We recently interviewed Kristal Running Wolf, an Environmental Physical Science major, about her experiences here at Black Hills State University.
Q: Why did you choose BHSU?
A: I'm originally from Spearfish and I wanted to get my general education classes out of the way, but as I started getting all my classes taken care of, I really fell in love with BHSU. The school is small enough that I really bonded with the faculty and staff. The size of the student population allows me to know almost everyone on campus. I enjoy the locale of the University. I can go rock climbing after class, kayaking in the hills, or hiking on the scenic trails.
Q: Why did you choose Environmental Physical Science?
A: I had tried out several different majors before settling on Environmental Physical Science. Although the other majors were quite fascinating, they never seemed to be my niche. Finally, I took Physical Geology as an elective and fell in love with the class. The next semester, I took more geology classes and discovered this was the place for me!
Environmental Physical Science allows me to foster my love of the outdoors, along with my fascination of science. When I go for a hike or go rock climbing, I am not only enjoying the outdoors--I can take what I've learned in the classroom and apply it to everyday activities.
Q: What is the most beneficial aspect of the Environmental Physical Science program?
A: The location is perfect for the Environmental Physical Science program. We are located in the Black Hills, which is a prime location to come and learn about different formations. We have excellent faculty who can really relate to the students, which allows for greater growth in learning.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school for either Environmental Engineering or Environmental Sciences. I would love to work for the United States Geological Survey or The South Dakota Department of Natural Resources. I have so many interests that no matter what I do, I know I will be a tremendous success and will be more than happy to do it.
Q: What have your experiences outside the BHSU classrooms been like?
A: It's always easier to handle the hard classes when you have a variety of hobbies outside of the classroom. Since I've been in college I have taken up guitar, knitting, rock climbing, kayaking, jewelry making, hiking, photography, snowboarding, and anything else I can get my hands on! I've also learned to speak French and German. You really need to have some different interests so you don't go crazy only doing homework.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give incoming freshman?
A: You're not in high school anymore. Enjoy yourself, be yourself, take things lightly and always be happy. The choices you make today will be the choices that will affect you in the future. Find a professor that you can connect with--they can be your greatest asset to what you want to do later in life.