Volume XXV No. 10 • March 9, 2001

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.

Welcome to Black Hills State University - Top

  • Ron Ehly,  storekeeper, Central Receiving

CSA position open

The following Career Service position is open:
  • senior computer support specialist, computing services

For additional information, please review the announcement bulletin or contact the personnel office.

Pearce directs graduate student on action research project - Top

"Active Learning in the Lab....Positively Influencing Student Attitudes Toward Chemistry" was published in the February 2001, edition of The Science Teacher, the National Science Teachers Association journal.  This action research project was conducted by Ms. Robin Strain, MSCI graduate under the direction of Dr. Kristi Pearce, College of Education.

 The project highlighted the use of constructivist practices to engage high school students in inquiry-based learning.  The results demonstrated that to help students learn constructively, it was necessary to change from a textbook-teaching approach to incorporating interactive learning

 experiences.   The secondary students concluded, "it is a more interesting and effective way of teaching than a lecture-based class."  Likewise, they found that they gained confidence with continued use of lab equipment and learned more by performing multiple experiments. 

The action research project uncovered that designing classroom learning experiences to involve group work both on daily assignments and lab activities makes learning more interdependent and student-directed.  In addition, using constructivist practices for assessment allows students to work as many or as few problems as they need to achieve the grade they want on the exam while using a rubric to evaluate student performance. This provides the students with the direction that they need for success.


Smith receives a grant for lizard study in Antigua - Top

Dr. Brian Smith, professor of biology at Black Hills State University, was recently awarded a $6,000 grant from Fauna & Flora International to study a possibly endangered Antiguan ground lizard, Ameiva griswoldi, in the small islands off Antigua.

According to Smith, “it appears that populations of the Antiguan ground lizard have been seriously reduced throughout their limited range through the depredations of introduced mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) and rats (Rattus rattus) and extensive habitat loss.”

He proposes to census populations of the lizard on small offshore islands of the Antiguan bank and on the main island of Antigua to make a preliminary determination of the conservation status of the Antiguan ground lizard.

Smith said, “preliminary data have shown that the lizard is common on mongoose- and rat-free islands around Antigua. However, data have also shown that the lizard is rare or extinct on a variety of other offshore islands, including those with mongoose and rats and also islands that are rat- and mongoose-free. Antiguan ground lizards on Antigua appear to be isolated to remnant populations in some villages and urban areas.”

He said, “standard mark-recapture and census techniques will be used to assess population sizes and basic population demography on representative offshore islands and in comparison populations on the main island of Antigua.”

Smith has been a member of the BHSU science faculty since 1997. He earned a Ph.D. in quantitative biology from the University of Texas in 1996.

Cooch receives grant to purchase supplies for special ed. classes - Top

Dr. C. Gregory Cooch, assistant professor of education at Black Hills State University, was recently awarded a grant from the Office of Special Education in Pierre in the amount of $20,663.

 The grant money will be used to purchase assessment materials, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, and Battelle Developmental Inventory, for use by students at Black Hills State.

 Cooch notes that “assessment is an integral aspect of instruction. It enables educators to gather and interpret information about students and to make decisions. Assessment provides information about what individual students can and can not do, know and do not know. When teachers 

connect instruction with assessment and use this information to change or modify teaching and learning activities, students benefit." 

 The education instructor adds, “the faculty at Black Hills State University is committed to preparing its students for a career in special education. Paramount to this commitment is proper and thorough instruction and application of assessment procedures. Procurement of [these materials] will ensure that Black Hills State University graduates in special education will be the best-prepared individuals in the area.”

 Cooch has been a member of the BHSU faculty since 1999. He earned his Ed.D. degree in 1996 from the University of South Dakota with a major in curriculum and instruction.

Turner takes a deep look at the web - Top

As vast as the World Wide Web appears with all its links and site connections, today’s cyberspace phenomenon just scratches the surface of an internet world known as the invisible or Deep Web.

Laura Turner, computer technology instructor for the College of Education at Black Hills State University, dug below the web surface in a four-page article for the March/April issue of “The Book Report,” a magazine for secondary schools library media and technology specialists. What she found was a much larger and relatively unknown web content that is found in searchable databases.

