The BHSU Alumni Association presented the 2011 Young Alumni Achievement Award to Captain Brett Theeler, M.D., Class of 2001, during the Student Volunteer Awards Celebration. Left to right are: Tom Wheaton, director of Alumni Relations at BHSU; Theeler; BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp; and Bill Collins, president of the BHSU Alumni Association.

The Black Hills State University Alumni Association honored Captain Brett Theeler, M.D., Class of 2001, with the Young Alumni Achievement Award during the 2011 Student Volunteer Awards Celebration.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award is given to honor an alumnus who has attended BHSU within the last 10 years and has distinguished him or herself with outstanding achievements, contributions, and service to society, the community, and the University.

Theeler graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. While attending BHSU, he was a member of the Student Ambassadors and the Health Science Student Organization. He was a four-year recipient of the prestigious Joseph F. and Martha P. Nelson Scholarship for science and mathematics majors, and was a recipient of the Nelson Summer Research Grant in 1997 and 1998. Theeler was also a science, chemistry, and math tutor, as well as a mentor for elementary students.

As successful on the basketball court as he was with his academic achievements, Theeler served as the captain of the basketball team from 1999-2001 and was named Co-MVP. While serving as captain he was a member of the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) All-Conference basketball team and was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Academic All-American basketball team. In 1999, Theeler was elected the Swarm Days Homecoming King.

Upon graduating from BHSU, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Medical Corps and attended medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where he received his doctorate degree. He completed residency training in neurology at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Wash. He earned his certification in neurology in Sept. 2009 and served as the chief of neurology at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Fort Bliss, Texas from Aug. 2009 - July 2010.

Theeler, who is currently a Captain in the Medical Corps, is scheduled to be promoted to Major in May 2011. He is a clinical neuro-oncology fellow at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and will complete a clinical and research fellowship in neuro-oncology in June 2012. Following completion of the fellowship, he will resume serving in the United States Army as the first and only active-duty neuro-oncologist.

He has presented original research at 14 regional, national, and international meetings including the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, and American Headache Society. Theeler has also published 15 original scientific articles, reviews, and book chapters. He has received numerous awards including the Malcolm B. Carpenter Award for Excellence in Fundamentals of Neuroscience (2001-02), the Distinguished Academic Award in Clinical Head and Neck and Neuroscience (2001-02), the German Troop Duty Proficiency Badge, the Meritorious Service Medal, and has twice been honored with the Army Commendation Medal.