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2014

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Ed u cat i o N Leadership on Campus How our schools inspire students to lead

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outh Dakota is celebrating its 125th year. Many of our early successes can easily be traced to the higher education community. The state’s colleges, universities and technical institutions have schooled future civic leaders, encouraged innovation and inspired students and graduates to seek success, not only for themselves but for this young state of South Dakota. Yes, we say “young.” A civilization our age is in its infancy, historically speaking — a toddler on the world stage — but South Dakota is getting our legs underneath us and we can thank our education community for nurturing our development. Every year, our young people — like the state as a whole — look to the education community to develop their individual abilities. Our 2014 College Guide features examples of how the schools are making a difference for students and for the state. January/February 2014 • 91

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WinGive, founded by USF graduates Josh DeWitt and Donny Mann, sends backpacks to school children in need.

Roadway 44 & Other Real Startups

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va L. Lillibridge never met Jordan Johnson — in fact, they were born a century apart — but she’s partly responsible for the young man’s first foray into leadership as proprietor of the Roadway 44 convenience store in Platte. The connection between Mrs. Lillibridge and Johnson is the University of Sioux Falls. She graduated from the school in 1893 and Johnson is a 2013 grad. The Lillibridge family has always maintained a close relationship with the school. Eva’s great-nephew Tom (a 1967 alum) and his wife Cindy were instrumental in starting the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation in 2008 to prepare students to compete in today’s marketplace. The center, headed by Dr. Ryan Van Zee, already has had several successes. USF alums Josh DeWitt and Donny Mann started WinGive, a nonprofit that gives backpacks to poor students in foreign countries, where it’s critically important to protect books

and school supplies for youth who walk long distances to school. Another grad, Shane Hyronimus, started a Sioux Falls entertainment business on wheels called Innovation Party Buses. Nolan and Megan Weiss met at USF and launched Backyard Salsa, also in Sioux Falls. The ink was barely wet on Jordan Johnson’s USF diploma when he returned home to Platte to reopen Roadway 44, which had been closed. A safety on the USF Cougars’ football squad, he analyzed financial statements and plans for his startup while riding the bus to games in the fall of 2013. “It’s been a crazy semester,” he said. “I’ve been implementing what I learned, and it’s real-life. My professors are really cool with that.” His father, Rollie, and sister, Sharon, are partners in the store. Those are just the types of enterprises imagined by the Lillibridges, who are second-generation bankers in south central South Dakota.

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Music Benefits Engineers

he South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City is known for its excellent science and engineering curriculum. Dr. James Feiszli, director of music at the school, has helped the institution achieve distinction in a field well outside that of its primary focus: choral music. Almost no one would have predicted such a thing when Dr. Feiszli came to SDSM&T in 1983. Fortunately, he did not feel constrained by the modest expectations for his post. Feiszli

demanded excellence from his students and they responded, earning numerous awards at national and international competitions. Aside from its intrinsic value, music and being part of a chorus serves “the development of leadership skills in such areas as teaming/teamwork, continuous quality improvement and process management,” says Feiszli. Cobey Jacobs, a 1990 graduate in mechanical engineering who works for Raven Industries, counts his choral experience

Engineering students in Rapid City value music just as much as math and science.

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under Dr. Feiszli as an invaluable part of his education. “I learned when to lead and when to follow, but do both things with purpose,” says Jacobs. “Sometimes you are ‘Gladys’ and sometimes you are a ‘Pip,’ but quality from both are required.” Jessica Hartman, a 2006 chemical engineering graduate who is a sourcing manager for Delta Airlines, echoes Jacobs’ idea that an essential component of leadership training is first learning to be part of a team, “to play nice in the sandbox,” as she puts it, and “how to lead by example.” In 2013, Feiszli was recognized for his unique body of work by being named U.S. Professor of the Year for the state of South Dakota by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

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Homeless for his cause

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ris Nance knows first hand that a little help goes a long way. He’s lived in 15 different states after being emancipated from his parents at age 16. “Most of them I was homeless in,” Nance says. “There have been people along the way who helped me. Maybe they were in my life for only two days, but it made a big impact.” In order to give back, Nance founded SHEO, or Someone Helps Everyone. He has made the decision to live on the streets of Madison until he raises $12,000 for his organization. SHEO is par tnering with the campus Enactus group to create survival kits for the homeless, runaways, those who have been released from prison, or are in other speAris Nance cial situations. The kits will

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include a prepaid phone and phone card, first aid kit, free meal coupons, disposable underwear, hygiene items, national emergency numbers and educational resources. They’ll be sold for $3 to those who meet certain qualifications. “I don’t believe in giving anything away for free. I was never given anything without working for it,” Nance says. “I believe that the right person who actually needs help will have no problem paying $3 for the kit.” The survival kits are still prototypes. “As of now, I’ve been paying for everything myself,” Nance says. “So in order to make a greater impact, we need funding.” SHEO and Enactus hope to raise the $12,000 by January 2014. Until then, Nance has been sleeping on the streets, like some of the people he is trying to help, to raise awareness for SHEO. For more information, visit www. mysheo.org.

