News & Events

International traveler and former BMX biker named Swarm King and Queen at BHSU

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, September 27, 2019/Categories: Events, Students, College of Business and Natural Sciences, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, College of Liberal Arts, Home News, 2019

Josh Vaith of Scotland, S.D., and Rachael Hopperdietzel of Rapid City were named Homecoming King and Queen Sept. 26 during the Swarm Week festivities at Black Hills State University.

Vaith is majoring in professional accountancy and business administration – economics and finance. Hopperdietzel is a psychology and communication students major. Both serve on the Campus Activities Board, a student-run organization which plans and hosts a variety of entertainment including, lectures, musical and cultural events, and large-scale activities for the campus and surrounding community.

Former vice president of Student Senate at BHSU, Vaith is a recognized student leader working as a Student Technology Fellow and a peer advisor for the College of Business and Natural Sciences. He participated in the International Service-Learning Program at BHSU where he worked at a school in Botswana, Africa with fellow BHSU students. Living up to his academic major, Vaith says he enjoys “Excel spreadsheets and databases,” and hiking in Spearfish Canyon.

Hopperdietzel currently serves on Student Senate and is a senior resident assistant in Humbert Residence Hall. She is also a research assistant for a health psychology laboratory on campus. Hopperdietzel was the first female in South Dakota to be nationally-ranked in BMX racing. She enjoys being outside rollerblading, longboarding, or biking and continues to be passionate about hockey, having played for the Rushmore Thunder in high school. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in industrial organizational psychology.

Candidates for Swarm Days King included: Elijah Bush, political science major from Box Elder Hayes Chohon; music education major from Ainsworth, Neb.; Kyle Schluttner, business administration-economics and finance major from Tea; Cody Swenson, special education major from Hayti;

Candidates for Swarm Days Queen included: Carissa Deming, music major from Newcastle, Wyo.; Molly Graesser, exercise science major from Gregory; Amber Jensen, elementary education major from Lusk, Wyo.; Rachel Kremer, elementary education major from Billings, Mont.

The theme of this year’s Swarm Week is “There’s No Place Like Homecoming.” Swarm Week festivities continue Friday, Sept. 27 with the Alumni Awards Luncheon, the Yellow Jacket Hall of Fame Banquet, volleyball vs. Colorado State University – Pueblo, and the Homecoming Dance.

Saturday the Swarm Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center parking lot. The Parade will proceed down St. Joe Street, Jackson Blvd. and then Main Street. Community members are invited to a tailgate social at 11 a.m. at Ida Henton Park. The Swarm Day football game vs. Fort Lewis begins at 1 p.m. at Lyle Hare Stadium followed by volleyball vs. New Mexico Highlands at 5:30 p.m. at the Young Center.

For a full schedule of Swarm Week activities, go to

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