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Graduate School Newsletter - October 2021

Student Spotlight

Sean Ededki

The Graduate School would like to welcome Sean Edeki as our new Graduate Administrative Assistant for the 2021-22 academic year! Sean is currently working on obtaining his M.S. in Operations Management. Although new to the Operations Management program, Edeki is no stranger to SDSU. He earned his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in the Spring of 2019.

A native of Warri, Nigeria, Edeki was an avid sports enthusiast before starting his academic journey. He participated in numerous recreational sports and played professional soccer from the ages of 13-17 and was even invited to join the national team but turned down the offer to pursue his education. Sean attended the Petroleum Institute in Nigeria obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with minor in Petroleum Technology. Following his undergraduate degree, Sean spent 7+ years earning professional experience with Shell Energy in multiple cross-functional teams, multidisciplinary tech and engineering roles in the oil and gas industry across Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

After spending several years in the private sector, Sean was drawn to SDSU where he began his initial M.S. program in Fall 2017 under the direction of Dr. Zhong Hu. Upon graduation, Sean moved to Atlanta, Georgia and worked for a tech and supply chain company. Edeki knew he needed to add more tools to his toolbox to achieve his career goals and returned to SDSU in Fall 2021. “Engineers typically, are known for their technical and quantitative skills,” Edeki explains. Sean who was looking to move into a managerial role stated, “taking a step up to management requires a whole set of different and more comprehensive skillset which includes being a savvy business operations strategist, allocating and budgeting resources, understanding business tradeoffs, leadership and the ability to communicate at all levels and across multiple departments comprising of engineers, clients and people who may have less technical background to create cohesive, unifying processes and shared strategic vision.” Sean’s ultimate goal is to serve as the Chief Operations Officer (COO) and found an engineering consultant company.

Although the academic year has just started, Sean has been hard at work reintroducing the Graduate Student Council (GSC). The council aims to represent graduate student interests, provide a forum for discussion of graduate student issues and concerns, disseminate information on behalf of graduate students and act as an association for networking opportunities. “The GSC is meant to break barriers and foster relationships that will last more than our time here in SDSU,” states Edeki. Sean knows the council will not go without challenges, most notably graduate student workload, shorter duration of time to complete their degrees, and the online community that is completing degrees off campus. He plans to focus on these issues.

Sean has experience leading and bringing cohesion to such groups. He served as the President of the African Students Association (ASA) and Program/Events Advisor for the International Relations Council (IRC) and the Black Students Alliance (BSA) while completing his initial MS degree. Major accomplishments of those groups include hosting one of the largest African Night Cultural Events that showcased the cultures of 30+ African countries through food, fashion, drama, music, discussion forum and dance and leading the ASA partnership with the IRC, Camelot Intermediate School and South Dakota World Affairs, to host the Cultural Day appreciation at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

Sean’s interests stem beyond management and engineering. He speaks/understands 8 languages which include English, Pidgin, Creole, Deutsch, Swedish and three African languages (Isoko, Urhobo and Edo), and has lived in 5 different countries. “I love to immerse myself in culture, through the food, language, religion, people etc. I want to know why things are done the way they are,” says Edeki.

Interested in getting involved in Graduate Student Council? Contact Sean today.

Internships and Fellowship Opportunities

Google Ph.D. Fellowship Program

Google Ph.D. Fellowships directly support graduate students as they pursue their Ph.D., as well as connect them to a Google Research Mentor. Nurturing and maintaining strong relations with the academic community is a top priority at Google.

     Deadline: October 6, 2021

Submit your student nominations.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission.

     DEADLINES are October 18-22, 2021; depending upon the specific academic area.

Access the application portal

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Interns are given the opportunity to work in a field of their choice alongside staff. Each intern is expected to complete a project by the end of their term.

     Deadline: October 22, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET

Submit the Internship form.

NSF EPSCoR Track 1 Graduate Student Collaboration Program

The NSF EPSCoR Track 1 project hereby solicits proposals from interdisciplinary teams (two or more) of graduate students to conduct research, education and outreach activities.

The proposals are due November 19 and there will be informational sessions on October 5 from 2-3 p.m. CST.

Recording of Informal Sessions

More information on Internship and Fellowship Opportunities.

Upcoming Events

Time, Time, Time  (Wellness)

     Thursday, October 14, 3 - 4:30 p.m. | Briggs 130

Major Exploration and Career Opportunities (Career Development)

     Thursday, October 21, 3 - 4:30 p.m. | Briggs 130

Inclusive and Accessible Teaching Practices (Teaching)

    Wednesday, October 27, 1 - 1:50 p.m. | Briggs 130 - Register


     Friday, October 29, 2 - 2:50 p.m. | Briggs 130 - Register

CommUNITY Meeting - Diversity Formula (Diversity and Advocacy)

     Wednesday, October 27, 7 p.m. | Student Union VBR A

*Note this event may be attended in person and will also be livestreamed via Zoom.

Please go to the Events page to find out more detailed information.

Awards and Scholarships

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

     Deadline: October 15, 2021

Submit a nomination

Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship

     Deadline: November 19, 2021

Applications must be submitted electronically.

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

     Application deadline is December 1, 2021

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

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

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

Submit a nomination

Graduate Student Wokini Scholarship


Please complete and submit the application to be considered for the Wokini Scholarship.

Find out more information on awards and scholarships.

Important Upcoming Dates:

November 19, 2021 - Final Oral Exam Completed 

The final oral exam for both masters (Option A) and doctoral students must be completed by this date for graduation during the current semester. A final oral exam form must be submitted to the Graduate School at least TWO WEEKS prior to the exam date selected.

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.

Graduate School Forms

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