South Dakotan Spring-Summer 2014 - page 8

The South Dakotan
, H
onored with
2014 B
Kerby, Ph.D., from the
College of Arts & Sciences,
is an assistant professor of
biology and was honored in
the tenure track category.
Kerby received a bachelor’s
degree in psychobiology from
Pepperdine University (1996), a
master’s degree in biology from
California State University,
Northridge (2003) and a Ph.D.
in Ecology from University of
California, Davis (2006).
His current research integrates many fields of study to
investigate the causes of amphibian decline worldwide, focusing
on understanding the multiple stressors— biotic and abiotic—
on aquatic communities. In addition to his teaching and
research at USD, Kerby serves as the director of research for the
Missouri River Institute. In 2011, Kerby was honored with a
President’s Award for Research Excellence at USD, making him
the first to receive both of the university’s top awards.
“I feel truly humbled to receive this honor given the great
teachers that have been previously awarded,” Kerby said.
“The reason I became a university professor is that I am able to
combine my zeal for both teaching and scientific research.
I have had great success in my career only because of the many
teachers that took the time to mentor me. My dedication to
teaching is simply paying back that great debt.”
Holdhusen, Ph.D., from the
College of Fine Arts, is the
director of Choral Activities and
an associate professor of music
who was honored in the tenured
category. Holdhusen serves as
the conductor for the university’s
three choral ensembles as well as
teaching courses in conducting,
choral literature and techniques,
and applied voice. Additionally,
Holdhusen is director of USD’s
annual Choral Directors
Institute and the USD Summer Music Camp. He received
a B.A. in music and education from Gustavus Adolphus
College (1996); a Master of Music in choral conducting
from Northwestern University (1998) and a Ph.D. in Music
Education from Florida State University (2007).
“I am very fortunate to work for an institution that values
teaching and supports what I do,” Holdhusen stated. “As
a musician and conductor I always believed my job was to
educate and inspire my singers to reach new heights of artistic
expression while providing the foundation for them to be
lifelong learners who are passionate about music. From the time
I was in ninth grade I knew I wanted to teach choral music at
the collegiate level. USD has given me the opportunity to fulfill
this ambition. It truly is an honor to be recognized for the work
I do, especially among such outstanding faculty at USD.”
Jacob Kerby, Ph.D.
David Holdusen, Ph.D.
The Belbas-Larson Awards were established by a 1956 graduate of USD, Dean Belbas of Edina, Minn. and Sioux Falls, S.D.
and his friends, Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Bemidji, Minn. and Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching is the highest
honor USD bestows upon its educators and includes a $5,000 tribute
to each recipient, a framed certificate and a commemorative medal.
Both were honored at the 127th spring commencement ceremony on
May 10.
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