Volume XXIV No. 34 • Aug. 25, 2000

Submit items to Campus Currents - Top

The Campus Currents is distributed every Friday. If you would like to include an item in the newsletter send it to Campus Currents, Unit 9512 or by e-mail to Campus Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 8 a.m.

Faculty in-service begins Monday - Top

It’s that time of year again. A new semester is upon us at BHSU and faculty in-service activities are scheduled for Aug. 28-Sept. 1. Following is an overview of the schedule.

Monday, Aug. 28
New faculty members will meet in the Student Union multipurpose room beginning at 8 a.m. Speakers include Dr. Lyle Cook, vice president for academic affairs; Anita Haeder, human resource officer; Dr. Ben Sayler, director for the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education; Kristi Pearce, faculty development coordinator, and April Meeker, director of records.

Tuesday, Aug. 29
All faculty and staff are invited to the Student Union Multipurpose Room for the President Thomas Flickema’s "State of the University" address. This will be followed by a presentation by Dr. Robert Barr titled "Making the Shift from Teaching to Learning in Higher Education." The annual university picnic will be that evening beginning at 5 p.m. at the city park.


Wednesday, Aug. 30
Dr. Lyle Cook will introduce new faculty and staff and present a general education update. The afternoon will feature four breakout sessions. Participants may choose from the following topics – retirement, promotion and tenure, computer information for faculty and instructional technology update.

Thursday, Aug. 24
College and departmental meetings are set for Thursday from 9 a.m.–noon. A grants workshop will be presented by Sheela M. Schermetzler beginning at 1 p.m. in Jonas 110.

Faculty photographs will be taken from 1:30-3 p.m. in Jonas 307.

Friday, Sept. 1
The Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education will host an open house from 8:30 –9:30 a.m. followed by an open house at the E.Y. Berry Library Learning Center from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

The President’s Cup Golf Classic will be held at the Spearfish Canyon Country Club at noon. All faculty and staff are invited to participate.

Barr will present during in-service - Top

Historically, faculty development plays an important part in-service week. This year's presenter is Dr. Robert Barr who will present "Making the Shift from Teaching to Learning in Undergraduate Education" Aug. 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Barr co-authored From Teaching to Learning - A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education which was published in the November/December 1995 edition of AAHE's Change magazine. His perspective has revolutionized the work we do in higher education.  It was this very article which supported the Bush Planning Grant proposal in 1997 to continue the faculty development program for BHSU.

Barr invites dialog with his presentation style. He will outline his rationale for focusing on learning rather than teaching in higher education:

  • Effective undergraduate education needs to produce learning rather than provide instruction.
  • Successful undergraduate education elicits student discovery and construction of knowledge rather than transfer of knowledge from teacher to student.
  • Meaningful undergraduate education creates learner-empowered environments rather than instruction-driven courses.
  • And then, he will discuss how this change is grounded in current learning theory. With his facilitation, BHSU will examine how:
  • Knowledge exists in each person's mind and is shaped by individual experience.
  • Learning is a nesting and interaction of frameworks; it is cooperative, collaborative, and supportive.

Finally, he will talk about when faculty are learners …

  • Faculty need to become designers of learning methods and learning environments.
  • Faculty and students need to work together.
  • Technology offers one of the most useful ways to make the shift from teaching to learning.

For more information about this presentation contact Kristi Pearce.


Grants specialist to speak at BHSU - Top

Faculty and staff are invited to a great opportunity to attend a grant writing workshop conducted by Sheela M. Schermetzler Thursday, Aug. 31, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Jonas 110.

Schermetzler has been the administrative grants specialist for Campbell County, Wyo., for the past six years. Previously, as director of continuing education for the Gillette Campus, she administered the statewide Mine Safety Health Administration grant, and the Job Training Partnership Act grant. During her tenure at the county, she has assisted county departments in receiving grant funds totaling over $16 million dollars.

Her efforts have been described in the Denver Post and Gillette News-Record. She was named one of the "Ten Who Make A Difference" by the Gillette News-Record in 

1999. She holds an education specialist (Ed. S.) degree from the University of Wyoming. To complete this degree, she surveyed the community and reported her findings in a report, "Practical Methods and Techniques for Recruiting Senior Adult Volunteers." She also holds a master of arts degree in education and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and biology. Schermetzler has been gaining knowledge and skills in fund raising and attends the National Society of Fundraising Executives Annual Conferences. She has offered workshops in the states of Wyoming and New Mexico.

