Volume XXVII  No. 19 • May 9, 2003

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Campus Currents is distributed every Friday. To submit an item send it to Campus Currents, Unit 9512 or e-mail it to Campus Currents. Deadline is Thursday at 
8 a.m. 

Resignation - top

  • Michele Mitchell, custodial worker, Facilities Services

Anderson authors and presents research at national conferences - top

Dr. Steve Anderson, geology professor at Black Hills State University, recently authored two papers that were presented at national conferences. 

Anderson presented a paper "Spatial Distribution of Lava Flow Surface Features on Earth and Mars" at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas. The paper is the outgrowth of some NASA-funded field work he has conducted in Hawaii, and shows that original, uneroded surfaces exist on the Martian surface.

Anderson also co-authored a paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Conference entitled "Exploring Earth Science Misconceptions of Introductory and Non-Science Majors through the development of the GCT (Geoscience Concept Test)".  This paper was presented by Dr. William Boone of Indiana University. This work is the result of research funded by a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant awarded to BHSU and the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The BHSU geologist completed a one-year teaching sabbatical at the University of Arizona during the 1998-99 academic year and served as chairman of the BHSU science department last year. Anderson earned his Ph.D. in geology at Arizona State University in 1990. He has published many articles and papers on his research related to volcanoes and lava flows. He has been a member of the science faculty at BHSU since 1991.

Black Hills State University will hold 145th Commencement May 10 - top

The 145th Black Hills State University commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

Degrees will be awarded to 330 students including eight master’s degrees, 12 bachelor 
of arts degrees, 216 bachelor of science degrees, 75 bachelor of science in education degrees, and 19 associate degrees. List of graduates. 

The commencement address will be given by Mr. Randall Morris, South Dakota Board of Regents member. Dr. Patrica Fallbeck, 2002 Distinguished Faculty member, will give the faculty charge to the graduates. Diplomas will be presented by Dr. Thomas Flickema, BHSU president, and April Meeker, BHSU records director.

Five retiring faculty members will be formally recognized during the ceremony. The 2003 Distinguished Faculty Award will be presented to Dr. Tom Hills, political science professor. 

For the first time in nearly 20 years, two honorary degrees will be awarded. An honorary doctorate of humane letters will be presented to both Guido S. Della-Vecchia and Johanna T. Meier.

“Mr. Guido Della-Vecchia and Ms. Johanna Meier were chosen for this honor in recognition of the achieved distinction within their profession and the outstanding contributions to the people of South Dakota. The couple’s distinguished operatic career, their contributions to the community of Spearfish, and dedication to the advancement of the arts make them important and outstanding role models for the people of South Dakota,” Thomas Flickema, BHSU president, said. “The two have had an important positive influence on the arts in this community as well as the entire state of South Dakota. These honorary doctorates will bestow upon Mr. Della-Vecchia and Ms. Johanna Meier the recognition they so richly deserve.”

BHSU has awarded only 11 honorary degrees in its history and this is the first time in nearly 20 years that an honorary doctorate has been awarded. Josef Meier, Johanna’s father, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from BHSU in 1972.

Music will be provided by the BHSU Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Christopher Hahn, and Kristine Schaffer, Adam Lawson, Andrea Farr and Isaac Waring.

BHSU President Thomas Flickema will host a reception for the graduates and their families and friends, and BHSU faculty and staff members immediately following the commencement ceremony. The reception will be held in the Young Center Field House.

An honors breakfast will be held prior to graduation at 7:45 a.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room. The cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude graduates will be honored. Also, the highest-ranking female and male graduates will be recognized. Jennifer Thurm, human services and sociology major from Rapid City, will be honored as the highest-ranking female graduate and Desmon Mitchell, a psychology major from Spearfish, will be honored as the highest-ranking male graduate.

Black Hills State honors faculty and staff for service - top

Black Hills State University employees were recently recognized for their service to the students, the university, and the community.



