Class of 2022
Meet the 2022 class!
Physician Assistant, Children's Hospital and Medical Center
B.S. Psychology, 2015; M.P.A.S., 2021
"There are so many opportunities to become involved and I encourage every student to explore all of what USD has to offer. The personal and professional skills I acquired during my four years at USD without a doubt allowed me to be where I am today."
Pediatric Focused Prosthetist Orthotist, Hanger Clinic
B.S. Biology - Physiology, Cell & Molecular, 2015
"The faculty at USD helped me find the path to O&P when I wasn’t sure what direction to turn next in my education. My advisors spent time with me that you often don’t expect from a large university."
General Dentist, Kusek Family and Implant Dentistry
Sioux Falls, SD
"The campus life at USD that existed alongside and intertwined with my educational work greatly assisted my maturation for dental school and adult life. Campus life played a key role in instilling values of time management, responsibility, integrity, and a strong sense of self."
Audit Manager, Deloitte
B.B.A. Accounting, 2014; M.P.A., 2015
"USD provided me with confidence as I started my career at Deloitte as I felt prepared with my technical skills in accounting but also in my leadership and communication skills. My opportunities at USD to participate in many extracurricular activities and lead student organizations allowed me to develop my leadership and communication skills prior to graduation."
Prosecutor, Maricopa County Attorney's Office
Juris Doctorate and M.B.A., 2019
"USD School of Law was an amazing place because the people there wanted to help me both inside and outside of the classroom. Everyone including the professors, administration, and librarians wanted the students to be the best they could be and did whatever they could to help. The school also did a great job of connecting students to alumni in the workforce. The transition from law school to a career was seamless thanks to the community of alumni that the school connected us with."
Lakota Educator, Sicangu Co.
B.S. Health Sciences, 2019
"USD influenced my personal and professional experiences by building up my resiliency in the purpose of the work that I do, and using my voice for all the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through."
Men's Assistant Basketball Coach, University of South Dakota Athletics
B.S. Sport Management, 2016
"USD and Vermillion have been home for 9 years of my life now. I genuinely consider this place home and it's the people here who make my job and my life easy. The education I received at USD speaks for itself, but it's the relationships I've built here since 2012 that have really influenced who I am as a person today."
Strategic Communications Manager, The Event Company
Sioux Falls, SD
B.A. Political Science, 2017; M.A. Communication Studies, 2021
“USD will always hold a special place in my heart because of the people. The organizations I was a part of and the connections I made during my time at USD allowed me to make the most meaningful friendships. These are the relationships that feel like home, the relationships that have built me up, and the relationships that I truly cherish the most. I'm forever grateful to be a Yote!"
City Administrator, City of Humboldt
B.A. Political Science & History, 2016
"USD serves as the academic hub for politics within South Dakota and did a phenomenal job of introducing me to the functions of local, state, and federal government. Professors like Mary Pat Bierle, Marshall Damgaard, David Burrow, Eric Jepsen, and Matt Fairholm (to name a few) did an excellent job of teaching the foundational knowledge in class and further introducing the practical applications of academic knowledge."
Researcher, The Journey Museum and Learning Center
Rapid City, SD
B.A. History and English, 2014
"I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain contact with professors from the university, which has allowed me to continue to learn and grow even now that I am no longer a student at USD. I’m so proud that we have such passionate professors that are willing to discuss ongoing growth even outside of being at the university, and it reiterates how much the professors care about their students."
Communications Manager, Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City, MO
B.S. Strategic Communication, 2016
"I was lucky to have so much real-world experience leaving school that it put me at an advantage in each role I took on. Knowing that I was already familiar with projects that were being thrown at me helped encourage me to become a leader in the workplace and gave me the confidence to take on some additional responsibilities. Of course, I have learned so much outside of school while on the job, but the foundation was there thanks to my time at USD, and I’ll always be very grateful for that."