Sisseton Wahpeton College combines cultural heritage with strong training in business.

Starting with a plan

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ll good things start with a plan. That’s the message Darla Hinkemeyer stresses to students at Sisseton Wahpeton College in northeast South Dakota. Hinkemeyer, a business instructor, has students develop a business plan. She says the curriculum, which might be nothing more than an exercise for students at many schools, is critical because job opportunities are so limited for the rural

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. Unemployment for tribal members is 50 percent, more than 10 times higher than the statewide rate. “Most of the students want to stay in this area, so they’re really looking at ideas that will help northeastern South Dakota,” says Hinkemeyer. “It’s exciting to know that we have students that are really working hard to be great leaders.”

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Rallying for Rancher Relief

ast October’s devastating West River blizzard hit close to home for South Dakota State University student Ben Stout. The SDSU Student Association president grew up on a small ranch just south of Kadoka. And while his own family wasn’t directly affected, he knew several who lost livestock or had property damage. “I felt the need to help in whatever way I could,” says Stout. “I was also approached by several students who shared that desire to help. We just had to figure out

a way to organize our desire into one common effort.” Stout organized a Rancher Relief Dinner with aid from several students, faculty and staff. The fundraiser, held Nov. 22 at the SDSU Student Union in Brookings, raised more than $12,000 through ticket sales, a silent auction and freewill donations. And while raising money was the ultimate goal, many found value beyond the funds raised. Barry Dunn, dean of the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences and director

West River cattle herds were devastated by the early October blizzard.

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of SDSU Extension, compared it to a similar West River benef it shortly after the storm. “It was a chance for people to come together who hadn’t seen each other since the blizzard and just be a community,” Dunn says. “The dinner in Brookings had that very same feel of a community coming together as people helping people. It was East River showing their support.” Stout, a park management major with minors in business and horticulture, found the event to be a valuable learning experience. “I had the opportunity to work with leaders throughout the state of South Dakota and local television networks, radio stations, magazines and newspapers to get the word out about the event,” Stout says. “Though the most important skill I’ve learned throughout this experience is how to effectively rally a group of people together to support a common cause.”

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Financial responsibility is quickly becoming an important component of studies at the Sioux Falls Seminary.

Christian Economic Principles

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ioux Falls Seminary courses haven’t traditionthe Bible, theological perspectives on economy, culally focused on money. Instead they’ve concentural assumptions about money, and strategies for trated on discrete disciplines like biblical studsocioeconomic change. The seminary is planning ies, personal spirituality and pastoral care. However, several public events for 2014. Dr. Chris Armstrong the seminary received a grant in 2013 to explore the will speak on “Wesley, Work and Wealth.” National integration of faith, work and economics. author Reggie McNeal will speak about churches “The gospel of Jesus Christ is about redemption, and Christian business. They also plan to collaboand a big part of redemption involves the work people rate with other institutions to host a conference on do,” says Dr. Nathan Hitchcock, Assistant Professor faith and farming. “Maybe most significantly, our of Church History and Theology. professors are reviewing their own “Sioux Falls Seminary is making class material in order to make efforts to raise up Christians who connections to economic themes,” can preach about business, counsel Hitchcock says. families in serious credit card debt, “Any seminarian going through and dialogue with city planners any SFS program should be exposed and barbers and ranchers alike.” to some level of reflection on money Hitchcock adds that a crucial part matters, financial stewardship, and of economic redemption involves Christian economic principles,” says pastors who can connect Sunday Shanda Stricherz, Director of Public and Monday. Relations and Marketing. “The semA class called “Faith, Business inary seeks to practice holistic disciand Money” was added in 2013. pleship in following Jesus, who, let’s The course touches on a variety of not forget, knew a thing or two about Nathan Hitchcock topics, including wealth and debt in carpentry,” Hitchcock adds.

