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


John Geske, assistant director of residence life, received the Marcus Boesen Memorial Award at the South Dakota College Personnel Association (SDCPA) at the annual conference held Sioux Falls. The Marcus Boesen Memorial Award is given to a SDCPA member who shows outstanding contributions to the overall development of students, to their educational institution, and to SDCPA and higher education. The recipient must be employed in their first four years in a student personnel related profession at a South Dakota post-secondary institution. The mission of SDCPA is to provide continued leadership in addressing issues and trends in higher education and professional education programs to promote student development and learning.


Dr. James Hesson, professor of exercise science, authored the 10th edition, of the Weight Training for Life textbook.  Hesson says he wrote this book to teach people the importance of weight training as a lifetime fitness activity to build and maintain: strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, body composition, metabolic rate, muscle density, tendon strength, ligament strength, bone density, and to slow the rate of decline that normally occurs with aging.   He also created and authored the Instructor’s Manual for the Weight Training for Life textbook.


Dr. Brian Smith, professor of biology, is on the Board of Trustees for The Herpetologist’s League, one of the three major herpetological academic societies of North America and one of the largest in the world.  He serves on the League’s conservation committee and is immediate past chair of that committee.  Smith is also an associate editor and a member of the steering committee for the online journal, Herpetological Conservation and Biology, one of the first free access journals online to be published.

Dr. Mike Zehfus, professor of chemistry,  and his co-authors, M. A. Chalupnicki, H. G. Ketola, J. R. Crosswait, and J. Rinchard,  had their article titled "Thiamine Status of Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax) eggs in the Great Lakes USA," published in the Journal of Freshwater Ecology.

Nancy Grassel, director of human resources, was elected as the Midwest Region Director to the National Board for the College and University Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) for a three-year term.  Members of the board are expected to be higher education human resources thought leaders that possess an area of expertise that helps the association meet one or more strategic initiatives.