BHSU-RC speakers to explore Islam, effects of pine beetles on business during April lecture series

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, March 31, 2016/Categories: 2016

  • Dr. Denice Turner, professor of education at BHSU
  • Dr. David Wolff, professor emeritus at BHSU
  • Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management at BHSU
  • Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, professor emeritus at BHSU
Black Hills State University-Rapid City presents the final four presentations of its community lecture series this month, a line-up sure to offer new perspectives in health, history, business, and religion.

Topics this month include life-writing and wellbeing, violence on the Black Hills mining frontier, pine beetle tourism and business perceptions, and the image of Islam.

Lectures are held each Monday in April at 6:30 p.m. in room 112 at BHSU-RC. The lectures are free and open to the public.

Dr. Denice Turner, professor of education at BHSU and published author, will present "Tasting Life Twice: On Life-Writing and Wellbeing" April 4. As a memoirist, Turner studied American biography and then tried it herself as a therapeutic method in her book "Worthy."

"Life-writing is a way you can be more reflective about what's happening in your own life. It can be fun to keep a journal, but there are also documented health benefits to using writing to heal and work through difficult life events," said Turner.

Dr. David Wolff, professor emeritus at BHSU, will share his research on "Violence and Death on the Black Hills Mining Frontier" April 11. Wolff says the Black Hills and Deadwood have a reputation of being very violent, and he hopes to share the facts and history about this transformative time in local history.

"From native-white encounters, how the Black Hills were involved in the Great Sioux War, stage coach robberies, and vigilante hangings, I'll address how the locations of violence changed over time, who the perpetrators were, and why the violence occurred," said Wolff.

On April 18 Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management at BHSU, will share his research on "Mountain Pine Beetle and Tourism Business Perceptions." Cahyanto says his research began because of the growing concerns of businesses wanting to help area visitors make informed decisions as tourists regarding the pine beetle's impact on the area.

"When we discuss pine beetles in the Black Hills, we tend to focus on residents and land owners, but what about the perceptions of business and tourism businesses especially?" asked Cahyanto. "Visitors don't ask the state about pine beetles, they'll ask the hotel, or their waiter. In an area like the Black Hills where tourism is such a large industry, the business perception is important."

Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, professor emeritus at BHSU, closes the lecture series April 25 with "Islam's Troubled Image: Some Reflections, Some Clarifications," a presentation Ahmad hopes will provide perspective on the negative perceptions about Islam in the western world.

"This discussion is particularly relevant today in the context of the misunderstandings about Islam and the increasing awkwardness in the relationship between Islamic countries and the West," said Ahmad.
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