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Faculty recognized for excellence

Students' Association President Allyson Monson talks at the 2020 Celebration of Faculty Excellence
Students' Association President Allyson Monson talks at the 2020 Celebration of Faculty Excellence.

The annual South Dakota State University Celebration of Faculty Excellence recognized 27 faculty members, researchers and scientists Tuesday in the University Student Union. The event honors faculty members in the university's colleges for outstanding research, teaching and service.

Before the evening banquet, four faculty scholars delivered Sewrey lectures to raise awareness and show scholarship in the categories of research and scholarship, creative and fine arts, teaching and learning, and service.

Joy Scaria, an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, delivered the David Fee Memorial Lecture. Fee taught philosophy and religion at SDSU for more than 20 years. Annual presenters of the named lecture are selected based on their topics and contributions to Fee’s example of cross-disciplinary learning, inquiry and collegiality.

Members from the SDSU Madrigal head table, under the direction of Laura Diddle, SDSU’s director of choral activities, provided the featured creative performance. Named a distinguished professor was Anne Fennell in the Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

Excellence in Teaching and Research awards were awarded to these faculty members:

  • Dr. Sherwood and Elizabeth Berg Young Faculty to Nicholas Butzin, assistant professor, Department of Biology and Microbiology;
  • Dr. Harold and Barbara Bailey Award for Excellence in Academic Department Leadership to Kurt Bassett, department head/professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering;
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Research to Brian Logue, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Moul Dey, professor, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences;
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Teaching to Mary Zwart, assistant professor, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences;
  • F.O. Butler Award for Excellence in Community Service to Toby Uecker, associate director for Living-Learning and Outreach;
  • Edward Patrick Hogan Award for Teaching Excellence to Christine Larson, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics; and Dale Potts, associate professor, School of American and Global Studies;
  • Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring to Brian Logue, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;
  • Excellence in Online Teaching Award to Rebecca Diischer, lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics;
  • Excellence in Outreach and Engagement Award to Amber Letcher, associate professor and Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, assistant professor, Department of Counseling and Human Development;
  • Timothy J. Nichols Outstanding Undergraduate Advising Award to Nicole Grove, lecturer, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;
  • Faculty Award for Global Engagement to Greg Heiberger, assistant professor, Department of Biology and Microbiology;
  • Faculty Engagement in International Research to Xiuqing Wang, professor, Department of Biology and Microbiology.

The 2020 Outstanding Researchers, Scholars, Performers and Artists from the university’s colleges include:

  • College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Joy Scaria, assistant professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences;
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Weiwei Zhang, assistant professor, Department of Sociology and Rural Studies;
  • College of Education and Human Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Wookjae Heo, assistant professor, Department of Consumer Sciences;
  • Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering’s Outstanding Researcher to Christopher Saunders, associate professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics;
  • College of Natural Sciences’ Outstanding Researcher to Wanlong Li, associate professor, Department of Biology and Microbiology;
  • College of Nursing’s Outstanding Scholar to Cynthia Elverson, associate professor, Nursing and
  • College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions’ Outstanding Scholar to Jennifer Ball, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Delivering the Sewrey lectures were (area, name, title, department):

  • Creative and Fine Arts: Jeremiah Bergstrom, instructor, School of Design;
  • Research/Scholarship: David Wiltse, associate professor, School of American and Global Studies;
  • Teaching/Learning: Karla Hunter, associate professor, School of Communication and Journalism; and
  • Service: Andrea Carlile, lecturer, School of Communication and Journalism.