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Graduate School Newsletter - February 2021

Due to the impact of COVID-19, all faculty, staff and students are required to wear a face covering when entering any building on campus. This includes all classrooms, offices, labs, etc. Students who have questions should contact the Graduate School whenever possible as opposed to physically coming into the office. Students needing to speak to someone in person, are highly encouraged to set up an appointment in advance. SDSU will closely monitor the situation and provide any updates via email and through the official COVID-19 Management website

Closed Feb 15th

Student Spotlight

Larissa Durkin is a 2020 Fall graduate from SDSU earning her Master of Arts in Communication and Media Studies. Larissa is also a current employee at SDSU serving as a program assistant in the Office of International Affairs where she assists a large number of international undergraduate and graduate students.

Through a summer independent study, Durkin completed a paper titled “Decolonizing Research Methodologies.” This paper was submitted to the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) and was selected as the top overall paper in the Activism, Communication Ethics and Social Justice division.

CSCA is an academic organization of communication professionals founded to promote the communication discipline in educational, scholarly and professional endeavors. The organization has grown to become the largest regional communication in the United States and the fourth largest academic communication association in the world. It is a great achievement to be selected for this award.

In addition to the top paper selection, the judging committee accepted Durkin’s paper for presentation at the 2021 Central States Communication conference. The paper will be featured as part of the Ethnicity, Race, International and Class Concerns Caucus.  

Upcoming Events

Introduction to Handshake

     Wednesday, February 17 at (12 p.m. - 1 p.m.) at

Inclusive Teaching Practices  (Teaching)

     Friday, February 19 at (2 p.m. - 3 p.m.) at

Register via QuestionPro

Professional Development Program

The 2020-21 Graduate School Professional Development Program will be completely online with recorded videos and supporting materials on D2L. To receive a professional development certificate, graduate students must participate in at least one workshop for each competency as well as the mandatory Self-Advocacy Workshop, for a total of seven (7) workshops and complete a short evaluation component over each workshop completed. All graduate students should have been given access to the Graduate Professional Development Series course on D2L. If you do not see the course on your D2L, please contact the Graduate School.

For more information about the professional development program or earning the professional development certificate visit the Graduate Student Professional Development page.

Awards and Scholarships

Graduate Student Wokini Scholarship

Scholarships will be awarded by the Admissions Office in collaboration with the American Indian Student Center. These scholarship opportunities exist for enrolled members of a South Dakota tribe who are full-time, degree seeking students that graduated with their Associates or Bachelor’s degree from a South Dakota Tribal College or University and attend South Dakota State University.  Priority is given to those students who submit a completed scholarship application, including tribal enrollment verification. Selected Wokini Scholars will be awarded an annual $5,000 scholarship that can be renewed for two additional years.

Check the guidelines before submitting the application. Please complete and submit the application to be considered for the Wokini Scholarship.


Sigma Xi Research Competition

An award certificate and cash prizes will be presented to award winners and runners up. Award winners and their advisors will be invited to the annual Sigma Xi Banquet and Award Ceremony to receive awards and be recognized.

Awards will be given for:

  • An original research proposal from a M.S. level student.
  • An §original research paper from a M.S. level student.
  • An original research proposal from a Ph.D. or DNP level student.
  • An §original research paper from a Ph.D. or DNP level student.

§if a student winning the MS or PhD research paper award is a College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences (ABS) student, then they would also be eligible for the Griffith Graduate Agriculture Research Award sponsored by the William and Byrne Griffith Research Funds.  Please see page 4 for eligibility information and instructions on how to collect the award (if you are notified that you are the winner).                                                                                                                                 DNP = Doctor of Nursing Practice

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society

Sigma Xi Award Application (All SDSU graduate students are eligible)

The deadline for receipt of written materials is 5:00 p.m., February 17, 2021 (Wednesday).  All application materials should be submitted toDr. Bishnu Karki with the phrase “Sigma Xi Application” in the subject line of the email. Contact Dr. Bishnu Karki with any questions.

Dr. April Brooks Awards in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, the SDSU Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Coalition announces the annual Dr. April Brooks Awards in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. These awards recognize the outstanding accomplishments of individuals or organizations, on or off campus, who promote equity in gender and/or sexuality. View more information

Submit nominating materials electronically as a single attachment to by Friday, February 19 at 5:00 p.m. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours from submission, please resubmit via email.

Upcoming Dates for Graduation Candidates:

February 12, 2021 - Graduation Application Deadline

March 26, 2021 - Request to Participate Form Due (Summer/Fall 2021 Graduates ONLY)

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