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! We're excited to share with you what's new and upcoming at the USD School of Education. 

Most recently we have been recognized as one of America's Best Education Graduate Schools by U.S. News & World Report. The USD School of Education moved up 33 spots from last year’s rankings, and is now in the top third of almost 400 schools of education nationwide.

In other graduate school news, our Educational Leadership division has been selected to be a member of the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED) Consortium. Beginning in June, USD faculty will join more than 80 programs across the nation in redesigning professional practice preparation in education for the improvement of Pk-20 education and the organizations that support it. 

Go Yotes!

Dean Donald Easton-Brooks

Current Student Highlights

Abbie Wiebers  was awarded a USD Council on Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship  (CURCS) mini-grant to assist with travel to Denver, CO to present her research at the 43rd Annual International Association for Behavior Analysis convention on May 25-29. Her project focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of SAFMEDS on the classwide acquisition and the fluency of basic concepts. These approaches enhance the growing research base on the emerging field of behavior dynamics and are considered as “best practices” within the fields of special education, applied behavior analysis, and Precision Teaching. Abbie will also present at USD's IdeaFest 2017 on April 5-6.

Samantha Mathis  was recently selected as a 2017 ITOC Teacher  Fellow at the  7th annual Institute for Teachers of Color Committed to Racial Justice (ITOC) , to be held June 21-23 in Los Angeles, CA. Through a rigorous selection process, ITOC Fellows are given professional development to cultivate their retention, pedagogical growth and leadership skills.  As racial justice leaders for public schools, ITOC Fellows have gone on to engage in a host of actions that have improved classroom and/or school culture across the nation.
Six sport management students from our Kinesiology and Sport Management division competed at the annual Sport Entertainment and Venues Tomorrow (SEVT) conference hosted by the University of South Carolina March 22-24.

Students include Mike Bartos, Khorey Kilgore, Ravan Kott, Craig Monahan, Robel Tewelde, and Philip Wells .
Alumni Spotlight
Morgan Lunz  joined us on March 14 as a guest speaker for an event hosted by the student group, Sport Management Alliance. Morgan shared how graduating with a KSM degree in Sport Management has landed her a position with the Portland Timbers. She is a 2014 USD School of Education KSM  graduate. 

Dillon Jemmott has  accepted an account executive position with the Atlanta United FC. He was an intern for the Major League Soccer National Sales Center prior to his new position. Dillon is a 2016 USD School of Education KSM graduate. 

Rebecca (Packard) Roberts was named the Educator of the Month by 6 News Lawerence. Watch the video interview here. She is a 2011 USD School of Education Elementary and Special Education graduate.

Congratulations to our outstanding alumni  featured
this month! 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 Updates

Mark Baron, David DeJong, Evan Gough, and Trent Grundmeyer recently had an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Educational Technology Systems. The article is entitled, "K-12 Teacher Perceptions Regarding the Flipped Classroom Model for Teaching and Learning."  This study examined K-12 teachers’ perceptions regarding the flipped classroom and differences in teachers’ perceptions based on grade level and content area taught. It was found that participants perceived that the flipped classroom creates time for varied instructional techniques, including active learning and higher order thinking, along with increased student-to-teacher interaction. The insights from the study inform teachers in the field about benefits and best practices in regard to the flipped classroom instructional model.


Several USD School of Education faculty members made presentations at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Colleges in Teacher Education (AACTE) in Tampa, FL on March 3-4.

Presentations included the following:

  • Donald Easton-Brooks: Sustainable Funding for Residency Programs: Moving Beyond Grants for Financial Support.
  • Mark Baron:  Engaging the Professional Community and Sharing Quality Data for Continuous Improvement and Accountability.
  • Mark Baron: Better and Stronger Together: Cross-Institutional Collaboration.
  • Nicholas Shudak: The Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT): Benefits and Challenges of Working in a Higher Education Consortium.
  • Karen Kindle and Nicholas Shudak: Revisiting the Professional Socialization of Teachers: A Dialogic and Critical Encounter with a Perceived Barrier to Cultural Responsiveness.

Faculty Spotlight

Dyanis Popova , Assistant Professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Division, will lead the USD School of Education chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) – International Honor Society in Education. KDP offers training, services, support, and funding for students and teachers. Recruiting for student membership and student leadership will begin Fall 2017.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
USD Students Research Clay County Fallen Heroes: Twenty of our students will present research findings to representatives of the Vermillion Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3061 and American Legion for a project called “Clay County’s Fallen” on Wednesday, March 29. The top five presentations will win a cash prize. The first place winner will be invited to speak at the Memorial Day Observance in Vermillion on May 29. 


Gallup Education Training Features Consultant Jerlene Mosely: On March 14, a team of teachers and administrators from Vermillion Public Schools and the USD School of Education participated in training to learn about identifying and incorporating student strengths. The team is collaborating as part of a Bush Foundation grant awarded to Jolley Elementary to develop a Strengths-Based Professional Development School.  

Graduate Student Works Among Proquest's Top 25 Accessed Dissertations and Theses:  Ryan Los was featured with his thesis titled “The effects of self-regulation and self-efficacy on academic outcome.” He is a 2014 Master of Arts in Counseling and Psychology in Education with a specialization in Human Development and Educational Psychology.  
USD School of Ed Upcoming Events
SAVE THE DATE

APRIL 7 The School Psychology Spring Symposium will be held in the Al Neuharth conference room from 8AM-12PM with keynote speaker, Carmen Stewart. Register here. 

APRIL 7 The 4th Annual Calling all Coyotes Auction will be held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center from 5-11PM. Tickets are available here.

APRIL 10 The Jolley Stream Lab Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 1PM at the Jolley Elementary School.  

APRIL 11  USD on the Move: Phoenix, AZ -  Join a USD alumni gathering at the beautiful Phoenix Country Club. Tickets to the event cost $25 per person.  Register here.

APRIL 12 We will host a retirement reception for Donna Tucker from 3-4:30PM in MUC 211/211A. She has provided 43 years of outstanding service to the USD School of Education. RSVP here

APRIL 19  Join the Science of Learning Research Group for a Lunch & Learn event from 11:30AM-1PM in MUC 216/216A. Learn more about this USD School of Education research group and the core projects they are focused on. 

APRIL 21  USD Founder's Day will feature many events including Governor Dennis Daugaard reading a proclamation declaring April 21st USD Day.

APRIL 27 USD on the Move: Des Moines, IA - Join a USD alumni gathering at the Court Avenue Brewing Company. Tickets to the event cost $10. 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 third 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: Sydney.Bartunek@usd.edu.