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2018 Award Winners



Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President

Greetings of Gratitude on Behalf of the SDSU Student Body

Taylin Albrecht, Student Association President


David Fee Memorial Lecture

Terri Johnson, Ph. D., Lecturer, University College

Dr. Teri Johnson, focused on one of the foundational SDSU priorities, student Success. Her diverse background in ministry offers a unique skill set and perspective in the classroom. She is highly skilled in working with students on broader life issues which impact their success in college. She is responsive to students needs and genuinely cares about learners as individuals. Dr.  Johnson truly helps students succeed at SDSU and many have reported that they would not be at SDSU if they had not completed one of the UC courses she taught. She was the University College Teacher of the Year in 2015 and recognized as a distinguished Alum in 2009.  Dr. Johnson was a student of Dr. Fee when she completed her undergraduate degree at South Dakota State University.

Awarded by Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President

Dr. David Fee was a professor of philosophy and religion at SDSU from 1964-1987. He was known to live “the life of the mind” and was an advocate for cross-disciplinary learning, inquiry and collegiality.



Excellence in Online Education Awards

Rocky Dailey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Journalism & Mass Communications

Dr. Dailey’s online classes are primarily focused on developing mass communication skills that can be directly applied in the profession. For a professional mass communication program, there is no greater measure of effective learning than having student work meet a professional communication need. Dr. Dailey has incorporated several innovative online technologies into his courses, specifically his MCOM 710 Cross-Platform Storytelling class.  Several advanced storytelling and data visualization tools have been integrated to help students create their projects.  Such tools include Canva, Pictochart, LeafLet, along with the KnightLab resources of StoryMap, Juxtapose, Soundcite, and Adobe Spark. These tools have allowed students to integrate and access all multimedia content.  One student in Dr. Dailey’s class is a journalist with over 23 years of experience.  She recently complimented Dr. Dailey on his encouraging and active approach to teaching, saying: “Without this (class), it would not have pushed me to go outside my lane. I was very comfortable with what I was doing and how I was doing it. If I never use my master's -- and I truly believe I will or I wouldn't be doing it -- it was good to get me to get outside my comfort zone.” Colleagues and students alike have recognized Dr. Dailey’s dedication, enthusiasm, and passion for online teaching as a great asset to South Dakota State University.

Awarded by Lindsey Hamlin, MBA, Director, Continuing and Distance Education

Online Program: Masters of Mass Communication

Accepting this award on behalf of the program is Dr. Lyle Olson, Interim Department Head and professor of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 The online Master of Mass Communication degree is designed specifically for working mid-career professionals to update, expand and enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies in the fields of journalism, advertising and public relations. It is a high-quality, nationally accredited, and convenient program that is available 24/7 for working professionals regardless of their location. The program currently has 36 actively enrolled students, 61 total graduates with an average age of 38 from 15 states, as well as two students residing in Korea and Germany.  The program continues to reach underrepresented communities with 19% of students coming from minority groups, and 7% self-identifying as Native American.  Compared to the three other online programs offered in the U.S., SDSU’s program is the most affordable at $442.25 per credit hour. It is also the only online master’s program in mass communication accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).  Seven full-time faculty and two adjunct instructors have taught courses in the online graduate program since it began in 2009.

In addition to demonstrating an understanding of course content in applied projects, students must participate in extensive course discussions and produce professional-level content that is internally and externally evaluated via the assessment process.  Both OnlineU and have ranked the program 7th among online communication degrees.  In student exit surveys, students have consistently rated their satisfaction with all aspects of the program highly, with 90 percent rating curriculum as either excellent or very good.  As one student stated, “(I) can’t think of any outstanding moment, but overall the experience could not have been better! The environment is great and the professors are more than willing to take the educational experience to the next level!”

Awarded by Lindsey Hamlin, MBA, Director, Continuing and Distance Education


Faculty Awards for Global Engagement

Award for Faculty Engagement in Internationalizing the Student Experience

Jose Alvarez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Modern Languages and Global Studies

Since Dr. Álvarez came to SDSU 4 ½  years ago, he has demonstrated commitment to internationalizing the SDSU student experience. In the summer of 2014, Dr. Álvarez co-led 22 students on a study abroad and service learning program to Guatemala. Over the course of 5 weeks, the students took 64 hours of classroom instruction in Spanish and volunteered for an average of 30 hours at local service projects. The demands on faculty for designing a service-intensive trip such as this cannot be emphasized enough. For Dr. Álvarez, this is a labor of love from which the students greatly benefit. The following summer, Dr. Álvarez designed and led a group of 9 students to Havana, Cuba. The 31 students on both of these programs all reported life-changing summer experiences in Latin America, thanks to Dr. Álvarez. They have remained close cohorts throughout the rest of their time at SDSU, with many of them changing their Spanish minors to majors, and with Dr. Álvarez serving as a personal mentor to many. His impact on the lives of these students is inspirational.