Jace DeCory, instructor of American Indian studies, received the special committee award for her exemplary work in advising students. DeCory serves not only as an advisor to her students; she is also considered a confidant, friend and mentor especially for Native American students.



Kim Kerwin, cook in the Student Union Market Place, and Mike Jastorff, director of the University Bookstore, were awarded the outstanding university service award.  Kerwin was selected for her commitment to her customers, her staff, and the students of BHSU. She not only is responsible for the Market Place in the Student Union but also has been in charge of BHSU concessions for more than seven years. Kim’s employees indicate that she maintains an open-door policy and is a supervisor who is easy to talk to and helps resolve their problems. Jastorff received the award for being instrumental in acquiring and operating the BHSU blimp at home basketball games, setting up and selling books to accommodate students’ needs; presenting information at Prep Days to provide an understanding of the numerous services that are available at the bookstore, and making deliveries all over campus. In addition, he teaches a business class each semester at the Ellsworth Branch Campus.

Disability services advisor Joan Wermers earned the student service award because she consistently seeks new and better ways to serve the students of BHSU. Wermers’ motto is “students come first.” She wrote a mini-grant to establish an assitive technology lab, coordinated with the Student Assistance Center for space and rounded up the necessary computers. She was also able to purchase some new software with grant funds. She is always there to listen and help students and they often look to her for stability.


The University Communications office, consisting of Kristen Kilmer, information specialist; Corinne Hansen, director of University Communications; Ven Thompson, director of Institutional Research; and Paul Kopco, webmaster; received the university area award. This award was given for the remarkable job University Communications has done with the BHSU website, their ability to produce news stories, their effort in getting people to sign up on the web for New Student Days and PREP, the virtual tour, their work with Campus Currents, and the media coverage of all different types of campus events.
David Wolff, assistant professor of history, and Cheryl Leahy, senior secretary in the Enrollment Center, were honored for their community service.

Leahy was presented the community service award for her long-term investment as a volunteer in many activities both on- and off-campus. A few of her volunteer activities are: CASA Annual Walk/Run for 1999, 2000, 2001, Special Olympics state meet for two years, State High School Track Meet, Spearfish Baseball/Softball Board, Spearfish Junior Basketball Board, Spearfish Soccer Board, Spearfish Recreation Board, BHSU Kevin Whirlwind Horse Memorial Run, BHSU Creek Cleanup, BHSU CSA Council, Relay for Life, and American Cancer Society Daffodil Days. She has also been a blood donor for at least 15 years.

Wolff has provided leadership for the Lawrence County Historical Society and the South Dakota Historical Society and is currently offering direction on a proposed oral history project concerning the Homestake Mine. David also serves as a member of or advisor to community groups such as the Spearfish Historical Society, the Lawrence County Historical Society, the South Dakota State Historical Society, and is a member of the planning group concerning the future of Homestake Mine. He is also involved with the annual Island in the Plains meetings of the U.S. Forest Service, the Deadwood Historical Preservation Commission, the Adams Museum and Homestake Mine group and is assisting in the organization of a symposium concerning the Chinese in Deadwood.

Valerie Hawkins, librarian and assistant professor of education and Anita Haeder, human resource officer; and were honored for 35 years of state service. Also honored was Cal Crooks, Graphics and Media coordinator, who is currently serving on active duty with the National Guard.


Recognized for 25 years of service were Ardean Wessel, assistant to the president; and Janeen Larsen, professor of music and chair of the Fine and Applied Arts Department. Also honored but not pictured are Junior Bettelyoun, assistant professor of education; Gary Hunt, building maintenance specialist;  and Lil Odell, reproduction services supervisor.


Twenty-year pins were awarded to Patty Clarkson, senior secretary for the College of Education; and Kent Meyers, assistant professor of English. Jim Hess, professor of psychology, who is not pictured was also recognized for 20 years of service.  


