Volume XXV No. 9 • March 2, 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

  • Schad Hunt, facilities services

CSA position open - Top

The following career service position is open
  •   salad maker, dining services
For additional information, please review the announcement bulletin or contact the personnel office.

Knutson artwork displayed at Dakota Art Gallery - Top

The art work of Jim Knutson, professor of art at Black Hills State University, and four other regional art professors is currently on display at the Dakota Art Gallery, Rapid City.

  Knutson, Lynn Thorpe, Northwest College, Deb Mitchell, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Richard Bird, Chadron State College, were chosen for the “Regional Art Professor’s Exhibit.”

Global awareness committee sponsors presentation - Top

The Global Awareness Committee at Black Hills State University is sponsoring a presentation titled “Solutions to Affluenza” Thursday, March 22, in the Student Union Jacket Legacy room.

“Escape from Affluenza” a video about consumerism, will be shown from 1 to 2 p.m. 

From 2 to 3 p.m. there will be a panel of Black Hills State University professors presenting arguments on consumerism. The panel members are: Patty Jo Bellamy presenting “Business as a Partner in Solutions for Affluenza;” Dr. Brian Smith presenting “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Global Warming and What You Can Do About It;” Dr. Ahrar Ahmad presenting

“Structural and Global Efforts at Solving the Problem of Affluenza;” and Dr. Christine Shearer-Cremean, with Dr. David Cremean presenting “Beyond the Bottom Line: Simplifying as a Lifestyle Change.”

Dr. Dan Peterson will serve as the moderator in this panel discussion. There will be an audience-panel interaction between 3 and 3:30 p.m.

This presentation is free of charge. For more information regarding this presentation, contact Legia Spicer at 642-6556. Anyone with disabilities requesting accommodations for this event should contact Spicer at least 48 hours prior to the start of the event.

‘BLAHST’ science teaching workshop attracts area teachers - Top

Area teachers were back in the science classroom this winter taking advantage of a curriculum designed to improve teaching skills through high quality standard-based teaching methods.

The Black Hills Science Teaching Project (BLAHST), now in its second year of a $1.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, is providing over 300 teachers in eight school districts in Western South Dakota with professional development in science content and teaching strategies through kit-based instructional materials.

This February more a than dozen teachers were huddled around microscopes in a science lab at Black Hills State taking advantage of a BLAHST workshop titled “Using Characteristics of Organisms to Understand Biological Concepts.” Dr. Charles Lamb, associate professor of biology, and Janet Lillehaug, BLAHST project manager, taught the one-day workshop.

 “It addresses the observing and classifying of organisms in the laboratory and in a field setting,” said the biology professor. “The various structures of animals and their functions are discussed, as well as how organisms adapt through evolution.”

The students were to have gotten some hands-on fieldwork in Spearfish Creek with aquatic animals, but the wintry weather caused focused attention to be directed toward lab work instead.

Lillehaug said twelve workshops were being offered this semester. All are self-contained and offered in the area schools or on the BHSU and S.D. Tech campuses. She will be going to area schools this spring to model science lessons by teaching as many as six lessons a day.

“Teachers (in the BLAHST service area) are encouraged to take 100 hours of professional science development,” said Lillehaug. “Twenty teachers have already taken more than the 100 hours.”

Lisa Weir and Amy Vande Velde, Deadwood middle-school teachers, working collaboratively on their science project believed the workshop approach was excellent.

“It’s nice to have the hands-on approach to take back to the classroom,” said Vande Velde. “I have signed up for the next workshop on mixtures and solutions.”

Lamb and Lillehaug said they focus on using practical teaching skills and providing materials that are beneficial in the teachers’ classrooms. They try to identify the teachers’ needs and help them to be successful.  

The BLAHST workshops cover topics related to chemistry, geology, physics, atmospheric science, and biology.

Kathleen Creech, Spearfish middle-school teacher, prepares a slide for viewing as Janet Lillehaug, project coordinator, watches during a BLAHST science workshop at Black Hills State this winter. Creech was one of several teachers from the region taking part in the one-day workshop taught by Dr. Charles Lamb, associate professor of biology, and Lillehaug.

Sixteen additional workshops will be offered to teachers during the summer months. They will range in length from one to six days. The six-day workshops will explore dinosaurs in the Badlands and the geology of the Black Hills.

Kathleen Creech, a Spearfish middle-school teacher, has already completed more than 100 hours of BLAHST science and plans on taking more. She likes having a source for her teaching other than a textbook and that’s what the workshops provide.

