Chemist and cancer researcher finds ‘well-rounded life’ at SDSU

Tell us about yourself, including when your interest in science began, your education and research experience, and what led you to your current position as Assistant Professor and founder of the RAWC Lab at South Dakota State University.

My name is Dr. Rachel Willand-Charnley. My interest in science began in the lab of my grandfather’s veterinary clinic. He served both large and small animals. I would spend summers on “the ranch” in Illinois with my grandparents. During this time, I would go to “the clinic,” where I would watch him in the operating room and in his lab. I distinctly remember wearing scrubs and a lab coat while looking at parasites from various “patients” under the microscope. This was the beginning of my interest in science.


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Early career spotlight: SDSU engineering grad pivots from design to construction

Tell us about yourself, including where you are from, why South Dakota State University was the right fit for you, and what led you to pursue the major you selected at SDSU.

My name is Brian Eiesland. I grew up Brandon, SD and spent the majority of my young life playing sports year-round. I chose to attend South Dakota State University because it had the larger university atmosphere I desired while still being located close enough to home where I could see my family whenever I wanted to. I enjoyed math and sciences growing up, and they came easier to me as I took more courses in high school, so I knew that engineering would be a good choice for my college studies. After doing some research on the different types of engineering, I chose to study Civil Engineering because the thought of designing the infrastructure that the public uses on a daily basis really intrigued me.


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New additions to ag education prepare students for jobs of the future

One look at some of the newest additions to South Dakota State University make it clear: Ag-related education is changing.
 
“We’re doing things that are really relevant to all the real, major grand challenges that face society today,” said John Killefer, the South Dakota Corn-Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.
 
There are 2,000 undergraduates and 300 graduate students in the college, spread across 23 majors. Many of them are working and learning in facilities unlike any other in the country – preparing them for a huge range of in-demand jobs.
 
“There’s probably never been a more exciting time to be in this type of college for a student in the future than it is today,” Killefer said.


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Employer branding: Attracting a new generation of talent

It’s a persistent notion that all companies, large and small, are facing today: where will the next employee come from, and what can be done to retain a current employee?

In response to a tight job market marked by historically low unemployment rates and the need to meet employee expectations that are on the rise, the answer for some organizations seems to be as simple as bait on a fishing line: incentives.


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Students learn STEM, soft skills through workforce development partnership

The cafeteria at Dell Rapids Middle School cooked up something different recently when fifth graders, business representatives and educators put on a one-of-a-kind STEM lesson.

The effort, led and coordinated by the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, brought together partners Gage Brothers Concrete Products and Journey Group for a lesson that include a hands-on look at how cement becomes concrete.

Along the way, students learned about science and math-related concepts and the careers they might pursue in related industries.

Here’s a look at how the activity came together.


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Infrastructure, innovation key to growing future workforce

One concept that’s central to workforce development today? Technological innovation.

In order to position the city of Sioux Falls, and the state of South Dakota, as a regional powerhouse of business excellence, investment in infrastructure that allows our city to grow its technology footprint is vital. And thanks to the great work of many in and outside of Sioux Falls, advances in innovation, including technology infrastructure and research/development facilities, will work in tandem with city, state, and federal organizations and stakeholders to attract a talented, technically skilled future workforce home to South Dakota.


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