Ten-year employees Kim Schmitz, program assistant I in the Enrollment Center; Cheryl Anagnopoulos, associate professor of psychology; Kathy Johnson, vice president for Finance and Administration; Ron Ehly, storekeeper; and Dan Durben, associate professor of science. Also honored but not pictured were  Sam Berney, assistant professor of mathematics; Becky Cooper, librarian; Carol Hess, associate professor of education;  Roger Ochse, associate professor of English; and  received pins for their years of service.
Employees who received 15-year pins were Curtis Card, associate professor of mathematics; Mike Jastorff, director of the University Bookstore; April Meeker, director of Records; LeAnn Vandine, secretary for Facilities Services; Cheryl Leahy, senior secretary in the Enrollment Center; and Nancy Lewis, secretary for Graphics and Media. Not pictured are Tom Cox, professor of psychology;  David Maki, food service worker; Monty Robinson, assistant professor of business. 

BHSU student wins regional geoscientist award and Nelson Research Fellowship - top

Judy Andrews, a senior at Black Hills State University, was recently presented with a regional Outstanding Woman Geoscience Student Award and has also been selected to receive a $2,500 Nelson Fellowship to conduct research this summer.

After being nominated by BHSU professor Steve Anderson, Andrews was selected by the Association of Women Geoscientists in Denver for the geoscience award in recognition of her achievements at BHSU. Originally from Sioux Falls, Andrews carries a 3.97 grade point average.

“From an academic perspective, Judy is truly a role model for other students,” said Anderson. “In addition to her impressive GPA, she is an incredibly well-rounded student with majors in environmental physical science and minors in math and philosophy,” said Anderson.

The Nelson Fellowship will give Andrews the opportunity to work with the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL) in Hanover, N.H., where she will be studying the movement of ground water in complex glacial aquifers in Alaska. Andrews will be working with David Finnegan, a 1997 BHSU environmental physical science graduate, who recently received his master’s degree from Indiana State University.

This is the second year that Finnegan has provided research opportunities for BHSU geology students. Last year, BHSU student Nate Weinand worked at CRREL. Weinand is now working as an assistant hydrographer commissioner for the Wyoming State Water Commission.

Andrews, whose previous research experience includes numerous class assignments, is excited about the prospect of working with the lab and perhaps even doing some field work in Alaska.

Looking back, Andrews said she has always been interested in science and recalls an ever-evolving list of childhood ambitions that were all science-related including her ambitions to be an archeologist and paleontologist. As she matured and considered her college academic path, Andrews remained dedicated to science and registered as a college freshman with plans to go on to medical school. A physical geology class at BHSU her first semester changed those plans.

“In that first class I just thought, ‘Wow, I love this stuff.’ That was it. I was hooked. Learning that the geology of the area a person lives can affect his or her health intrigued me, and I knew I wanted to learn more,” Andrews said. “Geological science is all encompassing. Studying it exposes you to so much of what affects our lives.”

As she progressed through her courses at BHSU, Andrews further defined her future to working to prevent water contamination and seeking good water sources. She foresees an occupation either working with a company hired by a community or perhaps working directly with a municipality to improve water sources.

The BHSU student said receiving the award and attending the conference was an excellent experience that furthered her interest in becoming a geoscientist.  No matter what Andrews ultimately decides to do, she knows that her study of geology and her research experience will be beneficial in the future.

“The keynote speaker [at the conference] discussed how the study of geology can prepare you to do any kind of work,” Andrews said.  “The skills you learn can be applied to anything.”

BHSU biology graduate is recognized for research - top

A love of the outdoors created and nurtured an interest in science for Hans Stephenson that eventually led to a successful academic career including research work that has already been published in a national journal. Stephenson, who will graduate with a biology degree from BHSU this week, is hoping that will turn into a career opportunity that allows him to continue spending time outside.

Stephenson said his outdoor hobbies, especially fly-fishing, backpacking and camping, have increased his scientific interests and desire to learn.

“I enjoy being outdoors and I’ve noticed that being outdoors makes me think a little more scientifically about what is going on around me which has created a number of other interests,” Stephenson said.

