BHSU News & Events

College of Liberal Arts

Literature’s favorite quirky inquisitor takes on a new mystery – his own – in Black Hills State University’s holiday production Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol.  The show runs from Thursday, Nov. 39 through Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Woodburn Theatre on the BHSU campus.


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Limited tickets are still available for the holiday event presented by the University’s Chamber Singers Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Clare and Josef Meier Hall.  Saturday evening is sold out; however, seating is available for the Thursday and Sunday performances. Tickets cost $40. Reservations are required. Call 642-6133 or email Terri.Bjorum@BHSU.edu for reservations. Please specify any dietary needs such as vegetarian meals or nut allergies when making reservations.

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Two Black Hills State University students now have items in their portfolio that few students, or even accomplished photographers, can tout. Becca Gage and Daniel Merchen, who both work in the marketing office at Black Hills State University, took photographs that are featured on new billboards and displays promoting the 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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Black Hills State University mass communication students recently got a glimpse into the global world of news media during a round table conversation with 20 international journalists.

The journalists who represented14 different Middle Eastern countries traveled to Rapid City through the Dacotah Territory International Visitor Program. DTIVP is one of 100 community-based Councils for International Visitors funded by the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program. Distinguished professionals from all over the world are invited to participate in exchange programs providing the opportunity to visit various cities across the United States and meet colleagues in their chosen field.


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Black Hills State University theatre will present the South Dakota premier of the play, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Woodburn Theatre on the BHSU campus.

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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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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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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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For a while, the third floor of Black Hills State University's Woodburn Hall looked like a scene out of Disney Pixar’s movie "A Bug’s Life.” Unusual bug creations lined the hallway each one as unique as the students in BHSU instructor Ann Porter’s art class.

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A photograph by Black Hills State University professor of photography Steve Babbitt is on exhibit at the San Diego Art Institute after being selected as one of the top 200 photographs in the eighth annual Art of Photography Show, an international competition and exhibition.

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Photographers Forum Magazine chose 13 Black Hills State University photography students as finalists in the 32nd Annual College Photographers Competition. BHSU photography students selected in this year’s competition include: Anthony Petrone, Emily Reidman, Michael Wentworth, Dawn Adkins, Ian Craig, Andrew Rexroad, Linda Admundson, Amanda Goetz, Brooke Geier, Chris Yushta, Cory Schultz, Tamera Allen, and Tracy Spaans.

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