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 first edition of the Learning Link. We are excited to stay connected with you through this eNewsletter format. We will bring you updates from the USD School of Education and, as you will read, we've been engaged in great things over the last couple months.

Here are a few items I'd like to highlight:

  • The USD School of Ed was invited to join the National Center for Teacher Residencies' (NCTR) Next Generation Network (NGN), an elite group of more than 20 high-performing residency programs that maximize educator impact by transforming how teachers are prepared.

  • The Educational Leadership Division is preparing to become a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, which will also bring greater national recognition to the School of Education and provide us an opportunity to enhance our Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

  • The Kinesiology and Sport Management Division continues to provide our students great internship opportunities as several of our students had critical roles in working with and marketing the 2016 Ryder Cup in Minnesota.

  • The Counseling and Psychology in Education Division students will be presenting at the 2017 APA Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

Go Yotes!

Dean Donald Easton-Brooks

Current Student Highlight: 
Morgan Hartenstein 
Morgan has been granted a scholarship to the National Education Association's Leadership Summit. The NEA Chair noted her application prevailed as the most outstanding among the 50 submitted. 

"We are honored to have such strong student-leaders who are willing to represent our state and bring value to the field of education. Morgan will serve us well," said Donald Easton-Brooks, Dean of the School of Education.

Morgan is the secretary of the USD SDEA Student Chapter, and a third year English Education major in the USD School of Education.

Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Tasha Dannenbring  (pictured) was recently hired as the Director of Institutional Research for the South Dakota Board of Regents. She is a 2011 USD School of Education Human Development and Educational Psychology graduate.

Hunter Glascock was named 2016 High School Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year for the South Dakota and North Dakota region. He is a 2013 School of Education Exercise Science graduate.

Dr. Dan Swartos  (pictured) was recently hired as the South Dakota High School Activities Association Executive Director. He is a 2012 USD School of Education Educational Administration graduate.

Congratulations to our outstanding alumni  featured
this month! Go Yotes!

Are you a School of Education Alumni? Do you have news to share? We want to maintain a lifelong connection with our lifelong learners! Please submit your updates here to be featured in an upcoming edition of Learning Link.
Science of Learning Research Group
The Science of Learning Research Group (SOLRG) is an interdisciplinary group of faculty housed in the School of Education.  The group was established in 2016 by three core faculty members: Dr. Lisa Newland, Dr. Daniel Mourlam, and Dr. Gabrielle Strouse with the goal of promoting research on learning.  

Some of the projects the group is currently working on include:

  • Examining how preschoolers use technology
  • Interviewing elementary-age children about what they find important
  • Studying adults involved in a weight-loss program
Faculty Spotlight
Susan C. Gapp is an Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Division and teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in Reading. She taught in the K-12 public school system for 10 years.  Dr. Gapp was instrumental in helping organize the Dean’s Culturally Responsive Workshop, which featured international scholar, Dr. Geneva Gay and will feature Dr. Christine Sleeter in June 2017.

Derrick Robinson is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership Division and Curriculum and Instruction Division. He has 22 years of teaching and school administration experience in urban schools. Dr. Robinson is assisting Sioux Falls Schools as the district is becoming more ethnically, linguistically, and economically diverse. His research and work in educational leadership and culturally responsive education is key to providing equitable education for all students.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
We're on Snapchat! Follow us at username: teachingcoyotes

School of Education Ambassadors selected for  the Spring 2017 semester: Courtney Cowan, Michaela Mayer, Alanna Schmeichel, Mackenzie Vander Woude, Abbie Wiebers, and Paige Wright. 

Paige Wright, a history education student, attended the National Council of Urban Education Association (NCUEA) Fall Conference November 30th - December 3rd. Paige is the president of the USD student chapter of the National Education Association.


On December 2nd, the School of Education had excellent engagement at the Teacher Candidate Networking Event and dean's luncheon featuring SD Ed Talks

Dean's Chat launched on January 18th via School of Education YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. This is a monthly video chat featuring School of Ed updates from Dean Donald Easton-Brooks.  

Dr. Daniel Mourlam (pictured left) was recognized by the USD Provost as “Professor of the Game” during the USD Men’s Basketball game on January 25th for his outstanding teaching and service. 

USD School of Ed Upcoming Events
FEBRUARY 1  Coyote pregame social at 5PM for the Men's Basketball game vs the Mavericks in Omaha, NE. Register here.

FEBRUARY 15 USD Women's Basketball game co-sponsored by the School of Ed at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center 7PM.

MARCH 2 South Dakota BIG (Business, Industry, Government) Job Fair & South Dakota Teacher Job Fair 10AM-4PM Sioux Falls Convention Center. Free registration until February 17.

JUNE 7, 8 & 9 USD Culturally Responsive Institute presents a Professional Development Workshop featuring Dr. Christine Sleeter. 

Thank you for reading the first 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: