Black Hills State University honored 12 retiring faculty and staff members during the Employee Recognition Reception held on campus recently. Altogether, this year’s retirees gave approximately 185 years of service to the University.
A tree will be planted on campus in honor of each retiree. They also received a historical framed print of BHSU, a discount at the University Bookstore, a complimentary lifetime activity card for admission to University events, and a gift certificate for Killian’s Tavern provided by Killian’s and the BHSU Foundation.
This year’s retirees include:
Dr. Cynthia Chandler: Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education, 14 years of service
Dr. Cindy Chandler joined the faculty of the School of Education in 2004 as an associate professor of early childhood education. Cindy has provided strong leadership to the early childhood program through her teaching and mentorship of students. In addition to early childhood education she taught children’s literature and a graduate course in language arts for the MSCI reading specialist program. Cindy loves books, quilting, horses and dogs. Following her retirement, she plans to continue rescuing and fostering animals in need. She is also looking forward to being a full-time grandmother of eight perfect grandchildren.
Mary Cooper: Instructor, Reading, 9 years of service
Mary Cooper has served the School of Education since 2009 teaching courses in reading and practicum in the methods block. Prior to joining the faculty, she taught in the Spearfish public schools for 24 years, which has served her very well in preparing BHSU students to become teachers. Mary is an excellent teacher, mentor, and valuable liaison to the public schools. Mary was the recipient of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences 2015 outstanding teaching award. She is an accomplished golfer and plans to become even better during her retirement.
Cindy Crago: Senior Secretary, Registrar, 4 years of service
After retiring from the VA Black Hills Health Care System, Cindy joined the Registrar’s staff in December of 2013. Stepping into her role as Senior Secretary was an easy transition and she immediately made the office a better place to work. Her cheerful and caring demeanor spread quickly to others and she gained many friends in the BHSU community. Being one of the first contacts for incoming students, she eased their transition and calmed their anxiety about the new venture for which they were about to embark. Cindy and her husband Russ are making plans to travel across the United States in their motor home. We wish them well as they begin a new chapter in their lives.
Rob Houdek: Director, Business Services & Controller, 30 years of service
Rob Houdek retired from BHSU in September 2017 after 10 years of service to the University. Rob began his work with the State of South Dakota as an auditor in the Department of Legislative Audit in 1982. After 6 years, he moved to SDSM&T where he held the positions of Assistant Controller, Controller, Director of Business Services, and Director of Administrative Services. In 1999, Rob moved to an Internal Auditor position with the South Dakota Board of Regents. After a brief hiatus from working for the State of SD, Rob began his employment at BHSU in February 2007 as Associate Controller. He was promoted to Director of Business Services/Controller shortly thereafter. Rob brought a friendly face and calm demeanor to the Business Office and helped countless faculty and staff accomplish their business during his tenure
Susan Hupp: Director, Student Support Services, 15 years of service
Susan Hupp has served university students for 39 years in a variety of positions in Admissions, Housing, Financial Aid and Student Support Services. Susan finishes her career retiring as the Director of Student Support Services at BHSU. Her support of students has extended into her work with the St. Joseph Parish and the Newman Center in Spearfish. As an active member of ASPIRE (Association of Special Programs in Region Eight) & COE (Council for Opportunity Education) at the regional and national levels, Susan has advocated for first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities throughout her career. She also has had an active leadership role in the American Business Women’s Association. In 2017, Susan received the BHSU Community Service Award. This award hallmarks Susan’s attitude about and service to students. Susan joins her husband, Terry Hupp, in retirement to enjoy their grandchildren.
Terry Hupp: Manager, Instructional Technology Services, 16 years of service
Terry Hupp began his career at BHSU in November 2001 as an Instructional Designer. In July 2007, he was promoted to Instructional Technologist and in July 2008, he was appointed Manager, Instructional Technology Services. Prior to coming to Black Hills State University he had been at Chadron State College for 17 years and 4 years in several institutions in North Dakota. Some of the highlights of his career at BHSU are upgrading all classrooms with multi-media equipment; migrating from WebCT to D2L and providing support to students and faculty; overseeing BHSU-RC design, installation and support of classrooms and video services; and managing STF’s since 2005. He has received numerous awards and recognitions both on campus and in the community.
