Sorensen named new assistant dean

Sorensen named new assistant dean The University of South Dakota School of Law has chosen local lawyer and long-time radio broadcaster Tom Sorensen to fill the school's new position of assistant dean, according to Dean Barry Vickrey.

A Vermillion native, Sorensen began his new duties Aug. 7 and will be handling career services, student recruitment, and alumni services for the USD School of Law. He had opened his private law practice after working as an associate attorney for the Vermillion law firm of Bogue, Weeks & Collier. Sorensen received his juris doctor degree from the USD School of Law in 1999 and is a member of the State Bar of South Dakota. He received his bachelor of liberal studies from The University of South Dakota in 1996 with an emphasis in Indian studies.

Vickrey noted that the new position will allow the law school to intensify its efforts to inform potential students about the law school, to assist graduates who are seeking jobs, and to involve all alumni in law school activities.

"We are delighted to have Tom Sorensen in this new position, in part because he is one of our graduates, but also because of the other experiences he brings to the law school staff," Vickrey said. "His leadership in the field of journalism and his demonstrated skill in public relations will greatly benefit the law school and our graduates."

Sorensen was employed from 1990 to 1996 at South Dakota Public Broadcasting, where his on-air duties included helping initiate and hosting South Dakota Forum, a statewide, call-in radio talk show on the public radio network headquartered in Vermillion. His other on-air duties included local network breaks during the National Public Radio programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Sorensen was later also named news director for the state public radio network. His staff received many awards for news coverage and public affairs productions. Sorensen also served two terms as alderman on the Vermillion City Council and later briefly served as deputy city attorney.

Prior to returning to Vermillion to attend the university, Sorensen was employed by The Associated Press at Bismarck, ND; as news director of WDAY Radio in Fargo, ND; and, from late 1973 to early 1983, as news and public affairs director at KSOO Radio in Sioux Falls under the ownership of the Morton and Sylvia Henkin family. During his years as a broadcast journalist, Sorensen was a teaching assistant in the Journalism Department of South Dakota State University in Brookings. He served four terms as president of the South Dakota Associated Press Broadcasters, one term as president of the Sioux Falls Area Press Association, and as a member of Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalists.

Sorensen has been married to Mary (Johnson) for 29 years. Mary, a native of Moville, IA, attended The University of South Dakota in 1969-1971. Tom and Mary are the parents of Sarah Sorensen, manager of Abbott Travel in Vermillion, Rachel Sorensen and Jessica Sorensen, all of Vermillion. All three daughters are also students at USD. The Sorensens also have one grandchild, Mattea Hope Scott, Sarah's daughter.

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