Belbas-Larson awards honor faculty excellence at USD

The University of South Dakota will honor two of its faculty at the 2010 Spring Commencement ceremony for excellence in teaching.

De Vee Dykstra and Candace Walton are the 2010 recipients of the Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching. They will be recognized at USD's May 8 commencement and each will receive a $5,000 tribute, a framed certificate commemorating their accomplishment and a commemorative medal. The Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching is the highest honor USD bestows upon its educators.

Honored in the tenured category, Dykstra is a professor in the division of Marketing, Management and Business Law at the Beacom School of Business. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration from USD (1980) as well as her master's degree (1982) and she is also a graduate of the USD School of Law. Her teaching interests are in the areas of the legal environment of business, real estate and business ethics, and she is past president of the South Dakota Career Planning and Placement Association. Dykstra also served as the director of the Beacom School of Business Employment Services Office. Prior to teaching at USD, Dykstra was director of the South Dakota State Data Center for almost two decades.

Recognized in the tenure-track category, Walton is an assistant professor in the department of Contemporary Media and Journalism in the College of Arts and Sciences. A member of the USD faculty since 2006, Walton received her bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in 1997, and her master's degree and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University. Walton teaches courses in basic news writing, public relations, mass communications and writing for electronic media.

Additionally, she serves as an advisor for KAOR Radio at USD and she has been honored as a two-time recipient of the National Association of Television Producers and Executives Faculty Fellow, International Award. Before joining the faculty at USD, Walton taught at Kansas State University.

The Belbas-Larson Awards were established by a 1956 graduate of USD, Dean Belbas of Edina, MN and Sioux Falls, and his friends, Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Bemidji, MN, and Scottsdale, AZ.

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