When Newley Kartak first got the message from an editor at Cosmopolitan that he was a finalist for the fashion magazine’s 2012 Bachelor of the Year, he thought it was a prank.
Only after realizing it was a New York number did the reality set in, he said. Cosmo recently released its Bachelor of the Year 2012 finalists, one from each state, with Kartak, a BHSU admissions counselor, voted as South Dakota’s bachelor of the year.
“It’s all pretty crazy,” said Kartak, a 2012 Black Hills State University graduate. “To me it’s both funny and humbling. It is a really unique opportunity.”
Kartak found out during graduation weekend in May that his older sister Sammy had nominated him for the honor. However, he wasn’t able to tell anyone until Cosmo’s recent online release of the contest winners. The magazine edition with each state’s top bachelor will be in stands on Oct. 9.
Voting for Cosmo’s top honor of Bachelor of the Year 2012 began on Oct. 1. The contest ends Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6 a.m. EST. The winner receives the title along with $10,000.
There has been a strong push by Kartak’s family and friends to get people to vote. His brother’s girlfriend sent out a mass text message urging everyone to vote, he said. Other family members have spread the word through Facebook. However, Kartak will likely stay away from campaigning for himself.
“I have a hard time promoting myself like that,” he said.
Originally from Colome, S.D., Kartak graduated from BHSU in May with a degree in corporate communications and communication arts with an emphasis in graphic design.
He can now add South Dakota’s Bachelor of the Year to his long list of accomplishments. While at BHSU was on the Student Senate and served as a University Presidential Student Ambassador where he held the position of president for two years. In 2010, Kartak was named BHSU homecoming king. He was also active on the BHSU rodeo team.
Even as a student, Kartak was an entrepreneur. He started his own business during his sophomore year at BHSU after being inspired by class projects. His business, Busted K beadwork produces hand crafted beaded belts and other merchandise.
“I took a class my freshman year, Traditional Lakota Art, where I learned how to bead. I was told I was a natural. I made a belt for myself and my sister wanted one. It kind of grew from there.” He is now in business with his sister Becca.
He advertises through Facebook and word of mouth, and now has three people working for him here. His sister Becca also gets a few orders a month.
“It has definitely grown bigger than I ever thought it would,” he said. He also has a photography business which he hopes to concentrate more on this winter.
In whatever free time he has, Kartak uses his talent and creativity to build furniture with material from old barns or decks. He has custom-made end tables, desks, a beading table and a head board and bed frame. “
Kartak enjoys his current occupation as a BHSU admissions counselor. “I love working in the admissions office, being with the students, being in higher education and learning. “ Kartak has spent most of the fall traveling to college fairs talking about all the opportunities BHSU has to offer. Newley meets with many prospective students in his role as a admissions counselor. He is focusing on increasing the number of students from Lawrence County, all of Colorado and students returning to BHSU. He is also an advisor to the Yellow Jacket Delegates, a student organization of current students who share their knowledge and experiences with prospective students.
His selection as the South Dakota bachelor for Cosmo magazine includes a trip to New York City. Kartak, along with the other bachelor finalists, will have a media tour from Oct. 17-19, including spots on Good Morning America and the Today Show. “It’s crazy. I always wanted to go to New York.”
People can check out Kartak’s Cosmo interview and cast a vote by going to
Check out Newley's radio interview on SDPB's Dakota Midday
Watch Newley in Keenie Word's music video for her song "New Girl."