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Ardean Wessel, assistant to the president is retiring Dec. 31, after over 28 years of service to Black Hills State University. During her more than 22 years in the president’s office, she served under four presidents and one acting president.  She is only the third person to be the assistant to the president since 1942.  Prior to her current position, Wessel worked in the business and purchasing offices.

She was born and grew up in Rapid City, attended the University of North Dakota and received her bachelor’s degree from BHSU.

Her plans include spending more time with her grandchildren and being a ‘snow bird’ in Florida during the winter.


Kathy Schneider, director of the Retired and Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) will retire after 20 years of service at the end of the month. There will be an open house on Oct.30 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Spearfish Senior Citizens Center.  The BHSU faculty, staff, and students as well as the public is invited to attend.

RSVP has been in operation in Spearfish since 1973.  It joined with the Sturgis RSVP office in 2002 to become the Northern Black Hills RSVP and has been sponsored by Black Hills State University since that time.  RSVP has a dual purpose of providing a quality volunteer experience as well as fulfilling needs for non-profit agencies and the frail elderly in our communities.  There are over 500 volunteers in four counties who contributed just under 100,000 hours last year.  Volunteers serve Meals on Wheels, work with children in the schools, help with mailings and administrative tasks for the cities and chamber offices, provide transportation to the elderly for grocery shopping or doctor's appointments, as well as "fun projects" like visiting with tourists while serving at one of the museums in town or rocking babies at the BHSU daycare.   

Schneider started as the RSVP secretary in 1986 and has served as director since 2001. In her 20 years, she's managed 38 senior tours covering every state in the U.S. except for Delaware and Alaska.  With those 38 tours, she made over $277,000 for the program.  And, she'll do one last senior tour this month, prior to her retirement.  With all the changes that have taken place over the years, she managed to increase the number of volunteers, the number of volunteer hours, oversaw the expansion of the program into Faith, Lemmon and Bison, and all with a smile on her face, according to co-workers.

Schneider will be greatly missed but her time and talents will be greatly appreciated as the program continues to be successful with great hopes to continue the trends she began.

CSA Position Open

The following Career Service position is open:

  • Sales Clerk, University Bookstore

 For additional information or to apply visit:

Professor to present paper at national conference

Dr. Sheng Yang, assistant professor of economics and finance at Black Hills State University, recently presented a paper at the 62nd International Atlantic Economic Conference in Philadelphia.

In the paper, Yang empirically examines the excess capacity hypothesis, which was given as one of the two competing hypotheses in the study of entry-deterring behavior in industrial economics.  According to Yang, time-series data from the U.S. primary aluminum industry are used to test the effect of excess capacity and production variation on firm entry decisions.  The result from the estimate of the logit model shows that entry decision is statistically significantly affected by the excess capacity yet has insignificant correlation with production in the industry throughout the sample period. 

Yang also served as panel discussant at the conference session of market structure, firm strategy, and market performance. 

Yang received his doctorate in economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998. He joined the BHSU faculty in 2004.

BHSU teams with state fish hatchery for research

An article highlighting research by Black Hills State University and McNenny Fish Hatchery was recently published in the Rapid City Journal. The project teams the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks with Daniel Bergey, a biology professor at BHSU, and could change the way rainbow trout are stocked in the Black Hills.

See the complete article

Honors thesis defense scheduled for Ashley Vanderwerff Hurd 

The Black Hills State University community is cordially invited to the Honors thesis defense of Ashley Vanderwerff Hurd’s “Changing Ideals: A Truth Universally Revealed by Jane Austen’s Heroines,” Wednesday, Oct.11 at 5 p.m. , in the Meier Hall third floor conference room. 

Hurd’s honors thesis advisor is Dr. Mary Husemann, assistant professor of the College of Arts and Sciences. Her reader is Dr. Sasha Pursley, assistant professor of the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Dr. Roger Ochse, director of the Honors Program at 642-6386 or . Refreshments will be served. 

Student groups prepare for awareness programs

Black Hills State University student groups are preparing several awareness programs this week.

The Residence Hall Association is sponsoring an alcohol awareness program in which some students wear paint on their faces for the day to represent an alcohol-related fatality.  Instructions to the students include remaining silent, except for class participation. Students who are employed are also instructed to participate in their work activities in a normal fashion.  Discussion of the issue is encouraged. 

Also, plans are underway to have a “safe zone” program on campus. Oct. 11th is National Coming Out Day and BHSU students would like to emphasize the right of all students to take pride in the life style they have chosen and to express their views.  It is anticipated that the programs will bring attention to the issues of alcohol misuse and the need for diversity in society, according to Dr. Judith Haislet, vice president for student affairs at BHSU.     

Homeless awareness event brings the streets to BHSU

United Ministries and Black Hills State University’s Global Awareness Committee will sponsor a Homeless Awareness walk-through Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7 pm in the David B. Miller Student Union Yellow Jacket Legacy Room. 

The program will begin with a self-guided tour of a “homeless set” built by the BHSU Theatre Department. Within the set, visitors will experience re-enactments of homeless living conditions performed by BHSU student actors.  

