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Graduate School Newsletter - January 2020

                                                                                            The Graduate School Office will be closed on January 1 & 20th.

Gold Garland

Student Spotlight

Kathleen Poliski, a 2018 graduate of the Master of Mass Communications program, utilized her professional project to do more than just earn her graduate degree. At the time of her degree Kathleen worked in the video production field. In consultation with her advisor Dr. Rocky Dailey, she utilized the skills she learned to produce a documentary, “This Is Norman”. The documentary follows the life of Norman, a 66-year-old blind man from Philadelphia and his dream of going to Rome, Italy. Kathleen met Norman while volunteering at the senior citizen facility he lived at and a budding friendship formed. 

“This Is Norman” earned Kathleen more than just accolades from the School of Communication and Journalism at SDSU. The film has been selected for 4 film festivals: Ocean City Maryland Film Festival, Trenton Film Festival, Philly Film Showcase, and Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival. The Trenton Film Festival is most exciting as Norman himself was able to attend and “This Is Norman” walked away with the Audience Favorite Award.

“This program inspired me to push myself as not only a student, but a professional. The support I received from Dr. Dailey and the rest of faculty at SDSU was priceless,” stated Kathleen. “It honestly exceeded my expectations for an online program. I can't thank them enough.”  As an online student, Kathleen worked with her faculty remotely. This past April, she was invited to campus for a screening of her documentary.

Kathleen is currently taking a well-deserved break but plans to start working on some fictional film work in 2020. She would also like to become an adjunct professor at a college or university to pay forward what she has learned.  More information about Kathleen’s journey to creating This Is Norman can be found on

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.

Click here to see the guidelines. Please complete and submit the application to be considered for the Wokini Scholarship.


Three Minute Thesis Competition

South Dakota State University invites you to participate in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition. The 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD and Master's students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages you to communicate the importance of your research to the broader community.

The competition will be held from 5-9pm, Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in the Student Union. We would like to encourage all students to participate.

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 "My Resources," followed by "Forms," and you'll find "3 Minute Thesis Competition Registration. 

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