This is an annual award given to a high school junior or senior participating in the Northern South Dakota Regional Science and Math Fair.  Dr. Rehfeld, a professor of Chemistry at NSU for 23 years, started the regional fair in 1983.  He has encouraged the pursuit of excellence in scientific inquiry and the associated critical thinking skills.  Beyond scholarship, Dr. Rehfeld believes in Christian values, respect for others, integrity, volunteerism, participation in extracurricular activities, and providing positive peer role models.  This award includes a cash investment in teaching materials for the recipient’s high school science classroom, a cash award to the winning student  and a cash donation to the Aberdeen Salvation Army in the student's name. To help support this award, visit our forms page.

The science community at Northern State University has created the Dwayne Rehfeld Award for Excellence in Service and Science to honor an individual who has provided long-time service to the students of Northeastern South Dakota. The award will recognize a local student who demonstrates excellence in academics, character, participation and service to others.

This award is named in honor of Dr. Dwayne Rehfeld whose career at North State University began in 1977 when he became an assistant professor of Chemistry.  After 23 years of distinguished service, Dr. Rehfeld retired to work in his daughter and son-in-law’s business.  Although they still own their family’s original 1885 homestead near Warner, SD, Dr. Rehfeld and his wife, Claudette, currently reside in Webster, SD.

His time at the university was filled with service to the community including serving as department coordinator, and President of the Faculty Senate.  He also served on church council and other church committees and coached elementary baseball and basketball.  In 1983, he spearheaded the development of a regional science and mathematics fair for northeastern SD.  In large part through Dr. Rehfeld’s many years of guidance, this fair has grown from a humble beginning with 80 projects to its current status as the largest in the state of South Dakota – annually hosting over 500 projects from young scientists from our region. 

Dr. Rehfeld’s personal interest has always been to encourage students who demonstrate excellence in the scientific process such as the ability to plan a scientific inquiry and the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate the results.  In addition, Dr. Rehfeld believes in emphasizing more than just scholarship.  He believes in the importance of qualities such as integrity, respect for others, volunteerism, involvement in extracurricular activities, and providing positive peer role models.

The selected student will receive the following:

a personal award plaque
an award plaque for display in their school science classroom
a nameplate including their name and school will be added to the plaque on permanent display at Northern State University
$300 to be given to the student's high school science teacher for teaching materials
$300.00 donated to the Aberdeen Salvation Army in the student's name
$150.00 cash award to the student