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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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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 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 Black Hills State University photography student Rianna Hotz, her print “Domiciliary Stairwell” holds special meaning and now has received international recognition. Taken at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Hot Springs,it depicts a stairwell hidden away from the busyness of the medical center’s daily routine.

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When Newley Kartak first got the message from an editor at Cosmopolitan that he was a finalist for the fashion magazine’s 2012 Bachelor of the Year, he thought it was a prank.
Only after realizing it was a New York number did the reality set in, he said. Cosmo recently released its Bachelor of the Year 2012 finalists, one from each state, with Kartak, a BHSU admissions counselor, voted as South Dakota’s bachelor of the year.

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Black Hills State University will host its sixth annual Art Fair Wednesday, Oct. 10 and Thursday, Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the David B. Miller...

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Dr. Symeon Waseen, Black Hills State University music professor, will perform one of his personal compositions with American pianist Stephen Swedish during a recital Saturday in the Clare and Josef Meier Recital Hall. The program, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will include Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” with string players from the Black Hills region, along with selections including Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse and Dialogues written by Waseen.

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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.