Dr. Álvarez also has contributed to global student engagement outside of the classroom. He served first as the faculty advisor for the World Affairs and Languages Club, and later as Faculty Advisor to the Spanish Club. Dr. Álvarez also has a record of mentoring international students through the Spanish conversation tables.

Dr. Álvarez’s outstanding contributions to the international engagement of students can best be summarized in the words of one of the many students with whom he has worked:

“I cannot thank Dr. Álvarez enough for being one of the most influential figures throughout my college career and my life. He is a professor, a role model, a mentor and most importantly, a friend. His fun and spunky personality, along with his genuine care for his students and others shines through and makes him someone who is truly special to many. In addition to his character, his passion for global engagement and the development of cultural competence are what make him an incredible asset to the SDSU modern languages department and on study abroad trips.”


Award for Faculty Engagement in International Research

Heike Bucking, Ph.D., Professor, Biology & Microbiology

Since Dr. Bücking started her position at SDSU in 2009, she has been dedicated to developing international collaborations to expand the reputation of SDSU in the worldwide agricultural research community. She is an internationally recognized expert on beneficial plant microbe interactions and has traveled to many countries to present her research findings. Foremost among her international accomplishments is her lead role in NSF-funded research on a group of microbes called arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM), which are beneficial to plants. Leading an international research team, Dr. Bücking’s discovery in this important area of plant research has changed the way the interactions between the microbes and plants are viewed.

In addition, Dr. Bücking was the driving force behind a collaborative project with Suez Canal University, which was funded jointly by the Science and Technological Development Fund in Egypt and the National Science Foundation.

In addition to her many funded research projects, Dr. Heike Bücking´s active engagement in international collaborations has presented her with many opportunities to recruit motivated graduate students and visiting research scientists. To date, one postdoctoral scientist from Ghana, and five Ph.D. students from India and Nepal were or are trained in her laboratory.

She served as host for three visiting postdoctoral scholars from China and Egypt who were trained in different techniques or worked in her lab on collaborative projects.

Based on her very substantial and exceptional contributions in international research, Dr. Heike Bücking is a most deserving recipient of the Faculty Award for Outstanding Achievement in International Research.

Awarded by Kathleen Fairfax, M.A., Associate Vice President for International Affairs



Pat and Jo Cannon Intellectual Property Commercialization Award

Melanie Caffe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Agronomy, Horticulture, & Plant Science

Melanie Caffe is the principle research scientist leading the SDSU Oat Breeding Program. During her time at SDSU she has been part of 6 invention disclosures including the oat variety Sumo, a variety with resistance to crown rust as well as good milling characteristics.  Melanie has been instrumental in the expansion of SDSU plant genetics through the first licensing of SDSU oat varieties worldwide.  She has established a robust oat breeding effort to support expanded oat production in South Dakota and the region. Her breeding program takes into consideration the traditional goals of high yield, test weight, and disease resistance, but also targets key properties desired by the milling industry and consumers. She works closely with companies such as General Mills and Grain Millers to target these consumer traits in new oat varieties and her program helped recruit General Mills to Brookings.

Awarded by William Aylor, M.S., J.D.,  Assistant Vice President, Technology Transfer

The Pat and Jo Cannon Intellectual Property Commercialization Award is presented to faculty members whose inventions have the potential for regional economic development and successful  commercialization through a technology transfer process with industry partners.


Award for Excellence in Outreach and Engagement

Laura Diddle, Ph.D., Professor, School of Performing Arts

A professor of music Dr. Laura Diddle set out with an initiative to engage professionally with the South Dakota K-12 music arena. Through these efforts, she positions SDSU as music destination for students, k-12 teachers and music enthusiasts. Each year she embarks on a 3 to 5-day trip with the concert choir, sharing the vocal talents of SDSU with many across the state. Often reaching the smallest of school districts and performing in some of South Dakota’s most unique venues. Internationally she is involved with the Mid-West Ambassadors of Music program, this past summer leading more than 200 South Dakota Students and two dozen performances across Europe. She served as President of the South Dakota Choral Directs Association, is an integral part in the planning for the Elementary Honor Choir, the biennial Christmas Madrigal Feasts and recently worked on a Public Broadcasting special, An Evening with Ethan Brotnick, which has now been viewed in more than 38 states.