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Leadership by Inspiring Others

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att Fairholm believes the key to becoming an effective leader is determining why people should follow you rather than someone else. Fairholm is an associate professor of political science at the University of South Dakota. He authored the book Putting Your Values to Work: Becoming the Leader Others Want to Follow, a culmination of ideas he’s used over 15 years of training public managers and non-profit organizations. Fairholm, a faculty member at the school in Vermillion since 2003, is implementing these ideas into courses taught as part of USD’s Civic Leadership Studies minor. The program was foundMatt Fairholm ed on the belief that there is

leadership within every person, and Fairholm emphasizes that leadership is a process, not just a position. “You rarely choose your boss, but you’ll always choose who you follow,” Fairholm says. “The question is, how do you get someone to follow you?” His book presents a step-by-step approach to strategic thinking. He believes that anyone can be an effective leader by inspiring others with the four Vs: values, vision, vector and voice. “People choose to follow someone based on whether or not their values are congruent with the potential leader’s values,” Fairholm says. Vision is what the values look like in practice and vector has to do with carrying something forward. And if our vision is a reality our values are fulfilled. “It’s hard to teach leadership, but it certainly can be learned,” Fairholm says. “We learn it by understanding ourselves, our values and how to communicate and build trust with people.”

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Cultivating Strengths to Affect Change

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Brent Matter leads volunteers in packing over 300 bags of food a week for Mitchell’s weekend Snack Pack program.

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akota Wesleyan University President Amy Novak wants students to know there are countless ways to lead. Novak was named president in September after five years as Provost and Executive Vice President. The mother of eight is the first woman to fill that position at DWU, and her ability to balance both roles has made her highly desired as a speaker. “I strive to remind people of the many different ways they can be leaders and to really witness that leadership in their work, their volunteerism and their home settings,” Novak says. “Sometimes people need encouragement to step into leadership roles.” First-year students at DWU complete a strengths inventory through the Learn Strong program at the Center for Talent Development. It helps students use their strengths to develop leadership gifts throughout their college career. “Many of our classes integrate leadership opportunities. Students might identify they’re someone who really likes to work with people,” Novak explains. “Then during one of their service and learning experiences they might partner with a community agency and examine ways to affect change in the organization through a small project.

Or students may find that they are analytical, so they might train a team doing voluntary tax returns for people who are less fortunate.” Brent Matter chose to help the Mitchell Weekend Snack Pack program, a non-profit that provides easyto-prepare food for grade school children. DWU alum Cindy Novachich created the program to help kids who go without meals from the time they finish school lunch on Friday until they have school breakfast on Monday. Novachich maintained the program in her home for four years, but it became overwhelming. Matter asked administration if a science lab could be repurposed for the program after DWU built a new science center. The service-oriented university embraced the idea, and he and volunteers cleaned the lab and built shelving. Matter and other students assemble over 300 bags of food in the new space each week. “I think it’s helped me substantially to become a better leader just by working with people and motivating myself and others to get behind a project,” says the accounting and criminal justice major from Cavour. “I’m hoping for bigger and better things for the program. It’s something I’ve had a lot of fun doing.”

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Fierce Conversations

any colleges offer leadership training programs, but these often target only a select group of students, many of whom already exhibit an aptitude for leadership. “That’s like teaching a lion to roar,” says Suzi Kalsow, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Mount Marty College in Yankton. “We believe that every student, no matter what their f ield of study and career goals are, can benefit from leadership training. The attributes of a good leader — self-assurance, creativity, an ethical sense and appreciation

for lifelong learning, in combination with an understanding of conflict-resolution and teambuilding techniques — will help them stand out from the crowd, and empower them to achieve both personal and professional success.” That all-inclusive approach is mirrored in the methods MMC uses to teach leadership. They offer seminars and stand-alone lectures, but more importantly, those principles are taught in every classroom and incorporated into the course work of every field of study at the college.     

Students at Mount Marty College learn leadership through robust communication.

