Randy L. Nelson, Ed.D.

Professor, Education / Director of International Education

Dr. Randy Nelson earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and German at the University of Sioux Falls.  He later earned a Master of Arts in Selected Studies in English at Augustana University and then a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership at the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. He has also completed graduate coursework in Germany and Austria.

During his 28 years of teaching high school English and German, Dr. Nelson taught in South Dakota and Minnesota. As well, he spent a year teaching in the public school system in Berlin, Germany.

Over the years Dr. Nelson has developed a strong interest in international education. Besides teaching, he serves as USF's Director of International Education. In that role he assists F-1 nonimmigrant students, serves as the Principal Designated School Official for SEVIS and directs the Bridges English Language program. He also oversees USF's study abroad program.



  • B.A., English and German, University of Sioux Falls, 1979
  • M.A., Selected Studies in English, Augustana University (SD), 1993
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, University of St. Thomas (Minn.), 2011

Courses Taught

  • EDU 324 - Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • EDU 329 - Secondary and Middle-Level Methods
  • EDU 508 - Pedagogy for Middle- and Secondary-Level Educators
  • EDD 716 - International and Intercultural Perspectives

Professional Memberships



  • Educational psychology / Secondary pedagogy / Educational leadership
  • International and intercultural education


Doctoral Dissertation:  Uncovering Disillusionment, Loneliness, and Psychological Abuse:  A Phenomenological Study of Exchange Student Experiences

Scholarships and Creative Work

  • Created and developed "Teacher Impact and Empowerment Training," a three-level pedagogy workshop. Workshops are offered each summer to Liberian educators.
  • Wrote nine levels of instructional material titled "Learning Good English." This material was written to assist students in grades 1-9 at the Christian schools in Fendell and Ganta, Liberia.

Service/Volunteer Work

Children Rescue International

Dr. Nelson serves on the board of Children Rescue International, a Sioux Falls-based organization dedicated to assisting children in Liberia.  As a board member, he heads the education team. He also teaches summer pedagogy workshops for educators in Fendell, Liberia.