Guest speakers will include Jim Castleberry, director of Cornerstone Mission in Rapid City, as well as residents of Cornerstone.

Admission is free and open to the public; donations of non-perishable food items for the BHSU Pantry or money for Oxfam World Hunger are encouraged.

Persons with disabilities requesting accommodations for this event should contact Jeanne Higgins, director of United Ministries at 642-6556 at least 48 hours prior to the start of the event. 

BHSU to host Make a Difference Day

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others?  Many people do says Janette Hettick, C-U-R-E volunteer coordinator at Black Hills State University.

According to Hettick, sometimes individuals feel they do not have enough time to volunteer, or they are unsure of where to start.  The Community-University-Resource-Exchange (C-U-R-E) program at Black Hills State University has the answer: Make a Difference Day.

Make a Difference Day is the largest national service day in America.  Last year, over 3 million people participated, completing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.  This day promotes community togetherness, neighbors helping neighbors.  The idea is to put your own agenda aside for a day to help others who are in need.  

Last year more than 650 BHSU students and community members volunteered in the local celebration of Make a Difference Day.  BHSU students and community members participated in a variety of ways. Projects included food drives, various area clean up activities, book donations, a hurricane relief fund raiser and other assorted acts of kindness benefiting organizations and individuals. The AmeriCorps*VISTA C-U-R-E program has coordinated Make a Difference Day projects in Spearfish for the past two years. 

This year, the C-U-R-E hopes to unite community and campus to make this an enormous event for Spearfish.  Everyone is encouraged to participate regardless of age, gender, class, or talent.  Groups and individuals will perform service projects in the Spearfish area Oct. 28, at 9 a.m.  Activities can be as large as collecting food and clothing for the poor, or as small as visiting a lonely neighbor.  Longer projects, such as food or book drives, or projects with children in schools, can be conducted during the week as well. 

Activities will conclude with a free lunch for all participants in the Student Union Marketplace from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.  This will be a time for community building and reflection on the morning’s events.  BHSU’s President Kay Schallenkamp will provide welcoming remarks at 11:20 a.m.  Those who do not participate in events but would like to eat may do so, at the cost of one non-perishable food item for the Spearfish Food Pantry or one new, unwrapped toy for the kickoff of the Red Shirt Table toy drive.

Individuals and organizations are invited to create service projects that are directed toward their interests, or they may join other activities planned by student and community organizations.  The C-U-R-E office can help you find a project that is right for you.

 “We would like to encourage everyone in Spearfish to get involved with Make a Difference Day activities,” says Hettick.  “This event has potential to positively affect hundreds of Spearfish residents, and it is a great way for community members to get to know students at Black Hills State and vice versa.” 

The AmeriCorps*VISTA members ready to coordinate Make a Difference Day activities with participants.  Contact Hettick or Trainumin the BHSU C-U-R-E office at 642-6471 or email for more information or to participate in this event.

BHSU Faculty Senate minutes

Black Hills State University Faculty Senate minutes, September 20, 2006

Members present:  Jim Hesson, Dan Bergey, Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, Daluss Siewert, Bobbi Sago, Verona Beguin, Annette Ryerson, Jill Kary 

The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m., Meier Hall conference room.

Introductions were made welcoming the new Student Senate member, Jill Kary. 

The agenda and minutes from the August 24, 2006 meeting were approved.  The minutes will be sent to all faculty and Campus Currents.  Bobbi Sago will take care of this. 

The following years of remaining service, including this year, were identified for present Faculty Senate members:

College of Arts and Sciences  

  • Dan Bergey (3)

  • Laura Colmenero-Chilberg (1)

  • Tim Martinez (2)

  • Roger Miller (1)

  • Daluss Siewert (3)  

College of Education

  • Micheline Hickenbotham (2)

  • Bobbi Sago (3)

  • vacant( 1)

College of Business and Technology

  • Verona Beguin (1)

  • Annette Ryerson (3)

Student Senate Representative 

  • Jill Kary (1)

President Jim Hesson spoke on his belief that during 2006-2007 the Faculty Senate should concentrate on making BHSU a better place to work, learn and live.  His intention is to hold efficient and effective meetings with a focus on potential solutions and action.   

The updated and approved version of the Faculty Senate Constitution and Bylaws will be sent to all senators and placed on the BHSU website for access by all faculty.  Verona Beguin will take responsibility for this. 

Discussion was held concerning the number and form of reports that should be required from Senate committees during the academic year.  No decision was made.  Micheline Hickenbotham and Jim Hesson will review the standing committees for any action needed on them. 

Jim Hesson will seek nominations from the College of Education to fill the missing senate seat. 

Laura Colmenero-Chilberg was appointed Faculty Senate member to the University Assessment Committee with Annette Ryerson as alternate when necessary. 

Discussion was held on the hiring of the new security officer.  It was reported that the position is still being advertised and that no officer has yet been hired.  Dan Bergey will follow up on this.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted, Laura Colmenero-Chilberg, Faculty Senate Secretary

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