Awarded by Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs


Timothy J. Nichols Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Student Advising

Gregory Michna, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Gregory Michna is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering.  He actively participates in advising and pedagogical workshops designed to improve services to advisees. His detailed and conscientious approach to advising as resulted in retaining and graduating nearly 100% of his advisees since 2009. Dr. Michna serves as faculty mentor for six students in the NSF-funded S-STEM and OMEGA scholarship programs. He has been faculty advisor for sixteen capstone design teams over the last six years. He serves as and engaged advisor to the SDSU’s chapters of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Pi Tau Sixma honor society. He is dedicated and proud of the national success of the ASME Human Powered Vehicle challenge team he advises.

Awarded by Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs


Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award

Darrell Napton, Ph.D., Professor, Geography

Darrell Napton is a geographer whose teaching and research focus upon land and environmental transformations in the United States.  His research can be applied to make better land decisions that protect ecosystem services and promote sustainability.  He has served as councilor and treasurer of the American Association of Geographers and for 10 years was a full-time visiting scientist at EROS.  Darrell's most rewarding times at SDSU have been working with his graduate advisees. 

Awarded by Kinchel Doerner, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School


Edward Patrick Hogan Awards for Teaching Excellence

Tyler Miller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychology

Dr. Tyler Miller’s teaching philosophy rests on four evidence-based practices; informing students about best practices in learning and memory, promoting metacognitive awareness, incorporating active learning and building rapport. Because his teaching philosophy rests on evidence-based practices, Dr. Miller continues to develop and improve as a teacher by attending workshops, and incorporating new methods in the classroom. In 2017, he received a translational research grant from the Association of Psychological Science to examine the effectiveness of retrieval practice procedure in the classroom.

Donna Flint, Ph. D., Assistant Department Head/Professor, Mathematics & Statistics

Dr. Donna Flint’s continued efforts provide resources and opportunities for success both in and out of the classroom. Working with continuous refinement of teaching strategies to support students her work helped create the Math Emporium at SDSU, a model that provides immediate feedback to students, a tracking system for instructors to gauge engagement with the material and self-paced practice and progress. 

Dr. Flint work has also given students access to the Math Help Center, creation of co-requisite courses and a capstone course for Math majors that helps prepare them for the work world. She is active in the Mathematical Association of America and her contributions are included in the NSF funded project, Renewal of College Algebra. She has dedicated the 18 years she has been at SDSU to student learning and success.

Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Hogan served many different roles during his 36-year career at SDSU including professor and head of the Department of Geography, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, assistant vice president for academic affairs and chief information technology officer


Featured Faculty Performance

Five Duos –Robert Muczynski (1929-2010)

Tammy Yonce, D.M.A., flute, Assistant Professor of Music

Michael Walsh, D.M.A., clarinet, Associate Professor of Music


Distinguished Professor

Bill Gibbons, Ph.D., Interim Director-SDAES/Associate Dean for Research-ABS/Professor, Ag Experiment Station-AES


Dr. William Gibbons has a highly-accomplished research career at SDSU, attaining the rank of Professor in 1997. Since that time, he has continued to serve SDSU with distinction in three core areas, teaching microbiology courses, serving on diverse committees, and above all leading and inspiring a substantial research program that has impacted many colleagues, the university, and regional industry in profound ways. His work focuses on applied microbiology and biotechnology, specifically in value addition to agricultural products through bio-processing.

Dr Gibbons is recognized by his peers as a leader and critical contributor in applied microbiology and biotechnology, specifically in biofuels.  Bill is constantly sought out by researchers across multiple disciplines and institutions, and he is an inclusive and caring team builder. His research activities and leadership roles have included collaborations with regional universities and federal labs, including: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, North Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, many other universities and the USDA National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research. 

Known as Bill to his peers, he has provided extensive research leadership in SDSU’s emphasis on renewable fuels and more recently conversion of grains as feed for sustainable aquaculture and as animal feed. This includes his leading role in the Center for Bioprocessing Research and Development. Bill was instrumental in collaborating with the South Dakota School of Mines to establish and develop the CBRD.

Bill serves as the Associate Director of CBRD since 2006, and coordinates the activities of 20+ SDSU researchers across 8 departments working on the production of 2nd/3rd generation, drop-in biofuels. This expansion beyond corn-based ethanol has the potential to triple South Dakota’s production of renewable fuels, resulting in an annual impact of 5-7 billion dollars per year on the state’s economy. More recently Dr. Gibbons was the natural fit for the role of Director of the new South Dakota Oilseeds Initiative which he has led since 2012.