“These are the things we need to teach in our curriculum,” Creech said. “They are all based on state standards (for teaching science). These classes are challenging and we’re gaining knowledge as an adult that can be taken back to our students. I’ve used all these things in my classes.”

Creech said she has taken workshops that are focused on elementary science as well as those focused on middle-school science. She is hoping her science preparation and three years teaching experience will help her find a new job next fall as her current position was eliminated due to a school-district budget shortfall.

The BLAHST project will be providing science-teaching workshops to elementary and middle-school teachers until June 2004. The project is supported through the Center for the Advancement of Mathematics and Science Education (CAMSE) on the BHSU campus. School districts participating in the project are Kadoka, Wall, New Underwood, Douglas, Meade, Lead-Deadwood, Belle Fourche and Spearfish.

Center for Math and Science can help teachers and school districts select up-to-date science textbooks - Top

Before selecting a science textbook or developing a science curriculum, area teachers and administrators should consider checking with the Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE) at Black Hills State University for up-to-date materials.

National news sources have recently published stories about poorly developed science textbooks in the nation’s classrooms that are strewn with errors and inaccuracies.

John L. Hubisz, a North Carolina State University physicist, brought these textbook errors to light in a two and a half year study. Errors ranged from misplaced photos to nonfunctional scientific principles.

CAMSE recognizes that different classroom resources can significantly influence the quality of teaching and learning. The BHSU center supports school districts in helping them choose and use the best possible educational materials for science and mathematics by offering a variety of services.

The science and math center maintains a materials center with current supplies for teaching science and math. These resources are available for review by teachers and administrators. CAMSE staff members are prepared to advise school districts choosing new K-12 science materials.

School districts not seeking new materials can seek advice on ways to mitigate problems with their current science texts. CAMSE staff can provide contacts to national evaluations of textbooks or identify BHSU science and math experts who can help identify and correct textbook errors.

Information is available at the BHSU math and science center by phoning (605) 642-6873 or by checking out the helpful CAMSE website at www.bhsu.edu/camse/materials.htm


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.

Minutes of the university assessment committee - Top  

Minutes of University Assessment committee -Wednesday Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. in Woodburn conference room 1

Present:  Earley, Termes, Schamber, J. Miller.

Absent:   Cook , Haislett, Altmyer, Calhoon, Buchholz, Myers, Meyers, Sharon Hemmingson.

The committee considered the following annual reports:

1.  tourism - The committee voted to have a rewrite and resubmission of the report.

2.   MSTHM - The committee voted to accept with comments.

3.   physical education - The committee voted to have a rewrite and resubmission of the report.

4.  outdoor education - The committee voted to have a rewrite and resubmission of the report.

5.   MSCI - The committee voted to accept with comments.

The committee discussed what was desired in the annual reports.  The committee suggested and the chair agreed to write a document to give to the deans and faculty outlining what is expected in the annual report.  The committee believed that such a document would make the reporting easier for everyone.

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 March 2, 2001.

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.

Grants opportunities announced - Top

Below are the program materials received Feb. 15-21 in the grants office in Woodburn 218. For copies of the information, contact our office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to us at grants@bhsu.edu.  Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration (TOP Program).  NTIA supports projects that improve the quality of – and the public access to – education, health care, government services, and economic development, especially in underserved areas. Applications are due by March 22, 2001.  http://www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/top/

  • National Institute on Aging (NIA).  NIA Pilot Research Grant Program.  Award is either $25,000 or $50,000.  Application receipt dates include March 20; July 17; Nov. 16.

  • National Science Foundation.  Informal science-education programs supports projects designed to increase public understanding of science, mathematics, and technology.  Maximum grant is $50,000.  Preliminary proposals due March 5 and August 2; full proposals due May 31 and Nov. 15.  ASCEND Projects preliminary proposals due Aug.14; full proposals due Nov. 15.

  • National Science Foundation.  The course, curriculum, and laboratory improvement program seeks to improve the quality of science, mathematics, engineering, and technological education for all students and targets activities affecting learning environments, course content, curricula, and educational practices.  The program has three tracks:  1) educational materials development (EMD); 2) adaptation and implementation (A&I); 3) national dissemination (ND).  Awards vary.  Letters of intent due April 23; proposals due June 5 for A&I track and June 6 for EMD and ND tracks.

  • National Science Foundation.  Instructional materials development projects create comprehensive curricula and supplemental instruction materials, as well as student assessments that enhance classroom instruction preK-12.  Maximum award is $6 million for up to five years.  Preliminary proposals due May 9; full proposals due Aug. 23.

This week at BHSU

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



March 2

Preview Day: high school students on campus

March 3

Spring break begins


March 4

March 5

March 6

March 7

March 8


March 9