Tosterud receives SA Professor of Year award

Tosterud receives SA Professor of Year award Economics Professor Robert Tosterud has been named Professor of the Year by The University of South Dakota Student Association.

He was honored during the recent Swing Out Banquet held on campus. Other staff members honored at Swing Out included Julie Nearman, who was named advisor of the year; and Leo "Lucky" Huber, who received the Larry Annis Distinguished Service Award. The Department of Economics in the School of Business was named the department of the year.

"In the area of education, Tosterud has shown that he is willing to make a difference in his environment," said student Jill Sternquist in her nomination of Tosterud, who was previously awarded the 1993 Student Association Teacher of the Year. "Each of Tosterud's classes is like a 75-minute esteem boost. He appeals to his students because he is interested in who they are outside the classroom," she said.

Tosterud, who has been at USD since 1991, is the Freeman Chair for Entrepreneurial Studies at USD. He teaches Entrepreneurial Development and Management, Business Philosophy and Problems, Introduction to Business Courses and a new class, Electronic Commerce.

"The more I am involved in higher education, the more I am convinced that good teachers are a result of good students," said Tosterud. "We have a synergistic community on this campus."

Prior to coming to USD, Tosterud was the Economics Program Officer of the Ford Foundation in New York City. Most of his time on the East Coast, however, was spent in Washington, DC, where Tosterud served for seven years as senior economist and staff director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress and spent four years in various positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He began his professional career at North Dakota State University where he served as the director of the Transportation Institute and assistant professor (tenured) of agricultural economics for six years. He has taught in various capacities at six universities, as well as taught an entreprenuership correspondence course to a dozen Mainland Chinese students.

He is the founder of the National Council of Entrepreneurship Chairs, a director of the International Institute for Entrepreneurship Development, chair of the Nontraditional Academics Committee and former chair of the Distinguished Chairs Committee of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management.

Tosterud founded the South Dakota Family Business Initiative and he is a former director of the City of Vermillion Development Corporation. He also has started three businesses. In 1994, Tosterud received the Freedom Foundation Leavey Award for "Excellence in Private Enterprise Education" and he was chosen as one of the nation's "Top 10 Entrepreneurship Educators" by the Kauffman Foundation, Inc. magazine, and Merrill Lynch.

A recent venture took him to South Africa where he served as a consultant for the Black Entrepreneurs and Enterprises Support Team. His success at stimulating business creation in rural areas took him to the Australian Outback during the spring of 1997.

Tosterud also served as the Visiting Scholar in Economic Growth and Entrepreneurship at the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress in Washington, DC from October 1998 to June 1999.

Tosterud, originally of Des Plaines, IL, received his bachelor of science degree (1968) and a master of science degree (1969) in business economics from North Dakota State University. He received his Ph.D. degree (1973) in agricultural economics from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He and his wife Karen reside in Vermillion.

Nearman, the recipient of the Student Association's Advisor of the Year Award for 2000, has been program coordinator in the Student Activities Center at USD since August of 1999. She received both her bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 1997 and a master of arts in counseling and psychology in education in 1999 from USD.

"Working with and advising students is the best part of my job," said Nearman. "It was such an honor for me to receive Advisor of the Year, and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to work with such outstanding students here at USD."

Huber, director of advising at USD since 1992, was named the Larry Annis Award recipient for his outstanding contributions to campus. In 1990, Huber received a bachelor of science in education degree in elementary education and a master of arts degree in physical education in 1992 at USD.

"I was especially honored to receive the award because so many people at USD deserve to be recognized for their contributions," said Huber. "The people at USD make it an incredibly rewarding place to work."

Jennifer Petersen, a junior at USD, nominated the Economics Department for the Student Association Department of the year award.

"The economics professors encourage class discussion and make the subject not only challenging, but interesting as well," said Petersen. "The professors also help outside of the classroom with research and spend extra time with the Political Economy Club."

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