"It was definitely a surprise, but I also consider this a great honor," admitted Langstraat, who thanked all of her coworkers and her husband who were in attendance for a reception in her honor at Slagle Hall on USD's campus. "I love the university's setting. It's a very dynamic environment with so many wonderful people."
Langstraat was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Lisa Korcuska, who noted Langstraat's "can-do attitude" in providing "excellent customer service to students and faculty." Korcuska also declared that Langstraat has managed to make their office "paperless" saving the university $500 per month.
"Deb has a positive outlook and always gets the job done – no matter the obstacle," Korcuska stated in her nomination of Langstraat. "As her supervisor, I travel often and Deb can run the office seamlessly while I'm gone. She needs no supervision and appropriately seeks assistance when it is needed."
A native of Le Mars, IA, Langstraat has worked at USD for more than two years in the Office of Human Subjects Protection. As senior secretary, Langstraat has contact with research investigators and reviews human studies research. She says two-thirds of the department's research involves social behavior, so she works closely with the education and psychology departments at USD.
"I see everything from studies with elementary students to studies involving phase-three cancer patients," she described. "Every day is a challenge and offers something totally new. There's never a dull moment, that's for sure."
A USD graduate with a degree in psychology, Langstraat and her husband, Jim, presently reside in rural Elk Point, with their two children.