BHSU News & Events

College of Business and Natural Sciences

Dr. Megan Burke,a civil engineer with RESPEC Consulting & Services in Rapid City, speaks with a group of local high school juniors and seniors during the recent Lab Coats and Business Entrepreneurship event held at Black Hills State University.

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With 98 percent of 18-24-year-olds utilizing some sort of social media wouldn’t it be beneficial to integrate those tools into higher education learning? That question is one among many that three Black Hills State University professors have set out to answer.  Their cutting edge research on social media use in the classroom has been selected for an international conference.

Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, assistant professor of mass communications, Gina Gibson, assistant professor of digital media, and Dr. Barbara Looney, assistant professor of management, have been studying the benefits of integrating social media into classroom instruction to enhance learning. David Henry, BHSU senior finance and economics major, also helped with the research.


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Dr. Katrina Jensen, Black Hills State University assistant professor of chemistry, and two undergraduate chemistry students, are working on a research project that could lead to the development of less expensive solar cells.

The BHSU professor and two students Samantha Petit, chemistry and environmental physical science major from Belle Fourche, and Dylan Dobbs, chemistry major from Hot Springs,  are currently working on a project looking at options on the molecular level that might increase efficiency  of solar cells.


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Faculty and students from Black Hills State University’s Integrative Genomics program recently presented their research at the 10th annual Ecological Genomics symposium in Kansas City, Mo. Jake Alsdurf, graduate student, and Tayler Ripley,junior biology major, presented their work on drought-induced transgenerational effects in plants.

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Elise Foltz has always liked working with numbers, but it wasn’t until she took her first accounting class at Black Hills State University did she realize where her true career path lay.

Now, thanks to a $6,800 scholarship from the South Dakota Certified Public Accountant Society(SD CPA) Foltz is in her final year and will graduate from the professional accountancy program in May.


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Black Hills State University faculty and staff are transforming lives and making headlines with their achievements.

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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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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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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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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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The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) at Black Hills State University has partnered with the CPA firm Casey Peterson and Associates, Ltd., to bring a 10-week webinar series, “Quick Lessons on QuickBooks.” A one-hour webinar will be held every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MST/11 a.m. to noon CST. There are five remaining sessions.

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Black Hills State University senior David Henry has found his voice on a national business blog. For the past two months,the finance and economics major has penned three articles for the Motley Fool blog, a national site that offers news analysis and commentary for investors of all kinds.

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The registration deadline for the DDN Class Start Right: Build Your Own Business has been extended to Oct. 11. The class, sponsored by the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity (SD CEO) at Black Hills State University, has partnered with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Black Hills (CCCS/BH) to offer the class via DDN at the following locations: Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota State University, University of South Dakota, and the University Center-Sioux Falls.

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Nearly 200 Black Hills State University students, alumni and community members explored career opportunities offered by more than 40 companies and organizations at the University’s annual Fall Career Fair.

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SPEARFISH … Elise Foltz always knew she wanted to go into public accounting. However, the Black Hills State University senior now has a better idea of the day-to-day life she will soon be living as an accountant.  

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BHSU In the News

Black Hills State University faculty, staff, and students are transforming lives and making headlines with their achievements. See what BHSU is in the news for lately. Email CampusCurrents@bhsu.edu or call 605.642.6215 to share your news item.