BROOKINGS – The dean of the College of Education and Humanities at South Dakota State University, Paul Barnes, recently announced that Anne Karabon has accepted the position of director of the School of Education, counseling and human development. Karabon comes to SDSU from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where she served as an associate professor in the College of Education, Health, and Humanities. Karabon will debut at SDSU on July 22.
“We are delighted to welcome Anne Karabon as the first recipient of the Wendell and Marlys Thompson Director of the School of Education, Counseling and Human Development,” Barnes said. “Her outstanding background and passion for early childhood education, STEM, human development, special education and mental health make her the ideal person to support and advance our already successful programs at school.
“We owe a great debt of gratitude to Wendell and Marlys Thompson, whose vision and investment enabled us to bring such a high caliber leader to SDSU,” Barnes continued.
Karabon received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her doctorate was obtained at the University of Milwaukee-Madison, with a specialization in early childhood education and qualitative methods.
Wendell Thompson ’68 grew up on a farm near Winfred, and Marlys ’70 grew up on a farm near Westbrook, Minnesota. First-generation students graduate from SDSU with majors in economics and psychology, respectively. Wendell started a real estate company, and Marlys had a 22-year teaching career at both Brookings Middle School and Central Elementary.
When the Thompsons’ family and extended family were impacted by mental health care needs, they enrolled in National Alliance on Mental Illness classes at Brookings and joined the newly formed Brookings Empowerment Project to learn and to provide services. They saw the need for accessible, high-quality mental health services for students, families, farmers, veterans and others across the state. They realized that people living in rural areas do not have the same services as their own relatives living in urban areas.