Black Hills State University will honor several alumni during Swarm Week at the annual Alumni Awards Luncheon Friday, Oct. 1 at 12 noon in the Jacket Legacy Room of the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union. Marla (Hershey) Barnard will be honored with the Special Achievement Award; the Distinguished Alumnus Award will be presented to Dr. Forrest Brady; the Excellence in Education Award will be given to Dr. Tim Creal; and Ron Schuttler will be honored with the Special Service Award.


Marla (Hershey) Barnard, Class of ’81, earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communications with a minor in business. While at BHSU, she was a member of the cheerleading squad and created the dance/cheer group - the Golden Sting. In addition, she was selected Miss Black Hills State and represented the University in the Miss South Dakota pageant.

Marla has had a successful career in public relations and human resources and has held management and senior-level executive positions at companies such as Duke Energy, Enron, Time Warner, and Comcast. She is currently senior vice president of Human Resources for Fiserv, a Fortune 500 company that delivers integrated solutions to help financial service institutions, insurers, health benefit administrators, and employers manage and profit from information.

During her career in public relations, she helped Duke Energy receive the Outstanding Corporate Citizen Award. While serving as vice president of Human Resources at Time Warner, she worked to help the company become awarded as one of the best places to work in Houston for two years in a row. One of the highlights of her career was throwing out the first pitch at a Houston Astros game.

Marla also has many years of involvement with non-profit organizations. She is serving as president for Child Advocates and Business Volunteers for the Arts. She is also a board member for the Volunteer Center, United Way, ESCAPE Family Resources, Society for the Performing Arts, and ChildBuilders. She is a graduate of Leadership Houston, which is a local organization recognizing and supporting Houston leaders. Marla also served on the BHSU Foundation Advisory Board from 1994 to 1997.

Marla recently established a scholarship for BHSU business/human resource students. Marla and her husband, Rick, reside in Houston, Texas with their son, Kyle, who is a junior in college.


Dr. Forrest Brady, Class of ’72, received his bachelor’s degree in history and math and went on to Creighton University Medical School where he graduated in 1977 as a medical doctor. He completed his family practice residency in Sioux Falls in 1980 and had a private family practice in Spearfish from 1980-86. He currently practices family medicine at the Regional Medical Clinic in Spearfish.

Forrest has served as a clinical faculty member at the University of South Dakota-Sanford School of Medicine since 1978. He has been certified by the American Board of Family Physicians since 1980 and was an instructor of Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for 20 years and an experienced ACLS provider for two years. He has been an instructor of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRS) since 1990 and is currently a provider of Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Trauma Life Support, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support.

Forrest’s leadership appointments include: Spearfish Regional Hospital Peer Review chairman; Spearfish Regional Hospital vice chief of staff; Spearfish Regional Hospital Medical Executive Committee; and Regional Health Physicians Management Committee.

He has been involved in various organizations including: Boy Scouts of America Troop 17, the Spearfish Rifle and Pistol Club, the National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He is a professional member of the American Medical Athletic Association.

Forrest enjoys numerous outdoor sports, cooking, dog training, gardening, and reading. He, and his wife, Sharon, have two children, Rachel and Dan.


Dr. Tim Creal, Class of ’78, earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from BHSU. He also has a master’s degree in educational administration and specialist and doctorate degrees in education.

Tim began his career in education as a high school mathematics teacher and coach in the Faith School District. His career then took him to Brookings, Ore. where he taught eighth-grade mathematics and coached football.

He returned to South Dakota and spent the next 10 years teaching and coaching in New Underwood before taking over as superintendent, elementary principal, and special education director in 1992.

Tim is currently the superintendent for the Custer School District where he directs federal programs and leads the curriculum and staff development for Custer schools. He uses the quote, “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” as the focus for his educational beliefs. He says, “education is about relationships…relationships with students and with staff members. I view education as a way of life…not a job. When you treat it that way it is evident that your life is about others and not about you.”

Tim is also an adjunct professor for the South Dakota State University West River Graduate Center where he earned the Teacher of the Year Award in 2000, 2006, 2007, and in 2010. He was also awarded with the South Dakota Superintendent of the Year Award in 2000.

Tim has a growing list of professional accomplishments including: president of the South Dakota School Superintendent’s Association (1999); member of the American Association of School Administrators Systems Leadership Committee since 2003 and chair of the committee in 2006-2007; and involvement with the Gates Leadership Mentoring Project.

Tim and his wife, Darla, have one daughter, Leah. Tim and Darla reside in Custer.


Ron Schuttler, Class of ’85, received his bachelor’s degree in history and art from BHSU after first serving 22 years in the Navy. After graduating from Spearfish High School, he immediately enlisted in the Navy, training as a shipboard electrician. His service extended through the Vietnam War. Ron retired from the service in 1976 having attained the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer.

He moved back to Spearfish with his family and enrolled at BHSU as a non-traditional student under the GI bill. Shortly after earning his degree, Ron began working for the Black Hills Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also directed the summer camp at Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch. In 2000, he retired to devote time to his volunteer activities.

Ron has volunteered with several organizations throughout his lifetime. He served on the BHSU Alumni Board of Directors for 23 years, acting as president in 1997 and 1998. Ron is an active member of the American Legion and is the commander of the Spearfish Veterans Honor Guard. He is active in the Knights of Columbus of St. Joseph Church in Spearfish. Ron is also involved with the crew members associations of the four ships on which he served, and belongs to the Great Northern Railway Historical Society.

Ron and his wife of 48 years, Eileen, reside in Spearfish. They have three sons, Jon, Bill, and David.

Tickets for the Alumni Awards Luncheon are $15 and must be purchased in advance; they will not be sold at the door. The deadline for purchasing tickets is Sept. 24. For more information or to purchase tickets contact Tom Wheaton, director of BHSU Alumni Relations, at 642-6385 or email Tom.Wheaton@BHSU.edu.

For a complete list of BHSU Swarm Week events visit www.BHSU.edu/SwarmDays.