Birkeland was honored in the tenure-track category. An
assistant professor in the Division of Economics and Decision
sciences in the Beacom School of Business, she teaches
macroeconomics, money and banking, and more. She has
also been the faculty coordinator of the business school’s
renowned Master of Professional Accountancy program since
January 2015. Birkeland holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree
in economics from Arizona State University, as well as a
bachelor’s degree in economics from USD (2001). In addition
to her work with students, Birkeland conducts research in
macroeconomic labor dynamics, the economics of higher
education and the scholarship of teaching.
McKeown, an associate professor in the Department of
Political Science/Criminal Justice Studies in the College of
Arts & Sciences, was honored in the tenured category. She
directs USD’s criminal justice program and, as an associate
professor, teaches courses such as juvenile justice, criminal
prosecution and defense, and more. Licensed to practice
law by the South Dakota State Bar Association, McKeown
integrates personal research regarding courtroom practices
into both her education methods and continued scholarship.
The USD alumnae graduated in 1999 with a political science
bachelor’s degree and received her J.D. from the USD School
of Law in 2002.
Birkeland, McKeown Receive
USD’s Highest Honor
The Belbas-Larson Awards were established by a 1956 graduate of USD,
Dean Belbas of Edina, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and his friends,
Harold W. and Kathryn Larson of Bemidji, Minnesota, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
The University of South Dakota named Kathryn Birkeland, Ph.D., and Sandy McKeown,
J.D., winners of the 2016 Belbas-Larson Awards for Excellence in Teaching, the highest
honor USD bestows on its educators.
A faculty committee chooses Belbas-Larson recipients based on a review of portfolios
submitted in support of the nominations by students and colleagues. Birkeland and
McKeown were recognized at USD’s spring commencement ceremony, where each
received a framed certificate, a commemorative medal and a $5,000 tribute.
The South Dakotan