Legends & Legacy Banquet

Dakota Prairie Playhouse, 1205 North Washington Avenue

Four faculty members from Dakota State University will be recognized at the 5th annual Founders Day Legends and Legacy Banquet February 26 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.

Featured speaker at this year’s banquet is former South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow, who was instrumental in leading the 1984 mission change at Dakota State University.

The four faculty awards are given annually to recognize excellence in teaching, research, service and advising. Faculty members are nominated by their peers for these awards.

The Dr. Ernest Teagarden Award for Excellence in Teaching is being awarded to Christopher Olson. Olson is an Instructor in the College of Business and Information Systems. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Information Systems from Dakota State University. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, specializing in Office applications, Visual Basic programming, and both client and server side Web programming. He serves on the Barrier Free Learning Committee at DSU, which was formed to ensure that students who rely on assistive software are able to access information effectively. He has served as a member of the South Dakota Spinal Cord and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Council since it was formed, and is also on the state Board of Vocational Rehabilitation. He has been a full time faculty member at DSU since 2006.

The Merrill D. Hunter Award for Excellence in Research is being awarded to Dr. Amit Deokar.

Dr. Deokar is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at DSU where he teaches graduate courses. He has been with the College of Business and Information Systems since 2006. He has been involved in shaping the D.Sc.(IS) program at Dakota State since its inception, and has been active in conducting research engaging students enrolled in the program. Dr. Deokar's current research interests are in business process management, collaboration processes and systems, decision support, knowledge management, and healthcare informatics. He has published numerous journal articles, conference publications, and book chapters on these topics. In addition to his academic commitments, Dr. Deokar serves on the Graduate Council at DSU. He is currently serving as the secretary for the Midwest Association for Information Systems (MWAIS), and has also served as the Program Co-Chair for MWAIS conferences in the past. Dr. Deokar received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mumbai, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona.

The DeWayne Mork Award for Excellence in Service is being awarded to Dr. Jennifer M. Gross. Dr. Gross is an Assistant Professor of Science Education with the College of Education. A graduate of Minnesota State University-Mankato and the University of Minnesota, Gross teaches science methods and content courses. She has served as Program Director of Camp Invention, a summer enrichment program for elementary children, has provided professional development to K-12 teachers, and is the faculty mentor to the DSU student chapter of the South Dakota Education Association. She also serves on the following DSU Committees: Professional Education Council, College of Education Assessment Coordinating Committee, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, Woman’s Day Committee, and Graduate Council. She has been with DSU since 1995.

The Alexander “Sandy” Davidson Award for Excellence in Advising is being awarded to Dr. Donna Hazelwood. Dr. Hazelwood is a Professor of Biology with the College of Arts and Sciences. She received master’s and PhD degrees in Plant Pathology from Washington State University and Cornell University, respectively. She teaches various biology courses including, botany, microbiology, genetics, and molecular and cell biology. Hazelwood has published papers on plant-pathogen epidemiology. She mentors student research projects involving plant-microbe interactions, including a student who was awarded an Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology. She also serves as a mentor for the national on-line Botanica

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