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With more than 25 years of education experience, Sandy Klarenbeek’s list of accomplishments is extensive. The Black Hills State University health professor can now add 2012 South Dakota Association Health,Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (SDAHPERD) College Teacher of the year to that list.


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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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For Black Hills State University graduate Jake Miller, it’s not only the science behind genetic diseases that he’s passionate about, it’s the faces behind these diseases.

“As a researcher, you see these families and how this disease affects their lives – it’s really powerful to see that,” he said. Miller recently returned to BHSU to discuss his research with BHSU students and faculty.


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Black Hills State University has been ranked among the 2013 Best for Vets four-year colleges. The list, put out by Military Times, ranks the schools based on surveys sent in by the universities.

BHSU was ranked in the top 70 schools in the nation that are deemed best for Vets based on a survey that demonstrated widespread efforts by schools to accommodate vets and active-duty service members.


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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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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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Margaret Wengert dedicated her life to educating and promoting the importance of music and the arts. Wengert, who died in February, now leaves a legacy that will help others follow her same path.  

Black Hills State University  recently announced  a gift of $54,000 from Wengert for music and art scholarships.


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More than 40 Black Hills State University students joined millions nationwide in giving back to their community on the recent national Make A Difference Day.

From going door to door to collect food for the food pantry and cleaning up the city park to volunteering with the local Humane Society and Salvation Army, the BHSU students donated 120 hours of their time to provide helping hands to various organizations around Spearfish.


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A group of Black Hills State University international students recently took local elementary students on a journey around the world through the pages of well-known children’s books.

The BHSU students spent two nights this month at local elementary schools reading to students and families in the language of their home country. The events were part of Meade School District’s “Reading Around the World” family engagement nights. Nearly 500 students, parents, family members and school personnel attended the two events.


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More than 20 million men and women will be honored this week for their service to this country. One of those is Black Hills State University senior Karen Berger. BHSU will honor veterans Wednesday at the University’s newly established Vets’ Center.

Berger, an outdoor education major, recently returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan with the 842nd National Guard Engineer Company of Spearfish, Belle Fourche and Sturgis.


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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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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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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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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.