Credit Hour


114: Gene Thin Elk: Creating a Second Home

Season 1, Ep. 114

Gene Thin Elk, former director of Native Student Services (NSS) and longtime employee of the University of South Dakota, discusses the past, present and future of the university on this week’s Credit Hour podcast.

Thin Elk spent over three decades at the university in a variety of roles such as a volunteer sweat lodge provider, adjunct professor and Native cultural advisor for students, faculty and staff. He served as NSS director – his final position at USD – for 15 years.

“As I turn around and look back from the higher hill, I see the tremendous amount of progress that has been made here at the university, all the way from race relations to opportunities to resources. I think equity is coming into balance, and recognition of our uniqueness without compromise has come to the university, so I think these things are very vital,” said Thin Elk. 

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ERIC KURTZ | 50 Years of Service

Season 5, Ep. 22
USD Center for Disabilities Executive Director Eric Kurtz Discusses Center’s Mission and 50th Anniversary on Credit HourVERMILLION, S.D. – Eric Kurtz, '09 Ph.D., the executive director of the USD Center for Disabilities, discussed the Center’s mission and 50th anniversary on the podcast, Credit Hour. “I wish people would perceive disabilities as being a natural part of the human existence,” said Kurtz. “People with disabilities make up a large proportion of our population. One in six children are diagnosed with a developmental disability. Sixty-one million adults live with a disability. They shouldn’t be shamed or thought of as needing fixing.”Kurtz was named the executive director of the USD Center for Disabilities in 2019. Kurtz earned a Ph.D. in school psychology at USD and has served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the USD Sanford School of Medicine.The Center for Disabilities is South Dakota’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) which provides training, clinical services, research and information dissemination with a vision that all people, including individuals with disabilities, can achieve independence, self-determination, productivity and community inclusion. It was established in 1971 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.“The mission is to improve the care and lives of individuals,” said Kurtz. “We do that through direct clinical services, research, training and technical assistance, information dissemination and policy work.”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