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The South Dakotan


Tracelyn Gesteland and Sarah Sik are the recipients

of the 2015 Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence

in Teaching at the University of South Dakota,

the highest honor USD bestows upon its

educators. The awards come with a $5,000

tribute, framed certificated and commemorative

medal for each recipient.

Gesteland, D.M.A., associate professor of

music, was honored in the tenured category.

She teaches Applied Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, and

Diction, while also directing the USD Opera

and holding the Walter A. and Lucy Yoshioka

Buhler Endowed Chair. In addition to teaching,

Gesteland maintains an active performing career

as a professional singer, directs the South Dakota

Vocal Arts Festival and serves as the district

governor for the South Dakota district of the

National Association of Teachers of Singing

(NATS). She received her B.M. in Choral and

General Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-

Stevens Point (1994), M.M. in Vocal Performance and Vocal

Pedagogy from Roosevelt University (1999), and D.M.A. in

Vocal Performance from the University of Houston (2007).

“Teaching has always been my passion, so receiving such a

prestigious award in recognition of my work with students means

a great deal to me,” Gesteland stated. “I am grateful

to have the opportunity to work with talented and

dedicated students who inspire me to strive for

excellence every day.”

Sik, Ph.D., assistant professor of art, was honored

in the tenure-track category. She teaches World Art

II, 20th Century Art, Art Theory and Criticism,

as well as a faculty-led program to New York City

focused on historical and contemporary art. Her

teaching interests include the history of fine arts,

design, alternative media, aesthetics and critical

theory, with her primary research emphasis being

French and German fine art and design circa 1870–

1918. She received her B.A. in English and art history

(2004), M.A. in art history (2006), and Ph.D. in art

history (2010) from the University of Minnesota.

Sik said, “It has been my goal to stimulate

intellectual dialogues that are challenging and

critically engaging for USD students on campus as

well as travel experiences to expand their horizons. This award is a

wonderful affirmation of the value USD places on these efforts.”

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.



, S



onored with

2015 B






James Moran,

Ph.D., provost and

vice president for Academic Affairs,

provides leadership for the academic

mission of the university with a focus

on student success and academic

quality. Previously, Moran served

as vice chancellor for academic and

student affairs for the Pennsylvania

State System of Higher Education

and in various roles at Edinboro University, Oklahoma State

University, Virginia Tech and the University of Oklahoma.

Moran holds B.A. degrees in psychology and history from

Duke University, an M.S. in psychology from the University

of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in family relations and child

development from Oklahoma State University.

E. Lee Felder,

vice president of

Human Resources, was most recently

director of human resources at the

Bryan Independent School District in

Bryan, Texas. Previous to that, Felder

served as associate director of human

resources, Mays Business School

recruitment and retention program

coordinator, lecturer and Reserve

Officer Training Corps Veteran Training Officer at Texas

A&M University. Felder spent 23 years with the Air Force as

a director in human resources. He holds a bachelor of science

degree in education from Texas A&M University and an M.S.

degree in human resources management from Troy University.


Tracelyn Gesteland

Sarah Sik