Skip to main content

Graduate School Newsletter - October 2023

The graduate school will have extended office hours Tuesday and Thursday for the Fall semester. Monday (8am-5pm), Tuesday (7am-7pm), Wednesday (8am-5pm), Thursday (7am-7pm), Friday (8am-5pm), Saturday and Sunday are closed

Student Spotlight

Developing a novel tool for near real time monitoring of crop progress and conditions is no small feat, but it is one being completed by Yu Shen, PhD student in the geospatial sciences and engineering program. Shen, originally from Sichuan Province in China, joined Xiaoyang Zhang’s lab in the Fall of 2019 to support this United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded project.

Yu Shen

Yu was initially drawn to SDSU due to the reputation of the program but was further impressed by his now advisor and ability to complete hands-on learning and research with industry partners as part of the PhD program. Shen’s research focuses on the development of a new geospatial tool to monitor seasonal crop (corn and soybean) progress and condition using land surface phenology derived from remotely sensed big data in the Western Corn Belt. Given these crops are abundant in the Midwest, “this information is vital to forecast crop yield before harvest and to analyze food market and crop prices, which supports financial and insurance companies that conduct commodities for making operational decisions,” states Dr. Zhang.

The tool itself will not remain on SDSU’s campus but will be delivered to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) upon completion and be used for operational crop monitoring. Yu shares, “this tool will integrate into the USDA NASS’s existing operational system and enhance the capability of NASS to provide accurate and timely monitoring of crop progress, growth condition and yield.” Shen hopes this tool will become easily accessible to the public.

In addition to his hands-on research, Yu Shen remains busy. He, as a first author, has recently published the algorithm of near real time monitoring of crop progress and co-authored another 3 high-quality papers and presented 11 papers at international conferences. Not surprisingly, Zhang shares, “Mr. Yu is very productive and has made very important contributions to crop monitoring in serving USDA.”

In his spare time, Shen likes to take drives to the nature parks with friends, fish and cook. Following graduation, he is hoping to obtain a postdoc either at SDSU or somewhere within the United States to further his research. In conclusion Shen extends, “I hope that our research can contribute to global and regional food security in the context of future climatic change.”

More information about the project.

Awards and Scholarships

Graduate School Access Scholarships - Deadline: Oct. 1, 2023

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award - Deadline: Oct. 12, 2023

Graduate School Travel Awards - Deadline: Oct. 15, 2023

Reagan Elrod

The Graduate School would like to introduce Reagan Elrod. She is planning to enter the Counseling and Human Resource Development program specializing in Clinical Mental Health this spring. Some of her favorite activities are watching sports, traveling, exercising and spending time with friends and family. Regan stated, “I am really excited to be working in the graduate office and getting to be more involved on campus.” Reagan’s primary responsibility in the Graduate School office is working with the Graduate Professionalism Academy. The Graduate Professionalism Academy is an optional, flexible, self-paced and hybrid opportunity for graduate students to complete a certificate. You can contact Reagan at for more information on the Graduate Professionalism Academy.

Upcoming Events

Join the Business Resource committee for their 2023 Lunch and Learn series. Lunch and Learns are a great opportunity to grab some free lunch, learn something new, and make some great professional connections.

At Think 3D they believe that a healthy culture is one that takes into consideration the one common aspect of both work, and community culture - its people.

How do employers and leaders effectively engage their people to recruit, retain, train and coach successful teams in the demanding and rapidly shifting landscape of today?

  • Connecting the dots of culture - understand how the culture you develop internally should be connected to more than one aspect of someone's life.
  • Defining your workforce - who are the people you want working with and for you?
  • Expanding Organizational Principles - mission, vision, and value statements only get us so far if they aren't connected to the competencies, skills, and characteristics we want reflected in our team members.

Date and Time: Wednesday Oct. 4, 2023 12:00 PM- 1:30 PM

Location: Daktronics Showroom, 201 Daktronics Dr, Brookings, SD, 57006, USA

Fees/Admission: Free, but registration is required.

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Career Fair:

Oct. 3-4, 12-4 p.m. at Club 71 – Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium

Join SDSU Librarians for an introductory session on literature reviews. They will discuss:

  • What is a literature review?
  • Why complete a literature review?
  • Who reads a literature review?

Oct. 19, 6 p.m., In-person, Briggs Library, Room 125

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023 from 2-3 p.m. in the Pheasant Room of the University Student Union (SSU 253A).

Presenters: Lee Mallak, OMAA Senior Secretary and SDSU Graduate Student

Katie Dam, Graduate Administrative Assistant- Disability Services

Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Accessibility (OMAA)

This interactive session will dive into the art of advocacy for disability accommodations in three vital areas: the classroom, housing and the workplace. Topics will include disability laws and regulations, how to discuss accommodations with professors and employers and general advocacy strategies. The session will incorporate group discussion, as well as self-reflection through guided activities.

Important Upcoming Dates

Oct. 9, 2023 – Native American Day – The Graduate School office will be closed.

Nov. 17, 2023 - Final Oral Exam Completed

Internships, Fellowshipand Scholarship Opportunities

Like us on Facebook! 

Follow us on Instagram