The University of South Dakota and the School of Health Sciences is committed to an environment of inclusiveness in classroom and practice settings that honors diverse perspectives, traditions, heritages, and experiences.


Inclusive Excellence at the University of South Dakota calls for a comprehensive embrace of and support for all forms of human diversity on campus. This initiative is fully harmonious with the values and ethics of the profession of social work that is codified in the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics as:

"Social workers should obtain education about and seek to understand the nature of social diversity and oppression with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, and mental or physical disability."

Accordingly, I affirm both professionally and personally the Inclusive Excellence initiative.

In my Scholarship, my primary research agenda deals with understanding the financial knowledge relevant to economic decisions by those living outside of the mainstream U. S. economy.

In my Teaching, I emphasize that the social work profession's priority on marginalized people is the focus of research, policy considerations, and practice interventions.

In my Service, I work to provide resources for people with low incomes by working with the local food bank and serving on the Clay County Poverty Task Force, to provide financial information statewide through the JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy for people without adequate financial resources, and regionally by supporting refugee acculturation by working with the Somali Bantu Foundation of Kansas.




Evidence of the emphasis on Inclusive Excellence in my classes is obvious from the research topics my students have chosen in my classes:

Selected Student Research Topics

2017-2018 Topics

Aggression and Political Ideology
Privilege and Mental Health
Stigma toward Single Mothers
White Privilege and Immigration
White Racial Identity

2016-2017 Topics

Attitudes toward Immigrants and Assimilation
Do Black Lives Matter in Rural Law Enforcement?
LGBT Rights
Rural Attitudes toward Homelessness
Women in Power

2015-2016 Topics

Reducing Discrimination toward the Transgendered through Education and  Exposure
Rural Attitudes toward Transgender Rights

2014-2015 Topics

Adult Perceptions of Rural Aging in Place: Strengths and Challenges
Parental Perception of Disability Integration in Mainstream Classrooms
Rural Stigma toward Mental Health

2013-2014 Topics

Acculturation of International Students
Body Image, Relationship Satisfaction, and Age
Emotional Intelligence and TANF Drug Testing
Interracial Adoption
Rural Perspectives on Hospice Care
Rural Stress, Depression, and Relationship Status

2012-2013 Topics

Acculturation of Sudanese Refugees
Exposure to Native Americans Reduces Bias
Rural Attitudes toward Social Welfare Programs
Rural Support for Same-sex Marriage

2011-2012 Topics


Knowledge about Native Americans Reduces Bias
Rural Parent Attitudes toward Rights of the Child
Rural Food Pantries