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Spring/Summer 2016




Ranjit Koodali,

Ph.D., was

named dean of the Graduate School

in May, a role which will add to the

11 years he has been part of USD.

The chemistry professor now has

administrative responsibility for

the university’s graduate programs,

policies and staff, with a primary

focus on improving graduate student

recruitment and credential completion while enhancing the

diversity and inclusion in graduate programs.

Koodali obtained his bachelor’s degrees in chemistry,

physics and mathematics from Loyola College in Chennai,

India. He continued his studies at the Indian Institute of

Technology, Madras, where he obtained both a master’s

degree in chemistry and a doctorate in photocatalysis.

Koodali has also assisted with research at the Hebrew

University in Jerusalem, the University of Houston, and

Kansas State University, and published more than 125 works.

William G. Mayhan,


began his role as dean of the Division

of Basic Biomedical Sciences at the

University of South Dakota Sanford

School of Medicine in March.

Formerly the head of the Department

of Cellular Biology and Anatomy

at the Louisiana State University

Health Sciences Center in Shreveport,

Louisiana, Mayhan brings more than 30 years of professional

knowledge and experience to USD.

Mayhan received his bachelor’s degree from Creighton

University and doctorate from the University of Nebraska,

both in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. He then pursued

his postdoctoral studies at the University of Iowa. An avid

researcher, he has received funding from the National Institutes

of Health since 1983. The new dean has collaborated with

the American Heart Association and the National Science

Foundation research on numerous occasions, and has published

more than 200 works.

Matthew Sayre,

Ph.D., became

chair of the anthropology and

sociology departments on June 1.

He has been part of the USD

community since 2011 as an

assistant professor of anthropology.

Sayre graduated from the

University of Chicago with a bachelor’s

degree in anthropology, then moved

to the West Coast to pursue both a master’s degree and Ph.D.

in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. After

graduating, he served as a post-doctoral fellow with Stanford

University and later as a program director at the Institute of

Andean Studies in Berkeley, California. He has been actively

researching the Chavin de Huantar site in the Peruvian Andes

since 2002, where he studies the ecological, agricultural,

economic and ritual practices of past Chavin inhabitants. His

research has been supported by grants and funding from USD

and the National Science Foundation.

The USD Sanford School of Medicine

and Sanford Clinic has named

Russell Wilke

, M.D., Ph.D.,

F.A.C.P., as chair of the Department

of Internal Medicine. He also holds

a position as enterprise director

of pharmacogenetics, the study of

inherited genetic differences in drug

responses, at Sanford Imagenetics.

Wilke received his medical and doctoral degrees in

pharmacology and toxicology from the Medical College

of Wisconsin. He went on to hold faculty positions at the

University of Wisconsin, the Medical College of Wisconsin

and Vanderbilt University. He most recently practiced

general internal medicine at the Sanford Medical Center in

Fargo, North Dakota, and is part of the clinical faculty at

the University of North Dakota. His research in the field has

been funded by the National Institutes of Health, and he has

published more than 100 works relating to drug response.