Credit Hour



Season 5, Ep. 10
Justice Meierhenry Discusses Life and Career on Credit HourVERMILLION, S.D. – Former South Dakota Supreme Court Justice Judith Meierhenry, '66 B.A., ’68 M.A., ’77 J.D., discussed her life and career on the podcast Credit Hour.“This year’s been hard. You don’t know things for sure. I think you have to live your life as well as you can wherever you are,” said Meierhenry. “Family first. If there’s anything I know for sure. It’s that.”Meierhenry was appointed the secretary of South Dakota’s Department of Labor by Gov. Bill Janklow in 1980 and served as the state’s Secretary of Education and Cultural Affairs in 1983. She was appointed a South Dakota Supreme Court Justice in 2002, becoming the first woman in South Dakota’s history to be appointed to the state Supreme Court, where she served until her retirement in 2011.“It was a good experience,” said Meierhenry of attending law school at USD. “There wasn’t another time before or since where you feel like you are learning so much. And there is a joy in that.”“Once I got on the bench, I loved that every day. It really was a dream job for me,” said Meierhenry. “I don’t remember a day that I wasn’t looking forward to going to work.”CreditHouris the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. FollowCreditHouron Spotify, Apple Podcasts,

MEGAN RED SHIRT-SHAW | Native Student Services

Season 5, Ep. 9
Red Shirt-Shaw Discusses Native Student Services on Credit HourVERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s new director of Native Student Services, Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, discussed the importance of creating welcoming spaces on campus on the podcast Credit Hour. “There’s a tremendous opportunity for us to engage as friends and colleagues,” said Red Shirt-Shaw. “Just being able to make these connections across disciplines and do community building is important. Red Shirt-Shaw started this fall as the Director of Native Student Services and the Native American Cultural Center. She has previously held positions in undergraduate admissions, college counseling, and student advising at the University of Pennsylvania, Questbridge, Santa Clara University, Albuquerque Academy, and the 7th Gen Summer Program. Red Shirt-Shaw said she is excited to bring different indigenous voices to campus. “I think some of the challenges we’re facing in student services with being really cognizant and responsible with social distancing and mask wearing is that with the power of zoom, we can bring different Native people into our spaces virtually from across the country,” said Red Shirt-Shaw. “I think it is so important for students to see themselves reflected in a lot of different ways—especially in the fields they are pursuing or excited about.” Red Shirt-Shaw’s earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Higher Education. At Harvard, she was co-chair of FIERCE — Future Indigenous Educators Resisting Colonial Education. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development with a focus on Higher Education and a minor in American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Red Shirt-Shaw is the founder of Natives In America, an online literary publication for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian youth. Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and

CHRIS MERCADO | Objective Zero Suicide Prevention

Season 5, Ep. 7
Mercado Discusses Objective Zero Suicide Prevention App on Credit HourVERMILLION, S.D. – Major Chris Mercado, ’04, founder of Objective Zero, discussed his military service and suicide prevention efforts on the podcastCredit Hour.“What we’re doing with Objective Zero is crowdsourcing peer support,” said Mercado. “The idea is that we’re trying to get ahead of those downward spirals into suicide by providing peer support as a pre-crisis service.”Objective Zero was established in 2015. It released a mobile app in December of 2017 that instantly connects veterans-in-need to a community of fellow veterans, current service members and concerned citizens.Mercado mentioned the recent spike in suicide rates as an alarming trend amongst the military.“Early indications are that in 2020, suicide rates in the military are up over 2019 by 20 percent. In the U.S. army, suicide rates are up over 30 percent,” said Mercado. “It’s very concerning.”In 2017, Mercado was named the Military Times Service Member of the Year for the U.S. Army in recognition for founding Objective Zero, a suicide prevention platform. He has served five tours overseas, three during the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, and earned three Bronze Star Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, 10 Army Achievement Medals and the NATO Medal.Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts,

ELISE BOXER | Institute for American Indian Studies

Season 5, Ep. 6
Elise Boxer Discusses New Role as Director of Institute for American Indian StudiesVERMILLION, S.D. – Elise Boxer, an assistant professor of Native American Studies at the University of South Dakota, discussed the importance of Native studies and her new role as the director of the Institute of American Indian Studies on the podcast Credit Hour.“I really believe that Native studies is for everybody as it will result in understanding what is happening in the state and region,” said Boxer. “If you are going to live in this region, having a working understanding of tribal nations and people will better facilitate an individual in their profession whether its education, social work or law enforcement. The list goes on.”Boxer was recently named the director of the revitalized Institute of American Indian Studies at USD. The Institute has a rich history in South Dakota and a notable reputation throughout the nation. Originally established in 1955 through the concerted efforts of Dr. William O. Farber and Dr. Wesley Hurt, the Institute of American Indian Studies was part of a nationwide effort to aid in the preservation of American Indian heritage and to promote opportunities in higher education for Indigenous students. During its first decade of existence, the institute sponsored programs and conferences centered around economic, legal and political issues facing the Lakota and Dakota people during the period of federal termination. The Board of Regents formally established the institute on April 30, 1955 and was the first of its kind in the nation. It was later formally recognized by the South Dakota Legislature in 1974.The Institute will award more than $80,000 dollars in scholarships to Indigenous students at USD. In addition to offering educational opportunities to American Indian students, USD will actively focus on encouraging student engagement through cultural workshops and Indigenous research and connecting USD students to tribal communities and to each other.Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts,