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Graduate School Newsletter - April 2022

Graduate School Spotlight

It’s not every day that graduate students have the ability to tailor a degree to their individual needs, but that’s exactly what Dr. Nicole Lounsbery, Director of the Graduate School, had in mind when she envisioned the M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies degree at SDSU. “Traditional graduate degree programs focus on a single discipline and a certain career trajectory. I felt we ought to provide an opportunity for students whose needs and interests might not fit into those types of programs.”

The plan to offer an interdisciplinary degree was initially developed in response to the needs of the Tribal College and University (TCU) faculty who the University was already serving. These TCU faculty were taking courses as non-degree seeking students in order to earn enough credits to be able to teach in a given discipline at their institution. In most cases, this required faculty to take up to as many as 18 credits in each discipline. It made sense to be able to offer a way to utilize those earned credits as part of a master’s degree. There was also a need for the program to be online, in order to accommodate faculty and other working professionals unable to physically attend courses on campus. Beginning Fall 2019, the M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies program provided an opportunity for students to be able to pursue an online graduate degree that allows them to develop their own course of study in 2-3 different content areas.

Although the degree was first thought of as a way to serve the needs of teachers, the program also encompasses a wide range of students and interest areas. “The program is a different kind of degree, designed to fill gaps and fit the needs of any student,” explains Lounsbery. She goes on to express, “the biggest draw is the flexibility the program offers and the ability to complete the degree entirely online. This is huge for working professionals.” Dr. Lounsbery currently serves as program coordinator and advisor for the 8 students actively enrolled in the program.

Students enrolled in the interdisciplinary studies degree program have found great benefit in the flexible format and the ability to take courses that will truly benefit their current or future career goals. This degree allows students to complete either a research paper or a capstone component focused on their core areas of study. Whether students are looking for ways to advance in their current position, finding ways to marry already completed credits into a degree, or expanding their educational portfolio, the flexibility of this degree fits those needs.

We would like to extend a special congratulations to the inaugural group of graduate students who will be completing their Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies this Spring 2022.

  • Ted Hamilton, specializing in Geography and Economics
  • Ryan Jacobsen, specializing in Chemistry and Engineering
  • Luke Munsterteiger, specializing in Operations Management and Educational Administration
  • Anna West, specializing in Community Development and Geography
  • Landon Wolf, specializing in Educational Administration, Human Sciences, and Sport and Recreation Management
2022 Interdisciplinary (M.S.) Graduates

Campanile with a pink Sunset

Rabbit Raisers Fundraising Campaign

The Graduate School will be running 30-day rabbit raisers fundraising campaign during the month of April to raise funds for graduate student awards. To continue to offer existing awards and expand awards for graduate students, we’re asking for your help to promote this campaign. We will also be promoting through email and our Graduate School Facebook page. We would greatly appreciate you sharing, liking, and interacting with our posts. Click here to find more information or to donate. 

Graduate Student Awards

SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award

     Deadline: April 15, 2022

Submit a nomination here.

Upcoming Events

Spring 2022 Graduate Student Recognition Event

     Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 4 - 6 p.m. CST

Campanile & Hobo Day Gallery - University Student Union


"The College Tour" Watch Party!

“The College Tour” highlights a college or university through the eyes of its students, faculty and alumni, providing prospective students with an intimate look at life on campus beyond what is written in brochures or websites. From academics to sports, club activities, city life and much more, viewers can visit the campus of their dreams as they’re making the important decision of where to apply or where to attend.

Featured graduate students include:  Maryam Mihandoust - Ph.D. Civil Engineering and Matthias Kuenerth - MS Economics

University Marketing and Communications in conjunction with the President’s Office is holding “The College Tour” Premiere Party on April 4 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the Market Stage in the Union. This event is for students, faculty and staff where they can view SDSU’s episode on “The College Tour” which will be set to stream at the beginning of April on Amazon Prime, IMDB and “The College Tour” app.

Watch the episode here. 

Eastern South Dakota Research Symposium

The Eastern South Dakota Research Symposium is scheduled for June 15, 2022. This event brings together researchers from Sanford, SDSU, USD and Augustana to showcase current work and build collaborative relationships. The symposium is also a great networking opportunity for graduate students.

Event website

Registration is free! Click here for the registration form. (Registration Deadline: May 21, 2022). If you have any questions, please contact Amber Letcher.

Other Announcements:

2022 Call for Dr. April Brooks Awards in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, the SDSU Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Coalition announces the annual Dr. April Brooks Awards in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Purpose:  These awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals or organizations, on or off campus, who promote equity in gender and/or sexuality.

Individual nominees could include undergraduate or graduate students, faculty, civil service staff, professional staff, administrators or community members. Nominated organizations could include groups on or off campus.

Some of the ways that individuals or organizations promote equity include through the following: education; research, scholarship or creative activity; activism; civic or community engagement; service or outreach; leadership; and mentorship.

Nominees should advance the mission of the WGSS program at SDSU: to educate our university and the public on issues related to gender and sexuality, through innovative curricula, research and/or outreach.

Awards will be presented in April.

Nomination Requirements:

Please adhere to the word count/page limit for each component; applications that do not follow the word count/page limit will not be considered for the award.

  • Nomination or self-nomination letter (300-600 words)
  • Resume or brief CV (no more than three pages) outlining the nominee’s qualifications for this award

The nomination letter should describe how the nominee promotes equity in gender and/or sexuality, including specific examples that demonstrate 1) their accomplishments and their impact on the campus and/or community and 2) how their work meets the mission of WGSS (see above).

Submit nominating materials electronically as a single attachment to Sharon Smith by Friday, April 1, at 11:59 p.m., though we’re happy to accept nominations through April 8.


Institutional Assessment Coordinator position at SDSU. The salary range is $60,000-70,000. 

Apply here  

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) is offering an exciting career opportunity as an Institutional Assessment Coordinator. This is a 12-month, full-time, benefit-eligible position. This position is supervised by the Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research & Assessment. The Institutional Assessment Coordinator supports and facilitates institutional surveys, including those associated with course evaluation surveys and faculty and student surveys (NSSE/FSSE, senior surveys, etc.). The coordinator will create reports that summarize survey data research in support of OIRA’s mission and vision.  The coordinator will manage the Assessment Management System (AMS). In addition, the coordinator will help facilitate the use of assessment data across campus programs and units to support the institution’s culture of data-informed decisions and continuous improvement.

Important Upcoming Dates:

April 14, 2022 - Final Oral Exam Completed 

April 29, 2022 - Thesis/Dissertation Deposited to the Graduate School 

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

Internships, Fellowship & Scholarship Opportunities

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