From the Humanities Division, Scott Breuninger, Ph.D., was honored for his teaching skills in the areas of European history along with his research and specific interest in Britain and Ireland. Recently promoted to associate professor of history, Breuninger has a book coming out that explores the role of Bishop George Berkeley in highlighting virtue and religion as solutions to the social and economic threats facing Britain and Ireland. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, and a master’s and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

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Eric Jepsen, Ph.D., is the 2010 honoree from the Social Science Division. Jepsen, an assistant professor, teaches international relations and comparative politics, with particular interests in both Latin America and India/South Asia. He has taught eight different courses in the past three years, and he also led a student group on a trip to Costa Rica. Additionally, Jepsen mentors honors students, serves on several University committees and oversees high distinction projects in The U’s Honors program. Before joining the faculty at USD, he previously taught at the University of Vermont and University of New Mexico, where he also earned his Ph.D.

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Andrew Sykes, Ph.D., is this year’s recipient from the Math and Science Division. Sykes is professor of chemistry teaching courses in organic biochemistry, crystallography and honors general chemistry. He has been part of three successful grant applications to the National Science Foundation in the USD Chemistry Department. These grants both teach and provide research experiences for undergraduates, and they total more than $3 million. Sykes earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University, a master’s degree from Montana State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

A photo of Andy is available for download at

The three awards, each carrying a $3,500 cash prize payable through The University of South Dakota Foundation, are presented annually to faculty who advance liberal arts education through teaching and research over a three-year span.

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