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: From Coyote to researcher...and beyond

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

My name is Katrina Hosley. I was born in Sioux Falls, and I graduated from Lennox High School. Originally, I was interested in forensic pathology and contemplated pursuing a career as a coroner, which led me to look for good schools with good medical programs close to home. USD had the best medical school in the region, and I also had friends there and experienced the campus with those students, and I liked it. USD also had a good biology program.

As part of my biology major and chemistry minor, I worked in a lab at USD, and that’s how I fell in love with lab work. I quickly knew that this was the best career path for me.


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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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Executive profile: Midco chief technology officer Jonathan Pederson

As chief technology officer at Midco, Jon Pederson’s role is a diverse one. 

He manages a team of 65 people, taking care of core customer-facing technology: Internet, video service, phone service and business services. 

He also represents the Sioux Falls-based company at the highest levels of its industry, assisting with industry relations at a national level.

This month, he marks 34 years with the company – the result of a career that started with a job during college that led him down an unexpected path.


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Guiding growth: DSU president brings broad relationships to hone university’s niche

The physicist in Jose-Marie Griffiths appreciates the concept of centrifugal force.

Think of mud flying off a spinning tire. Or the spin cycle of a washing machine.

As the object moves rapidly, a force is created. A spinoff effect occurs. 

And Griffiths suspects she’s about to see that happen at the place she leads – Dakota State University – which this month opened a first-of-its-kind center: The Madison Cyber Labs.


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Minnesota Viking C.J. Ham: What connects me to Sioux Falls

Before he was a Minnesota Viking, C.J. Ham was an Augustana Viking.

He credits the education and experience he enjoyed at Augustana University for helping him in his career, preparing him for his future and keeping him connected to Sioux Falls.


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