Volume XXV No. 18 • May 4, 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

  • Roland Rosedahl, senior building maintenance worker, facilities services

Resignation - Top

  • Lesly Brownell, press operator, University Printing Center

Position open - Top

The following Career Service position is open:

  • custodial worker, facilities services

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

Cox receives Fulbright Scholars award - Top

Spending a year in Russia studying psychology could be a daunting experience, but for Black Hills State psychology professor Tom Cox, winner of a Fulbright Scholars award, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.

 “Going to a strange land where I barely know their alphabet is frightening,” said Cox. “I lie awake nights thinking about it; I see it as an immense research project. A year’s Fulbright is considered one of the most prestigious awards available in academia. I feel honored and at the same time frightened.”

Although the BH professor is uncertain about the trip’s details at this time, he will be leaving in August for Omsk University in western Siberia. At the university he will be lecturing and doing research for a semester. He will then be given free time to visit the Russian Academy of Sciences. He will be working with the people at the academy in the area of the history of psychology and philosophy.

“I want to find out what happened to the methodology and philosophy of behaviorism (reflexology in Russia) in the areas of psychology and physiology,” he said.

Behaviorism is a significant topic in American scientific circles, says Cox. In order for psychology to be considered a pure science it must be supported by quantitative and measurable data. Others argue that the mind and cognition cannot be measured; therefore it isn’t a science in the traditional sense.

Cox plans to study and research two approaches to psychology in Russia:  methodological and metaphysical behaviorism.

Ironically, a major impact on the development of behaviorism in the United States was the work of Russian physiologists interested in the investigation of “the reflex” and learning. Ivan P. Pavlov was one who insisted on observable data as the basis of behavioral science or reflexology as it’s known in Russia. Pavlov challenged the work of another Russian psychologist V.M. Bechterev who 

believed in the metaphysical position by concluding mental events are not observable and therefore must be excluded from the science of psychology.

“The research methodology I will utilize is simple,” said Cox. “To complete this project, I will interview psychology, reflexology, history of science, and philosophy faculty at key institutions. As a result of these interviews I will learn the outline of the development of the Russian equivalent of methodological and metaphysical behaviorism." 

The BH professor says little is known about the continuance of behaviorism’s methodology and philosophy in Russia. Cox described a conversation with a Russian psychologist, who claimed to be a behaviorist but said there were administrative consequences to being a behaviorist, so he now teaches false psychology.

In the search of answers, Cox will receive a $2,600 a month stipend and will be visiting sites such as libraries in St. Petersburg, several universities and technical colleges in Moscow, the University of Ukraine, the University of Petrozavodsk, the University of Ural and several other libraries and institutions of higher education.

For the past 25 years the BHSU professor has collected, read and annotated the major works and most minor works or comments of American behaviorism. He has done this for many criticisms of behaviorism as well as for the few Russian works published in English. He has also been contacting the Russian academics to discover the best individuals to interview concerning the development of the Russian equivalent of methodological and metaphysical behaviorism.

Cox joined the BHSU faculty in 1988. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education at Eastern Montana College, his master’s degree in psychology at Middle Tennessee State University, and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Manitoba.


Wallerstein article published - Top

Dr. Nicholas Wallerstein, an assistant professor of English, has just published an article titled "Judicial and Epideictic Rhetoric in Milton's Paradise Lost."

The article argues that Books IX and X of Milton's poem contain a highly-developed judicial rhetoric, one to which is added an angry, vituperative epideictic color or style. The article further argues that such a combination is emblematic of the moral failings of the characters Adam and Eve, revealing a couple lost in the wreckage of their past actions, obsessed with placing blame for that wreckage, 

and seemingly unable to embrace any course of expedient future action that might redeem them. The degeneration of Adam and Eve's language into a rhetoric of angry judicial pleadings and epideictic invective is illustrative of the degeneration of their very beings, on a moral, spiritual, intellectual, and psychological level, brought on by the Fall.

The article has been published in the Proceedings of the Eighth Annual Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature, ed. Robert J. De Smith, Sioux Center, Iowa: Dordt College Press, 2001, pp. 39-45.

Faculty and staff honored - Top  

A special recognition tea was held to honor faculty and staff recently. Max Durgin, left, College of Arts and Sciences professor, was honored for 35 years of service. Thirty-year service awards were presented to Richard Hicks, College of Arts and Sciences professor; George Earley, graduate studies/assessment director and College of Arts and Sciences professor; and Deatta Chapel, student support services and student assistant center office supervisor.

BHSU hosts conference - Top

Dr. Robert De Smith, professor of English at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, presents his paper "Stir up the Athenian Youth": Sleepovers, Prom Nights, and Adolescent Experience in A Midsummer Night's Dream” to attendees of the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature. The conference was held April 27-28 at the Young Center, Black Hills State University. In the photo (seated, from left): Dr. Lizbeth Benkert-Rasmussen, Northern State University; Dr. Bruce Brandt, South Dakota State University; Dr. Jay Ruud, Northern State University.

See their website for program information.

Spirit of Work Award for Excellence - Top

The Spirit of Work Award is given to Pat Chastain for her friendship with and support of the faculty .