These interests are reflected in his academic study, plans to attend graduate school and ultimate goal to work as a biologist. As Stephenson prepares for commencement, he already has had opportunities that few undergraduates experience. For the better part of two years, Stephenson has conducted fisheries research with the McNenny Fish Hatchery. Stephenson’s  exemplary work is noted by both BHSU professor Mark Gabel and hatchery biologist Mark Barnes. 

 “Hans has been through the entire process and I have seen him really evolve with his writing as well as the understanding of the whole scientific process,” Barnes said.

Stephenson has already been published twice and a third article has been accepted for publication in a national peer-reviewed journal, the North American Journal of Aquaculture. He has also presented research at fisheries conferences.

Stephenson explains that the research looked at bacteria present in fish hatcheries that cause negative affects. The study also evaluated chemical treatments used to control the bacteria. A subsequent study considered the use of low vacuum electron microscopy to estimate bacterial populations on salmon eggs.

Stephenson is certain that the research aspect enhanced his education and is pleased that he was given the opportunity to do actual research in the field. He also realizes that the recognition of being published will be helpful as he goes on to graduate school and his career.

“Doing research has helped me a lot. I’ve learned to think more independently and use what we’ve learned in class,” Stephenson said. “It [research] has probably been the most beneficial thing I’ve done in terms of my education.”

Stephenson, who was born in Italy and moved frequently while growing up in a military family, graduated from high school in Rapid City. His long-term goal is to work as a fisheries biologist in the Black Hills or somewhere in the west. Stephenson advises students to consider research opportunities while attending undergraduate school.

“If you get the chance, do some sort of research,” Stephenson said. “It is a really vital experience.”

In recent years, BHSU has increased research opportunities for undergraduate students. Stephenson, who is currently one of approximately 50 BHSU students involved in research, notes that research opportunities are available in a variety of subjects including many which are not science related. Currently BHSU student Kerry Burns is working with Amy Fuqua, assistant professor of Arts and Sciences, on a project about Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.” A number of students also continue to work with Roger Ochse, associate professor of Arts and Sciences, on his Digital Shakespeare project.

Understanding that research is essential to the integrity of undergraduate education, BHSU is working on a program to expand undergraduate research opportunities.          

“Research work conducted is not a substitute for available course work and is significantly different from the types of work conducted in an independent study,” said Lyle Cook, vice president of academic affairs. “This program is instead aimed at select students who have proven excellence through previous course work and have shown interest in pursuing a specific research project in their chosen discipline.”
Student affairs staff serve midnight breakfast - top

Bob Stanelle, Sarah Chase, Susan Hupp and Steve Ochsner were among 19 student affairs staff people who prepared and served a midnight breakfast for students during finals week.  Nearly 275 students took a break from late night study sessions to enjoy the late-night breakfast. 

Committee formed for Chautauqua - top

A committee has been selected to organize and carry out the Chautauqua events scheduled for July 3-8 in Spearfish with many of the events under the big tent at the Spearfish City Park. Many other workshops, discussions and presentations are also being planned. The committee is seeking additional volunteers and contributions for the Great Plains Chautauqua.

Lyle Cook, chair of the Spearfish Chautauqua Committee, announced the following committee members: Holly Downing, Peggy Ables, George Earley, Myles Kennedy, Jo Lutnes, Priscilla Romkema, and David Wolff.  Many institutions are helping with volunteers and funding including Ainsworth-Benning Construction, Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts, Black Hills State University, Chiesman Foundation, East Elementary School, Friends of the Case Library, Grace Balloch Memorial Library, High Plains Heritage Center Museum, Millstone Family Restaurant, Passion Play, Spearfish Center for the Arts and Humanities, Spearfish Chamber of Commerce, Spearfish City Council, Spearfish Historical Society, Spearfish Lions Club, and the Spearfish Rotary Club.

Chautauqua, which has been held in different forms for more than two decades, offers the audience the opportunity to experience the time period of 1790-1850 when our culture changed dramatically as America expanded from “sea to shining sea.” This year the program titled “From Sea to Shining Sea: Cultural Changes and American Expansion, 1700-1850” will highlight the lives and views of historical figures with presentations by different historical re-enactors each evening.

