Dr. Jerry Jacobs, director of the Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI), delivered the keynote speech. The theme of Jacobs' speech was "respect," a concept with which Jacobs has shown he is well-acquainted. Jacobs is known in the region as a professor of clinical psychology at USD, but is also recognized worldwide for his vast efforts to provide aid and psychological support to victims of catastrophic events.
Jacobs has headed the DMHI at USD since its creation in 1993 and has been a regional leader in disaster psychology for decades. His disaster responses have ranged from minor events to the massive loss of life and chaos of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Jacobs was asked to set up the disaster mental health program for New Orleans. He was the psychosocial delegate for the American Red Cross/Indian Red Cross psychological support program after the devastating earthquake in Gujarat, India in 2001. He has also provided consultation and training to psychological support programs in the tsunami-affected countries in Asia.
In recognition of his extensive service to people of the world, Jacobs was named the 2006 "Distinguished International Psychologist" for the American Psychological Association's (APA) Division of International Psychology.
Graduates from Vermillion are Charles W. Bingen, master of arts, mathematics; Derrick Daniel Brown, master of arts, health, physical education & recreation; Angela Kae Jackson, master of science, technology for education & training; Brandy Kay Johnson, bachelor of science, English; Loralee Ann LaPointe, doctor of philosophy, counseling and psychology in education; Lee William Langbehn, bachelor of science in education, history education; Steven Allan Miles, master of arts, elementary education; Pradnya Vinod Naik, master of science, physical therapy; Shane E. Paben, master of arts, history; Svien Anthony Senne, bachelor of science, biology; and V. Blanchard Singingeagle, doctor of philosophy, English.
Graduates from Wakonda are Staci Lynn Larson, master of arts, elementary education; and Stacey Marie Loen-Dreesen, master of arts, biology.