The 2018 President’s Award recipients, who receive a $3,000 grant and a plaque, include:

- President’s Award for Research Excellence: New Mid-Career Faculty, Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Sustainability & Environment;
- President’s Award for Research Excellence: Established Faculty, Andy Sykes, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry;
- President’s Award for Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Brandon Ness, D.P.T., assistant professor of physical therapy; and
- President’s Award for Creativity, Lee Ann Roripaugh, M.F.A., professor of English and editor of South Dakota Review.

Candidates were reviewed based on past and current research accomplishments, including criteria such as publications, presentations, successful grantsmanship, peer reviewer experience, maintenance of an active graduate or undergraduate program and being conferred other competitive research awards. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship award further required that the winner demonstrate innovative thinking or research findings that had promising commercial potential, as well as a concept that had progressed beyond the theoretical stage to the applied stage.

About the recipients:

Meghann Jarchow is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sustainability & Environment. She holds a doctorate in sustainable agriculture and ecology and evolutionary biology from Iowa State University. Her research interests include sustainability, sustainable agriculture, tallgrass prairies and plant ecology. Jarchow has given several presentations about her research and scholarship at national and international meetings, and she was the invited keynote speaker at the South Dakota Academy of Science this year. She also coordinated the development of the Sustainability & Environment department.

Andy Sykes is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. He holds a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include fluorescence sensors, inorganic chemistry and single-crystal X-ray crystallography. He established the only single-crystal X-ray diffraction facility in South Dakota. Before this, researchers had to send samples out-of-state for structure determinations at considerable expense. Sykes received his fifth consecutive Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), which is a National Science Foundation Award.

Brandon Ness is an assistant professor of physical therapy. He holds a doctorate in physical therapy from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and completed an APTA-credentialed residency program in sports physical therapy. His research interests include physical therapy injury prevention and rehabilitation. He has spent the majority of his professional career in outpatient and sports physical therapy practice, and his current practice includes treatment of USD Division I student-athletes. Ness developed a physical therapy measurement device called a Rehab Ruler, which is a portable, efficient and aesthetic means to measure anthropometric assessments.

Lee Ann Roripaugh is a professor of English and editor of the South Dakota Review. She is the author of five volumes of poetry and was named a South Dakota State Poet Laureate in 2015. She holds a master’s degree in fine arts in poetry from Indiana University. Her teaching interests include creative writing, contemporary American poetry, Asian-American literature and multicultural literature. Roripaugh maintains an active touring schedule for book readings, book signings and presentations, and she has received multiple awards for her poetry. Her creative work has been published widely in top-tier literary journals. 

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