Judy Struck, EdD, Executive Director of SD UCEDD, Receives Distinguished Awards

May 30, 2012

Judy Struck, EdD, executive director of the SD UCEDD, Center for Disabilities at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, was presented with  two awards in April for her contributions to the field of disabilities. She received the Champion for Children award from SD Voices for Children; and the 2012 Advocacy award from SD Advocacy Services.

Struck was presented with  the Champion for Children award from SD Voices for Children at their annual Champions for Children luncheon, held April 27 in Sioux Falls, SD. The award recognized Struck for her work on behalf of children with disabilities.

"I am honored to receive this award from SD Voices for Children," said Struck. "I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunities that I have had through the Center for Disabilities to work with so many caring and dedicated individuals and organizations across South Dakota to work to better the lives of children with disabilities and their families." 

Struck received the 2012 Advocacy Award at the annual SD Partners in Policymaking graduation banquet, held April 28 in Sioux Falls. SD Advocacy Services presented her the award in recognition of her exceptional, positive, visible and lasting contributions to the disability and greater community.

SD Advocacy described Struck as "[One of those people who] stand out because they truly embrace the sincere belief that people with disabilities can learn, work, live and fully participate in society." Having dedicated her career to "exploring and developing ways to provide opportunities, eliminate barriers and assist people in realizing their own goals," Struck was also recognized for her dedication to diversity, "including the development of culturally appropriate, local services for Native Americans in their nations."

Since 1992, Struck has led the Center for Disabilities' efforts as its executive director, but her relationship with the organization extends back even further, when she was hired twenty-four years ago as an early childhood specialist. Under her leadership, the Center has become nationally recognized for the study, treatment, intervention and diagnostic services for people with disabilities. Specifically, Struck has been instrumental in the creation of South Dakota's statewide autism program, a statewide fetal alcohol spectrum program, and an innovative community-based model for the delivery of health care to underserved and vulnerable populations.

Learn more about the Center for Disabilities at www.usd.edu/cd.