Bill has conducted all his research within the university environment, always integrating research with teaching. Over the course of his career he has trained 20 masters, 3 PhD and countless undergraduate students. Most of these have gone on to work in the biotechnology industry. Dr. Gibbons has practiced and promoted interdisciplinary research for many years, and has a strong         network of collaborators from process and chemical engineers to biochemists and molecular biologists.

He has active relations with 19 separate industries, and has conducted supporting research with 12 of these. These industry relations have been built up over many years, and he has maintained a high level of integrity in working with them all individually, and without compromising relations with others.

Dr. Gibbons received his biology and microbiology degree in 1980, a degree in chemistry in 1981, his masters in Microbiology in 1982 and Ph.D. in Agronomy and Microbiology in 1987, all from SDSU.  

He serves on the SDSU Safety and Security Committee and the College of Agriculture and Biological sciences curriculum committee.  His research has exceeded more the five million dollars over the past four years.

In 1990, he was named Teacher of the Year by the SDSU Microbiology Club, 2007 distinguished researcher of the year for the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, the 2011 Gamma Sigma Delta Researcher of the year, the recipient of the Pat and Jo Cannon Intellectual Property Commercialization Award in 2011 and 2012 and in 2014 was awarded the FO Butler Award for Excellence in Research

Awarded by Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President


Dr. Sherwood and Elizabeth Berg Young Faculty Award

Joy Scaria, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Animal Disease Research & Diagnostic Lab

Dr. Scaria has built a highly prolific service laboratory and developed a strong research program of global significance that transects animal and human health, with a focus on gut microbiomes, mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria, and probiotic therapies to treat antibiotic resistant and other pathogenic bacteria. He has secured over $6 million in new funding as PI or co-PI, published 12 refereed papers, delivered eight invited presentations, and submitted a provisional patent application since joining SDSU. He has mentored five undergraduate students, advised five graduate students, directed a post-doctoral scientist, and hosted four visiting scientists. Dr. Scaria is developing collaborative relationships with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Health Care System. His new whole genome sequencing center within the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department and Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab contributes substantially to the FDA Genome Trakr program and FDA Vet-LIRN.

Awarded by Daniel Scholl, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Economic Development 

Dr. Berg was president of SDSU from 1975-1984 and was the first SDSU graduate to serve in this role. He served in World War II and was a U.S. Agricultural Attaché. Mrs. Berg, First Lady Emeritus, was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Public Service for her volunteer leadership and service.


Dr. Harold and Barbara Bailey Award for Excellence in Academic Department Leadership

James Clem, Ph.D., Department Head/Professor, Pharmacy Practice

Dr. James Clem has served as the Department Head of Pharmacy Practice since 2008. The department reaches far and wide with faculty and volunteer preceptors spread through the state, region and nation.  He works to maintain relationships with all members of the pharmacy practice faculty and serves as the point of contact for students fulfilling the P3 requirement in Sioux Falls. Dr. Clem uses his interpersonal skills and connections in the field of pharmacy to advance the department and student experience. He most recently worked with Sanford Imaginetics to create 50-50 clinical faculty position that will not only be the first of its kind in the state, but one of the only clinical pharmacogenetics positions in the nation.

Awarded by Dennis Hedge, Pharm.D., Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Bailey served SDSU as vice president for academic affairs for 24 years. From 1979-1985, he also directed programs to develop departmental leadership for the South Dakota and North Dakota Boards of Regents and the American Council on Education.


F.O. Butler Awards for Excellence in Research, Teaching, and Service

F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Creative Activity 

Christine Stewart, Ph.D., Associate Professor, English

Dr. Christine Stewart is an assistant Professor in the Department of English. 2016 marked a climatic year for her career publishing her fourth and fifth collection of poetry. In 2015, she saw the publication of two anthologies that she edited and currently she is working on a memoir about her son’s ongoing battle with a seizure disorder that compromises linguistic development.  Her work extends beyond publishing and is an award-winning teacher and an advocate for poetry. She ensures the development and future of South Dakota writers by founding and facilitating the Women’s Poet Collective and by editing the poetry journal Pasque Petals and serving on its board of directors.