Dr. Timothy Martinez: Professor, Political Science, 26 years of service
Dr. Tim Martinez has served as Professor of Political Science at BHSU since 1992. He teaches courses in early, modern, and contemporary political philosophy, American politics and government, public administration, governments of the world, judicial process, U.S. constitutional law, state and local government, presidency and Congress, Latin American history and politics. He has numerous publications, research, and grants. Tim served as department chair for three years. He is actively involved in professional organizations and outreach. Tim helped establish the Great Plains Political Science Association (founded in 1997). For 18 years he has provided assistance to the award winning Spearfish High School “We the People” student competitors. He has a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University, a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University.
Dr. Kathleen Matthew: Professor, Science Teacher Education, 9 years of service
Dr. Kathleen Matthew has taught for 40 years, with 28 of those years in higher education. She joined the faculty of BHSU’s School of Education in 2009. Kathleen is a full professor who teaches science education. Throughout her career, Kathleen has been active as an author, teacher, professional development provider and Chair of the School of Education. In her retirement years, Kathleen is looking forward to spending time traveling to strange and exotic places, quilting, and visiting her sons.
Sue McGrath: Instructor, Education, 10 years of service
Sue McGrath joined the School of Education faculty in 2001 after 26 years as a teacher in public schools. Sue’s focus has been in the areas of reading and assessment, concentrating on preparing students for the elementary school classrooms. At the start of the 2017-2018 school year, Sue was awarded the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences outstanding teaching award. During her retirement, Sue is looking forward to spending time with her three grandchildren, traveling with her husband, volunteering, and improving her golf game.
Helen Nessan-Merriman: Director, SD CEO, 8 years of service
Helen Merriman served as the founding director of the SD CEO, the only women’s business center in South Dakota, since its opening in 2009. Under her leadership, SD CEO flourished and participation grew to over 1,400, in 50 counties statewide. Her determination and considerable outreach combined with her dedication and energy created new opportunities for SD CEO and its participants. Prior to joining the staff at BHSU, Helen and her husband Roger operated a commercial printing business for 24 years. Helen also previously served as communications and development director for Catholic Social Services, as a sales manager for two regional publications, as a coordinator of social services for a long-term care facility and in leading both non-profit and for-profit entities. Helen, originally from the Sioux Falls area, earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern State University. She lives in Spearfish with her husband, has two adult step children, six grandchildren, and two great grandsons.
Ann Porter: Professor, Art, 15 years of service
Ann Porter, Associate Professor of Art, began teaching at BHSU in the fall of 2003. She has taught a broad range of classes, from art history to sculpture to drawing to art and technology. Ann earned her BA at Reed College in Portland Oregon and her MFA in Sculpture at Washington State University in 2002. She has taught at North Idaho College, Washington State University and was a commercial art director and illustrator. She is a contemporary artist who works in a variety of materials, including painted and fired stained glass, video monitors, altered video stills and cast polychrome sculpture. Over the years, Ann has had a number of solo exhibits and has also been involved in many juried and invitational shows, both regionally and nationally. She was also a freelance designer in the areas of jewelry, printing, illustration, as well as screen-printing and embroidery.
Dr. Warren Wilson, Chief Information Technology Officer/Director of Libraries, 27 years of service
Dr. Warren Wilson has served as the Chief Information Officer for Black Hills State University and Executive Director of the South Dakota Library Network since 2007. Wilson is active on a number of regional and national organizations and has served as co-investigator on several significant library automation and technology related grants. Warren was recently honored with the “Friend of the Library” award from the South Dakota Library Association. Prior to joining the staff at BHSU, Warren worked for the South Dakota Board of Regents as Director of the Regents Information Systems. He also worked for nine years leading technology initiatives at the University of Wyoming. Warren holds an Ed.D. from the University of South Dakota, an M.B.A. from the University of Iowa, and a B.S. from Monmouth College. Warren is looking forward to traveling and spending more time with his family.