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MMC’s program is based on Fierce Conversations, a concept originated by Susan Scott, who has spent the last two decades conducting leadership development seminars for Fortune 500 companies. Scott asks students to recognize that their careers, companies and personal relationships flourish or fail gradually, one conversation at a time. Making each of those conversations “fierce” — robust, powerful and authentic — ensures that they will communicate, and thus lead, more effectively. Fierce Conversations might seem far removed from the Rule of St. Benedict, but there is a surprising amount of common ground between this leadership approach and the 1,500-year-old guide to living in a monastic community. “This is an amazing, integrated leadership program that will benefit students of any faith,” says Kalsow, “as well as one that allows us to exemplify our values and live our mission as a Catholic, Benedictine college.”  January/February 2014 • 107

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Entrepreneurship Fast Track

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estern Dakota Tech offers a fast track to business ownership with its entrepreneurship diploma. “You’ve got all the basics to run a business and you’re out of

Robert Reagan

there in a year,” says Robert Reagan, business and entrepreneurship instructor at the Rapid City school. “It’s great for our auto tech, electrical trades, or plumbing students who want to work for themselves. And it cuts out all the unnecessary classes for someone who wants to go out and start a business tomorrow, who maybe already has the idea, the skill set or franchise.” The program teaches accounting, QuickBooks, human resource management, oral communication, computers, professional development and written law. Reagan helped develop the diploma based on his experiences owning a hotel, car lot and real estate business. He’s taught at WDT for four years and enjoys inspiring students to create their own path. “I see the benefit of entrepreneurship,” Reagan says. “Your income is unlimited.”

Indianpreneurship

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an it get more basic than this? Business students at Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Reservation have been challenged to start a campus coffee shop in Mission. Maureece Heinert, a part of the business faculty at SGU, says it’s all part of the school’s participation in a national drive to increase Indianpreneurship. “We have about 12 students in a chapter of the American Indian Business Leaders program,” she says. “When the university decided it should have a coffee shop on the new campus by Antelope Lake,

we were given the challenge of coming up with an operating plan.” The coffee shop will be located in the Buffalo Building, a structure made of straw bales and stucco. “Small business development is critical to our reservation, so anything we can do to give our students some business experience is good.” Heinert says SGU students also participate in a national business plan competition, and they are raising money to travel to AIBL’s national conference in Arizona this year.

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The Importance of Giving Back

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itchell Technical Institute students learn skills while giving back, partly in thanks to architectural design and building instructor Greg Neppl. Neppl is a board member for Mitchell Regional Habitat for Humanity and construction manager for their latest build. MTI students build two houses a year as part of the construction curriculum, but Neppl’s been using the

Coursework at MTI includes helping to build a Habitat for Humanity home.

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Habitat homes for the last four years to demonstrate additional techniques and give practical training. “I hope it’s showing students you need to be able to volunteer and donate time, whether it’s to a charity or an organization,” Neppl says. Neppl graduated from the program he now instructs and worked for over three years in the industry before returning to Mitchell to teach. Experience taught him the importance of volunteer-based groups like the National Home Builders Association and the Association of General Contractors. “They really help with lobbyists and getting laws passed for contractors,” Neppl says. “All those associations need people. I’m trying to show these students that they need to be a part of those organizations and charity groups because sometime down the line you are going to need them.” January/February 2014 • 111

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TOo Long in the Sun

‘You be the teacher’

D Ernest Lawrence (right) graduated with honors from USD. Research by him and his brother John (left) led to new cancer treatments.

ean Lewis Akely was a man who knew science and technology. As professor of physics at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and head of electrical engineering, he was not easily impressed. So when a sophomore chemistry student came to him with a plan to start a campus radio station in 1919, Akely’s first inclination was to act interested and get back to the business of teaching. Fortunately, Akely was a patient man. He listened as the young student from Canton explained his project. The kid had already bought a Navy surplus radio transmitter on his own, from money earned on a concrete crew. Now he wanted $100 to set up a station in the attic of the Science Center. He had a budget, and he seemed to know the basics of broadcasting. By the time that young student was a senior, he was Akely’s lone pupil in advanced physics. The professor knew by then that the kid from Canton was something special. “You will be the teacher,” he told him, “and I the student.” Twenty years later, the USD grad, Ernest Lawrence, won the Nobel Prize in physics for building the cyclotron, a key step toward the atom bomb and nuclear medicine. And that little radio station that Akely funded for $100? In 1925, three years after Lawrence graduated from USD, it was among the first educational stations licensed by the federal government. Today it operates as KUSD, the flagship of South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Funny what $100 can do in the right hands.

Postmaster: South Dakota Magazine, ISSN 0886-2680, is published bi-monthly for $23 per year by South Dakota Magazine, LLC., 410 E. Third St., Yankton, S.D. 57078-0175. Periodicals postage paid at Yankton, S.D. and additional mailing offices. USA: Send address changes to South Dakota Magazine, 410 E. Third St., Yankton, S.D. 57078-0175. CANADA: Publications Mail Agreement #40732107. Return Undeliverable mail to: Station A, P.O. Box 12, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5.

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South Dakota College Guide 2014