa; Krystal Clark, Vermillion; Chad Clites, Centerville, S.D.; Megan Determan, Emery, S.D.; James Dreessen and Rachel Svartoien, Freeman, S.D.; Ericka Grey, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Elizabeth Hahn and Jake Tielke, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Garett Howardson, Clark, S.D.; April Jungwirth, Athol, S.D.; Kayla Kolander, Lakefield, Minn.; Heidi Moline and Keenan Thomas, Rapid City, S.D.; Ron Ottenbacher, Selby, S.D.; Drew Price, Omaha, Neb.; Anne Rosenbaum, Elk Point, S.D.; Amanda Sedlacek, Scotland, S.D.; Jason Spaans, Larchwood, Iowa; Andrea Tjelmeland, Blair, Neb.; and Scott Venhuizen, Armour, S.D.

Most of the students will present their research on campus during USD’s IdeaFest and Graduate Research Forum, April 1-2. For information about this event, visit: More information about the Student Research Poster Session can be found by visiting Photos of the event are available at

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