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Helen Merriman,director of the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) at Black Hills State University, was among 29 community members and business leaders recently selected to serve as honorary commanders for the 28thBomb Wing at the Ellsworth Air Force Base.

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On Sunday, Dr. Priscilla Romkema will run her 16th marathon. But this 26.2 mile trek will be unlike any other the Black Hills State University dean of business and natural sciences has done before. She will be running the New York Marathon only days after superstorm Sandy ravaged the East Coast leaving millions without power,disrupting public transportation, and flooding streets and homes.

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It’s the unique way humankind and nature collide that most inspires Black Hills State University  professor of photography Steve Babbitt’s photos

“I rarely take photos of just landscapes. My most successful photos are ones where men and nature come together in an unusually ironic or humorous way,” said Babbitt.  His photo “Out House” depicts that.  The photograph is currently on display at the first juried exhibition at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls.


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Katie Anderson, South Dakota Teacher of the Year, had surprise guests in her East Middle School 8th grade science class yesterday. “Sting” the Black Hills State University mascot and Tom Wheaton, director of Alumni Relations, showed up to present Anderson, a BHSU alumna, with a congratulations gift for her achievement.

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Amy Varland‘s resume is a colorful one. She’s been a tour guide at Walt Disney World, a travel agent, a television production assistant, a golf course manager; she’s a licensed bail bond agent and certified to officiate wedding ceremonies. In May, the Black Hills State University student found her true calling.

Varland, a Mass Communication major with a Spanish minor, took the advice of her college professor, Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, and applied for a summer internship with South Dakota Public Broadcasting.  Now, several months later, Varland is still with SDPB working part time from a little makeshift recording studio from the living room of her Lead home.


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The Black Hills State University Community Band will present a fall concert on Monday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall on the BHSU Campus.

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For many scientists, engineers and researchers, producing an innovative idea is the easy part. Articulating that idea in a business language; however, can prove difficult. 

Barbara Zwetzig, director for the Center for Business, Entrepreneurship & Tourism at Black Hills State University, recently received training and certification as a coach for Wendy Kennedy’s “So What? Who Cares? Why You?” methodology, a proven system to find the business value inside innovation.


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Earlier this month, Black Hills State University graduate Chase Adams left the sprawling countryside of the Midwest for a new urban lifestyle in Washington,D.C. However, Adams did not abandon his agricultural background; instead, he is using it to advocate on a national level.

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When East Middle School science teacher Katie Anderson walked into school last Monday, she had a special announcement for her students – the Black Hills State University alumna had been voted South Dakota’s Teacher of the Year.

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A QuickBooks training for advanced users will be held at the University Center- Rapid City, Friday, Nov. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Computer Lab 106.

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A QuickBooks training for beginners will be held at the Chamberlain Elementary School on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A QuickBooks training for advanced users will be held at the Chamberlain Elementary School on Friday, Nov. 16 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both seminars will be held in the PAWS Classroom.

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Black Hills State University’s high percentage of Native American students prompted Boulder, Colo., resident Joscelyn Blumenthal to donate $10,000 to establish an endowment fund that will be used for scholarships for Native American students.

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Four concerts featuring a variety of musical styles performed by student and faculty vocal and instrumental ensembles will be presented by the Black Hills State University music program this fall. All concerts are in the Josef and Clare Meier Recital Hall.

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The garden located at the southwest corner of Black Hills State University’s Life Sciences Laboratory is different from others in the area.  BHSU professors Dr. Ben VanEe and Dr. Dan Asunskis hope that will change. The two science professors worked throughout the summer developing a native plant ethnobotanical garden on campus. Native plant landscaping, including Buffalo grass, is a part of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) for the University’s new Life Sciences Laboratory which opened in February. The David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union is also a LEED certified building. Both buildings are part of BHSU’s commitment to sustainability.

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Well-known poet and former classroom teacher Taylor Mali used humorous, and sometimes dramatic,verse to tell the story of his life and appreciation of educators to more than 200 people at the Black Hills State University Meier Recital Hall.


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