Dakota State University students walking around campus

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Majors & Degrees

2019 Honors Banquet

April 17, 2019

Dakota State University held its annual Honors Banquet Monday, April 15, 2019, at Dakota Prairie Playhouse in Madison, S.D. The honorees recognized during the event include:

Baccalaureate students graduating with Summa Cum Laude academic honors (3.9 or higher GPA):

Summa Cum Laude

Alexsiy Davidyuk (back left), Tyler Ensz, Logan Frey, John Townsend, Adam Good, Hans Verhoeven, John Streff; Janell Healy (middle left), Jayme Knauer, Jarod Keene, Layne Meyers, Laura Schuck; Maxwell Cruse (front left), Alex Derr, Mariah Fixen, Shelbee Schultz, Nelofar Sultan.

Baccalaureate students graduating with Magna Cum Laude academic honors (3.7 to 3.9 GPA):

Magna Cum Laude

Nicholas O’Donnell (back left), Mark Streff, Jared Richardson,Daniel Schmagel; Drew Wiese (middle left), Andrew Reps, Evelyn Klein, Marissa Jongeling, Khoi Nguyen, Hannah Glanzer, Taylor Liebing, Patrick Gallo, Allison Neugebauer, Shelby Borgers, Chase Lucas, Christopher Anderson; Preston Nordling (front left), Amanda Nelson, Blenda Hadsall, Hannah Stuart, Amy Halling.

Baccalaureate students graduating with Cum Laude academic honors (3.5 to 3.7 GPA):

Cum Laude

Cody Kluth (back left), Emmanuel Opoku, Michael Stydel, Jack Anundson; Kenneth Olson (front left), Danielle Forster, Kaitlyn Barnes.

Associate degree graduates with academic honors:

Highest and High Honors

Maxwell Cruse and Patrick Gallo.

Lowry Scholars

This award is based on the student’s scholarly involvement and achievement in the major beyond the standards for a 3.5 GPA. Students are chosen in each of the four academic colleges.

College of Arts and Sciences: John Townsend.

The Beacom College of Computer and Cyber Sciences: Jarod Keene and Nicholas O’Donnell.

College of Education: Dani Forster.

College of Business and Information Systems: Mark Streff.

The award is named for V.A. Lowry, who was president of DSU from 1933-1962. He devoted much of his life to creating an environment of academic excellence at this university.

Lowry Scholars

LOWRY SCHOLARS – The V.A. Lowry Scholars named for 2019 at DSU are: John Townsend (back left), Jarod Keene; Nicholas O’Donnell (front left), Dani Forster, and Mark Streff. 

College Student Leaders

This award honors students in good academic standing who demonstrate outstanding leadership. Students are selected in each of the four academic colleges.

College Student Leaders

Named were: Christopher Loutsch (back left) Griffin Egner, Carl Peterson; Marissa Guillory (front left), Preston Nordling, Shelbee Schultz, and Kayla Mentele. Not pictured is Briana Grage.


Kenneth Olson and Kristen Sieck were named Outstanding DSU Artists. The honor is awarded to a student whose achievements in the performing and/or studio arts are superior.

Outstanding Artists

Campus Student Leaders

This honor is awarded to students who have been very active on campus. Through their involvement, students must exemplify the highest degree of skill in management, communications, personal relationships, vital involvement and university accomplishments. They are also required to have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8.

Campus Student Leaders

The 2019 leaders include: Jacia Christiansen (back left), Shelby Bartlett; Tatum Ronke (front left); and Riley Johnson.

Regental Award Winners

Each year the South Dakota Board of Regents recognizes student organizations on each of the six regental campuses for meritorious achievements in three areas. DSU’s Phi Beta Lambda (professional business leaders) received the Academic Excellence award; The Alliance received the Community Service Award; CybHER was awarded the Organizational Leadership Award.

Regental Award

Representatives for each group included: Marissa Guillory (The Alliance), Sophie Pokorney (CybHER), and Lindsey Vogl (Phi Beta Lambda).

Student Employees of the Year

Dakota State University student Michael Stydel was named the on-campus Student Employee of the Year. He works with the Facilities Management Department on campus.

Student Employee of the Year

Stydel was nominated by Andrew Schaefers and Brent Peterson for many reasons, including his knowledge with mechanical skills and technical issues. “We have complete confidence in him and his abilities,” Schaefers and Peterson wrote in the nomination letter.

At the banquet, it was also announced that Stydel was named the State of South Dakota 2019 Student Employee of the Year for excellence in reliability, quality, initiative, and professionalism.

The off-campus award winner was Bernard Dawaare (not pictured), an employee at Pizza Ranch.  

These awards are presented in conjunction with the Midwest Association of Student Employee Administrators. Nominations are solicited through the Career Services Office.

Center of Excellence Honorees

Graduates of the Center of Excellence must maintain a minimum 3.2 GPA, have a minimum ACT of 24, and complete the Center of Excellence minor, including a major field capstone experience. Center of Excellence graduates include: 

Center of Excellence

Layne Meyers (back left), Nicholas O’Donnell, Andrew Reps, Laura Schuck, Mark Streff; Patrick Gallo (middle left), Logan Frey, Janell Healy, Marissa Jongeling, Jayme Knauer; Kelley Criddle (front left), Maxwell Cruse, Jarod Keene, Chase Lucas, Drew Wiese.


Paulina Zach was honored as a member of Delta Mu Delta, a national honor society for students majoring in business administration. The society was established to recognize and reward superior scholastic achievement of business majors.

Delta Mu Delta


The General Beadle Honors program originated at DSU in 2013 to challenge outstanding students and stress broad intellectual development. The program is open to students from all colleges and majors. Laura Schuck was honored at the banquet.

General Beadle Honors


KAPPA SIGMA IOTA is an honorary society unique to Dakota State University, established by President E. C. Higbie to “promote, secure and maintain a high level of professional fellowship.” 

Kappa Sigma Iota

Honored were Andrew Reps, Jayme Knauer, Amy Halling, and Shelby Borgers.


SIGMA TAU DELTA is an international English honor society whose purpose is to recognize scholarly and professional accomplishments in English. The DSU chapter is open to students who major in English for New Media, English Education, or who minor in English. Honored were Jayme Knauer and Nelofar Sultan.

Sigma Tau Delta