The lives and views of William Clark, York, and Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as well as Tecumseh and John Jacob Astor will be presented on separate nights by historical re-enactors. The character of Dolley Madison will introduce and offer her perspective on the featured speaker each evening.  After each performance the audience will be involved in a discussion of these historical figures and how they may have responded to present-day life.

The performances are open to the public at no charge. In addition, the Chautauquans will give lectures on a variety of topics. The speakers are also available to make special presentations to interested local organizations.

If you are interested in contributing your time, energy, or money, contact Cook at 642-6262, Romkema at 642-6091 or Kennedy at 642-4584.

United Ministries sponsors souper study session - top

Jean Helmer, director of United Ministries, visits with Kamisha Hare, a freshman elementary education major, during the souper study session Tuesday. United Ministries sponsors this event during finals week each semester as a form of support for the students, faculty and staff. According to Helmer nearly 100 people enjoyed the food and company.

Grant opportunities announced - top

Below are the program materials received May 1-7 in the Grants Office, Woodburn 309. For copies of the information, contact the office at 642-6627 or e-mail requests to grants@bhsu.edu. Fellowship information will also be posted on the Student Union bulletin board near the information desk.

  • Department of Education. Early Childhood Educator Professional Development (ED). The Education Department is inviting applications to provide high quality, sustained and intensive professional development for early childhood educators in developmentally appropriate school-readiness services for preschoolers based on the best available research. Deadline is May 16.  www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister CFDA #84.349A
  • Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration is seeking cooperative agreement applications from U.S. academic and other organizations to create a retirement consortium to study the Social Security program. Deadline is July 15. www.ssa.gov/oag (“Grants” and “Current Announcements”)
  • State Department. Tibet Professional, Education, Cultural Exchange (State).  The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is soliciting applications for development, professional, education and cultural exchange projects to promote understanding between the U.S. and people of the Tibetan ethnic group living in China. Deadline is May 30. http://exchanges.state.gov/education/rfgps (Refer to ECA/PE/C/WHAEAP-03-48)
  • Department of Education. Teacher Quality Enhancement Grants (ED). The Education Department is inviting applications for partnership projects to promote improvements in the quality of new teachers and ultimately increase achievement of K-12 students. Deadline is June 2 for preapplications and Aug. 8 for full applications. www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister
  • National Science Foundation. Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). The Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), sponsored by the National Science Foundation, supports “the active involvement of K-12 teachers and community college faculty in engineering research in order to bring knowledge of engineering and technological innovation into their classrooms.” Deadline is June 10 (FastLane submission). http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf03554/nsf03554.htm
  • SMARTer Kids Foundation. The SMARTer Kids research program was created to help educators research the effects of technology on teaching and learning, as well as publish the results of their findings. Each selected educator will conduct a six- to eight-month study of a learning environment using a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, writing a final research paper at the end of the project period analyzing the study’s outcomes. Deadline is May 31.  http://www.smarterkids.org/research/details.asp
  • Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants. The Dirksen Congressional Center has reauthorized the Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grant program for its sixth year. Teachers of grades 4-12, in addition to university, college, and community college faculty, may apply for grants to assist in designing lesson plans, creating student activities, and applying instructional technology in the classroom.  The deadline is open (letters of inquiry). Grants are distributed in May and October. http://www.dirksencenter.org/grantmichelciviced.htm

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 in the Grants and Special Projects Office, Woodburn 309, or can be printed from the website.

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. Applications are now being accepted for faculty release time for spring 2004. Release time is awarded to full-time faculty who teach on the BHSU campus. The next application deadline is Friday, 
May 16 at 12 p.m.

The applicants are encouraged to contact the committee members for advice prior to completing their proposals. The members are John Alsup, Earl Chrysler, Tom Cox, Abdollah Farrokhi (chair), Jim Hess, Kathleen Parrow, Shane Sarver, and Rob Schurrer. 

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