Rep. Noem poised to earn 
her college diploma

She dotted her I’s and crossed her T’s before turning in her final paper. Now all Rep. Kristi Noem can do is wait to hear her grades to know if she’ll soon be the proud recipient of a college diploma.

 While the South Dakota Republican hasn’t gotten final confirmation just yet, she has finished up her course load and is on track to graduate from South Dakota State University.

The lawmaker had to put her college dreams on hold at 22 when she left school to help run her family’s ranch after her father died unexpectedly.

Noem, elected to the House in 2010, took online courses over the years and even received internship credits for her work in Congress, according to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan.

The married mom of three, while speaking at the University of South Dakota commencement in December, revealed to the grads that doubling as a congresswoman and a college student hasn’t been easy: “I can tell you that serving in Congress and being a wife and mom while completing college definitely changes the experience. I am pretty sure that I didn’t get to play nearly as much ‘Call of Duty’ as many of you.”

Even though she may not have joined her classmates in dorm-room video game battles, Noem did partake in another college tradition: massive caffeine consumption. The political science major said at the ceremony, “So believe me when I say I can relate to the late nights, plowing through all those required readings fueled by strong coffee. I can relate to the term-paper deadlines that come way too quickly. I’ve been there and done that.”