Dan Farrington, grants director said, "We will all benefit from Sheela’s experience and perspective, and this will be a fine opportunity for us to gain new skills in grant writing."

 A workbook developed specifically for BHSU will be provided.

Faculty and staff picnic set - Top

 The annual Black Hills State University faculty and staff picnic will be Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. at the Spearfish City Park. 

The menu this year includes boned rainbow trout, new potatoes, 

corn on the cob, pasta salad, dinner rolls, dessert, coffee and lemonade. 

Please purchase tickets at $7 per person at the business office cashier's window by Friday, Aug. 25. 

Contact the institutional advancement office at 6385 for special menu needs. 

Gifford named special projects coordinator  - Top

Dr. Ken Gifford, former head of Western Dakota Vocational Technical Institute, brings a wealth of experience to his new job as special projects coordinator at Black Hills State University.

Taking an early retirement option after 18 years at the Rapid City technology school, Gifford is now working part-time at BHSU to help implement an articulation agreement between the board of regents and the state board of education regarding the bachelor of applied technical science (BATS) degree at BHSU. At its March meeting the board of regents approved a new degree that permits graduates of technical institutes to transfer a total of 64 credit hours toward the completion of a baccalaureate degree at BHSU or South Dakota State University.

"I want to see success in the bachelor’s of applied technology program," said Gifford. "I’ll provide assistance by bringing visibility and credibility to the technology department and BATS program."

He will be working on marketing and building the image of the new degree program.

"I hope to develop collaboration between the two schools, utilizing the faculty and facilities of both to assist students in the industrial technology area. That’s a big challenge," he said.

Gifford says he will be working on collaboration between the two schools involving some grant writing related to the Computer Aided Instruction (CAI) program with six West River school districts. He will be working with BHSU officials attempting to secure a National Science Foundation grant to help fund the delivery of an electronics curriculum to area rural schools through the Internet.

This collaboration is important, says Gifford, as the university and technical school both serve students and are part of the higher education system.

"I’m glad I’m part of a good team effort," he said.

Before becoming director at WDTI in the late 80s, Gifford was director of vocational education in the Rapid City School system from 1982 to 1987. From 1959 to 1982 he held various positions in Sioux Falls as a teacher, supervisor, director of the secondary vocational education (1972-1977) and ultimately, executive director of the South Dakota Advisory Council on Vocational Education (1977-1982).

Gifford earned a bachelor’s degree at SDSU, a master’s degree from Colorado State College, and an Ed.D. degree from the University of Northern Colorado.


O’Connor-Salomon writes book review column  - Top

Kelly A. O'Connor-Salomon, College of Arts and Sciences instructor, is now writing a bi-monthly book review column for the Black Hills Pioneer newspaper.


Her column, "Turning Pages," grew from the book group she organized last year. More information about the group, which meets about once a month, is available at http://www.bhsu.edu/koconnorsalomon/book.html.

BHSU receives $81,000 grant to study walleye and salmon reproduction in Lake Oahe  - Top

For Kelly Stock, a senior biology and chemistry major at Black Hills State University, research problem solving is an exciting challenge especially when anticipated outcomes don’t turn out as expected.

Such was the case when she began working with Dr. Mike Zehfus, BHSU chemistry professor, who wrote an $81,000 research grant from South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks investigating the thiamine influences on reproduction and survival of Lake Oahe walleye and salmon.

It had been suggested that walleye and chinook salmon were deficient in thiamine levels because of a diet of rainbow smelt which contains thiaminase, an enzyme that breaks down thiamine. The result was poor survival rates during natural reproduction and hatchery incubation. The nonnative smelt have become the primary prey of walleye and salmon, thus the concern with thiaminase.

Thiamine deficiency in fish is typically characterized by poor appetite, muscle atrophy, convulsion, instability, loss of equilibrium, hyperexcitability, and death. Also, the embryo mortality rate of salmon and walleye appears to increase with a deficiency of thiamine.

