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Graduate School Newsletter - September 2020

Due to the impact of COVID-19, all faculty, staff, and students are required to wear a face covering when entering any building on campus. This includes all classrooms, offices, labs, etc. Students who have questions should contact the Graduate School via email whenever possible as opposed to physically coming into the office. Students needing to speak to someone in person, are highly encouraged to set up an appointment in advance. SDSU will closely monitor the situation and provide any updates via email and through the official COVID-19 Management website.  

Attention all graduate students!

The Graduate School will be hosting a Fall 2020 kickoff event via zoom on September 2 from 12-1pm CST.

We plan on providing a space for you to socialize virtually and get to know us better! There will be a trivia contest and drawing with awesome prizes!

Please join us for this fun and informal social hour.

Join Zoom Meeting

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 Upcoming Events

Teaching Orientation for GTAs and Graduate Students Interested in Teaching Development 

  Open August 3, 2020 via D2L 

The orientation will include recorded presentations, teaching resources specific to graduate teaching assistant roles, and learning and engagement opportunities. A D2L course shell will be used to administer this programming. Graduate students will need to register for this opportunity: Students should contact Shelly Bayer ( with any questions. 


Professional Development Program

The 2020-21 Graduate School Professional Development Program will be completely online with recorded videos and supporting materials on D2L. To receive a professional development certificate, graduate students must participate in at least one workshop for each competency as well as the mandatory Self-Advocacy Workshop, for a total of seven (7) workshops, and complete a short evaluation component over each workshop completed. All graduate students should have been given access to the Graduate Professional Development Series course on D2L. If you do not see the course on your D2L, please contact the Graduate School (

For more information about the professional development program or earning the professional development certificate visit the Graduate Student Professional Development page.

Awards and Scholarships

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

The SDSU Graduate School is soliciting nominations for the Distinguished Master's Thesis Award. The award is to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master's level. SDSU is seeking nominations in the two broad categories of Social Sciences and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering, which align with the 2021 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Thesis AwardsDeadline: October 15, 2020  

To submit a nomination, please use this link:


Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship

The Joseph F. Nelson Graduate Scholarship Award is open to graduate students at South Dakota State University who are in good standing (a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above) and meet the specified criteria for the award (see guidelines).

Applications must be submitted electronically. Deadline: November 19, 2020.


SDSU Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

The SDSU Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2020-21 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, in recognition of graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of SDSU.

Nominations must be submitted electronically using this link:   Deadline: December 17, 2020.

Please see attached documents for evaluation criteria


Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award

The Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award was established by the Graduate Council in 2010 to honor faculty members who have truly shown excellence in mentoring graduate students. The award honors faculty for efforts in supporting, encouraging, and promoting their graduate students' research, education, professional and personal development, and career plans. Nominate a faculty member for this award. Deadline: December 3, 2020.


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.

Read the scholarship 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, 2021, 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 3MT 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.

Changes to Graduate Student Committee Selection

During the Summer 2020 semester, the Graduate School piloted a change to the graduate committee selection process. Students were given the option to select their own graduate faculty representative (GFR) or have one randomly selected to their committee. Following the summer term, advisors and students who set up committees during the summer were surveyed. Based on those results, the Graduate School will be adopting this process moving forward. PhD, DNP, or Option A master’s student completing the committee request form have the option to choose their own graduate faculty representative or leave the GFR space blank. If left blank, the Graduate School will randomly assign a GFR to the student’s committee. As a reminder, GFRs must have graduate faculty status and must be faculty member from outside the student’s home department.

Graduate School Forms

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