F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Teaching

Barb Kleinjan, M.A., Lecturer, Communication Studies

Barb Kleinjan is an instructor in the Department of Communications Studies. She provides her students and electrifying, transformative, and life-changing experience in the classroom. “Innovative,” “Exhilarating,” and “Best course at SDSU,” are among the phrases Barb’s students use to describe her course. Barb’s students comment on her ability to create challenging course situation within a classroom environment that fosters collaboration, growth, and individual development. Her classroom is a place where students openly share opinions and critical course concepts and engage in self-discovery. She was 2011/2012 Honors College Teacher of the Year, the 2014 Alpha Lambda Delta Teacher of the Year and in 2016 won the Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Teaching Excellence. She presented at the 2016 International Honors Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands in 2016.

F.O. Butler Award for Service in Extension/Outreach

Russ Daly, Ph.D., Professor/Extension Specialist-Veterinarian, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Russ Daly serves SDSU and the state of South Dakota as Professor and Extension Veterinarian along with duties as the State Public Health Veterinarian. He serves the stakeholders of South Dakota by serving as a conduit between animal and human healthies that affect the state. He is the originator of the “One Health” conference that brings animal and human health professional together to find solutions to public health needs. Throughout the year, he engages with students and other veterinarians by providing continuing education opportunities. Dr. Daly is also the “go to” faculty member in the department for pre-veterinary student advising, since he is knowledgeable of the various college of veterinary medicine requirements for admittance and takes time to meet with students. He extends across the state, visiting frequently with clinics and writing resource articles. Internationally he collaborates and communicates with clinics in Kenya, Limauru Nazarene Farmers Group, Catholic Relief Services/USAID Farmer to Farmer Program. 

F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Service

Veronica Shriver, Senior Computer Support Specialist, Animal Science

Veronica has worked for the Animal Science Department as a Senior Computer Support Specialist for 19 years. She constantly meets the challenge of new technologies and is patient and solution focused troubleshooter.  Veronica has provided dedicated services at the community, regional, national and international levels as a 26 year member of the Air Force Reserve and South Dakota Air national Guard. She fulfilled missions in Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 

As a volunteer with the American Red Cross she serves in leadership positions including Lead Captain for the Brookings Area Disaster Action Team, Mass Care and Feeding worker, and Emergency response vehicle driver. She was recognized as a 2017 Dr. April Brooks Woman of Distinction.

Awarded by Barry H. Dunn, Ph.D., President


Presentation of Outstanding Researchers, Scholars, Performers, and Artists

College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Outstanding Researcher

George Perry, Ph.D., Professor/Extension Specialist-Beef Reproduction Management, Animal Science

Dr. George Perry is a Professor of Animal Science specializing in reproductive physiology in the Department of Animal Science. He was honored in 2016 with the FO Butler Award for Excellence in Research. Dr. Perry is nationally recognized for having developed a highly productive research program focused on the application of technology to improving reproductive efficiency in beef cattle. He has authored and co-authored 69 peer reviewed manuscripts, 13 book chapters, 147 abstracts, 99 non-refereed scientific publications, and 21 Extension documents.

Dr. Perry has mentored 11 graduate students to completion of their degree as well as a number of undergraduate students and interns during his career. Many of those students were honored with regional and national awards for undergraduate or graduate research. Those outputs were enabled by grants and gifts exceeding $4.2 million. Many of the management practices employed in food animal production are truly forms of “precision agriculture”. Dr. Perry’s research advances our understanding of beef cow reproductive physiology which leads directly to precision management practices that increase conception rates in cattle, reduce costs of production, and increase calf value.

College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Scholar

Jenn Anderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Dr. Anderson’s research agenda has been aggressive and tremendously successful having generated awarding winning conference materials and numerous refereed publications in top-tier journals in the discipline and leading health-related journals.  Her work on health communication includes twenty-two peer-reviewed articles in journals, two book chapters, five translational research reports, fourteen invited lectures and invited conference presentations, nineteen refereed conference papers, and eleven refereed conference panels.

Moreover, Dr. Anderson has excelled in grant writing having received multiple grants from organizations like the Bush Foundation and the National Institute of Health.

College of Education and Human Sciences Outstanding Researcher

Andrea Bjornestad, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Counseling & Human Development

The College of Education and Human Sciences recognizes Andrea Bjornestad, assistant professor in counseling and human development.  Dr. Bjornestad has become recognized for her interest in military personnel’s mental health and wellness.  She has collaborated with the Veteran’s Affairs Office to offer services to female military veterans and to investigate the impact of posttraumatic stress disorder on military service members and their families. She conducted a large-scale study in which she surveyed the more than 3,000 National Guard and their spouses from the Midwest.

