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VOICES AMPLIFIED | The Nexus of Law & Criminal Justice Reform

Season 4, Ep. 3

The University of South Dakota’s podcast Credit Hour welcomed USD School of Law dean Neil Fulton to discuss the legal dimensions of systemic racism, social justice and criminal justice reform as part of its series “Voices Amplified.”

“To address these problems, we have to understand, identify and engage with our differences, and then seek out points of commonality. That requires having difficult conversations in a patient way,” said Fulton. “None of us are really built to do that without working at it. Higher education can help us be prepared to do that.”

Fulton discussed the legal aspects of criminal justice reform efforts like removing qualified immunity and defunding the police as well as the ways higher education can address issues like systemic racism.

 

“I think particularly here in South Dakota it’s so important because coming to a college campus may be the first time where a lot of students have a sustained encounter with someone who isn’t like them, that doesn’t look like them, who isn’t of the same race or who doesn’t have the same socioeconomic background,” said Fulton. “This can be one of the first places where we have the sustained opportunity to have those conversations and build up both the skills and inclinations to attack these problems.”

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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11/25/2020

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 www.usd.edu/podcast.
11/12/2020

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, andwww.usd.edu/podcast.