Black Hills State University faculty and staff are transforming lives and making headlines.

Fred Nelson, director of Network and Computer Services, recently completed the National Legion College. He completed a six-day course that placed a solid foundation for American Legion post revitalization in a variety of settings to include a rural area, the inner city, suburban communities, a metropolitan area and a cyber post. The group was also provided the instruction and tools to construct resolutions for American Legion activities at their respective posts for presentation at a mock district meeting. Nelson is a member of American Legion Post 164 in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Kent Meyers, associate professor of humanities, authored the lead piece in the most recent issue of The Georgia Review. Meyers’ essay titled “The Makings” is about the hours he spent as a child making and throwing boomerangs, and his growing expertise concerning them and other primitive weapons. The essay is an exploration of the nature of imagination and creativity. The title refers to the piles of lumber and scrap metal lying around the farm Meyers grew up on, and how he turned these “makings” into various projects. Using the metaphor of a boomerang’s flight out and return, Meyers also explores the nature of family and land, and the forces that bind people to each other.

Sara Elias, career counselor and internship coordinator, completed the Experiential Education Academy hosted by the National Society for Experiential Education. Membership in the Academy represents significant achievement and contributions as a national leader in advancing experiential education as a field and a profession. Elias plays a significant role in teaching BHSU students how to translate their university experience into professional skills and accomplishments. She also guides students in locating and applying for internships, as well as teaches GS 100: University Experience to first-time freshmen.

Dr. David Wolff, professor of history, had an article published in the Eighteen Annual Mining History Journal, 2011, titled “Saving a Boomtown: The Reinvention of Deadwood.” In this piece, Wolff looks at the critical decade of the 1880s when Deadwood could have died, and how local entrepreneurs, led by Seth Bullock, James K.P. Miller, and Harris Franklin, fought to restore the town’s economic vitality. In the end, the construction of the Deadwood and Delaware Smelter and the Golden Reward Chlorination Plant, and the arrival of the Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley and Burlington and Missouri River railroads brought a new era to Deadwood, allowing the town to become an industrial and commercial center. That outcome was far from certain and the article highlights the many struggles and the significant role ore processing technology and railroad construction played in the survival of frontier gold towns. The Mining History Journal is a peer-reviewed publication produced annually by the Mining History Association. Wolff has been involved with the group since its inception. He has served as president, and his article in the 1995 Mining History Journal won the John Townley prize for the best article in that year’s journal.