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Majors & Degrees

DSU education profs receive professional honors

May 15, 2018

Two Dakota State University education professors have been honored by professional organizations.


The South Dakota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (SDACTE) recognized Dan Klumper, instructor of social science pedagogy, with the Innovation in Education award at their spring biannual meeting held April 26 in Brookings, S.D. SDACTE is an organization of all eleven teacher preparation programs in South Dakota, public, private, and tribal.

The Innovation in Education award is given to an individual working in higher education to improve the field of educator preparation and positively impact PK-12 programs. This individual applies or uses a new idea or method to provide an improved result in preparing new teachers in the state. Klumper’s award was based on his work with the VALE project at DSU.

Klumper uses many new ideas to engage K-12 students and follow best practices in education, said Dr. Crystal Pauli, dean of the College of Education. VALE, or Virtual Avatar Learning Experience, is a teaching technology which uses digitally-simulated students, or avatars, in a classroom setting. Each student has a different personality trait, so the setting mimics a real classroom. DSU teachers in training (pre-service teachers) have the opportunity to teach an eight-minute session with VALE two or three times a semester.

"The VALE provides DSU pre-service teachers with more opportunities for practice teaching by working on teaching strategies, discussion skills and classroom management,” said Klumper. “The VALE is a great benefit to DSU students because it raises their confidence and abilities before student teaching."

“Dan’s commitment to VALE, as well as his seamless and engaging use of technology in classes, combine to make him an excellent choice for the Innovation in Education Award,” said Pauli “He is willing to share his expertise with colleagues and is always looking for ways to increase his level of understanding. Dan Klumper is one to watch in the years ahead.” 


Dr. Scott Klungseth, assistant professor of exercise science, was named a Top 35 Presenter at the National Afterschool Association (NAA).

“It takes time and effort to develop a quality presentation that will not only be engaging, but informative and helpful to those in the audience,” Pauli said. “Scott is an excellent presenter and I am so pleased his efforts were recognized at a national gathering of his peers.”

Klungseth’s presentation was selected out of the nearly 170 others. He has been featured in the May 9 NAA e-newsletter and will be a presenter at NAA19 in New York City in March 2019. He will also share his scholarship and insights at other leadership opportunities such as NAA’s Virtual Convention, on NAA podcasts and webinars, or contributions to NAA e-news and magazine.

The National AfterSchool Association is a national membership organization which exists to inspire, connect and equip afterschool professionals. Their mission is to promote development, provide education and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community to further the afterschool profession.

“Because Scott is willing to share his expertise with those in his field in a manner that speaks to the relevance and immediacy of his topic, he is a great representative of the College of Education through his presentations,” Pauli said.