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BHSU faculty recognized for outstanding teaching, research and service

The following Black Hills State University faculty were presented with awards for Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service. From left, Chris McCart, Outstanding Service; Ignatius Cahyanto, Outstanding Research; Eric Clapham, Outstanding Teaching; Gina Gibson, Outstanding Teaching; Dan Swenson, Outstanding Service; Cynthia Anderson, Outstanding Service; and Ahrar Ahmad, Outstanding Research. Not pictured: Susan Dana, Outstanding Teaching and Greg Cooch, Outstanding Research.

Nine faculty from Black Hills State University were recognized with Outstanding Teaching, Research and Service awards during a faculty welcome week.

Three faculty from each of BHSU’s three colleges, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Business and Natural Sciences, were selected for the honors.

“The awards recognize outstanding performance and dedication to students and the University during the past year,” said Rod Custer, BHSU provost.

Those recognized were:

College of Education and Behavioral Sciences:

·         Teaching - Dr. Eric Clapham, assistant professor of psychology, School of Behavioral Sciences: Dr. Pat Simpson, Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, said Clapham creates a learning environment that encourages student involvement, utilizes real life examples to highlight course concepts and applies knowledge to unique situations. Simpson added that he volunteers to hold tutoring sessions outside of scheduled class time and administers mid-semester teaching evaluations.

·         Research - Dr. Greg Cooch, professor of special education, School of Education: Cooch was selected for his research projects addressing the performance outcomes of children who receive special education services during school. Cooch’s research has looked long-term at what former students have been doing once the school-provided special education services ended. The U.S. Department of Education approved the grant to run through at least December 2016, continuing Cooch’s research.

·         Service – Dr. Chris McCart, assistant professor of outdoor education, School of Behavioral Sciences: McCart is involved in Project SELECT hosting teambuilding and ropes courses and the Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program where she holds activities including canoe trips and outdoor cooking demonstrations. She has assisted with Kids’ Fishing Day at Iron Creek Lake and the Fifth Grade Science Day in the canyon, among many other events. In addition, McCart serves on the School of Behavioral Sciences Internship Committee and both the Sustainability Committee and Chiesman Committee at the University level.

College of Liberal Arts

·         Teaching - Gina Gibson, associate professor of digital communication, School of Arts and Humanities: According to Dr. David Wolff, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Gibson brings enthusiasm and expertise to the classroom, using an interactive approach to teaching. Last spring, several of Gibson’s students received ADDY Awards, a regional competition from the American Advertising Federation. Gibson advises 70 students in addition to working with honors students and those seeking internships.

·         Research - Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, political science professor, School of Math and Social Sciences: Ahmad reviewed two book manuscripts and six articles for various publishers and wrote six book reviews for scholarly publication. He also served as the chair and discussant on three panels at scholarly conferences. Ahmad co-authored five chapters and rewrote two other chapters in Government and Politics in South Asia. His work also was published in Asian Survey and the Foreign Policy Research Center Journal.

·         Service - Dr. Dan Swenson, assistant professor of mathematics, School of Math and Social Sciences: Over the past year, Swenson served on the Jonas Science Redesign Committee, the College Curriculum Committee, the Honor’s Advisory Council, several Search and Screen Committees, and the statewide Mathematics Discipline Council. He also chaired the Mathematics Scholarship Committee, advised the BHSU Math Club and was president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Swenson is the co-organizer of the Black Hills Math Circle, a group that inspires young mathematicians in the region.


College of Business and Natural Sciences

·         Teaching - Dr. Susan Dana, professor of law, School of Business: Dr. Priscilla Romkema recognized Dana for providing consistent, quality experiences to students at BHSU. Romkema said that Dana presents lesson plans in an engaging, thought provoking and challenging manner. Regardless the topic or the level of difficulty, Dana has the ability to deliver the information in a way students can understand, said Romkema.

·         Research - Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality management, School of Business: Cahyanto is known for his research on the effect the mountain pine beetle infestation has had on South Dakota tourism. Along with student research assistants, Cahyanto has spent several months conducting a study examining the perception of the tourism business in regards to the infestation. He was also one of 17 tourism experts featured in WalletHub’s recent study examining the Best & Worst Cities for Summer Travel. His manuscript, “An Empirical Evaluation of the Determinants of Tourist’s Hurricane Evacuation Decision Making,” was published in the Journal of Destination Marketing and Management. His article, “Wildfires and Tourist Behaviors in Florida,” was accepted for publication in Tourism Management.

·         Service - Dr. Cynthia Anderson, assistant professor of biology, School of Natural Sciences: Anderson is the associate director for WestCore, program coordinator for SD BRIN, and chair of the Institutional Review Board and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. In addition she has served on three University committees, was involved in community interaction and served her discipline in a number of capacities.

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