Science Teacher and Assistant Football Coach, Humboldt Unified School District
Prescott Valley, AZ
B.S. Biology, 2015; M.A. Secondary Education, 2017
"Being able to be a part of organizations at USD taught me the true nature of collaboration, what it takes to be a successful organization on campus, as well as what it takes to be a successful leader. I believe it was my time getting involved in campus organizations at USD that has given me the experience and opportunity to run successful organizations both in my present career and life."
Public Relations & Content Strategist, University of South Dakota
M.A. English Literature, 2018
"When I wasn’t sure what path to pursue leading up to graduating with my master’s, a position opened in USD’s marketing department that applied to my skills. I applied and was hired. In the five years I’ve worked in marketing, I have continually been granted several opportunities to grow in my career, and I’m thankful that many of my leaders saw potential in me. The connections I have made within the USD network – whether that be colleagues, leadership, alumni who I have written stories about, past classmates and students, and others – have all helped me get where I am today. It is certainly a network to be proud of."
Professional Athlete, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City, MO
B.A. Criminal Justice, 2021
"The culture on campus and in the community taught me to be tolerant of others while still holding firm to my own values and beliefs. Without my experiences at USD I’m certain that I would not be where I am today, and I am endlessly grateful for the lessons and skills that I will use today and far beyond."
Host and Producer of "South Dakota Focus", South Dakota Public Broadcasting
Sioux Falls, SD
B.A. Journalism, Contemporary Media Studies and Native Studies, 2015; M.A. in Communication, 2022
"Being a USD graduate often helps me build rapport with sources and guests who also went to USD, and I believe going to school here lends me some credibility in reporting on South Dakota stories. While I am from out of state, I chose USD with the intention of eventually reporting here in South Dakota, and I believe it was the best choice for my professional goals."
Director of Marketing and Communications, Avel eCare
Sioux Falls, SD
B.S. Health Sciences, 2017; M.B.A., 2019
"From being involved and apart of Healthcare Executives Advancing in Leadership (HEAL), National Society of Leadership and Success, Career Ambassadors, the Beacom School of Business, and Alpha Phi, USD opened the doors to more possibilities than I could have imagined. Being involved in the organizations outside of the educational track I was on, allowed me to network with business professionals, understand the importance of professionalism, and help guide me and other students to success after graduation."
Director of Prospect Research & Information Management, Dakota State University Foundation
B.S. Health Sciences 2016, M.S.A. Health Services, Long-Term Care, 2019
"What I learned from my time at USD goes far beyond the textbooks and deeper into the skills I continue to utilize in all aspects of my life. When I take a look beyond the education, I see a community that is unmatched by any other. I met my life-long friends on campus and made many connections I still have the opportunity of leveraging today."
Associate Attorney emphasizing in Criminal Law and Family Law, Colbath and Sperlich Attorneys at Law
Rapid City, SD
Juris Doctorate, 2020
"I would not be where I am without the excellent facilities and professors from USD. As a first generation attorney just beginning my career, USD School of Law taught me everything I needed to know about the profession as well as giving ample opportunity to practice the necessary real life skills."
Legal Counsel, State of South Dakota - Department of Labor and Regulation Division of Insurance
B.A. Psychology, 2015; Juris Doctorate, 2018
"USD gave me experiences and bonds with my classmates and others within the State Bar of South Dakota. I know there are people I can count on when I have a question on an issue that's unfamiliar to me. I also hope that my fellow classmates (and bar members) know that they can approach me with any questions or issues they have."
Audit Manager, Eide Bailly, LLP
Sioux Falls, SD
B.A. Accounting, 2015; M.B.A., 2016
"Graduating from the University of South Dakota gave me all of the tools to succeed personally and professionally. USD helped me develop the soft and hard skills that are necessary to succeed in professional business environments."
City Planner, City of West Fargo
West Fargo, ND
B.A. Journalism and Political Science, 2017; M.P.A., 2018
"USD provided me with a network of alumni who now serve in a multitude of roles across the U.S. who I can contact and have contacted to get input and advice on projects and professional situations where I've needed a listening ear or second opinion. Making the decision to attend the University of South Dakota remains one of the best, most important, and most impactful decisions I've ever made."
