Awards and Honors

The South Dakota Higher Education Association has a strong tradition honoring its members for their outstanding service. The many recipients of the Patrick Merrigan Award for Distinguished Service, the Marcus Boesen Memorial Award, and the Robert J. Courtney Student Leadership Award represent some of the best South Dakota has to offer in the field of Student Affairs. We have been proud to call these individuals members and friends throughout the years and are honored to continue offering these prestigious awards. Nominations are now open for the 2020 recipients of these awards. 

Robert J. Courtney Student Leadership Award Nomination
Patrick Merrigan Award for Distinguished Service Nomination
Marcus Boesen Memorial Award Nomination

Patrick Merrigan Award for Distinguished Service

This award is presented to a member of SDHEA who has exhibited outstanding leadership within the individual’s institution and area of responsibility and who has significantly contributed to the profession and to SDHEA. Individuals are nominated by the general membership.


Patrick Merrigan Award Recipients:     

2019 Lamont Sellers
2018 Amanda Parpart
2017 Lois Flagstad
2016 Darrell Sawyer
2015 Nancy Hartenhoff-Crooks
2014 Julie Hart-Schutte
2013 Dr. Karen Card
2012 Grant Uecker
2011 Dr. Pat Mahon
2010 Maureen “Reeny” Wilson
2009 Dr. Marie Lohsandt
2008 Bob Courtney
2007 Peggy Schlechter
2006 Brandi Tschumper
2005 Kathie Erdman
2004 Chuck Colombe
2003 Dr. Ruth Harper
2002 Grant Uecker
2001 Tim Edwards
2000 Gwenda Koch
1999 Clarence Pederson
1998 Terry Ryan
1997 LuAnn Strait
1996 Judy Larson
1995 Lori Lincoln
1994 Rhonda Britzman
1993 Paula Tacke
1992 James Pedersen
1991 Gene Schlekeway
1990 Dean Schueler
1989 Linda Allen

Making a Difference Award
(Renamed to Patrick Merrigan for Distinguished Service Award beginning in 1989)

1988 Dee Candia
1987 Doug Noteboom

Marcus Boesen Memorial Award

This award is made to a SDHEA member who shows outstanding contributions to the overall development of  students, to their educational institution and to SDHEA and student affairs. Candidates must be employed in their first four years in a student personnel related profession at a South Dakota post-secondary institution. Individuals are nominated by the general membership.

Marcus Boesen Award Recipients:

2019 Jordan Schuh
2018 Dr. Katelyn Romsa
2017 Bryce Nussbaum
2016 Megan Reder-Schopp
2015 Melissa Ochsner
2014 Jessica Lewis
2013 Stephanie Brown
2012 John Geske
2011 Linde Murray
2010 Mike Keegan
2009 Rae Getz
2008 Kristiaan Rawlings
2007 Susie Hadrick
2006 Travis Sieber
2005 Heather Johnson
2004 Cheryl Holt
2003 Jody Owen
2002 Shad Durgen
2001 Dr. Jacqueline Bolman
2000 CD Douglas
1999 Derek Solheim
1998 Missy Herr-Valburg
1997 Stephanie Hoffman
1996 Jon Eng
1995 Laura Miller
1994 Jenica Bohlen
1993 Jeff Dittman
1992 Unknown
1991 Janet Reiman
1990 William Williams


New Professional Award

(Renamed to Marcus Boesen Outstanding Young Professional Award beginning in 1990)

1989 Unknown
1988 Mary Utpadel

Robert J. Courtney Student Leadership Award
The South Dakota Higher Education Association (SDHEA) takes pride in developing tomorrow’s leaders in student affairs. To honor one of our own leaders in campus life, the Robert J. Courtney Student Leadership Award was established. Bob enjoyed a career in student affairs that spanned over 31 years; he was a member of SDHEA for 25 of those years. This award recognizes one student annually who demonstrates leadership excellence and a desire to serve within the area of student affairs.

2019 Micah Foxley
2018 Cassandra Morgan
2016-2017 Abbilene Sudtelgte
2015 Anna Haydock
2014 Jacob Ailts
2013 Reece Yeadon
2012 Konefesi Vaisiagno
2011 Mackeznie Kabrick
2010 Crystal Savage