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Graduate School Newsletter - March 2023

Student Spotlight

Shylo Hilbert

As Shylo Hilbert began the process of choosing a college and architecture program that valued people and potential, it did not take her long to know that South Dakota State University (SDSU) would be the perfect fit for her. “I ended up choosing to come to SDSU not just because of its location but because of the small, intimate class sizes in which you got to know the professors and they got to know you on a personal level.”

Even though her class sizes are smaller, the creative inspiration and growth, both personally and professionally, that she has received has been expansive. Building on the work ethic she inherited from the matriarchs of her family, Shylo has fused together her passion with practicality. “I am incredibly passionate about architecture and the intricate nuances that are enveloped within it. What inspires my design process is more so putting in a proper amount of time and energy into my work.”

Furthermore, Shylo embraces the challenges of her work and the reward of its purposes and processes. “Design often encompasses challenges; I often embrace new challenges and experiences that are new or unfamiliar, utilizing different medias, to distribute an architectural dialog, stance and viewpoint…The most rewarding part of my experience within the architecture program would be the student collaboration, being united in our passion about our program, and architecture.”

The people and places in Shylo’s life that have influenced her are as diverse and meaningful as her approach to design. First and foremost, her family is her greatest support system. Her circle of influence has grown, though, to include her collaborative classmates. However, it is her professors, most notably Dr. Nesrine Mansour and Ms. Jessica Garcia Fritz, that have profoundly shaped her as the person she is and wishes to become. “I could say so much about yet at the same times it's hard to articulate, the presence they bring to a room. The knowledge that both Jessica and Nesrine share, both in and out of class is incredibly captivating, making me wish to absorb every bit I can from them.”

As Shylo completes her fifth year here at SDSU, she has words of wisdom to share with present and future graduate jackrabbits. “Graduate school takes a lot of work and it's important to put plenty of energy into the work one is passionate about, but a balanced life is just as important, putting in just as much energy and work into taking care of oneself mentally and physically, while also enjoying time with friends and family.”

Undoubtedly, Shylo’s dedication to her graduate work in the Architecture Master’s Accelerated Program alongside her roles as the SDSU Chapter President and Treasurer for the American Institute of Architecture (AIAS) and Architecture Programs Student Advisor Board (SAB) Coordinator and Class Representative have prepared her well to reach her career goal of becoming a licensed architect. Being at SDSU has also tremendously impacted her success.

My experience at SDSU has taught me numerous tools to be successful such as understanding and implementing the importance of communication, commitment, responsibility, transparency, and accountability.

Awards and Scholarships

Distinguished Innovation and Creative Work Award

The SDSU Graduate School is seeking to recognize outstanding creativity, impact and innovation in all disciplines offered at SDSU. This award includes original works accepted by the university "in lieu of thesis" - including non-thesis papers, projects, portfolios, media, computer software, etc. Nominations should be made by the student who is completing either B, C or D options or a DNP student.

     Nominations must be submitted electronically using the online link (will be posted soon!). Deadline: April 7, 2023.

To submit your nomination form, log into MyState and click the Dashboard tab. Under the forms portlet, choose the Distinguished Innovation and Creative Work Award.


SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award

     Learn more about the SDSU Distinguished Dissertation Award. Deadline: April 13, 2023

To submit a nomination, please use this link:

Professional Development Spotlight: Diversity and Advocacy

Diversity Advocacy Professional Development

The Diversity and Advocacy competency area is geared towards helping ourselves and others grow in knowledge and skillsets related to embracing our differences and learning how best to communicate and work together with respect.

Below is a quick summary of each permanent module, how it is offered, and how it can benefit you!

Age Diversity (online, available anytime)

  • "’For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace at the same time’, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. What would happen if we got intentional about how we all work together?”

Neurodiversity (online, available anytime)

  • Neurodiversity is "the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population (used especially in the context of autistic spectrum disorders)."
  • In recent years, there has been a movement in industry to recognize the talents of people who are neurodiverse and find ways to create a work environment that helps them reach their maximum potential.
  • Learn how you can impact the success of these emerging workers and environments

Disability Fundamentals Training (online, available anytime)

  • Disability Fundamentals for Managers is a free, open-source, 30-minute interactive training that helps anyone in the workplace learn about disability awareness, etiquette, disclosures and accommodations, and holding accessible meetings and events.

Self-Advocacy (online, available anytime)

  • Self-Advocacy is an important skillset that is necessary for students and people in their careers to develop in order to achieve their greatest value, both personally and professionally.
  • Watch Nicole Lounsbery, Director of the Graduate School, talk about what is self-advocacy and provide ways to begin building this crucial understanding and practice. (15:06)

Other Events (anywhere, anytime)

  • If you attend an event on or off campus that gives you the opportunity to demonstrate or learn about leadership, submit an Event Participation Form to earn module credit for your participation!

If you have any questions about any of the wellness modules or the professional development program in general, please reach out to Kerry at

Don’t Forget to Check Out These Live Events!

  • CPR, AED and First Aid Training (Wellness Module) – March 7, 2023 (register online)
  • Management, Economics and Communication Career Fair (Career Development Module) – March 8, 2023 (more information)
  • Reaching for the Summit – a CommUNITY Meeting (Diversity and Advocacy Module) – March 25, 2023
  • Brookings Job Day (Career Development Module) – March 29, 2023 (more information)
  • Geography and Geospatial Fair (Career Development Module) – March 29, 2023 (more information)
  • How to Support Youth with Disordered Eating (Teaching Module) – March 30, 2023 (register online)

Upcoming Events

EndNote Software

Briggs Library is offering a drop-in help session for the EndNote software. This session is designed to provide a time for EndNote users to come to the library to get help with EndNote. Help downloading and installing the program or solving problems using it will be available. Drop in at any time during the session to get help on a first come, first served basis. The library is hosting two drop in sessions during the Spring 2023 semester. Please bring your laptop with you if you can. If EndNote is running on a desktop computer, be prepared to run remote desktop on a library computer to access your remote computer.

     Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 12-2 p.m. CST

Remote Desktop information




What's the Tea in 2023 Series

The Graduate School will be hosting zoom sessions where we will be spilling the tea on Graduate School updates, events, awards, and deadlines! There is also a chance for participants to win a door prize at each event!

     Thursday, March 23 – 4 p.m. CST, Zoom (


Graduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Day (GRSCAD) and Graduate Student Recognition Event

     Wednesday, April 26, 2023 2-7 p.m. CST

Campanile and Hobo Day Gallery or zoom

The Graduate School will be sponsoring Graduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Day (GRSCAD) to showcase and recognize the accomplishments of SDSU graduate students! The day will begin with a featured speaker/presentation, followed by graduate student poster presentations, culminating with the Graduate Student Recognition Event which will recognize Graduate School award recipients and students who successfully earned a Professional Development certificate.


  • Featured speaker/presentation: 2-3 p.m.
  • Poster show/project judging: 3-5 p.m.
  • Graduate Recognition Event: 5-7 p.m.

Students interested in presenting an oral and/or poster presentation should complete the event registration no later than Friday, April 14, 2023.

Important Upcoming Dates

March 24, 2023 - Request to Participate Form Due (Summer/Fall 2023 Graduates ONLY)

April 14, 2023 - Final Oral Exam Completed

April 28, 2023 - Thesis/Dissertation Deposited to the Graduate School

Internships, Fellowship & Scholarship Opportunities

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