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! 

The hallways at the Delzell Education Center are full once again as students joined us on campus this month. Along with the new semester came a new 90th Anniversary history wall outside the Dean's Suite. You'll have an opportunity to view it throughout the year or feel free to take advantage of the virtual edition right here . I would also invite to read my letter that will give you an exclusive look into the USD School of Education as we continue our history of excellence moving into our 100th year.

Thank you to all that attended the Welcome Back Student Mixer on August 22nd! Whether you took a photo to kick-off the USD School of Education's 90th Anniversary or just stopped by for a cookie and conversation, we're looking forward to year-long celebration full of special events. Save these dates:
90th Anniversary Events
October 6 | Dakota Days Alumni Reception: 90th Anniversary Celebration 3:30PM

October 7 | Dakota Days SOE Tailgate 10:30AM

For 90th Anniversary inquires, please connect with us via email .

Go Yotes!
Dean Donald Easton-Brooks
Current Student Highlight  

School Psychology Graduate Student Recognized for Research Presentation

Brittany Lewno, a USD School of Education graduate student, was recently recognized as a Blue Ribbon Walk winner at the 2017 American Psychological Association Convention in Washington D.C.

Lewno was awarded the prestigious recognition for a presentation given on research she conducted with Ethan Villeneuve, another USD student, and her advisor, assistant professor Daniel Hajovsky

“I feel passionate about this research because the outcomes highlight preventative ways to address bullying behaviors. Although many predictors of bullying behaviors are out of our control, a focus on factors that we can influence, like school climate and social skills, is imperative to reduce and prevent school bullying,” Lewno said.
Alumni Spotlight
Congratulations to the following three USD School of Education alumni who were received an Outstanding Administrator award from th e South Dakota School Association .

Kim Johnson Kim was awarded Outstanding Elementary Principal in the Vermillion School District. She is a 2009 Masters in Educational Administration graduate.

Belinda Miller Belinda was awarded Outstanding Middle School Principal in the Sioux Valley School District. She is a 2002 Masters in Educational Administration graduate.

Dan Leikvold Dan was award Outstanding Superintendent in the Lead-Deadwood School District. He is 1992 Ed.D graduate.

Are you a School of Education Alumni? Please submit your updates  here  to be featured in an upcoming edition of Learning Link.
Faculty Spotlights
Mejai B.M. Avoseh , a professor in the Educational Leadership division, was one of two keynote speakers for the “ Diaspora Festival Badagry - Voyage to Heritage ” festival in Badagry, Nigeria from August 23-25. At the festival he presented his research titled “MEDAGBE: Ogu Moral Philosophy for Diaspora Citizenship.”

The annual festival, which is meant to be a replica of the 1977 Festival of Arts and Culture, is designed to assist those whose ancestors were separated by the slave trade from their traditional homelands in reuniting with their ancestral roots. The celebration, organized under the patronage of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), also seeks to showcase the rich diversity of African cultures.

Avoseh, who is originally from Nigeria, said he was honored to take part in the celebration. “I was pleasantly surprised, honored, and humbled by the invitation,” Avoseh said. “I was also apprehensive of meeting the high expectations of a keynote speech to such a diverse gathering of academics, politicians, traditional rulers and people from all corners of the world.”
Jing Williams , assistant professor in the C&I division, was named a recipient of the Nicholas and Suzanne Helburn Young Scholars award at the Social Science Education Consortium.

“As a junior faculty member, I found it a great honor to be awarded the opportunity to work with leaders in my field,” said Williams. “The insight and perspective gained from the conference will guide me through my teaching and research." 
David DeJong , assistant professor in the Educational Leadership division, presented twice at the National Council of Professors in Educational Administration (NCPEA) Conference in Puerto Rico.

His presentations were entitled, "Interactive Educational Leadership Simulations: A Researchers’ Perspective on Comparing How School Leaders Respond to Teacher-to-Teacher Bullying Concerns.” and “A Systematic Comparison of Research Methods Employed in Educational Leadership Journals from 2014 – 2016."
Amy Schweinle , Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education, and the School of Education Research Center (SERC) are project evaluators on a recently funded NIH T35 grant, Developmental Research Program for Medical Students (DRPMS).

The program will provide medical student trainees with the skills and mentorship to conduct high quality research, understand how research supports and advances clinical care, and to critically evaluate the literature. The SERC will evaluate the efficacy of the program in meeting these training goals.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
Grad Degrees Approved for WICHE Tuition Program:
The USD School of Education now offers non-residents the opportunity to earn select graduate degrees within the School of Education at resident tuition rates. Learn more here .

USD Preschool Pilot Project:
Dyanis Popova, assistant professor in the C&I division, is seeking volunteers for a preschool pilot project that focuses in part on soft skills and learning by play using a Montessori curriculum. Volunteers will read to/with students 2-5 years old and engage students in fun learning activities before and after formal instructional time, under the guidance of a trained facilitator. View more details here . Please contact Dr. Popova if are interested in volunteering.

Faculty Presented at Annual School Administrators of South Dakota (SASD) Conference:
David DeJong's first presentation was entitled: "Building Bridges Between K-12 Leaders and Higher Education Leaders: Listening to our K-12 Partners Throughout South Dakota.” He presented with with Andrew Stremmel from SDSU and Paul von Fischer from Brookings High School. Dr. DeJong's second presentation was entitled: "Interactive Educational Leadership Simulation: A video-based 'choose your own ending' story of a leadership scenario.” He presented with Susan Curtin and Derrick Robinson from the USD School of Education.

USD School of Education CLEAR Conference: 
Register today for the  inaugural Cultivating Leadership, Education, Achievement and Responsiveness (CLEAR) Conference on October 20 in Sioux Falls, SD.
USD School of Ed Upcoming Events
SEPTEMBER 6 USD Reading Council First Meeting - Visit the Facebook event page for more details.

SEPTEMBER 7 USD NAEYC's Punch & Painting - Visit the Facebook event page for more details.

SEPTEMBER 12 - Ribbon Cutting for CSPS - View the eCard invite here .

OCTOBER 6 90th Anniversary Reception - Be on the lookout for a save-the-date coming soon!

OCTOBER 7 School of Education Dakota Days Tailgate - Join us after the Dakota Days parade for refreshments, games, drawings, photos and more!

OCTOBER 12-13 South Dakota Association of School Psychologists (SDASP) Annual Fall Conference  - View the full event details here .

Stay connected with the USD School of Education:  Bookmark this  link  to have direct access to all the previous and upcoming editions of the Learning Link. 
USD School of Education 90th Anniversary Billboards

We are celebrating statewide with billboards in Rapid City and Sioux Falls throughout the year. If you see one of our boards, take a photo and  send it to us  for a chance to win 90th Anniversary swag! Please provide your contact information with your photo to be entered to win. 
Thank you for reading the eighth edition of Learning Link!
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