The Faculty

Kermit Staggers

Kermit Staggers is a Professor of History and Political Science at the University of Sioux Falls since 1982.  Kermit earned a BS and an MA from the University of Idaho.  Dr. Staggers later went on to earn a Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate School.

Kermit currently teaches class in American Federal Government, American State & Local Government, and a host of other political science special topics and elective courses at USF.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities at USF, Kermit is also an elected public official having been a long time member of the South Dakota State Legislature (as a State Senator) and a current member of the Sioux Falls City Council.  Kermit’s years in public service give him a great platform of experiences of which he can teach USF students.

Kermit is married with two children and resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Sioux Falls. He earned his BA in History and Political Science from the University of Florida, and earned his Ph.D. at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Imperial and Colonial Studies, focusing on the history of the British Empire. His research examines the process of twentieth-century cultural decolonization in the settlement colonies of the British Empire.

Stephen has a wide variety of teaching interests including European, World, British, and Imperial history. At USF he teaches Modern European history and a range of other specialized courses in the discipline of history. In his courses Stephen emphasizes the incredible richness of the human past, and fosters in his students an appreciation of different world cultures. At the same time he stresses the important skills that history can provide including critical thinking and writing. Developing these skills will help students in a wide variety of careers.

In his spare time Stephen enjoys reading anything from history to classic literature to science fiction. He also enjoys traveling around the world, most often accompanied by his lovely wife.


Beth O’Toole

Beth O’Toole is an Associate Professor of the Social Sciences at the University of Sioux Falls.  Beth earned a BS in English from the University of South Dakota, a MA in Education Administration from USD, and her law degree (JD) from the University of South Dakota School of Law.

Beth’s leadership and vision have resulted in the unprecedented growth and success of the Criminal Justice program at USF.  The Criminal Justice major is currently one of the fastest growing majors at the University of Sioux Falls.  Beth has been instrumental in giving USF Criminal Justice students opportunities to take exciting courses, participate in national conferences, and engage in practical service-learning experiences.

In 2004, Beth was appointed by Governor Mike Rounds to serve on the SD Council of Juvenile Services which helps establish policy and administer a federal grant through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  Through her work with the CJS, she is also serving on the State's Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee and on the workgroup established for the Sioux Falls area to address the disproportionate number of minority youth encountered at various stages of the juvenile justice system.  In addition to her work on juvenile justice issues, Beth actively works with her students to develop their research for presentation at the national level.  In 2005, nine USF students presented on their work at the Academy of Criminal Justice Science annual meeting in Chicago, and in 2006, five USF students will make presentations at the ACJS annual meeting in Baltimore.

Beth is married with two young daughters and two spoiled dogs. In her free time, she enjoys choreographing musical theater productions for high school, college, and community organizations.  This love of dance and theater is shared with her daughters, as well as passions for reading and traveling.  The whole family gets to Hawaii as often as possible, and Beth is excited that she has been able offer courses and include students on two of those Hawaiian adventures!!