Although the Deep Web was first described as invisible Turner said, “The deep web is not really invisible, but because searchable databases are not index-able or query-able by today’s search engines, they appear invisible to the average Internet user searching the Internet.”

The BH instructor says Completeplanet.com estimates the surface Web at 1 billion documents and the Deep Web at 550 billion documents.

Most search engines on the web are designed as web sites that enable people to find information by using special software and an indexing system.

“Currently, the best and biggest search engines index only from one third to one half of the publicly available documents on the Internet,” Turner said.

Some of the top traditional search engines listed in the article are altavista.com, askjeeves.com, directhit.com, nothernlights.com, fastsearch.com, and yahoo.com, etc.

For an expanded search, Turner says the newer Metasearch engine that has a capacity to search up to 45 other search engines is available. Some metasearch sites include dogpile.com, metacrawler.com, mamma.com, etc.

“The change in the WWW from web page-based to database-based has been, 

College of Education computer technology instructor Laura Turner uses some of the latest electronic classroom technology to teach a class titled “Integrating Computers Into the Curriculum.”

and continues to be, a gradual movement,” says the BH computer instructor. “It is estimated that 100,000 searchable databases are in the Deep Web.”

The Deep Web has lots of relevant information and it is publicly accessible with no fees or subscriptions. Information is found in topic specific databases.

Sixty of the largest Deep Web sites contain one trillion bytes of information or 40 times more information than the surface web.

Some of the sites created to access the online databases include Beaucoup.com, BigHub.com, CompletePlanet.com, InvisibleWeb.com, etc.

“Media specialists work on a daily basis with information requests,” said Turner. “To become a better Internet information investigator, a media specialist should:  educate one’s self…, become familiar with the Deep Web…, understand that at present, Deep Web information can be located only by using some type of directed query…, and one should be able to access a new second-generation Web search tool. …”

Turner has taught for 15 years in the area of computer technology. She joined the BHSU faculty in 1997 and holds a bachelor’s degree in information management and a master’s degree in business education from the University of North Dakota.

Allbee receives BHSU Chiesman grant for purchase of books and materials - Top

Linda Allbee, acquisitions librarian for the E. Y. Berry Library-Learning Center at Black Hills State University, recently received a grant in the amount of $3,012 for the purchase of books and curriculum material related to the study of democracy and development of civic education.

 The library was approved for the funding through the BHSU Chiesman Endowment for 2001. The Chiesman Foundation For Democracy Inc. “is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization that serves as a forum and channel to provide greater awareness of the meaning and practice of democracy while encouraging all citizens to

actively participate in the democratic process.”

The librarian said that the purchases will be strictly books this year, although in the past the library has purchased videos. In regard to how the books are chosen, she commented, “professor’s suggestions are the primary tool in selections for the library.”

This is the third year that the BHSU library has received funds through the Chiesman Foundation for curriculum materials.

 Allbee has been employed at the BHSU library for 10 years, and recently was promoted to acquisitions librarian.

KNBN anchor to speak on non-traditional career choices - Top

Becky Hillier, KNBN-TV anchor and former Miss Montana, will be speaking at Black Hills State University on non-traditional career choices March 16 from 10-11 a.m. in Jonas 305.

Hillier has been with KNBN-TV since September of 1996. She was originally hired to anchor local morning cut-ins during the Today Show. When NewsCenter1 debuted in September of 1997, she was promoted to main co-anchor.

In addition to her anchoring duties she is very active in the community. She serves on the board of directors for Working Against Violence, Inc., is the chairperson for the United Way 2000 fund drive, and is a popular emcee and host for several local events.

The news anchor began her career in Miles City, Mont., at KYUS-TV, as news director, producer, reporter and photographer. Her talents extend beyond the news desk to the stage, as an accomplished vocalist.

She was crowned Miss Montana in 1988 and competed in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. She was also chosen as one of six Miss America contestants to travel to the Far East as part of a song and dance road show, entertaining our military men and women.

 Hillier and her husband Mitch, a Rapid City fireman, have two children, ages two and eight.

