Professors write about student research at USD Dr. Silvia Ronco and Dr. Royce Engstrom, both professors at The University of South Dakota, recently published an article titled "Interdisciplinary REU Sites at the University of South Dakota." The article was printed in the fall volume of the quarterly publication Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly.
Focusing on the tremendous growth in undergraduate research at USD, the article discusses the various research opportunities available to students through the efforts of the Undergraduate Research Council and the benefits associated with these experiences. The article discussed the success of research themes like "Retracing the Lewis and Clark Expedition: Contemporary Aspects of Culture and Environment along the Missouri River" to "Excavation and Reconstruction of a Northern Plains Bison Kill Site."
Students at USD who apply for grants under these themes use an interdisciplinary approach that has included disciplines like biology, psychology, archaeology, and chemistry in the past. Because any research project that fits the theme is eligible to participate virtually any student at the university can submit an application so long as it is endorsed by a faculty mentor.
Ronco is a professor of chemistry and former chair of the Undergraduate Research Council at USD. An inorganic photochemist, Ronco is currently on leave from USD and working as a program officer for Research Corporation, a private funding agency in Tucson, AZ.
Engstrom is a professor of chemistry, vice president for research, former Council of Undergraduate Research president and dean of graduate education at USD.
Engstrom is an electrochemist with research interests in the area of spatial resolution of electrode surface reactivity and elucidation of electrode reaction mechanisms.