The Learning Link is an e-newsletter for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University of South Dakota School of Education.
Message from the Dean

Welcome to the Learning Link! Check out what's new at the USD School of Education. 

We hosted the first USD Teacher Pathway Visit Day yesterday. Thirty-five diverse juniors and seniors from the Sioux Falls School District experienced what USD has to offer from campus tours to lunch with current diverse students to presentations from staff and faculty alike.

One of the USD Teacher Pathway programs, Culturally Responsive Teacher Pathway, was created in collaboration to encourage and inspire current Sioux Falls high school students from diverse backgrounds to enter the field of education, and return to Sioux Falls to teach in their schools. Sioux Falls has a very diverse population that is continuing to grow in that direction. Currently their teacher population does not reflect this diversity. The Sioux Falls School District and the USD School of Education hope to address this issues by talking to current diverse students, giving them the opportunity to attend USD, and earn a degree in education, and return to Sioux Falls to teach. 

Learn more about how the USD School of Education is working to close the teacher diversity gap here: Argus Leader Media and Eye on KELOLAND

Go Yotes!

Dean Donald Easton-Brooks

Current Student Highlights

School of Education student group recognized as best in state.

The South Dakota Education Association (SDEA): University of South Dakota Chapter received the 2016-2017 Most Outstanding Chapter award with eight of their members present to receive the award.  SDEA USD chapter president, Paige Wright, was also awarded the 2016-2017 Best State Student Leader.

 "We are so humbled to receive this award; all of the chapters have done tremendous work over the past few years. The communication between chapters has never been better! " -Paige Wright, SDEA USD chapter president
Teacher education students join in "Speed Matching."

Teacher residency candidates met with  Harvey Dunn Elementary  teachers (Sioux Falls School District) to interview for residency positions. The USD School of Education uses "Speed Matching." This is an activity in which candidates meet for 5 minutes with each teacher and the pairs asks each other provided questions. The candidate and the mentor score each other on how similar he/she agrees with another. Candidates are then teamed with the teachers who are most similar.

“Speed matching is a great way for Mentor Teachers and Teacher Candidates to participate in the placement process. Mentoring a Teacher Candidate for an entire year is a big commitment for the Mentor Teacher and allowing their input is a way to give them some ownership in this commitment. Both the Mentor Teachers and the Teacher Candidates are invested in this partnership when they get a ’say’ in the selection process." -Theresa Skinner, Residency Instructor 
Alumni Spotlight
Chris Stockdale is the Department Chair for Academic Enrichment at the University of Central Missouri and has developed and launched the UCM Advantage program, a college access and completion initiative for first-generation college students and those from low-income backgrounds. He is a 2015 USD School of Education C&I graduate. 

Save-the-date : USD football tailgate is right around the corner and there will be special tailgate opportunities that we would love to have you be part of. Be on the look out for upcoming dates and details! Go Yotes!

Are you a School of Education Alumni? Please submit your updates  here  to be featured in an upcoming edition of Learning Link.

Research Update

As part of the nationwide Sanford Education Collaborative, The University of South Dakota’s School of Education is completing our second year of training, outreach, and local research in relation to the Sanford Harmony program. The Collaborative is dedicated to the national advancement and ongoing research of the Sanford Education Programs, which are based on the vision of Mr. T. Denny Sanford.

The USD School of Education is active with Sanford Harmony, which strengthens positive peer relations and interactions among PK-6 children in schools. As part of the Sanford Education Collaborative, USD is currently working in 230 classrooms, 95 schools, 65 different districts and with a total of 3400 students. Please contact Nicholas Shudak or Marcy Drew for more information.

Faculty Spotlight
Kathleen Brown-Rice, Assistant Professor in the Counseling and Psychology Division, was selected as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling, published by the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors

USD faculty to present at the AERA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas: USD School of Education faculty include: Nicholas Shudak, Ayana Campoli, and Derrick RobinsonThe Annual Meeting of AERA is the largest conference of its kind, typically hosting thousands of presentations by both exemplary and emerging scholars. In addition to sharing their research, the School of Education faculty members will have the opportunity to learn about the latest research on teacher education conducted by scholars from around the world. Shudak, Campoli and Robinson expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to attend the event.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
Jolley Elementary Celebrated STREAM Lab Ribbon Cutting Celebrated:  University of South Dakota President James W. Abbott and School of Education Dean Donald Easton-Brooks joined South Dakota Lieutenant Governor Matt Michels for the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the new STREAM Teaching Lab at Vermillion’s Jolley Elementary School April 10. STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading/Writing, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education represents an experiential method of learning that encourages children to discover that curricular content is interconnected, meaningful and relevant to their existence.  Learn more here

IdeaFest Celebrated 25 Years of Academic Research and Creative Scholarship:  The USD School of Education  had several students present in the 2017 IdeaFest including: Nile Banks,  Heather Bleecker,  Adam Calhoon,  Hilary Callahan,  Minji Cho,  Daniel Frieberg,  Andrew Gerodia, Cylie Hanson,  Morgan Hartenstein,  Kayla Hegna, Jamie Hovden,  Joseph Knoer,  Leon Leader Charge, Brittany Lewno,  Haoyu Lin,  Kami Pearson,  Brittany Renzi,  Ward Alex Rumans,  Julia Maren Torgersen,  Ethan F. Villeneuve, and  Paige Wright.
USD School of Ed Upcoming Events

MAY 1-5 We will celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week by surprising one teacher a day in the Vermillion School District & St. Agnes School with a special gift on behalf of the USD School of Education. Be sure to check our social platforms to see who each of the featured teachers are. In addition, we will share teacher video shout-outs throughout the week from our current students. 

MAY 19 USD on the Move: Sioux Falls, SD - Join a USD alumni gathering at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown featuring USD's academic leadership team. Register here.

JUNE 7, 8 & 9 USD Culturally Responsive Institute presents a Professional Development Workshop featuring Dr. Christine Sleeter. Register here.
Thank you for reading the fourth edition of Learning Link!
If you have a news item that you'd like to submit to an upcoming Learning Link, please reach out to Sydney at: