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Programs in the Department of Allied and Population Health see student and faculty successes over the 2021-2022 academic year

Faculty and graduates

As the 2021-22 academic year wraps up at South Dakota State University, the faculty, staff and students in the Department of Allied and Population Health conclude another year of achievements and successes. The department houses three programs: medical laboratory science, respiratory care and public health. In total, the department graduated 33 students in May 2022, with seven more set to complete their programs over the summer or fall semesters.

The medical laboratory science program shined this year, gaining sponsorships and affiliations, seeing student successes, and graduating several students. This year, the program gained a sponsorship with Avera and created new affiliations with Allina and Sanford USD Medical Center. Callie Frei, an MLS1 student, received a scholarship and travel grant from the South Dakota American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS-SD) and Hannah Foster was named student forum representative for ASCLS-SD. And in the spring, 19 students graduated, while three more accelerated students are set to graduate in the Fall.

MLS faculty had a successful year as well. Program director Stacie Lansink was elected to president of ASCLS-SD and was also promoted to the rank of lecturer at SDSU. Instructor Tiffany Niemann was also elected by ASCLS-SD, as a Board member at Large. Instructor Kassi Erickson completed the CETL Summer Enhancement and will present a poster at the National ASCLS meeting in June. And instructor April Nelsen was elected to president-elect of ASCLS-SD, presented a poster on Porcine Rotavirus at the SDSU Day of Scholars, and was nominated by the Students' Association for Teacher of the Year.

The respiratory care program grew in the 2021-22 academic year, increasing enrollment over the previous year. In all, the program graduated 13 A.S. and B.S. students in the spring, with one more set to graduate this summer. All of the 2022 graduates are employed.

Additionally, the respiratory care program director Lacy Patnoe wishes to thank instructor Jill Olson for serving as interim director of clinical education for the past year. She passes the title to instructor Abby Wortman, who was also named nominated for Teacher of the Year.

The public health program also had an exciting year hosting various events. For National Public Health Week, the program celebrated with a career panel, a film screening, and by hosting keynote speaker Dr. Charles Chima, the director of the Sioux Falls Health Department. And in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the program hosted a screening of "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" to educate the SDSU community about adverse childhood experiences and the impact on health.

The program also received student and faculty awards and is set to graduate four students by the fall semester. Aaron Hunt, program director, received the faculty research award for the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions at the faculty excellence ceremony. Jaimie Dillon, a student in the program, received the student public health award during convocation. The program saw Jace Balbach graduate in the spring semester, will see Ivy Ghandour graduate in the summer, and will see Ashley Lauing and Isaac Snaza walk in the summer or fall 2022.

The three programs housed in the Department of Allied and Population Health have had a successful year and look forward to continuing that success in the upcoming academic year.