She examined the relationship between PTSD and combat exposure in service members and modified the Posttraumatic Checklist Military Version to examine secondary traumatic stress in military spouses. Her interest in military personnel health and wellness has expanded to enlisted personnel.  Dr. Bjornestad received a more than 241,000 dollar Department of Defense grant through the United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences program.

With the increase in concern regarding the health and well-being of active duty, reserve, and national guard troops, the use of active listening skills during developmental counseling will help Army leaders identify and explore physical concerns, mental health concerns, and mission readiness.  Dr. Bjornestad is also collaborating with faculty at SDSU to investigate the health and wellness of college students.  The project is exploring the impact of stress, anxiety, depression, social support, and physical health on freshman college students currently enrolled at SDSU.  Dr. Bjornestad is also recognized as the South Dakota’s first person to hold the position of Mental Health Extension Specialist in South Dakota.  She has focused on conducting research to determine the mental health concerns in farm and ranch families, specifically in understanding stress and depression in farmers and ranchers.  Recently, she collaborated with investigators receiving an USDA NIFA grant to investigate the impact of stress on depression and suicide risk in farmers and ranchers. 

Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering Outstanding Researcher

Suzette R. Burckhard, Ph.D., Professor/Assistant Department Head, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dr. Burckhard has been a faculty member in the SDSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1997.  Prior to joining SDSU, she was a USDA Water Quality Fellow at Kansas State University.  Her education includes a BS in Engineering Physics, an MS in Physics, an MS in Chemical Engineering, a PhD in Civil Engineering in 1997 and an additional BS in Civil Engineering in 2009.  Dr. Burckhard has been involved in numerous research projects covering a wide range of topics in science and engineering including reclamation and remediation of mining and industrial waste sites, quantification of the fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, investigation of basic hydrologic processes, quantification of mechanical properties of sustainable materials, and topics in engineering education.  Suzette has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on projects funded by the US EPA, USGS, USDA, NASA, NSF, and local and regional entities.  Most recently, Dr. Burckhard has been researching methods to improve engineering education, specifically by studying various teaching techniques and how their use affects the retention of Native American and first generation students and those from poverty and non-traditional backgrounds. 

Through her research projects, she has mentored a post-doctoral scientist, two doctoral students, over 50 master’s students, and numerous undergraduate students.  Dr. Burckhard has made it a priority to provide opportunities that encourage diverse students to become engaged in research. 

College of Nursing Outstanding Scholar

Barbara B. Hobbs, Ph.D., Assistant Dean/Associate Professor, West River Nursing

Dr. Hobbs’ scholarly efforts center on preparing and sustaining a healthy, safety conscious and diverse nursing workforce. Her research efforts focus on work-related sleep disturbances, fatigue, drowsy-driving, and work ability among international and diverse groups. Her peer-reviewed publications cross several disciplines and have informed reports such as 2011 Telewarfare and Military Medicine Report and others that speak on the risks associated with long working hours, sleep, and fatigue. By invitation, Dr. Hobbs contributed to drafting the 2014 American Nurses Association’s guidelines on sleep and fatigue for nurses and employers. Dr. Hobbs’ scholarship also focuses on building and sustaining a healthy diverse workforce; she facilitates and leads several partnership-driven funded programs to support American Indians seeking nursing education to expand the American Indian nursing workforce serving Indigenous people.

Partnering with area tribal, educational, healthcare leaders, donors, Dr. Hobbs employed evidence-based strategies, i.e., social-cultural, financial, mentoring and increased Rapid City American Indian students’ enrollment four-fold with 100% retention in the nursing major after the first semester. 

College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions Outstanding Scholar

Hemachand Tummala, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Hemachand Tummala is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. His research focuses on the design of new drug delivery systems and vaccine delivery systems for infectious diseases and cancer. He recently received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to explore the feasibility of using this delivery system to develop an effective vaccine for Swine influenza.  The vaccine delivery system developed by Dr. Tummala’s group has been licensed to Medgene labs.  Dr. Tummala’s group also recently developed a patented polymeric oral formulation for curcumin, a natural compound with multiple health benefits. This work received the best poster award for the North American region from Evonik Industries (a German based global polymer company). Dr. Tummala also received a patent for this formulation in 2017. He recently received a grant from the SDSU-Sanford Profile Research grant program to develop a nutritional supplement using this formulation. Dr. Tummala has 50 publications and presentations to his credit. He also has several pending or issued patent applications. 

Awarded by College Deans