Fish health concerns in Lake Oahe are important because of the economic impact resulting from approximately 300,000 angler trips a year to catch walleye and salmon. Since salmon don’t reproduce there naturally, salmon eggs come from broodfish in the lake. Walleye reproduce naturally in the lake but numbers vary from year to year and from one location to another. Both fish appear to be negatively affected by low thiamine levels. Improving rearing success could dramatically decrease spawning time and costs.

This year, the first year of a five-year study, Stock said they found egg mortality for salmon was where it should be. In past years the mortality rate was higher, but since this is the first year of the study it may change again before the study is complete and they have yet to begin analysis of walleye reproduction. Also, embryo survival fluctuates from year-to-year and varies from one location in the lake to another.

That’s the kind of result that sparked Stock’s interest in research, because it doesn’t always turn out the way it appears to be headed.

"I like problem solving," she said, "It’s rewarding and exciting, particularly when something has gone wrong and I learn to fix it."

She believes ecosystems run in cycles and this year was an anomaly. The salmon appeared to be eating mayfly larvae and not smelt so there wasn’t the anticipated survival problems associated with embryos that were deficient in thiamine. The fact that the smelt population is down considerably this year may have affected the outcome.

Up to this point their research has involved thiamine levels in trout and salmon to help develop their analysis, but their attention will now turn to walleye and smelt.

Analysis and instrumentation are sometimes monotonous, but trouble-shooting and problem solving are rewarding and challenging says Kelly Stock, a senior biology and chemistry major at Black Hills State University. The hands-on excitement of research and seeking solutions to problems that arise find the Rapid City Stevens graduate spending her summer working full time at BHSU doing chemical analysis of thiamine levels in fish. She is one of several students who will be assisting Dr. Mike Zehfus in the research funded by a grant from the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks department.

Zehfus said, "This is the first year of research with walleye; it’s totally new. We will also be doing an analysis of smelt, checking for thiaminase and then begin putting the pieces together."

The study was initiated when Mike Barnes of GF&P asked Zehfus if the university would be interested in analyzing thiamine levels in salmon. The department had noted that as smelt numbers increased thiamine levels in salmon went down as did reproduction rates. The result was a study to determine the influence of thiaminase-containing smelt diets on the reproductive success of Lake Oahe walleye and chinook salmon during hatchery rearing. They would also evaluate possible therapeutic thiamine treatments during the study period.

Stock says she is really enjoying the research and finds it has given her second thoughts about pursuing a medical degree when she graduates. Right now, however, the Rapid City Stevens graduate is having fun getting directly involved in science research working with a fluorescence detector and a High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system.

"It (undergraduate research) will give me a competitive edge when I go to graduate school," said Stock. "I’ll be more productive because I’ve been through the small obstacles."

Zehfus agrees saying, "this is a great opportunity for hands-on research and a source of employment for students. It’s a very applied research, a clear straight-forward application."

The BH chemistry professor noted that as a result of this kind of experience and the contacts made through attending meetings such as those held by the American Fisheries Society this spring in Spearfish, students have a good chance for employment at fish hatcheries.

For fifth-year senior Stock, her plans are to complete a double major in chemistry and biology and graduate next May. Medical school is still her top choice but pure research has opened up a new window of opportunity for her should she have a change of heart.

Grants opportunities announced - Top

Below are the program materials received Aug. 17-23 in the grants office Woodburn 220. For copies of the information, contact our office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to us at grants@mystic.bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art. Various fellowships and deadlines.
  • NSF. Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET). NSF seeks to enhance taxonomic research and help prepare future generations of experts. Through its special competition  in systematic biology, NSF will support competitively reviewed projects that target groups of poorly known organisms for modern monographic research. Due March 1, 2001. NSF 00-140.
  • Grants-in-aid of Research – Sigma Xi. Deadline Oct. 15, 2000. Research awards are made to support scientific investigation in any field. Awards are made payable to the individual recipients. Awards are made in amounts up to a maximum of $1,000 (with an average award of $600) except as noted below in the case of special funds. In the fields of astronomy and eye or vision research, special NAS funds allow for awards up to a maximum of $2,500.