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Graduate School Newsletter - February 2024

Student Spotlight

Once a Jackrabbit, always a Jackrabbit rings true for Master of Public Health student, Kaitlyn Vogel. A native of Springfield, MN, Kate comes from a long line of Jackrabbit alum making it an easy choice to attend SDSU for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. “SDSU is home to me, and I am blessed to have spent the last 6 years here,” shares Kate. “Having the wealth of resources, knowledge, and experience at my fingertips has really enhanced my learning and provided me with a rich experience as both and undergraduate and graduate student.” While at SDSU, Kate has been involved in various health promotion projects, State-A-Thon, served as an admissions ambassador, and has been heavily involved in the South Dakota Public Health Association.

Kaitlyn Vogel

For a student so involved on campus, it may come as a shock to learn Kate is pursuing her MPH online. Kate values the ability to connect with a wide network of colleagues as well as embraces the flexibility an online degree brings. “My peers are from various locations and backgrounds, fostering a diverse learning environment and enhancing the richness of discussions and perspectives,” explains Kate. She goes on to share, “the online program also allowed for a flexible schedule and a more self-directed learning experience.” She also was able to stay engaged with the University, attributing that to the MPH faculty. “My faculty got to know me as a person, spending extra time with me on Zoom or simply reaching out via email or text to help me succeed, not letting the physical gap impact our relationship.”

Completing a graduate degree is no easy task. In addition to her degree, Kate works full-time and has been involved in various committees and research initiatives. She is currently working on the START-SD grant studying stigma experienced by people with substance use disorder while trying to navigate the healthcare system. She has also completed a 3-semester practicum with an outside organization studying mental health in young adult farmers in rural communities. Following graduation this Spring, Kate will be moving to Kansas to attend medical school where she hopes to become a physician practicing in a rural area. “My ultimate career goal is to combine my public health education with my medical training to address both individual and community health and to be a leader in rural healthcare delivery,” explains Kate. “My heart is in rural healthcare and my public health education from SDSU gives me an advantage to assessing the unique health needs of rural populations.”

When Kate is not busy working or attending classes, she enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, spending time with her dog, Hank, practicing yoga, running, golfing and cheering on the Jackrabbits!

Awards and Scholarships

This year’s 3MT competition will be held in the Lewis and Clark Room, University Student Union, on February 8, 2024 at 5 p.m. We encourage all graduate students to participate. Interested students must register no later than Friday, February 2, 2024. More detailed information will be sent out to registered students after that date. For more specific details about the competition, view the 3MT PowerPoint.

Register for the competition. If you are not already logged into MyState, you will have to enter your MyState credentials in the top right corner of the screen, click "Dashboard," followed by "Forms," (in the 4th column) and you'll find "3 Minute Thesis Competition Registration."

Upcoming Events

You can begin GPA at any time during your graduate career. The deadline each year to complete and receive the GPA certificate is the Second Friday of April, and awards will be presented at our annual Graduate Student Recognition Event. For Spring 2024, the deadline is April 12.

Find more information for the Graduate Professionalism Academy.

To showcase the innovative work of SDSU graduate students, the Graduate School will be sponsoring Graduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Day (GRSCAD) on April 23, 2024. The day will begin with a featured speaker/presentation, followed by graduate student poster presentations, culminating with the Graduate Student Recognition Event.

The event is open to ALL graduate students, regardless of discipline or type of degree being earned. Students not completing a thesis or research paper are welcome to present on a project, portfolio, written work or any other type of creative activity. A group of faculty judges will select the top 2 posters to receive awards.

The deadline to register for the event is Friday, April 12, 2024. Graduate students will need to provide a brief abstract of the project, as well as other pertinent information. Students interested in giving an oral presentation during the featured speaker portion should also indicate this on the registration form.

GRSCAD Registration Form

Important Upcoming Dates

  • February 9, 2024 - Graduation Application Deadline
  • March 22, 2024 - Request to Participate Form Due (Summer/Fall 2024 Graduates ONLY)

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities


  • Ability to commit 20 hours a week to assist with orientation programming on campus and online
  • Work in collaboration with the Professional Academic Advisors to provide incoming students with a positive NSO experience
  • Participate in academic advising and registration processes during summer NSO
  • Assist with preparation for NSO sessions including performing transfer equivalencies
  • Provide follow-up assistance to students via Zoom, email and/or phone
  • Provide support to Professional Advisors
  • Collaborate with campus staff to provide appropriate resources to students
  • Inform students about university resources and services offered in the College
  • Visit with students regarding college transitions, needs, questions, or concerns
  • Follow-up with students regarding NSO evaluations
  • Attend NSO training and meetings as scheduled
  • Contribute to a dynamic professional team
  • Other duties as needed

Required Qualifications: 

  • Enrolled in graduate study within the college of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, or in counseling, student affairs, education or a related field
  • Enrolled in 1+ summer graduate credits
  • Possess knowledge of and interest in college student success
  • Exhibit excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Demonstrate familiarity with various computer programs and skills
  • Have a professional attitude and appearance
  • Dependable and responsible
  • Demonstrate patience and empathy in helping interactions

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with academic advising or student support services
  • Experience with Banner/Self-Service registration program

Salary: $16.50/hour ($2000 for the summer) Term of employment: May 22 - August 21 (majority of work hours will be completed in the month of June) Schedule: ~20 hours per week To apply: Send a letter of interest, resume and two references to the address listed below. Application due date: February 1, 2024 Return cover letter, resume and two references to:Jessica Lewis, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Advising and Retention Coordinator

Questions: Contact Jessica Lewis Call: 605-688-5492 or 605-688-4723 Visit: AHSS Dean’s office Lincoln Hall 123

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