Farrell honored as DSU Faculty Legend

Longtime Dakota State University faculty member Tom Farrell is the 2012 Faculty Legend award winner at Dakota State University. Farrell will be recognized at the annual Legends and Legacy Banquet, Thursday, March 1 at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. 

Farrell graduated from Dakota State College in 1970 with a degree in secondary education with a major in health and physical education and a minor in business Tom Farrelleducation. He went on to receive a master’s degree from SDSU in 1971.

While a student at DSC, Farrell participated in wrestling and track and was the student manager for the football team for one year. He was the President of the Physical Education Majors Club and was the President for the student section of the South Dakota Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Association.

Farrell began his teaching career at Dakota State after his graduation. Except for a one-year leave of absence during the 1977-78 school where he was a teacher and coach in the Pequot Lakes, Minnesota school district, Farrell spent his entire career at Dakota State. He retired in the spring of 2009 as Associate Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Information Systems.

While on faculty at Dakota State, Farrell served in many capacities in the athletic department including head women’s volleyball coach, head wresting coach, head men’s golf coach, and assistant football coach. He also served as the sports information director, director of intramural sports, director of athletics, and coordinator of health and physical education program. He also served as the faculty athletic representative. 

Farrell has been a South Dakota High School Athletic Association official in football, basketball, wrestling, volleyball, and track. He was a state volleyball official for eight years, and was the state volleyball tournament co-director for two years when the tournament was hosted by Dakota State. Farrell has been announcing volleyball games on the local radio station, KJAM, for 25 years. He has also been a guest commentator for South Dakota Public Broadcasting for the state volleyball games. 

At DSU, Farrell served on almost every committee that was in existence including a term as President of the General Faculty and President of the Faculty Senate. While in the College of Business and Information Systems (BIS), Farrell was one of five faculty selected to participate in the IBM Programmer Training Program in Irving, TX. This program was implemented across campus in the post-mission change information systems curriculum.

Farrell was the first faculty member to teach in the information systems program in Sioux Falls. He served on the development committees for the first two master’s degrees at DSU, the master of science in information systems, and master of science in computer education technology program. He continues to teach two courses in the computer education masters.

Farrell was the faculty member chosen to pilot the wireless mobile computing environment (WMCI) at DSU, and served as the faculty trainer for one year. He worked with the SD Department of Education to develop curriculum and train the trainers for the three years of the Classroom Connections program that brought1-to-1 computing to South Dakota school districts. Farrell traveled the country, sharing the DSU and Classroom Connection models with other institutions along with representatives from Gateway.

Farrell has conducted many graduate courses and in- services on 1-to-1 computing. He was the first faculty member to teach programming courses in the distance education program. In collaboration with South Dakota Public Broadcasting, he created the first webcasts of distance classes.

He brought PeopleSoft into the BIS curriculum following completion of his PeopleSoft Programmer Analyst certification. He served as a consultant for several universities across the country, and traveled to India as a guest consultant on the DSU project. Farrell also presented at many PeopleSoft conferences on the DSU implementation and hosting of PeopleSoft for other universities. 

In retirement, Farrell continues to do K-12 in-services across South Dakota on the topics of 21st Century Learning Skills as well integration of technologies including the iPad.

Also active in the community, Farrell served as President of the Madison Kiwanis. He served on the Board of Deacons, the Board of Parish Education, and as President of Trinity Lutheran Church. Along with his wife Joyce, Farrell served as co-chairs for the Caring Preparing Capital campaign. He served as secretary/treasurer of Trinity Lutheran Church Foundation commission, and as President of the Bethel Lutheran Home Foundation. He also serves on the governing board for Bethel Lutheran Home and as a congregational delegate for Bethel Lutheran Home.

Farrell’s wife Joyce (Lusk), also class of 1970, taught and coached in the Madison Central School District for 36 years. Daughter Susan completed the Second Wind Program through DSU in December to become a certified teacher in South Dakota. Susan lives in Madison and is mother to the Farrell’s two granddaughters, Shay and Shelby. 

Farrell’s son Jim graduated from DSU with a biology for information systems degree in 2011. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army as a part of the joint program between DSU and SDSU. Jim currently serves as a chemical officer and is expected to complete US Army Ranger training on March 2, 2012.

Last Updated: 2/27/12