• Fri, Feb 05
    SDHEA 2021 Annual Conference
    Please visit the membership link to pay the $25 fee for 2021! Conference details will be posted on this website and emailed to all participants!
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Conference Schedule

8-8:15 – Morning mingle & welcome

8:15 - 8:50 - Morning office yoga

9:00-9:50 - Welcome & Keynote

10:00-10:50 - Breakout #1

11:00-11:50 - Breakout #2

12:00-12:30 – Lunch Break

12:30-1:00 – SDHEA business meeting

1:00 – 1:50 - Breakout #3

2:00-2:50 – Keynote

3:00 – 3:50 – Breakout #4

4:00 – Conference closing

SDHEA Keynote Highlight


Jill Thorngren, PhD, LCPC, LMFT, BCC



Jill Thorngren is Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences at South Dakota State University. Her background is in counseling and counselor education and she is a licensed counselor in both South Dakota and Montana, with specializations in couple and family work. As dean of a large, interdisciplinary college spanning Aviation to Student Affairs, Dean Thorngren has provided leadership to four diverse departments with the overall mission of enhancing human potential. This mission includes fostering and enhancing mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Dr. Thorngren’s latest passion is organizational health and development. She recently earned her Board-Certified Coaching credential and enjoys using it to help facilitate cultures of wellbeing.


Outside of work, Jill loves spending time with her husband, Greg, and their pets Dag the Cat, and Tag the Dog. She also enjoys baking, reading, and running.

Call for Proposals


CLOSED for 2021. Thank you!

SDHEA 2021 Annual Conference

The 2021 conference theme is 'Navigating the Present'. Fill out the form to the right and upload  a full abstract.  We look forward to hearing from you and what you can bring to the 2021 Annual Conference.


November 13, 2020

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The first conference was held in 1976 in Sioux Falls. The theme was “Bicentennial Student”. The next twelve annual conferences were held in Sioux Falls. In 1989, the conference began a rotating host schedule with the first West River conference held in Spearfish. Since then, the conference has been hosted in the cities of: Brookings, Rapid City, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Huron, Yankton, Mitchell, and Aberdeen. The 1996 conference was held in Huron, but during a blizzard! Attendance was somewhat low and sporadic. Aberdeen didn’t officially host the conference as it was cancelled due to a snow storm in 1997. Another conference highlight is that in 1991, Senator Tom Daschle was the keynote speaker.


2020 - ''Envision the Future in Higher Education’', Sioux Falls 2019 - "Adaptability: Strategies for Change in Higher Education", Sioux Falls
2018 - "Access SD HEA 2018", Deadwood
2017 - "Balance: The Key to Holistic Success", Sioux Falls
2016 – "Persist: Retaining knowledge, students, and talent in South Dakota", Spearfish
2015 – "Together Toward Tomorrow", Mitchell
2014 – "Higher Education: Be in the Business of Being Awesome", Chamberlain
2013 – "Forging a path for tomorrow's students today", Lead
2012 – "Operation Graduation", Sioux Falls
2011 – "All Aboard: The Hub of Collaboration", Aberdeen
2010 – "The Power of Knowledge: Developing a Legacy of Learning", Rapid City
2009 – "Bridges to Understanding", Cedar Shore Resort, Chamberlain 2008 – “Building Student Success”, Days Inn, Brookings
2007 – “Relax, Refocus, Rejuvenate”, Holiday Inn, Spearfish
2006 – “Celebrate Leadership”, Holiday Inn, Mitchell
2005 – “Voyage to Discovery”, Kelly Inn, Yankton
2004 – “Come Aboard”, Quality Inn, Rapid City
2003 – “Reaching for the Stars”, Encore Inn, Sioux Falls
2002 – “Pearls of Wisdom”, Holiday Inn, Mitchell
2001 – “Climbing to New Heights”, Holiday Inn, Spearfish
2000 – “The Transition to the Next Century”, Oaks Hotel, Sioux Falls
1999 – “Winning Students…The Challenge”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1998 – “Building a Common Vision”, Radisson Hotel, Rapid City 1997 – “Live It, Learn It, Love It”, Ramkota Inn, Aberdeen(Cancelled due to weather)
1996 – “SD HEA…at the Crossroads of Higher Education”, Crossroads, Huron
1995 – “Education, A Trail Ride to the Future”, Holiday Inn, Spearfish
1994 – “It’s a Jungle Out There”, Yankton Inn, Yankton
1993 – “Dealing with People”, Ramkota Inn, Watertown
1992 – (Theme Unknown), Holiday Inn, Rapid City
1991 – “Challenge…Plan…Action”, Howard Johnson, Sioux Falls
1990 – “New Decade…New Challenges”, Holiday Inn, Brookings
1989 – “Student Success”, Holiday Inn, Spearfish
1988 – “Personal & Professional Excellence”, Ramkota Inn, Sioux Falls
1987 – “Current & Future Concerns of Education in SD”, Howard Johnson, Sioux Falls 1986 – “Future in Higher Education”, Howard Johnson, Sioux Falls
1985 – “ACT Workshop”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1984 – “Building Academic Achievement”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1983 – “Assessing the Higher Education Environment”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1982 – “Career Planning & Related Issues”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1981 – “Being a Professional in South Dakota”, Ramada Inn, Sioux Falls
1980 – “What’s Ahead in the 1980’s in Higher Education, Ramada Inn, Sioux Falls
1979 – “Student Development: Meaning & Application”, Ramada Inn, Sioux Falls
1978 – “The 4 R’s of Retention: Review, Research, Retune, Respond”, Ramada Inn, Sioux Falls
1977 – “Meeting the Needs of the Future Students”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Falls
1976 – “Bicentennial Student”, Holiday Inn, Sioux Fall

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