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JOHN THUNE | Leadership and Public Service

Season 5, Ep. 16

U.S. Senator John Thune Discusses Career in Public Service and Senate Leadership on Credit Hour

VERMILLION, S.D. – U.S. Senator John Thune, M.B.A. ’84, spoke about his career in public service and experience serving in Senate leadership on this week’s episode of Credit Hour.


“You have to maintain that optimism and have a sense about the future that keeps you moving forward,” said Thune. “More than anything else to me if any of the lessons that we learn from all this try to extend grace to yourself but also to other people when you’re going through a tough time and look for ways to serve other people.”


Thune discussed the political polarization in the country.


“A lot of people say that politics is upstream from culture. I think it’s downstream from culture,” said Thune. “I think what happens politically mirrors or reflects what’s happening in the country and I think the country has been very divided and polarized and I think our politics reflects that.”


“To me, your political party needs to be anchored in something more than just the changing personalities because they come and go,” said Thune.


“I’ve always felt politics ought to be about appealing to people’s hopes, and not preying on their fears,” said Thune.


Speaking about his experience earning a master’s degree at USD in business administration, Thune reflected on the benefits of the program.


“I really appreciate and value looking at the world and looking at issues and problems through the prism of that MBA background,” said Thune.


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 www.usd.edu/podcast.

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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 www.usd.edu/podcast.