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Graduate School Newsletter - December 2021

                                                                                                                                      The Graduate School Office will be closed December 24.

Student Spotlight

The traditional pillars of graduate education focus heavily on research and teaching. Although important, mentoring is often overlooked. As noted by Dr. Joshua Reineke, “mentoring is an important aspect of graduate student life that does not always get discussed.” PhD student Rishabh Bahl is working to change that narrative within the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Rishabh Bahl
Rishabh Bahl

Rishabh, a native of Hyderabad, India, came to SDSU in Spring of 2019 to pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a research focus on pancreatic cancer. In addition to research, Rishabh also focuses his efforts on mentoring undergraduate students. Rishabh noted that this mentorship began while in India while working on numerous projects where the importance of teamwork really stood out. “I wanted to build on this skill of mine at SDSU and saw training undergrads as a great opportunity to do so, while also being able to learn something from them,” stated Bahl.

Rishabh is currently mentoring students in the Human Biology and Microbiology department – 2 seniors and one student who has moved onto a master’s program. Additionally, Rishabh was also chosen to mentor a German undergraduate exchange student as part of the DAAD-RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) fellowship program. This program is designed for undergraduate students to come to the United States to be assist in research and lab work under the direction of a research group or doctoral student. The mentor/mentee relationships are not one sided. Rishabh noted that mentees “always bring a unique perspective.” He adds, “our current student, has helped add a lot of different perspectives to my project. She is currently involved in a portion of my project that primarily deals with drug formulation and delivery.”

Mentoring overall has helped shape Bahl’s project and outlook. “I feel mentoring students serves best to help deepen one’s own learning of a lot of the techniques we use. I also feel its greatly helped me in relating information to students in terms and ways that they would understand without making things very complex.” Mentoring is core to the accomplishment of successful research and teaching. Regardless of where one goes after graduation, having a good mentor or serving as a mentor can create valuable life skills. Rishabh goes on to state, “the students I have worked with usually end up building their dexterity, planning, and troubleshooting skills, which help boost confidence. They also get an idea of what research could be like at a very early stage in their careers.”

Mentoring has been key to Rishabh’s success at SDSU. “I enjoy working with the undergrads not only for their perspectives, but also because it helps me make friends in other departments and see a fresh set of faces”, explains Bahl.  “I always feel happy knowing I was able to give someone research experience at a level that I would never have dreamt of getting as an undergrad!” Rishabh has also benefited greatly from the mentoring of his advisor.  “I’m very grateful that Dr. Reineke has always been very helpful in making opportunities available to me,” states Bahl.

In his spare time, Rishabh enjoys traveling, outdoor activities, watching movies, and gaming on his PC. Rishabh is always up for trying new things and is excited to see where life will take him once he earns his PhD.

The holiday break is the perfect time to complete the Graduate School’s Professional Development certificate! All available workshops are available on D2L and can be completed on YOUR timetable. To earn the certificate, students need to complete 1 workshop from each of the 7 competency areas no later than Friday, April 8th.  More information about the certificate can be found here Graduate School Professional Development Program.

Upcoming Events

Money Management  (Wellness)

     Thursday, December 2  3-4:30 p.m.

Hilton M. Briggs Library 130

This is an in-person workshop but will also be recorded so it can be viewed on D2L at a later date.

This workshop is presented by the Office of International Affairs and is applicable to both international and domestic students. It will cover the following:

-Get tips on managing money, building credit and developing a budget.

Protecting Algorithms and Software as Intellectual Property (Research)

     Wednesday, December 15 11 a.m. central.

They’ll bring the knowledge, make sure you bring your pen! This presentation by Sean Solberg and Zach Pratt from Fredrikson & Byron.

Join Zoom Meeting:

  • Meeting ID: 846 5782 8717
  • Passcode: 373323

Campanile During Winter

Graduate Student Awards

Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award

     Deadline: December 2, 2021

Nominate a faculty member for this award.


SDSU Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

     Deadline: December 17, 2021.

Nominations must be submitted electronically using this link:  


Three Minute Thesis Competition

     Interested students must register no later than Friday, January 4, 2022.

For more specific details about the competition, view the 3MT PowerPoint.


SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award

     Deadline: April 15, 2022

To submit a nomination, please use this link:

Internships, Fellowship & Scholarship Opportunities

South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Offers $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship

Applications for the South Dakota Farmers Union Foundation Graduate School Scholarship are now available at

The $2,500 Agricultural Graduate School Scholarship, sponsored by Travelers Motor Club is designed to help retain talent in South Dakota and to support South Dakota's agriculture industry. It is open to students from South Dakota, pursuing a graduate degree in research, animal science, agriculture business or agriculture education at an accredited South Dakota school.

     Application deadline is December 1, 2021

Awards are for one academic year, beginning in the fall, and students may reapply at the end of the award period.

Eligible graduate students include on-campus and distance education students who are pursuing any master’s or doctoral program, agriculture teacher certification program (CERT/FCSC) or graduate certificate program (GCERT).

To learn more and understand if your graduate degree qualifies for this scholarship, contact, Karla Hofhenke, Executive Director, South Dakota Farmers Union at or call 605-352-6761 ext.114.

Important Upcoming Dates:

December 8, 2021 - Thesis/Dissertation Deposited to the Graduate School 

Theses/dissertations must be submitted via ProQuest by this date. See the Graduate School website for formatting guidelines and submission instructions. The signed acceptance page, signed copyright form, and library binding fee must accompany the final submission by this deadline.

December 15, 2021 - Capstone Component Completion and Official Fall 2021 Graduation Date

Masters option B, C, and D students must have their final capstone component completed by this date. The component is determined and scheduled through the department.

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

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