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Winter 2014/15



The University of South Dakota has awarded its prestigious

President’s Research Award to two faculty members in chemistry

and one in physics. USD President James W. Abbott, who

presented each of the winners with a $3,000 grant and a plaque,

said that research is an essential component of USD’s mission

and one of the many ways USD contributes to the economic

development of the state.

This year’s winners were reviewed based on research

accomplishments, including criteria such as publications,

presentations and maintenance of the present program. Awards

were given in three categories: Research Excellence for Early-Mid

Career Faculty, Research Excellence for Established Faculty and

Research Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

The President’s Award for Research Excellence for Early-Mid

Career Faculty went to Haoran Sun, Ph.D., assistant professor

in the Department of Chemistry. Sun’s main interests are energy

conversion and drug development. His research involves students

and helps them gain practical experience in synthesis, separation

and characterization of various materials. Recently, Sun’s lithium

battery project was funded by NASA in collaboration with

SDSM&T and SDSU. Sun also has two patents pending.

The President’s Award for Research Excellence for

Established Faculty was awarded to Dongming Mei, Ph.D.,

associate professor in the Department of Physics. Mei came to

USD in 2006. His research is primarily based on underground

nuclear and particle physics in search of rare physics processes,

but he is also enthusiastic about astronomy and group theory

for particle physics. Mei is currently director of the Center for

Ultra-low Background Experiments at Dakota (CUBED) and

works closely with the Sanford Underground Research Facility

(SURF). He is also a leader of a diverse group of researchers that

collaborates with many institutions around the country.

The President’s Award for Research Innovation &

Entrepreneurship was presented to Stanley May, Ph.D., a

professor in the Department of Chemistry. May focuses on

the synthesis and characterization of novel light-emitting

materials and their applications to sensing, solar energy

conversion and biomedical applications, and he published a

paper on the topic in

The Journal of Physical Chemistry.


is currently involved in several large research programs: The

Northern Plains Undergraduate Research Center (NPURC),

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program:

“Photodynamics and Materials at the Nanoscale,” Photo-

Activated Nanoscale Systems (PANS) and Security Printing

and Anti-counterfeiting Center.









estowed on



Dongming Mei,

Stanley May,

Haoran Sun

March 27

Native American Alumni Dinner | Vermillion, S.D.

July 10–12

The Black Hills Playhouse Alumni Reunion and

70th Anniversary Celebration | Custer State Park