Reception will honor retiring
faculty and staff and employee awards recipients
A BHSU employee reception is set for Tuesday, April
30 from 2-4 p.m. in the Student Union Jacket Legacy Room. This reception is designed to recognize the distinguished
faculty member, retiring faculty, longevity pin recipients, and those
employees receiving awards. The
award presentation will begin at 2:30 p.m.
One hundred and twenty-five years of teaching
experience at Black Hills State University will be lost this spring as
five university professors will retire.
Two professors from the College of Education and
three professors from the College of Arts and Sciences will leave their
academic posts this year. Stepping down are Max Durgin, mathematics
professor, 37 years; Patricia Fallbeck, professor of education, 30 years;
Audrey Gabel, professor of biology, 17 years; Larry Landis, professor of
sociology, 16 years; and Darlene Swartz, professor of education, 25 years.
began his association with BHSU as an undergraduate student in
the late 50s and early 60s. He was a student athlete and even ran for
student body president against another to-be faculty member, Tom Hills, in
1961. Completing his bachelorís degree in 1962, Durgin embarked on his
professional teaching career as a math teacher in Belle Fourche.
The popular math teacher completed his masterís
degree from the University of Northern Colorado in 1965 and accepted a
teaching position at Black Hills State. By 1997 he had completed his
doctorate in research evaluation and design at the University of South
Dakota and continued his career as a member of the BHSU mathematics
department. Throughout the years he has taught mathematics to hundreds of
university students. In recent years he has expanded his academic
proficiencies to include computer-consulting work and received a grant to
develop a software program for county governments.
He has attended conferences and has been involved
with his colleagues in revamping and updating the math curriculum to
reflect the latest technology in math education.
During his 37 years in the classroom, Durgin has
witnessed vast changes in teachingófrom blackboards and chalk to
computers and graphing calculators. His dedication to teaching mathematics
will be perpetuated through the Max Durgin Mathematics Scholarship
recently established at BHSU.
has spent 30 years teaching and working in the special education area.
She has held positions in physical therapy, hospital schools, and
classrooms for children with mental retardation, special needs and
emotional disorders. To update her teaching skills, she recently left the
halls of academia for a year to teach in a second-grade classroom with a
large number of children with special needs.
After graduating from BHSU in 1969 with a degree in
special education, Fallbeck began her teaching career in the Rapid City
public school system. In 1972 she accepted a teaching assignment at BHSU.
She completed a masterís degree in 1970 at the University of Minnesota
and a doctorate in education in 1981 from the University of Northern
In addition to teaching hundreds of special-education
majors and supervising many student teachers, she has been actively
involved with professional special education, mental retardation and
education associations. Her involvement has earned her much recognition.
She was recently honored by the Northern Hills Training Center for her
commitment and contributions. She is a two-time winner of the Mildred C.
Thomson Award from Region VIII of the American Association on Mental
Retardation. She also earned recognition twice as South Dakota Educator of
the Year by the Association of Retarded Citizens. At BHSU she was
recognized as advisor of the year in 1994.
A speaker at a recent recognition banquet summed it
up best by describing Fallbeck as a ďdedicated professional who prepares
others to be competent, confident and compassionate in providing service
to people with disabilities.Ē
In recent years Fallbeck has been actively involved in
teaching with technology and has taught several distance-education
is completing her 17th and final year at BHSU teaching and
serving as chairperson of the science department. When not in the
classroom or handling administrative duties, she is involved with her
students doing research.
Her goal as an educator is to transfer her interest,
love, dedication and enthusiasm of biology and mycology to her students.
She has done that through her research and by involving undergraduate
students in her academic passion.
During the past several years Gabel and her students
have been researching mushrooms and other fleshy fungi in the Black Hills.
A total of 1,934 specimens representing 366 species were collected from
multiple sites. Results have been sent to the South Dakota Natural
Heritage Program. Data from her work represents the first documentation of
fungi in the Black Hills. She also plans to write a field guide to common
mushrooms of the Black Hills.