AP Government Teacher, Chamberlain High School
B.A. Advanced History in Secondary Education, 2018
"The real world experience and relationships gained from the internships and field experience are something that cannot be achieved in the classroom and USD emphasizes getting out of the classroom and gaining real world experience while obtaining your degree. Frankly, USD gave me the confidence to realize that great things can be achieved with hard work and a plan. I truly believe that there is no better place to help reach your goals than the University of South Dakota."
Mekko Bear Killer
Project Aware Social Worker/Counselor, Little Wound School
B.S. Social Work, 2020
"USD has challenged me to grow personally, and build my character. Being an indigenous person, going to college was never a reality for some of our people, but the family at USD Native American Cultural Center has changed those perspectives for me by giving me a voice. USD is and always will be a home away from home."
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND
B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2017; Au.D., 2021
"Being a Senator and Vice-President in the Student Government Association (SGA) gave me the ability to advocate for students and gain familiarity with how a university operates. I use much of that information and passion today as a faculty member. I get to tell my current students about these experiences and give them advice about how to take advantage of offerings at the university to set them up for their dream graduate program or profession."
Professional School Counselor, Des Moines Public Schools
Des Moines, IA
B.A. Psychology, 2016; M.A. Counseling with Specialization in School Counseling, 2018
"Regardless of being in South Dakota, my professors made sure I was exposed to experiences that would prepare me for the diverse setting I would eventually work in. I felt my professors empathized and listened to the obstacles I faced as a first-generation college student, and it motivated me to continue my education regardless of the setbacks."
Special Education Teacher, Valley Crossing Elementary
B.S. Elementary Education and Special Education, 2016; M.A. Elementary Education: Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Specialization, 2017
"USD provided such a friendly and welcoming environment that I was able to find my confidence and flourish in my personal and professional endeavors. I have found my voice to advocate for my students, team, and myself. The School of Education at USD allowed us to build close relationships with those in our program, which allowed myself and others to take risks and grow together to become strong educators, teachers, and coaches."
Paid Media Analyst, Voro Digital
B.B.A. Marketing, 2019
"I formed invaluable friendships at USD, they all stem from organizations such as African Student Association, Student Government Association, and Pi Sigma Epsilon. These organizations and their members better prepared me for the real world, and also gave me the skill to become an improved leader. There has not been a day that has passed where I don't think about the amazing individuals I have met, or the unforgettable memories that I reminisce."
Sarah (Lehmann) Schneider
Resident Physician, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
B.S. Human Anatomy/Pre-medicine, 2018; M.D., 2022
"Throughout my time in medical school, I had the opportunity to learn from and serve many vulnerable populations – our underserved and underinsured populations, our long-term care facility residents, our patients in rural communities, and those receiving care on our American Indian reservations. These interactions provided an opportunity to reflect on the extent to which the social determinants of health affect our patients’ care within and beyond the hospital walls. During my time at the University of South Dakota, not only did I learn how to care for patients, but I also learned how to be an advocate for those in my community."
School Psychologist, UmonHon Nation Public School District
B.S. Psychology, 2018; Ed.S. School Psychology, 2021
"At USD I learned about myself, the diversity of human nature and environments, and the impact these factors have on a persons’ behaviors and learning experiences. I was given opportunities to learn in diverse settings. I began to truly understand the impact of education. Education is the first step to advocating for oneself and for others. But knowledge that is not effectively communicated and applied (or in other words, not taught), cannot make a difference. This strongly weaved together two of my passions of education and advocacy."
Reporting and Development Associate, Amazon Conservation Team
B.A. Anthropology & Spanish, 2015
"Personally, USD has also provided me with a sense of belonging and community following graduation. I thought that moving to Washington, D.C. would be a scary and isolating experience. However, as a result of it being the political epicenter of the country, I soon found out that I was among many other former Coyotes now working in the nation’s capital. I was able to meet former USD students who were important professional connections, and most importantly, lifelong friends who I shared college experiences with, whether it be our love for drinks at Carey’s or favorite professors and classes."