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South Dakota State University honors endowment holders

South Dakota State University recently paid tribute to the university’s newest endowment holders.
The inaugural investiture ceremony honoring 11 holders of endowed faculty positions was held Sept. 29 in Founders Recital Hall in the Oscar Larson Performing Arts Center.
The University Leadership Honors ceremony recognized the following most recent individuals to occupy endowed faculty positions at SDSU:
• Sarah Bad Warrior-Vrooman: Larson Family Endowed Wokini and Tribal Relations Director
Bad Warrior-Vrooman is committed to promoting higher education opportunities for Native students so they can succeed and become alumni supporters for future generations. A Mnicoujou Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, she has degrees in social science, Lakota studies, elementary education and liberal arts and is pursuing a master’s degree in Indigenous people’s law.
• Joseph Cassady: South Dakota Corn Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cassady was appointed as head of the Department of Animal Science at SDSU in June 2013, leading significant growth in enrollment, facilities and fundraising during his tenure. He took on the added responsibility of interim head of the Department of Dairy and Food Science in July 2020 and became dean of the college in June 2022.
• Laura Diddle: Paul E. and Doris J. Moriarty Endowed Professor of Choral Activities
Diddle conducts SDSU’s Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers and Choralia (the women’s choir), in addition to teaching private voice and vocal music education courses. She began her career at SDSU in 2003 as associate director of choral activities and was promoted to director in 2012.
• Matthew Diersen: Griffith Endowed Chair in Agricultural Finance
Diersen joined the SDSU faculty in 1999, and his SDSU Extension programming is focused on the interaction of commodity marketing and insurance tools and on changes in the agricultural economy. He is co-director of the Every Acre Counts program, teaches courses on agricultural finance and commodity trading, and focuses his scholarly work on pricing mechanisms and financial risk across extreme timespans.
• Anne Karabon: Wendell and Marlys Thompson Endowed Director of the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development
Karabon’s research focuses on social, geographical, developmental and cultural factors that impact a person’s learning experiences—specifically how early educators draw on children’s funds of knowledge to inform teaching practices. She’s committed to partnering with community institutions to understand and address urgent social problems. 
• Sanjeev Kumar: Jerome J. Lohr Endowed Dean of the Jerome J. Lohr College of Engineering
Kumar joined the Lohr College of Engineering as its dean June 22, 2022. He brings more than 35 years of experience in engineering, which includes 11 years in industry and over 24 years in academia, preparing graduates who are ready to enter the workforce with confidence to become productive engineers, technologists, scientists and thoughtful citizens in society.
• John McMaine: William Mibra Griffith and Byrne S. Griffith Endowed Chair in Agriculture and Water Resources
McMaine is passionate about solving challenges related to water and weather through his work in SDSU Extension and research in South Dakota. He serves as an assistant professor and SDSU Extension water management engineer in the agricultural and biosystems engineering department at SDSU.
• Maneesha S. Mohan: Alfred Endowed Chair in Dairy Education
With her research and teaching in the SDSU Department of Dairy and Food Science, Mohan brings together aspects of chemistry, processing and engineering in dairy science. She has worked in dairy industries and research institutions for the past 12 years in different countries, including the United States, New Zealand, Ireland and India, and strives to build collaborations with universities and food industries across the U.S.
• Joseph Santos: Ness Endowed Director of the Ness School of Management and Economics
In addition to being director of the Ness School, Santos also directs the Dykhouse program in Money, Banking and Regulation. His teaching portfolio has included undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics and financial institutions, and his areas of research include financial regulation, monetary policy and higher education finance.
• Craig Silvernagel: Milton Nies Endowed Faculty Scholar
Silvernagel is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and innovation management in the Ness School of Management and Economics. His primary teaching interests are in new venture creation and entrepreneurial finance, and his research focuses on intellectual property in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, and the scholarship of teaching and learning in multidisciplinary innovation settings.
• David L. Wright: Klingbeil Endowed Department Head of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science
As department head, Wright leads a faculty of research scientists, lecturers and SDSU Extension specialists that serve South Dakota and the surrounding region, promoting positive change and team building toward a goal of excellence. He collaborated with SDSU colleagues and university leadership to raise nearly $73 million for capital projects and departmental programs.
The SDSU Foundation has commitments in place from donors for 48 endowed positions, ranging from endowed directors, deans, chairs and professors. The gifts are invested to support the university’s growth, advancing knowledge and fueling innovation.
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