As a result of her research, Gabel has presented and
published numerous articles regarding her research on fungal diseases of
grasses. She serves as a fungal consultant for Mycological Questions
and Problems in South Dakota, is a reviewer for the Journal of Iowa
Academy of Science and a reviewer for Proceedings of the North
American Prairie Conference. She is active with many campus committees
and also holds memberships in several professional academies and academic
The dedicated scientist came to BHSU in 1985 after a
teaching assignment at Iowa State University. She earned her bachelorís
degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1961, a masterís degree in
1979 and a doctorate in mycology and botany at Iowa State University in
has held numerous teaching and administrative positions at one time or
another during his distinguished 43-year professional career. He has been
a teacher, department chairman, and curriculum coordinator at the high
school level. At the higher education level, he has served as a director
of applied social science and economic statistics, assistant to the vice
president for academic affairs, director of institutional research, acting
director of admissions, assistant vice president for academic affairs,
vice president for academic affairs, state director of the postsecondary
review entity program, director of institutional research, interim dean,
interim vice president, and professor of sociology.
Landis earned a bachelorís degree at Western
Illinois University in 1959 and taught in public high schools in central
and northern Illinois for six years. He completed a masterís degree in
social science from WIU in 1963 and a doctorate in sociology from the
University of Iowa in 1974.
In 1965 he accepted a teaching position at Drake
University where he taught sociology. At Drake, he held several
administrative positions; including assistant vice president for academic
affairs. In 1986, Landis was offered the position of vice president for
academic affairs at BHSU with the Clifford Trump administration. In 1995
Landis accepted an appointment from the regentsí office to head the
State Postsecondary Review Program (SPRE) monitoring student loan default
Before returning to BHSU as a professor of sociology
in 1997, Landis put his administrative talents to work again as interim
dean of academic affairs at Huron University and later as interim vice
president for academic affairs at Dickinson State University.
As a teaching professor, the BH sociologist pursued
his scholarly interests in the application of technology and the
electronic media to instruction and the application of social and cultural
perspectives to the analysis and understanding of institutions and social
During his teaching and administrative years, Landis
has continued to publish and present research projects to academic
conferences and to professional journals. His scholarly skills and work
ethic were recognized in 2001 when he was awarded the BHSU Spirit of Work
Award for Excellence. He has served on many advisory committees, councils
and task forces throughout the region in the spirit of community service
and professional development.
has been an advocate for children and teaching college students about
the importance of a quality early childhood education. She has pursued her
teaching goals with zeal since she her arrival at BHSU in 1977.
Her teaching career began in 1955 when she completed
her bachelorís degree in secondary English at the University of South
Dakota. She taught for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for ten years and then
became a reading teacher at Redlake and Pine Ridge Schools until 1969.
During those early teaching years, Swartz continued
her education, earning a masterís degree in elementary education from
the University of Northern Colorado in 1957. By 1970 she had obtained a
second masterís degree in learning disabilities and special education
from Northern State University in Aberdeen.
After completing her doctorate in reading from the
University of Northern Colorado in 1972, she accepted a faculty position
at Northern Montana College and a year later served as school principal at
the college until 1975.
As a professor at BHSU, she has taught numerous early childhood classes,
practicum classes, guidance classes, methods classes and supervised
student teachers. She has worked to bring accreditation to the
universityís child-care center and worked with the state Department of
Education and Cultural Affairs to establish early childhood standards.
In recent years Swartz has worked to incorporate the
latest technological concepts in her teaching. She received a Governorís
Grant Award integrating current computer technology and software into the
courses she teaches.
A dedicated faculty member, Swartz is involved with
university councils and committees and holds memberships in several
professional education associations. She also acts as a consultant to
education programs and parent groups and is serving as a field researcher
for a testing company.
Swartz is involved in several community
organizations, networks, centers and agencies concerned with the education
of young children.
Her dedication to teaching and learning has earned
her the distinction as a role model for early childhood instruction.
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