Teacher job fair records high number of participants - Top

The Black Hills Teacher Job Fair was attended by more than 211 people. Bob Stanelle, director of student development and the career center, reports that there were 20 South Dakota school districts in attendance. Other states schools represented included 13 Wyoming schools, six Colorado schools, five Nebraska schools, three Montana schools as well as at least one representative from North Dakota, Arizona, Kansas and Texas. Stanelle noted that there are openings in all areas for teachers, with exceptionally high demand in special education, Spanish and bilingual education and instrumental music. A total of 191 teacher candidates attended.

Two Nelson Scholarship students at BHSU plan to attend medical school - Top

Science labs are busy places this spring as finals approach. Nathan Steinle and Brett Theeler are closing out their undergraduate years at Black Hills State but plan to continue their studies at medical school. Both students are Nelson scholarship recipients, receiving full rides for four years. The standout students will graduate summa cum laude this spring.

For most college seniors graduation represents the end of exams and research papers, but for two Black Hills State seniors six more years of intensive study awaits them at medical school.

Brett Theeler, Mitchell, and Nathan Steinle, Sturgis, are both four-year full ride Nelson Scholarship recipients. Theeler, a star basketball player, is a fifth-year senior and the first Nelson Scholarship winner to enter the program as a freshman. Steinle completed his studies at the end of his fourth year and was the second Nelson scholar to complete the program after entering as a Nelson scholar his freshman year. 

Joseph Nelson, a 1927 BHSU graduate, gave the university nearly $1 million in a scholarship fund in 1995. The Nelson scholarships cover tuition and fees for 32 hours of credit a year, and provide for room, board and parking. Students must major in biology, chemistry, physical science, environmental science or mathematics. They must be in the upper 10 percent of their high school class and have a minimum score of 28 on the ACT examination.

Nelson was a chemist with EXXON and held 81 U.S. patents on chemicals, rubber and detergents made from petroleum.

According to Dr. Charles Lamb, professor of biology at BHSU, there are currently five students receiving full-ride Nelson scholarships. Two are freshmen this year.

“We also award $2,000 to $3,000 supplemental scholarships (less than a full ride) for applicants for the Nelson award who didn’t get selected,” said Lamb. “We usually have two to four additional applicants who come to school here.”

Lamb says most of the students who apply for the Nelson Scholarship are also getting big scholarship offers at other universities.

“They represent the cream of the crop,” said the biology professor.

This scholarship program provides an incentive for 

students who are at the top of their class in high school to come to BH. He believes these students, as role models, help other students lift their level of performance. In fact, both Theeler and Steinle have served as mentors and tutors to other students in the math and science areas.

Currently Theeler has two offers to attend medical school but is leaning toward the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD. He would be a second lieutenant while attending medical school and graduate as a captain. He would then owe the Army seven years of duty. 

Although Steinle has six medical schools to choose from, he has pretty much decided the University of South Dakota Medical School will be his choice.

“It’s closer to home and you get more personal attention in residency rotations,” he said. “I’m interested in internal medicine at this point, but it’s open to change.”

Theeler is looking at anything from a surgical specialty to general practice.

“I’ll let them mold me,” he said with a smile. “I’m a blank canvas.”

Both young men attributed much of their academic success to the biology program and the faculty. They felt faculty members were very approachable and helpful.

“Dr. Lamb did a great job of mentoring me,” said Theeler, “His help has been huge from class work to advice.”

“I got much more personal attention than any of my friends at larger universities,” said Steinle.

Both aspiring medical students will graduate with summa cum laude honors this month. They expect medical school to be a significant challenge, but then they are used to that.

Without sports to consume his time and energy, Theeler is looking forward to just concentrating on academics. Steinle says he expects to be in classes this August and will be focusing on the basic sciences including lectures and lab work. An excellent tennis player, he will probably find some time on the courts to relieve the demands of academic pursuits.

Steinle, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average, has also displayed talents as a writer, winning an excellence in undergraduate writing award this spring for his classroom work titled “Aristotle and Warfare:  Achieving the Golden Mean in Perilous Times.”

Lamb said what makes both students successful is that “They work extremely hard, which to me is the best kind of good student. …They really want to learn.”

Results of disc golf spring fling - Top  

Twenty nine BSHU students participated in the Spring Fling Disc Golf tournament Friday, April 27 on the campus disc-golf course.

The top eight students receiving prizes and their 19-hole scores are as follows: (note that par for 19 holes is a score of 57) Brian Giesinger, senior – 54, Matt Mueller, junior – 55, Lee Terveen, senior – 58, Chad Leddy, junior – 59; Matt  Barton, senior – 59; Gentry Touzek,  freshman - 60, Mike 

Lauritsen, senior – 61, Chauncy Zhart, senior – 61.

In the community division, the top two players received prizes: Don Altmyer, Spearfish – 47; Scott Ceasar, Rapid City – 48.

Prizes were donated from the Student Union and the BHSU bookstore.

This week at BHSU

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



May 4

“2001: A Space Odyssey,” film series,  Jonas 305, 6 p.m.  

May 5


May 6

May 7

Final Exams

Book Buy-back, Bookstore

Student Teacher Exit Seminar, noon – 4 p.m.

May 8

Final Exams

Book Buy-back, Bookstore

May 9

Final Exams

Book Buy-back, Bookstore



Final Exams

Book Buy-back, Bookstore


Final Exams

Book Buy-back, Bookstore


Honors Breakfast, Student Union multi-purpose room, 7:45 a.m. 

Commencement, Young Center, 10 a.m. 

President's Reception, Young Center Fieldhouse, following ceremony