South Dakota State University’s School of American and Global Studies will officially open its doors July 1. The South Dakota Board of Regents approved it during its May meeting. The School of American and Global Studies is South Dakota State’s fifth school.
The School of Design started in 2015, the School of Performing Arts in 2017, the School of Communication and Journalism in 2018 and the Ness School of Management and Economics was approved in April and will also open in July. The School of American and Global Studies brings together many of the core disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. It will offer majors in American Indian studies, French studies, German, global studies, history, political science and Spanish, along with minors in legal studies, philosophy and religion. More broadly, the school fulfills SDSU’s land-grant mission by creating an opportunity for the campus and the community to explore current and historical social, cultural and political issues in-depth.
“The School of American and Global Studies creates an opportunity for South Dakota State University to become a recognized leader in interdisciplinary research and teaching in areas as diverse as political and civil discourse, ethics, applied and digital humanities, and oral history,” said Lynn Sargeant, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. “It will also allow us to strengthen and extend our existing efforts to collaborate with industry partners and local communities to support a diverse workforce and improve workplace interactions through education and training in languages, culture and intercultural competence.”
Similar to other schools at South Dakota State, the School of American and Global Studies allows for multidisciplinary programming and improved immersive experiences.
“It is paramount in higher education that our graduates are well-rounded and prepared to enter a diverse and globally connected world,” said Dennis Hedge, SDSU provost and vice president of academic affairs. “The school will allow us to better meet this standard by educating SDSU students in key student learning outcome areas through innovative crossdisciplinary activities and a wealth of experiential learning opportunities.”
Christi Garst-Santos, who has served as interim head of the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies since December 2016, has been named the school’s founding director.