This presentation is sponsored by Student Life of Black Hills State and is free to the public.

BHSU clubs support CASA benefit concert - Top

It’s time to tap your toes and snap your fingers as a hard-driving blue grass group known as Six Mile Road will be performing at a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) benefit concert, March 16 at 7 p.m. in Woodburn Auditorium on the Black Hills State University campus.

The university’s Human Services and Sociology Clubs are sponsoring the benefit concert. Admission is $5 at the door. The concert is open to the public.

The Northern Hills Area CASA program is a community-based agency committed to ending child abuse by serving the needs of children. The advocacy group seeks to promote and protect the best interests of

abused and neglected children involved in  court proceedings through the advocacy efforts of trained volunteers.

CASA volunteers spend about 10 to 15 hours a month with the children, foster parents, and social workers. Volunteers submit reports, based on observation, research, and the child’s wishes, to the court as to what course of action would be best for the child. There are currently 35 active volunteers serving approximately 90 children in the Northern Hills area.

Information on the CASA program or the benefit concert is available by contacting the CASA office at (605) 578-1161.

Instructional Improvement Committee funds available - Top

The Instructional Improvement Committee (IIC) encourages, through monetary grants, the application of existing knowledge to specific teaching situations to improve the quality of instruction at BHSU. Any full-time faculty member, full-time adjunct faculty or other full-time staff member engaged in student instruction may apply for grant funds administered by the committee. Grant funding will normally be available up to a maximum of $1,000 per project. Priority will be given to projects that will have a broad-based, visible, continuing impact of instruction across faculty members and/or disciplines. 

Funds are available for development of materials and methods to improve teaching and learning, equipment to enhance teaching and learning, travel to conferences or

workshops which enhance teaching and learning, and bringing consulting lecturers and teaching specialists to campus to offer presentations to and/or with faculty and teaching-support staff at BHSU.

Proposals for grant funding will be reviewed by the IIC on a monthly basis. The deadline for submission will be the third Thursday of each month; a decision will be made as soon as practicable on each proposal.  The original plus 10 copies of the proposals should be submitted to the grants and special projects office, Woodburn 218, or to the chair of the committee, Sharon Strand. Proposals will consist of the proposal and budget outlines following the specified format available at the grants and special projects web page.

Faculty research funds available - Top  

The faculty-research committee has funds available for the current fiscal year. Write a short (about three-page) proposal. Proposal forms are available at the grants office or can be printed out from their webpage.

It is anticipated that successful applicants will request support for faculty release time, research equipment, travel to research sites or research support for the production of creative work. Preference is given to new applicants, particularly in the areas of education, business, social sciences and humanities. A three-hour release time is available for spring of 2002. Apply now. The next deadline for proposals is April 27 at 3 p.m.

The applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are John Alsup, Steve Anderson, Lyle Cook, Tom Cox,  Abdollah Farrokhi, chair; Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow, Shane Sarver and Rob Schurrer.

The research committee will not provide salary. The committee may approve payment to student or non-student research assistants. Deliver the original plus ten copies of your proposal to the grants office in Woodburn 218 or Dr. Farrokhi’s office in Woodburn 314.


This week at BHSU

Submit items to Media Relations or send to Unit 9512, BHSU.



March 9


Praxis Testing PPST

Home Show,  Young  Center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Home Show,  Young Center, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Midterm exams  

Midterm Stress Busters, Student Union 220, 2-3 p.m.

Ruddell Gallery, senior art show begins


Midterm exams

Graduate Council meeting, Jonas 309, 3:30 p.m.       


Midterm exams

Faculty Senate meeting, Jonas 110, 3:15 p.m.       


Midterm exams

Green & Gold luncheon, Holiday Inn, noon

Comedian Howard Moore,  Young  Center, 7 p.m.

Community Concert Band, Student Union, 7:30 p.m.



Midterm exams

Speaker Becky Hillier, KNBN anchor  Jonas 305, 10-11 a.m.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. summer internship  interviews, contact Career Center,  6277

Six Mile Road performance, Woodburn Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Preview Day: high school students on campus