Credit Hour


HEIDI HEITKAMP | Savanna's Act Awareness

Season 2, Ep. 6

VERMILLION, S.D.- Empathy without action is meaningless. 

Those are words spoken by former North Dakota U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp at the University of South Dakota School of Law regarding Savanna's Act.

On this week's episode of Credit Hour, Host Michael Ewald has a conversation with Senator Heitkamp about this piece of legislation involving murdered and missing indigenous women.

They discuss Savanna's Act and why law enforcement offices must be held accountable for cold cases and the lack of attention for murdered and missing indigenous women

“Over many years, what became increasingly apparent is that where the rest of the world would pay a lot of attention to a missing white person, it did not get the same reaction for Native American people,” Sen. Heitkamp said. “There was and continues to be a backlog of cold cases involving missing and murdered indigenous people in which their families were never given the opportunity to tell their story.”

Find Credit Hour on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and

More Episodes



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